Book: Limonov vs. Putin

Edward Limonov

Limonov vs. Putin

Table of content

Foreword of the author…3

First bloc

“My son is like a tsar!”… 7

“Children were always a bit afraid of him”…11

In the “otstoynik”…16

The spouse…20

In the “otstoynik” (II)…22

With Sobchak…25

You can’t spoil porridge with butter…38

A solid manager…42

Lubyanka’s boss…46

The premier-heir to the throne…54

Second block…61

Indifference and lies…65

Pack of swindlers…85

Khabarovsk’s Kuril Islands on the Amur…93

“There is no ‘international terrorism’, there is a war in Chechnya”…105

The killing…118

Massacre of the innocents…141

The robbing of the people…171

“You seem to think you’re a tsar…”…191

The passage from the election to the appointment of governors…203

How NTV and other free mass media were killed…216

The staff of the ruling regime…233

The creation of the Nashi criminal association…246

“By his nature Putin is not a politician”…277

The dictatorship of law…289

Third block


The president’s appearance…318

A wicked father…321


When I first expressed my desire to write a book about president Putin, editors and friends said to me 1) that I will need “kompromat” [compromising material]; 2) that in order for the book to be convincing, I will need a lot of “kompromat”; 3) that I need to get “kompromat”.

After giving it a thought, I almost decided not to use “kompromat”, for the following reasons: I don’t have connections in the elite; I don’t have agents in the Kremlin or in the government, those who would have passionately desired to get me exclusive information about the president, which means that I can’t get “kompromat”. Besides, I thought, in his past life Putin surly hasn’t left written confessions about committing illegal or criminal activities, so I won’t be able to prove anything for sure. After all, London’s exiles, Berezovsky, Litvinenko and others didn’t succeed to prove anything when they put forward the version that it was the FSB, which blew up the houses in Russia in fall 1999 in order to bring an ex KGB officer to power. Nevertheless, they succeeded in planting a doubt in the masses. After almost deciding that I won’t use “kompromat”, I finally did the exact opposite. I dedicated the first chapters of my book to V. V. Putin’s life until March 22nd 2000, in other words before the day he became RF president. In doing so, I enumerated all the scandals related to Putin’s name and the accusations put forward against him in different times by different people. And what I did was right. Let the reader decide for himself if he should believe a president with such a life experience.

After the president’s biography and his adventures as head of the KGB where he didn’t accomplish anything special, then in St-Petersburg’s city hall, where he was mostly noted as the hero of suspicious corruption scandals, then in the president’s administration and as prime-minister, the structure of my book’s second part repeats the form of my comrades National-Bolsheviks’ leaflet, a leaflet they have given out on December 14th 2004, when they came to the reception room of the President’s Administration, in order to say to VVP: find some courage and resign. I made the book’s chapters with those ten accusations – proofs of Putin’s professional inadequacy as president, enumerated by my forty comrades who have paid for their courage with prison detention.

In the process of my work I added a series of personal accusations to the ten accusations of the “Decembrists”. And finally the book’s third part also consists of “kompromat”, but of a special nature. It is not hidden on mysterious websites, in Sobchak’s or Shutov’s (Sobchak’s former associate, he is detained in St-Petersburg for six years now, but wasn’t accused) archives, but is daily visible to us all. We see it from the television screen. It is VVP himself. Daily, in practically all events life throws him in, he proves that he is hardly competent, that he is not at all able to be the leader of our state, the builder and the guider of our collective life. That he, unwanted, behaves as if we were his subjects on bended knees or moreover – he behaves as our wicked, very wicked and unjust father.

It is getting harder for us to support his oppression, that of a pale, petty, early bold simple colonel. Even if we are to trust the results of the March 2004 presidential elections (personally I absolutely don’t trust these results), we should acknowledge that the forty-eight point something million voters who voted for him did a mistake. Well, it happens. Are people around us always right about everything? Not at all. Besides, why those who haven’t voted for him, and according to the official results they are ninety-five million, should live under the oppression of Putin’s autocracy?

Vladimir Vladimirovich doesn’t read letters from the citizens or pretends he doesn’t. He behaves as an arrogant monarch, especially as his parents were simple people: his father was a metalworker and his mother a housecleaner. There is a disease common to simple people who have miraculously reached the power heights – contempt to the people and arrogance. I believe that president Putin will read my book. But I am absolutely sure that my book will not be helpful to him. Actually it is not intended for him. I firmly believe that my book about Putin will be helpful to our society. That it will convince society: we are governed by a little wicked man. Dangerous precisely because of it. Because he is wicked, unwise and simple.

So let’s begin with God’s help…


VVP’s Biography

From October 7th 1952

To March 26th 2000


Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born on October 7th 1952 in the city of Leningrad, the third, late child in the family of Vladimir Putin and Maria Shelomova. VVP’s parents were born in the Turgimovski district of the Tver region, his father is from the Pominovo village, and his mother is from the Zarechye village. Apart from VVP there were two other sons in the family, but they both died in infancy, one before the war and the second during the blockade.

His father, Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin, supposedly was the secretary of the L.Y.C.L.S.U. cell in his village. Putin Senior’s fellow-villagers have characterized him in youth as a rather unpleasant person: “godless and mischievous”, “he called to remove icons in the houses of the elderly”, “The mother Olga had enough trouble with him”. According to unverified information, supposedly as the war began, Putin’s father has volunteered to the front and served in the extermination battalion of the NKVD.

After the war, like many migrants from the Tver region, the Putins, these rural people, moved to Leningrad, emptied after the blockade. In the fifties Putin senior started to work in the paramilitary security service of a car-building plant. Then he became a metalworker, he worked as a foreman.

Putin’s mother, Maria Ivanovna Shelomova, worked on the same plant. She had a face injury. According to some she was hit by her husband when they were young, according to others it was an accident. She worked as a nurse in the plant’s kindergarten, then as a housekeeper, as a merchandise receptionist in a bakery, a watchwoman and a laboratory cleaner. People who knew her described her as a quiet, calm and hardworking woman. They got married in 1928 and VVP was born when his father was around fifty years old.

Maria Ivanovna died from cancer in the beginning of 1999. Right after his wife’s death Vladimir Spiridonovich began to have heart problems and a few months later he was hospitalized in the oncology department. Putin’s father died on august 2nd 1999. Both were buried in the “closed” Seraphimovskoe cemetery in Saint Petersburg. All of this is of an ill omen for the RF population. Despite cancer both died almost at ninety years old. People say that on his deathbed his father has said: “My son is like a tsar!” – meaning the prime minister’s suite, with which the son visited the father in the clinic. It can be ascertained that Putin comes from the bottom of society: his father is a turbulent metalworker, the mother, as it often happens, is a “saint” and a quiet woman (a housecleaner) living with a turbulent father. Both Putin’s parents were born in villages. For comparison: I am older than Putin by nine years, my parents for some reason turned out to be younger than Putin’s, both were born in small towns: my father in the city of Bobrov in the Voronezh region and my mother from the city of Sergach in the Gorkov region. Also they have a higher social status than Putin’s parents: my father graduated from a military college and became an officer and my mother managed to study two years in the chemistry department of a technical school. However my grandparents were indeed born in villages.

