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Joe Nocera

The One Man Putin Can’t Get Out of His Head

Bill Browder says renewed threats from Russia mean his efforts to punish its kleptocrats are working.

“A real deterrent for bad behavior.”

“A real deterrent for bad behavior.”

Photographer: Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images

It’s just amazing how badly Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to put Bill Browder behind bars.

You know who Browder is, don’t you? He’s the hedge fund manager  who set up shop in Russia just as the country was privatizing, only to later become a critic of its oligarchs, which resulted in his being run out of the country, after which a handful of Russian officials “took over” his company and used it, in classic Russian fashion, to claim a phony $230 million tax refund. Which they received within 24 hours.