What had been a matter of rumor is now documented.
What had been a matter of suspicion is now confirmed.
What had been a matter of speculation is now fact.
So now we suddenly know a lot more about Vladimir Putin's money.
Thanks to a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, we know about a vast network of banks, shell companies, and offshore corporations that have acted as a virtual transnational washing machine for the ill-gotten wealth of the Kremlin leader and his closest cronies.
How much more evidence do we need that the Putin regime is little more than a crime syndicate masquerading as a state?
So the main question on my mind is: what happens now?
Will the Russian people hold the regime accountable for plundering the national wealth on such a massive scale? Or will they continue to adore Putin for allegedly bringing Russia up from its knees?
Will the international community get serious about containing the security threat emanating from this web of corruption? And make no mistake, it is a security threat.
Or will apologists for the regime in the West continue to argue that Russia's so-called legitimate interests need to be respected?
Will they continue to call for the lifting of sanctions and a return to business as usual?
The corruption of this regime has been well documented -- in Russia and in the West and in ways big and small -- for years. But it has never really changed anything.
Will it now?
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