In school (№ 193) VVP’s study level was average. According to his school records he wasn’t noted for his good behavior. He was shy and taciturn. After seventh grade he started to study better, for example he showed interest in German. Putin started to practice martial arts from thirteen years old, as a 6th grade student of class “A” of School № 193. During this period he was sick a lot or missed school, either way, there were often notes in his absence records. According to some witnesses of Putin’s family life, VVP looks like his father who behaved as a very harsh person. (You get this kind of dismal workers, either they are harsh to the world or dissatisfied with themselves).

From 1960 to 1968 Putin attended School № 193 on Griboedov Canal in Leningrad. Griboedov Canal now has a bad fame partly because it is the place where the democrat Starovoytova was killed. Also it is on Griboedov Canal that my late wife, Natalya Medvedeva was born. She was the daughter of a nurse and a coastguard sailor. Apparently, to replace the Saint Petersburg natives extinct after the war, the capital’s downtown was populated with fresh, simple people – metalworkers and sailors. These were the processes of that time, in Putin’s biography I notice a lot of traits similar to mine. For instance, I started free style wrestling in seventh grade, at fourteen years old, but since I am older than Putin, this happened in 1957. Recently, my fellow-townsmen made a documentary about me in Kharkov, in it my old coach Arseny speaks very well of me – a promising teenage fighter. But from the general traits of a generation let us return to Putin. For some time he was the chairman of the detachment’s council. I was one for some years too until I left home at eleven years old.

After eighth grade Putin entered School № 281 on Sovetsky Street, with a specialization in chemistry. He graduated in 1970. Putin’s class teacher was Mina Moiseevna Yuditskaya (later she emigrated to Israel). Jewish teachers were a rule at that time and not an exception. My class teacher was Jacob Lvovich Kaprov. He didn’t go to Israel. VVP’s records show C marks for physics, chemistry and algebra. This again brings E. Limonov and V. Putin together. The teenager Savenko had C for these subjects and also a C for Russian literature, but an A for Ukrainian literature.

As it is to be expected, witnesses of Putin-student’s life affirm that he was reserved. “He liked to argue, including with teachers. He easily got into fights”. The fact that VVP is a reserved man, all of Russia sees it everyday from the television screen. His clenched jaws show his stubbornness and his behavior in crisis situations, for instance with hostage taking in the Nord Ost and Beslan confirms the opinion of his classmates. He “easily gets into fights”, too easily, because in his childhood he risked to get hit on the nose and in the case of Beslan his promptness to fight cost 311 lives, half of them children.

Another information from the past: It turns out that Putin liked to do political reports in school, reading out information from newspapers about currents events in the world. E. V. Savenko (Limonov) also liked to do political reports in class a few years before. In 1959, in January he passionately reported to his classmates about the bearded “barbudos” who captured Cuba’s capital – Havana. As students, Vladimir Vladimirovich and I resembled each other a certain time. It was an era. But after school we ceased to resemble each other. But farther about this.

Until 1990 the Putins lived near the Moscow train station in a communal apartment. This circumstance emphasizes the extreme poverty of the former metalworker and his wife, or did the communal apartment suit them? Since even if in 1928 by the moment of their marriage, VVP’s father and mother were twenty years old, they must have been born in 1908, meaning that in 1990 they were eighty-two years old. Living in a communal apartment at eighty-two years old! However in 1969 the family bought a house in Tosno near Saint Petersburg. They lived in this house in the summer and sometimes in the winter.



In 1970 V. V. Putin entered Leningrad’s State University on the law faculty. Ten years earlier in a hot august day E. V. Savenko came to the second exam in Kharkov’s State University. He was sitting on the windowsill in a white shirt, ate an apple and wondered looking at the fuss of the university entrants, at the nervous grimaces of their faces. They were clearly worried, afraid to be refused. E. V. Savenko didn’t understand why they were so worried. And thinking that he’ll have to spend the next five years in the company of these quiet scared young men and women whom he, a free provincial guy, did not respect, he got sad. And then he got up, carefully put his apple core on the windowsill and went down the stairs. At the same time rang the third bell calling to the exam. By October E. V. Savenko was working as a spider-man fitter in a construction trust: I erected a workshop building on Malishev’s factory, commonly it was called the tank factory because tanks were produced there.

You see, the period is the same, only nine years of difference. But the young men are different. One is a conformist, right after school he enters university, but by doing so he misses out life experience, only school and parents have formed him. The other drifts on life with pleasure, realizing that life is more important, never again undertakes attempts to enter a university, works on many Kharkov’s factories, among others on the famous even today for his strong union movement “Hammer and Sickle” factory in the 1963-1964, where he even takes part in a three-day strike. In result the end product is absolutely different. A dictator and his opponent, an opposing intellectual authority. Two years before the scene in Kharkov’s State University mentioned above, in 1958, in spring after reading the book “Alexander Blok’s youth poems” I got by accident, I started to write poetry and write them to this day.

But let us return to Putin, at that time still eighteen years old. Nikolay Kropachev, the dean of Saint Petersburg’s University remembers that Putin was studying on an individual plan. He studied without Cs, only Bs and As. Putin defended his diploma on the subject of “The principle of the most favorable nation in international law” and got an A, he passed state exams with an “excellent” distinction.

It is in Leningrad’s State University that Putin met a person who will later have an enormous influence on his life, Anatoly Sobchak. The famous democrat worked then as an assistant on the chair of economical law and later became a senior lecturer. According to some sources, Putin wrote one of his term papers on Sobchak’s course.

“During his studies, enthusiastically narrate the official sources of the president’s biography, Putin led an active social life,” he went to construction battalions, participated in sambo competitions, fought for “labor reserves”. In the institute he started to professionally practice judo. In this time Japanese martial arts in the USSR were mostly a prerogative of the special agents. Putin became sport master of judo in 1975. Already a KGB agent, in 1976 he became Leningrad’s judo champion. After that year Putin’s sport successes come to naught. Biographers explain this circumstance by service trips.

In university, in the beginning of the fifth session Putin was recruited by state security agents. And after graduating he was directed to the KGB Moscow school where he spent a year. According to his own words Putin “accepted to work in the KGB instantly and without hesitating for patriotic reasons”. One of his friends remembered that in youth Putin himself tried to initiate his recruitment but he didn’t succeed – the KGB was suspicious of initiative takers. However they have apparently noticed the promising guy and later found him by themselves.

My acquaintance with the State Security Committee happened a couple years earlier than Putin’s. In October 1973 I fell in their vision field, apparently for many reasons at once: I was rubbing elbows with dissidents (in particularly with the famous V. Gershuni), with foreigners (with my wife I visited Venezuela’s embassy and was close with its ambassador in Moscow R. Burelli), my wife’s sister was married to a former Lebanese attachй and lived in Beirut and according to some sources was a GRU agent (with which the KGB’s external intelligence always had hostile relations). I was arrested in my apartment on Maria Ulyanova Street and later called many times to the KGB office on Dzerzhinsky Street. I categorically refused the offer to be an informer and report to the KGB about what happens in Venezuela’s embassy and among the nonconformists, artists and poets to whose circle I belonged. In response to my stubborn answer I received the proposition to leave Russia, which I did with my wife in the following 1974 year. So the KGB had taken part in my life, influenced it and my formation as a person. Because all of this took place in the West where I was expelled thanks to the KGB efforts.

