Billionaire investor, George Soros, has criticised Russia’s operation to fight ISIS in Syria, accusing President Vladimir Putin of “exploiting a power void in the White House ahead of the upcoming U.S. presidential elections.”
On the website of his Open Society Foundation Soros called on Russians to stop Putin:
“I appeal to the people of Russia, Europe, and the rest of the world not to stand idly by, but to spread the word and voice their outrage. An outpouring of public opinion could induce President Putin to put an end to his heinous crimes against humanity.”
While Soros’s foundations closed their offices in Russia in 2003, Soros continued to disburse grants to a number of civil society groups.
In July 2015, two branches of Soros” charity network – the Open Society Foundation and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were banned in Russia for the activities, which were deemed to be “a threat to the foundations of Russia’s Constitutional order and national security.” Russia’s General Prosecutor’s Office added the two groups to Russia’s list of undesirable foreign organisations.
Two Soros’s foundations were among the other 12, so-called “patriotic stop-list,” approved by Russian senators that “required immediate attention over their supposed anti-Russian activities.” Other groups on the list included the National Endowment for Democracy; the International Republican Institute; the National Democratic Institute; the MacArthur Foundation and Freedom House.
According to Russian politician, Konstantin Kosachev, these organisations
“…..criticise Russia at any chance and are trying to gain external control over the situation in our country and over our people”.
There is a widely circulating belief in Russia, corroborated by the investigative journalist, Wayne Madsen, that Soros was behind mass protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg in 2011-12 and was planning to overthrow Russian President Vladimir Putin.