Bill Browder’s Red Notice reads like a thriller - and offers a salient view into human rights abuses by Putin’s regime.
The autobiography covers Browder’s family of left-wing mathematicians, his rebellious embrace of capitalism, and his career culminating in a successful Russia-focused hedge fund by the late 1990s. Investing in formerly state-owned enterprises led to some spectacular successes for Browder’s fund. Fighting corruption in the Russian court system was also initially successful. Within a few years, however, Browder and his team saw increased harrassment by various arms of the Russian state, from stonewalling in court proceedings to police raids and death threats.
The latter half of the book documents the Russian Federation’s arrest of Sergei Magnitsky, Browder’s lawyer. For months, Magnitsky was held on manufactured charges, abused, and had medical treatment withheld. He steadfastly refused to compromise his ideals and his belief that Russia was, or could become, a country of fair laws. It is not such a country, at least not yet. For his efforts to stop the theft of the Russian people’s assets by a small group of oligarchs, Magnitsky was beaten to death in prison.
Browder’s book brings into focus one tragedy, a window into hundreds of other similar abuses perpetrated by Putin’s government. This was particularly valuable to me in understanding the importance of the discussion/investigation related to the Russian role in influencing the 2016 presidential election. Well worth the read.