Lagging behind me, following the flow while I was swimming against the flow, Putin did not manage to have the monstrously rich life experience I had. (1960-1967 – Kharkov’s factories, then from 1967 to 1974 – Moscow’s milieu of intellectuals and dissidents and then the American experience of 1974-1980 and the French one of 1980-1992.) His experience is the modest and one-sided, monotonous, typical experience of a soviet person. Such an experience does not help to understand the problems of Russian life nor the life of other countries. VVP’s modest stay (farther about this) in the German Democratic Republic did not enlarge much the worldview of the FSB director and later president. It did not enlarge much. But let us follow further the flow of Vladimir Vladimirovich’s university life.

According to the Arguments and Facts newspaper Putin was almost expelled from the institute’s second session. It is not clear for what. If we are to believe the dean N. Korpachev about the good marks, they could not have expelled him for poor progress. Arguments and Facts (issue 3, 2000) makes the supposition that there were maybe “ideological” reasons. Since the student Putin, like many others was fond of Russian variety art and also, supposedly recorded Villy Tokarev and Mikhail Shufutinski who were not officially supported then on tape.

“In the evenings Putin used to play backgammon with his comrades”, says a source. (I would not be surprised if he played backgammon with himself. This is the kind of man he is, the RF president.) Besides backgammon, Putin’s hobby became cars. His first car became a Zaporozhetz that Putin acquired in 1974. The origin of this Zaporozhetz is unclear. Supposedly it was won in a lottery. Either by VVP himself or by his father Vladimir Spiridonovich.

According to Elgam Ragimov, his university friend Putin does not like vodka (at least he did not like it then), but he loved milk. He liked to visit bookstores on Nevski Street and liked to drink beer with friends. “Also Putin liked to play jokes on his friends and acquaintances”, informs A. A. Mukhin’s investigation “Vladimir Putin’s special file”, from where I took most part of my information about the president’s biography. However it does not say how the president played jokes. There are mean jokes and there are nice ones. “He loved to argue on political subjects, defending Russians and Russia”, point out the same source. And also: “During this period Putin, who had escaped from his “tight” childhood compensated his reserved character by joyfulness. This joyfulness has accompanied him ever since”. This is one strange reminder about the supposed joyfulness of student Putin. Today he does not give the impression of a joyful person. At the same time A. A. Mukhin tells us: “It is interesting that according to Putin’s neighbors in Saint Petersburg (his communal apartment near Moscow’s station), children were always a bit scared of him”. The joyfulness is hard to believe in but not the fact that children were scared of such a man. Children, like animals have an acute sensitivity towards dangerous people. A cat will never sit in the lap of a dangerous person.



So, the university is finished. And mysteries instantly appear. What did the twenty-three years old graduate did next? Official biographies say that after spending a year in KGB’s Moscow School in 1975 he was directed to his native Leningrad as a junior commissioner investigator. Other sources affirm that already in 1975 Putin has worked about five months in the secretariat of KGB’s Leningrad’s department, “working on some files”. Finally, third sources (for instance the Versia newspaper issue 2, 2000) have spread evidence that Putin was working in West Germany, in particularly in Bonn already in 1975. It turns out that it was right after graduating from a civil university, without even studying in a KGB school. The “version's” author Petr Pryanishnikov wrote: “The official Bonn is still certain that the officer of the First Central Department of USSR KGB’s 4th section Vladimir Putin who was fluent in German coordinated the activities of the soviet secret-service net in Austria and the FRG”. Pryanishnikov writes that Putin returned to Germany (the Eastern part) in the middle of the 1980s. However, other sources indicate that Putin really was in Bonn in 1975, was arrested as a soviet agent and was then quickly extradited to the USSR. And that it is because of this arrest, a failure in fact, Putin has never worked on the FRG or any other capitalist countries’ territory again. He was noticed and thus his value as a KGB officer became low forever. He could be used only in socialist countries. I am inclined to believe the version about the arrest in 1975 in Bonn, otherwise why did Putin never work in capitalist countries after. The journalist Pryanishnikov’s “fluent in German” is of course an exaggeration. After many years we do not hear fluent German from president Putin, we hear a very approximate one.

In the official version V. V. Putin’s further career after KGB’s Moscow School looks thus: from February to July 1976 he attended preparation courses for operations staff. After these six months, before 1977 he worked in Leningrad’s KGB department, in his own words in a “counterintelligence subdivision… worked with the foreign element…” According to his colleagues Putin worked in the 5th section of Leningrad’s KGB department that was part of the Fifth Central Department system that supervised “the fight with the ideological diversions of the enemy”.

During his work in the “counterintelligence subdivision” Putin “was noticed by agents of the foreign intelligence”, after which he was proposed to move in the First Central Department (the foreign intelligence) and was sent (again!) to Moscow to one year preparatory courses. After returning to Leningrad, “four years and a half”, from 1979 to 1983 he worked in the first section of Leningrad’s KGB department.

In 1984, after receiving the rank of a major, Putin was directed to Moscow’s KGB Higher School, where he studied under the pseudonym “Platov”. He specialized in German speaking countries: Austria, Switzerland, FRG, and GDR. It has been nine years that Putin is being prepared to become a spy, but he will not become one. Moreover, as you remember, most probably he was in Bonn in 1975 and failed. So what is he preparing for?

From 1974 I live in the West. Already in 1977 I become close with the famous American industrialist Peter Sprague, from 1979 I work for him, I live in his house. I get acquainted with the elite of international business. Instead of preparing Putin in Leningrad, the gentlemen from the KGB would have better done by addressing me. During those years and always I was and I stay a Russian patriot and I would have helped my country’s special services. But no… They were preparing Putin and did not finish the job. In 1980 I move to France, to Paris. There I become a writer, I get close with the leaders of the French Communist Party. I write for the Revolution journal, CP’s intellectual body. I visit CP’s famous bunker on Colonel Fabien Street. Among my acquaintances there are National Assembly deputies and senators and even the head of the National Assembly Chaban-Delmas. I would seem to be the ideal influence agent. But nobody has ever contacted me.

After graduating from school in 1985 Putin is finally (after ten years!) sent to a foreign trip, but only to a group of soviet troops in Germany, in the “otstoynik”, as it was cynically called then. People who were sent there did not have any perspectives in the special services. In the GDR their famous Stasi security service was headed by the talented Markus Wolf. How could the major Putin have helped him? Actually, he could not. The soviet foreign intelligence had nothing to do in GDR, since East Germany de facto was USSR’s internal territory, another national republic, that is all. Most probably, the information about Putin’s early failure in Bonn, which made a successful spy career impossible, is true, or his professional level was so low that his place was in the “otstoynik”. Whatever it was, in 1985 Putin appears in the city of Dresden, in the Waldschlosschen district, on Angelikastrasse, 4. His office was on the first floor. The fact that this was not a dangerous mission is demonstrated also by the fact that in front of the soviet residence building was the building of the district department of GDR’s State Security Ministry. Putin was among a group of eight soviet agents headed by the general Vladimir Shirokov. The Germans called the soviet agents “friends”.

When he arrived in Dresden Putin received an apartment with two rooms and a half on Radebergestrasse. A few minutes away from his workplace. Like Angelikastrasse, this is a prestigious district. The safety of the James Bonds was total, in addition to the neighboring Stasi building they were close to the soviet military base. Lyudmila Putina went shopping there and the Putin couple often went there to watch movies in Russian in the theater.

Here we should stop on the personality of V. V. Putin’s spouse. So let us interrupt the fascinating description of the “otstoynik” in order to continue it after the chapter about Lyudmila Putina.


Lyudmila Alexandrovna Shkrebneva (Putina after her marriage) was born on January 6th 1958 in Kaliningrad. She was born the same year as my late wife Natasha Medvedeva, a singer and a writer, who died in February 2003, at that time I was behind bars in Saratov’s central prison. Lyudmila Putina attended Kaliningrad’s 44th School and then School Number 8. She finished her 8th grade with a good work certificate but in her school-leaving certificate she already had three Bs. In school she liked needlework (she knitted), was an active Komsomol member. In the theatrical circle of the Young Pioneers’ House she played in The Cherry Orchard, The Inspector and dreamed of becoming an actress. L. Putina’s mother Ekaterina Tikhonovna Shkrebneva lives in Kaliningrad for almost forty years now. She worked as a cashier in an autocade. Her husband Alexander Abramovich worked in Kaliningrad’s machinery factory. He died. (I do not have information about the time he died or his function in the factory). In 2003 Ekaterina Tikhonovna still lived in Kaliningrad. She had a dacha in the town of Pregolski.

Lyudmila Putina has a younger sister – Olga. Olga is married to Viktor Tzomaev. She works as a stewardess in Kaliningrad’s squadron.

In 1975 Lyudmila graduated and did not become an actress, but started to work as a post woman. Later she went to work in Kaliningrad’s Torgmash factory as a capstan lathe operator (she is a second class operator) but did not stay there. Still in 1975 she attended Kaliningrad’s technical institute, but dropped out during the second session.

Some time after dropping out she worked as a stewardess in Kaliningrad’s squadron. On that job Lyudmila proved to be a shy and a quiet employee.

So we see a somewhat frivolous soviet girl who switches jobs and does not stay long at any of them. In those years such an ardor was not welcome and caused suspicion. Many stamps in a workbook made the human resources employees frown.

In 1978 the stewardess Lyudmila Shkrebneva, she is twenty years old, was spending her vacations in the city of Leningrad. With a friend. There she visited the show of the comic Arkady Raykin in the Lensovet Theater. There she met Vladimir Putin, as we know, he was already working in the KGB. The trip to the show with the girls was organized by Putin’s friend, he has invited Lyudmila’s friend. VVP was providing tickets for the whole group. From this time Lyudmila frequently visited Leningrad on her vacations. And in 1980 she moved to Leningrad finally – she entered the preparatory courses for Leningrad’s State University and then for the philological faculty.

In university Luydmila specialized in “Spanish language and literature” (although she supposedly wanted to study German) and lived on the campus on Mytninskaya Street.

In June 28th 1983 Vladimir Putin and Lyudmila Shkrebneva registered their marriage in the Wedding Palace on Petr Lavrov Street. Lyudmila was then in her third session. The event was celebrated on a Neva steamship. We do not know if they rented the whole steamship or modestly partied in the bar. After the marriage the newly weds started to live in the house of Putin’s parents. Again we do not know if it was in the communal apartment or the country house in Tosno.

According to their neighbors in Saint Petersburg, Lyudmila was a shy and a friendly person. She rarely used make-up. We do not know if children were afraid of her.


There are many rumors about Putin’s activities in the GDR. Obviously, both Russian and German mass media became interested in these activities only after VVP became president of the Russian federation. I will enumerate here the principal rumors, pointing out that KGB officials of that time do not confirm these rumors. Particularly the KGB chairman under Gorbachev V. Kryuchkov did not confirm one of them.

So, here are the rumors. Unconfirmed. Supposedly the group Putin was part of, was trying to obtain western technologies. Supposedly, through foreign specialists who were visiting Dresden’s Robotron factory (it was producing computers for all socialist countries) and also through western specialists who were visiting Dresden’s university. Supposedly, the specialists and businessmen were lodged in the Bellevue hotel where they were attended by prostitutes recruited by Stasi. It is unclear what did the soviet agents do in this case? Supervised the prostitutes recruited by Stasi? It is not the most worthy activity for a future president. The Moskovski Komsomoletz newspaper from 18. 08. 1999 has advanced the version that Putin was supervising the behavior of soviet students in the GDR. The German Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper was then affirming that Putin was controlling the secretary of Dresden’s department of GDR’s Socialist United Party Hans Modrov and was also tracking drown anticommunist protest actions in the GDR. Although Rundschau situates Putin’s stay in the GDR in 1980.

The Versia newspaper on 01.18-21.2000 wrote that from Dresden Putin was sent for some time to the city of Leipzig, where he supposedly directed the House of soviet-German friendship (according to other sources: the Soviet Army Club). However the Germans correctly point out that the House of soviet science and culture was not in Leipzig but Berlin. So this is a hoax. Nevertheless, some Russian mass media were so carried away that they affirmed that supposedly from Leipzig Putin controlled the whole net of soviet special services in West Germany. Well, naturally the media want the future president to have done something heroic in the past. The rumors category exaggerating lieutenant colonel Putin’s service in Germany also contains Putin’s supposed participation in the operation “Beam”. The operation consisted of recruiting leading functionaries of the ruling Socialist United Party of Germany and GDR functionaries in the expectation of GDR’s surrender to the West organized by Gorbachev. Beside this, during the operation it was supposedly planned to guarantee the safety of the soviet secret services and local security staff.

Putin’s leadership in the “Beam” operation was not confirmed by KGB’s leader at that time Vladimir Kryuchkov.

According to German newspapers Putin was not sticking out among the other soviet officers. In his free time he studied German literature, he was especially interested in Goethe and Shiller. In Germany he joined the fishermen’s club where he surprised even the Germans with his pedantry. When Putin’s bosses were arriving in Dresden he was taking them for a beer and local sightseeing. German sources deny that Putin was permanently stationed in Leipzig and affirm that his permanent workplace was still Dresden. And the fact that some servile media want to see Putin in Leipzig during that period is easily explained: in 1989 Leipzig was visited by Mikhail Gorbachev after what the GDR started its surrender to the West. Some Putin’s fans would like to see him actively participating in this activity.

There is a stable opinion in Germany and in Russia among professionals of journalistic investigations that Putin has not done any spying activity as such, meaning illegal work, but has directed the human resources and economic part in general.

In 1987 in the summer Putin left Dresden for Leningrad because he was going to receive a new apartment, since the house, in which he lived was being resettled.

In the beginning of 1990 Putin was called back from his foreign service. Yuri Shutov, Sobchak’s former assistant who has been detained for several years now affirms that Putin was returned to Leningrad because “he was noted in an unsanctioned contact with a representative of the enemy’s special services net”. However Shutov does not provide evidence. More convincing is the version of KGB’s former head Vladimir Kryuchkov that “Putin was directed to work in the GDR for a planned five years and after the end of this term he went back because he did not prove his worth in anyway in order to stay for executing additional projects. ” (Moskovskie Novosti 2000 issue 3). Kryuchkov’s version about the mediocrity of Putin’s work in Germany was confirmed by Markus Wolf, Stasi's former head. Putin leaves the KGB in 1991.

Putin himself explained his resignation by his disappointment during the collapse of the USSR and the security bodies. In his words “he felt that the country no longer needs him”. Possibly both versions are right: Putin was disappointed with the KGB and the KGB was disappointed with Putin, there was no need to promote an average officer. And if the rumors about Putin’s early failure in Bonn in 1975 are true, then the unmasked and arrested agent was rejected from the start, he could not be used in capitalist countries, he could work only in socialist countries and therefore was not worth much from the beginning.


So, in the beginning of 1990 Putin is in Leningrad again. The rector of Leningrad’s State University Stanislav Merkuriev hires him on an insignificant post, as the prorector’s assistant on international matters. Through Merkuriev Putin has resumed his relationship with Anatoly Sobchak, elected in May 1990 as Lensovet’s chairman. Supposedly, Merkuriev recommended Putin as an efficient worker. Sobchak, supposedly, recalled his student and hired him. There exists however a likely version that Putin was appointed to look after Sobchak by the KGB. There is also a version that Sobchak has asked for Putin because he knew him personally and trusted him more. Still, according to the Novy Petersburg Newspaper version (December 24th 1998) Sobchak, supposedly was a KGB informer in the University in the past and as such could have even been Putin’s subordinate. Whatever it was, from May 1990 till May 1991 Putin really executed the functions of Lensovet’s chairman A. Sobchak’s assistant, reviewer, secretary and proxy.

Although there is information that Sobchak’s democratic circle was in shock when they heard whom Sobchak had made his retainer, in reality Putin was insignificant and hardly known to anyone. In June 12th 1991, after the mayor’s elections on which Sobchak won Putin was appointed chairman of the Committee on the mayor’s external relations. He occupied this post during six years. Many people who have become famous in the country now worked with him in the Committee. Alexey Kudrin was the deputy chairman of the Committee on economic development. Dmitry Medvedev was the Committee’s expert. Alexey Miller was a Committee member. Besides, German Gref was working as the chairman of the Committee on property management. Dmitry Kozak was the chairman of the Law Committee, Viktor Ivanov headed the Department of administrative bodies of the city hall, Igor Sechin was the staff head of the chairman of the Committee on V. V. Putin’s external relations. Anatoly Chubais was around; he was the mayor’s senior adviser on economic matters.

With the exception of Chubais who advanced early, this whole gang of Sobchak’s nestlings would have probably stayed unknown in Russia, if it were not for V. V. Putin’s luck. After all there is a lot of functionaries in Russia. And although today Putin’s supporters assure us that this was a very important Committee, it is hardly believable that the external relations of Saint Petersburg’s city hall were so important for the Russian Federation. This was the usual sinecure for functionaries. Kudrin’s post during that time sounds especially dumb: deputy chairman of the Committee of external relations of Saint Petersburg’s city hall on economic development. What is that, he developed external relations economically? Did he try to get the maximum financing for reception dinners for the city hall’s foreign guests? But as we will see, Saint Petersburg city hall interpreted external relations quite broadly and made them a lucrative business.

In the end of 1991 and the start of 1992 Putin initiated Saint Petersburg’s food supply from outside the border in exchange for exportations. On December 4th 1991 he signed a letter with such a proposition to the Committee on external economic relations of the Ministry of economy. In relation to this Putin asked to give Saint Petersburg’s city hall a quota of $124 million for the export of raw materials (wood, oil products, color metal scrap and also 14 tons of rare metals) and “a right to distribute the quotas and give out licenses” to the Committee he was heading. On February 1st 1992 Petr Aven who was then the chairman of the Committee on external economic relations stamped Putin’s letter and on March 25th 1992 the Ministry of Economy gave Saint Petersburg’s CER the right to sign export licenses. Actually, Putin’s CER did not wait the Ministry’s permission to sign thirteen licenses. Most often it was not V. V. Putin himself who signed these important documents but his deputy Alexandr Anikin. What did they sign? A few examples: the Nevsky Dom company received a license to export oil products, Leningrad’s Krasny Krest society received a license to export aluminum and rare metals. The international commercial center of a certain Grigory Miroshnik received the “task” to export 150 tons of oil products in exchange fore meat, potatoes and sugar. The joint stock company Fyvekor received the “task” to export 50 thousand meter cubes of wood in exchange for powder milk.

Already then the activities of the committee headed by Putin gave rise to questions from Petrosovet’s deputies. As far as January 10th 1992 Petrosovet’s 13th session decided to create a work group to investigate the CER’ activities. The group was headed by the deputy Marina Salye, chairwoman of the Petrosovet’s Committee on food and the deputy Yuri Gladkov. This is what the work group has established:

The raw materials, including rare metals were sold abroad with the CER’s permission “at dumping prices, lower the market prices”. In particularly, in the agreement of the Committee with the German firm Jikol (its principal shareholder, a certain Piter Bakhman received a license to export 13 997 kg of rare metals) the price for 1 kg of scandium was established at 72,6 German marks, while the price of scandium on the world market is two thousand times higher – 150 thousand German marks. Prices on other rare metals were understated by 7,10 or 20. Actually, Putin prudently did not sign this agreement, it was signed by one of his deputies.

The Committee’s agreements foresaw commissions for the firms. In the agreement of January 3rd 1992 with the firm LOKK signed personally by Putin the commission was 25% ($540 thousand). In the agreement with Interlesbirzha concluded “with the Committee’s chairman V. V. Putin” and signed by Anikin the commission made up 50% ($5 983 900). In the agreement with the Svyatoslav firm the commission for 20 thousand tons of cotton also made up 50% ($12 million).

Salye’s work group concluded by presenting cases when licenses were given out for exporting raw materials under wittingly fictive food deliveries (since the products did not enter the city). Part of the agreements was concluded with such huge formal violations that they made the agreements legally powerless and the court could not oblige the firms to execute them – to really deliver the food.

Salye’s work group recommended Sobchak to discharge Putin from his post and gave the materials of its investigation to the municipal attorney and to the Control Department of the RF President’s Administration. (The chairman of the Committee of external economic relations Petr Aven was also informed about the results of the investigation). On March 31st 1992 the head of the Control Department Yuri Boldirev put the following resolution on the work groups’ report: “The Department has received materials from the deputies of Saint Petersburg’s City Council demonstrating the need to discharge the chairman of the Committee of the city’s external relations Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin from his functions. I demand to exclude the possibility of his appointment to any other post until the decision of the Department on this matter”.

The city’s attorney Vladimir Yeryomenko sent Sobchak a representation about “incorrectly formulated CER agreements and some licenses”. The CER chairman Aven did not protest the licenses given out by Saint Petersburg’s CER. Possibly this episode is the one explaining president Putin’s perfect relations with the financing group Alpha headed by Petr Aven. Sobchak did not permit to discharge Putin. Nevertheless, Putin’s deputy Anikin was forced to resign. And a part of the concluded agreements was canceled. According to the Novaya Gazeta the firms, which received licenses for selling raw materials from Putin have only received $34 million as commissions (Novaya Gazeta March 13-19th 2000).

In 1992 Putin was appointed deputy mayor while keeping his post as the CER chairman. In other words he was raised and not discharged. And he kept a lucrative business: the Committee of the city halls’ external relations. In these years Putin received the nickname of “Grey Cardinal”. He advised Sobchak on all “external” matters, he was his very close person. All serious documents were first approved by Putin and only then by Sobchak.

From 1993 Sobchak begins to lead an “international” life style and goes often abroad. In his absence it is Putin who fulfills the mayor’s functions. The circle of his competence was surprisingly large – diplomatic representations, hotels, gambling business, public associations, supervising the special services and cooperating with the army, the police, the FSK, the Prosecutor General, the customs. Putin also managed large investment projects. In March 1994 he was appointed first deputy chairman of the city’s administration. And still he keeps his post as the chairman of the external relations Committee. It is as if this Committee was smeared in honey.

The Saint Petersburg’s period of Putin’s life is filled with scandals, through which he managed to come unscathed. One of the most interesting in my opinion was the episode when in 1991 at Sobchak’s and Putin’s demand the Moscow police illegally searched the house of Sobchak’s former assistant Yuri Shutov in order to confiscate a tape record of Sobchak’s conversation with a fixed-spot spy of the French intelligence service. In 1992, Shutov, author of the book “A Dog’s Heart” was attacked, however nobody risked linking this incident with the names of Sobchak or Putin. When Vladimir Vladimirovich came to power Shutov was arrested and charged with many crimes, including almost all ordered murders in the city of Saint Petersburg and it has been six years now that he is detained in prison. According to the Versia newspaper (August 17-23rd 1999) the materials about the unsanctioned search at Shutov’s house in 1991 are kept (or at least were kept) by the senior investigator of the Prosecutor General’s Department of special cases U. M. Vanyushin. The fixed-spot spy of the French intelligence service apparently spoke with Sobchak about such things that it is too scary to bring Shutov to court. This is why he stays in prison untried. The Iron Mask.

A lot of people were discontent with Sobchak’s first deputy. The following directions of Putin’s work have caused concrete admonishments:

1). Cooperation with foreigners, as suspected this was not disinterested;

2). Violations during the privatization of large objects of municipal property;

3). Illegal trade using his official position and other abuses;

4). Execution of Anatoly Sobchak’s confidential instructions.

About the first article. Putin assisted a series of large German firms and banks to move in the city. In particular, he assisted the opening of the filial of the BNP-Drezdner Bank (Rossija). (Putin’s relations with Dresdner Bank continue today. The head of the bank’s Russian department Mattias Wornig has joined Gazprom’s Council of directors in February. According to the Wall Street Journal, Worning was a Stasi major until 1989 and was a friend of major Putin. He is still his friend now, which explains his extraordinary career in Russia). Putin has helped the bank to move in the building of the former German embassy on Isakievskaya Square. He has also helped the Credit Lyonnais Bank to obtain a house on Nevski Street. The office of the Coca-Cola Company was moved to the building of the House of Political education of Leningrad’s CPSU committee. For some merits the company was even freed from local taxes. The Proctor-and-Gamble and Gillette companies also benefited from the future president’s patronage.

About the second article of accusations. According to the Kommersant newspaper (1999 issue 32) Putin has taken part in the selling of the Astoria hotel. In fact, a tender on selling 40% of this hotel’s actions was held in Saint Petersburg and supposedly Putin tried to increase his share holding by buying it, but he failed. The actions went to the owner of the alcohol beverages factory A.F.B.-2 A. Sabadash. In response Putin supposedly (according to the Stringer Newspaper November 2000) has threatened to demolish the factory but by the end of 1998, still according to the newspaper, the conflict was finally solved and Putin was paid compensation – $800 thousand. Putin has participated a few other times in the hotel business: he invited foreigners to the hotels Evropa and Nevski Palace.

Apart from this, the deputies of the Petrosovet had questions about Putin’s participation in the privatization of the Baltic Sea steamship line, whose control permitted to organize the selling of ships to the West at dumping prices. According to the Versia newspaper (1999, issue 31) and the Stringer newspaper this operation was conducted through a certain I. I. Truber, supposedly a “criminal authority”. The newspapers also mentioned Putin’s participation in the privatization of the alcohol beverages factory Samtrest again supposedly through the “criminal authority” M. M. Mirilashvili, Misha Kutaissky.

About the third article of the accusations. In 1992, as it was mentioned earlier, an investigation of Putin’s Committee activities was organized. Public hearings were held about the results of the investigation. Putin has then acknowledged the errors, part of the contracts was canceled and it was the deputy Anikin who paid for it all, as you remember he was fired.

Apart from this, the city’s Prosecutor General accused Putin of illegally giving a special permission for a gambling business to the firm Lennatraktzion. According to rumors, Putin who was responsible for the licensing of Saint Petersburg’s casinos was involved in unofficial fund raising as well.

About the fourth article of accusations. Stubborn rumors were circulating that Putin was acquiring real estate in France on Sobchak’s instructions. This information appeared in 1999 when Putin was appointed prime minister. However, supposedly, no evidence was found.

After Sobchak lost the Saint Petersburg’s governor elections, Putin was accused of organizing a week campaign (and even of betraying his boss). As a proof information was given that two days before the elections Putin has met on close terms with Vladimir Yakovlev – Sobchak’s opponent during two hours on March 17th. The mysterious fire at Putin’s dacha in Roshin in 1996 is worthy of mentioning since it was the elections year in Saint Petersburg. Who did this? And what for?

In 2000 the Stringer newspaper was rather harshly attacking the newly elected president, defaming and discrediting him. For instance, the following information shed light on the reason behind Putin’s hostility towards the oligarch Gusinsky. The newspaper has said that Putin took part in the privatization of Saint Petersburg’s 11th Channel and his sale to the Russian video Channel. Supposedly during this privatization a law was violated. A criminal case was opened. It was led by the senior investigator of the RF Prosecutor General U. M. Vanyushin mentioned earlier. Supposedly during the investigation it was discovered that D. Rozhdestvensky (the owner of Russian Video) has financed Putin’s wife’s trips abroad. We remind that later the main actor of this case Mikhail Mirilashvili fell under investigation in relation to this and the history of Most-Bank’s and Vladimir Gusinksy’s destruction began with the Russian Video. In fact some sources affirm that it was Gusinsky who initiated this episode of information war against Putin. Stringer wrote that at that time Putin tried to pressure the investigation in order to mask his involvement. Then it makes sense to largely cite the text of an informative-analytical note of the harshest anti-Putin content published by Stringer in November 2000:

“…When he was still Saint Petersburg’s vice-mayor Putin was responsible for licensing a series of casinos, receiving from $100 to $300 thousand for each license. Besides he is the founder of all elite clubs of the city.

Putin’s closest tie in commercial business is R. N. Tzepov, head of the security firm Baltic-Escort (it was founded by a certain Zolotov formerly head of A. Sobchak’s personal guard, now head of Putin’s personal guard). In 1994 Tzepov was charged with article 222 of the RF Criminal Code (illegal carrying and keeping of fire arms). Despite this Tzepov is a 7th section officer of Saint Petersburg’s Department of fight with organized crime. It was Tzepov who raised money during the licensing of the city’s gambling business. As an example we can name the Konti Casino, whose head Mirilashvili monthly pays a bribe to Putin through Tzepov. The firm Farmavit pays Putin $20 thousand a month. In 1995 Tzepov offered an emerald to Putin’s wife that he had won in a card game to the criminal authority Botzman. The latter has stolen the emerald in 1994 in South Korea. The emerald is wanted by the Interpol (1995-96 catalogue). Tzepov offers services to Putin on the condition that the latter will “cover” his activities. Through Putin Tzepov received five cover documents, among those RF Federal Security Service, RF Foreign Intelligence Service and RF Ministry of Internal Affairs. In March 1998 the deputy of the Prosecutor General Katishev reopened a criminal case on Tzepov. Presently Tzepov is hiding from criminal prosecution in the Czech Republic where he arrived with falsified documents (his papers were drawn up for a false name in Saint Petersburg’s FSB Department).

The main Special services that Putin relies on are the RF FSB and the Department of Fight against Organized Crime (RUBOP). RUBOP’s former heads Shakhanov and Milin together with Putin and the head of Saint Petersburg’s FSB department Grigoriev have organized A. Sobchak’s removal to France. On the eve of Sobchak’s interrogation by the Prosecutor General RUBOP’s SWAT team has brought Sobchak to the hospital on Putin’s demand, where the head of the Military Medical Academy Shevchenko established a sham diagnosis. Later the same sham diagnosis was established for Ruslan Linkov (witness of the attack on G. Staravoytova).

The criminal case of the investigator U. M. Vanyushin contains materials saying that in 1991 on the demand of Sobchak and Putin Shakhanov and Milin illegally searched Sobchak’s former assistant U. T. Shutov in order to confiscate Sobchak’s tape-recorded conversation with a fixed-spot spy of the French intelligence service. In 1992 an attack was organized on U. T. Shutov, which resulted in a brain injury. The victim was hospitalized.

The prosecution’s investigation brigade (U. M. Vanyushin) has materials saying that the former head of the specialized bureau of ritual services Makutov was monthly paying $30 thousand to Putin.

With the help of Saint Petersburg’s vice-governor Grishanov (former commander of the Baltic Fleet) Putin was selling ships from the military naval base through the Lomonosov Harbor.

This port situated on the territory of the former military naval base and created by Sobchak, Putin and Cherkesov is a transit point for smuggling raw materials from Russia and importing goods in our country. This work was done in particular by the Sea department of Russian Video.

In spring 1996 about $30 million were transferred to Sobchak’s pre-electoral campaign from the Tzarskoselsky Bank into a Swiss bank. The transfer was controlled by Putin, Cherkesov and Grigoriev. (The materials were kept by the head of the SKROSO FSB service B. O. Desyatnikov.)

The head of the Vasileostrovski District administration V. Golubev has known Putin from the times of his service in the 1st service of the USSR KGB Department in Leningrad. His former colleagues organized a series of firms, through which budget money is laundered and then appropriated. /…/

When he was a vice-mayor Putin has organized the sell of submarines abroad through Leningrad’s admirals association. In 1994 the deputy general director of the association was killed (one of the versions – for refusing to illegally sell military property abroad).

The BFG – the Baltic Finance Group (whose general director is Kapish) provides monthly financial assistance to Putin and Cherkesov. In 1994-95 Kapish had a conflict with one of the founders of the oil terminal of the Sea Harbor. Kapish ordered the murder of this founder. For $30 million Putin convinced the founder to solve the conflict after what the latter left to Israel. According to the existing information Kapish gave $6 million to Putin supposedly for the 1996 presidential campaign. The money went through one of the district banks, which was closed soon after. /…/

The XX Trest Corporation created by Putin together with the legislative assembly deputies Nikeshin and Goldman transferred the money it received for construction, including the construction of the Peter the Great business-center to Spain where a hotel was bought in the city of Torviejo. Part of the stolen money went to buy a villa for the Putins in the Spanish city of Benidor (the materials are kept by Saint Petersburg’s Control Department of the Finance ministry). /…/”

I have cited the “informative-analytical note” with small abridgements. And I started to ponder. Whatever the accusations are all true (and now it is impossible to investigate these accusations because Putin is the first person of the State) one has to acknowledge that Putin was occupying a lucrative post. A post, on which he could have done all of this. Moreover, during these years from 1991 to 1996 all of this was not considered a crime. Many functionaries, if not all, enriched themselves and used their official post shamelessly. And it was customary in these days to employ criminal methods. You will agree with me that after what you have read you think that Putin did not have the moral right to try Khodorkovsky.

What was I doing during these years? I worked as a military journalist in hot spots: in 1991-93 I was on three Serbia wars, in Transdniestr and Abkhazia. I shared the sorrow and the joy of peoples who defended their independence with arms: the Serbs, the Moldavians, the Russians, and the Abkhaz. In October 1993 I fell under the Ostankino fire on the side of the Supreme Council, I was in the White House. I founded the National-Bolshevik Party. I founded the Limonka newspaper. I remember that until March 1995 I was renting an apartment without telephone. I had no money at all. I earned the reputation of a red-brown. Editors in France and in Russia refused to publish my books because I was politically incorrect. The NBP ideology was developing; the Party was growing slowly but steadily.



Was Putin doing politics during these years? According to some in the fall of 1994 he was supervising the pre-elections to Saint Petersburg’s legislative assembly. Since about half of the seats in the assembly went to businessmen loyal to the city hall as well as center and moderately democratic politicians, his supervision, if there was any, can be considered more or less successful.

In the beginning of 1995 Putin obtained the removal of the candidacy of the rear admiral Vyacheslav Sherbakov to the legislative assembly’s speaker post, unacceptable for Sobchak. The more neutral Yuri Kravtzov was elected as a speaker in a same bunch with the speaker deputies and independent deputies Sergey Mironov (now head of the RF Federal Assembly) and Viktor Novoselov (later killed).

In April 1995 Viktor Chernomirdin charged Sobchak creating a regional department of the movement Our House – Russia in Saint Petersburg. After all the party in power was preparing for the elections and it was clear that the people will not vote for Gaidar who has robbed them and his party. A fictive party was hastily created right for the elections. Sobchak in his turn charged Putin with the creation of the regional fictive organization of a fictive party. In the beginning of May Putin headed the organizational committee of Saint Petersburg’s department of the Our House – Russia party and was elected as the council’s chairman on its constitutive conference. In Moscow on May 12th 1995 on the OHR constitutive congress Putin was elected as one of the 126 members of the OHR Assembly.

In summer and fall 1995 Putin was leading the OHR campaign for the State Duma elections. He showed the qualities of a perfect finance manager in such a way that he managed to raise almost 1 billion 100 million rubles (non-dominated) provided by Saint Petersburg’s banks while only 15 million rubles were transferred to Saint Petersburg from the OHR central quarters. It is revealing that if the OHR election campaign was financially overflowed with the money provided by Putin, the political result was a failure. The OHR candidate, the only one for some reason put in one of Saint Petersburg’s first-past-the-post districts, has lost the elections, while in the proportional system OHR occupied the third place in the city after Yabloko and Russia’s Democratic Choice, receiving two seats. Who got one of them you think? Sobchak’s wife Lyudmila Narusova.

The posters with the picture of Viktor Chernomirdin plastered on almost every lamppost in the city were an example of the lack of political judgment from the organizers of the OHR campaign. When he was asked “Why?” Putin has then answered: “You can’t spoil porridge with butter”. And we too, the Russian people have thought: “Why should they go to waste?” The nonsense with Chernomirdin’s portraits (I explain for the slow ones) is that Chernomirdin was not running in Saint Petersburg.

However, in cases where Putin was convincing and acting behind the scene he was able to achieve something. It is considered that Putin managed to obtain the passing of the 1996 budget in the legislative assembly. In exchange for the ratification of the budget the deputies received the right to the so-called deputies’ “reserve funds”. (We, Russian people, call this deputies’ bribing). Putin also assisted the formation of the Mariinskaya fraction in the legislative assembly headed by the first vice-speaker Sergey Mironov; the fraction supported the city hall’s policies.

In January 1996 Putin joined the manufacturers’ and businessmen’s club Club-2004 created to support Saint Petersburg’s candidacy for the 2004 Olympic games. It remains a mystery whether he considered himself a manufacturer or a businessman. And in March 1996 he joined the staff of Saint Petersburg’s regional department of the All-Russian movement of social support of the president, where were reunited organizations in favor of B. Yeltsin’s reelection as the RF president.

It is striking but despite the failure on the State Duma elections, in April-May 1996 Putin was appointed by Sobchak (together with Alexey Kudrin) to lead Sobchak’s campaign for the elections of Saint Petersburg’s governor. Why did Sobchak decided to appoint him, who has failed the Duma elections? Most probably the answer should be looked for in the events of March 1996. In March 13th 1996 Putin arrived to the legislative assembly with a decree from president Yeltsin allowing reporting the elections and then managed to practically force the deputies to adopt a resolution about reporting the elections from June 16th to May 19th 1996. The shortening of the pre-electoral campaign duration was advantageous for Sobchak because his opponents were not so publicized as he was.

As it is known Sobchak lost the May 19th elections. It was the fault of Putin, his campaign manager, but Sobchak’s as well. During the campaign Putin came up with and realized a not so bright idea about making a public (in the presence of the press) loyalty oath to Sobchak by the top-management of Saint Petersburg’s administration. During the campaign Petrosovet’s chairman Alexandr Belyaev, Sobchak’s opponent in the elections accused Putin of management violations and also of having real estate on France Atlantic coast. In response Putin sued him for moral damage and asked a compensation of 200 million non-dominated rubles. However since the suit was not addressed to Belyaev’s residence, no action was taken. One of the newspapers has then published an article entitled “A spy must know where his respondent lives”. The press was affirming that Putin “despite his service in the foreign intelligence service” claimed, “He doesn’t know where France’s Atlantic coast is”.

After Sobchak’s defeat Putin resigned from all of his posts in the Saint Petersburg’s administration. Putin’s last service to his boss, the ex-mayor, was the organization of his escape. On Sobchak’s demand, in the midst of the “apartment scandal” (Sobchak was accused of corruption, in particular of appropriating a luxurious apartment) he was moved by the RUBOP first to the Military-medical academy where Yuri Shevchenko (under president Putin he later became the health ministry in Kasyanov’s government) diagnosed Sobchak with heart failure, because of which he needs to be hospitalized and cannot be interrogated by the investigators for some time. And a day later Shakhanov and Milin, already known by their search at Shutov’s house in 1991, and also the head of Saint Petersburg’s FSB department Alexandr Grigoriev supposedly have executed an operation consisting of bringing Sobchak out to France. It should be reminded that Sobchak returned in Russia right after Putin became the prime minister. And shortly and conveniently died in Kaliningrad in February 2000, as if not to hamper his deputy from following his glorious path to the top. Doubtlessly Sobchak knew as much about Putin as Putin knew and knows about Sobchak.


Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin did not remain unemployed for long. On May 19th Sobchak lost the elections and already in June 1996 we find Vladimir Vladimirovich in Moscow as the deputy of the RF president’s business-manager Pavel Borodin. Who organized him this high appointment? Observers of V. V. P. ’s life differ in their opinions. We will name the principal versions. 1). Pavel Pavlovich Borodin himself assisted Putin in his promotion. Putin met him during Yeltsin’s visits in Saint Petersburg. Later in Moscow Pavel Pavlovich presented Putin to Valentin Yamashev and then to Yeltsin’s daughter Tatyana Dochenko. Borodin’s version is supported by the fact that when Borodin found himself in an American prison, the president allowed to pay over a million dollars in order to bail him out. 2). According to other information, it was Anatoly Chubais, also a Sobchak’s nestling who recommended Putin on that post (by that time he was already the first vice primer-minister). Supposedly Chubais was aiming to collect compromising materials on Borodin with Putin’s help. 3). A role was played by the recommendations of another Sobchak’s nestling Alexey Kudrin, he was taken to Moscow a bit earlier on the post of head of the Central Department of Control. 4). Alexey Bolshakov, former first deputy chairman of Lengorispolkom, who became a vice prime minister in V. Chernomirdin’s government, contributed to Putin’s appointment. 5). And finally, the most unpleasing version linked to the name of the new governor Yakovlev, Sobchak’s rival. Supposedly he organized a lucrative post in the Kremlin to Putin in exchange of his betrayal of Sobchak during the electoral campaign in Saint Petersburg.

Whatever it was, in June 1996 Putin first appeared in the Kremlin. Putin’s work with Borodin consisted of what he was always used to do – business management of Russian real estate abroad. From 1995 this property – in total 715 objects totaling an area of 550 thousand square meters – was claimed by the Ministry of foreign affairs, the Ministry of the Navy and others. Only the profits from renting a part of this property amounted to about $10 million (Argumenty i Fakty, 2000 issue 3). The businessman Philip Turover, witness on the “Berezovsky case” and the Swiss “Borodin case” accused Putin of being involved in financial machinations when he was occupying the post of deputy manager of the RF president. Novaya Gazeta issue 49 (27. 12. 1998 – 02. 01. 1999) cited Turover’s testimonies in a Swiss court: “When he (Putin) started to work on the so-called classification of the ex-USSR’s and CPSU’s property abroad in 1997, instantly all sorts of sham firms, public organizations and joint-stock companies were created. Most of the expensive real estate and other assets abroad were registered under these structures. This way, the State received its property from abroad in a quite plucked state. ”

On March 26th 1997 Putin received a new appointment – he was appointed deputy of the RF president’s head of administration – the head of the president’ Central Department of Control. He replaced Alexey Kudrin on this post. According to Putin it was Alexey Kudrin himself who recommended him for this post. As for Kudrin, he became the deputy minister of finance. Under Putin the Central Department of Control led the verification of Rosvooruzhenie, the State armament company, which finally led to the resignation of its general director Evgeny Ananyev. The Central Department of Control also discovered abuses during the import of Russian armament to Armenia. It also discovered a lack of financing of the RF Armed Forces. The CDC wrote a secret paper about arms trade with Armenia, which Putin sent to the Defense minister Igor Rodionov. However the secrete paper suddenly found itself in the hands of the chairman of the State Duma Committee on defense – Lev Rokhlin and then in the hands of the journalists, which led to a scandal. When in June 1998 Lev Rokhlin was killed under circumstances that have not been clarified to this day, some journalists were linking Rokhlin’s death with the scandal around Putin’s paper. Still as usual no evidence was found.

On May 25th 1998 Putin became the first deputy of the RF president’s head of administration responsible for the work with the regions, while remaining also the head of the Administration Control Department. Among his other functions on this post Putin participated in fixing a distribution system for transfers to the regions: on June 15th 1998 he headed the commission that prepared the agreements about the divisions of power between the federal bodies and the regions. Putin replaced Sergey Shakhray on this post.

It is clear that switching posts so quickly it is doubtful that Putin had much success on either of them. But it is doubtless that he constantly broadened his relations with the State’s high functionaries. On June 25th 1998 Putin was appointed director of Russia’s Federal Security Service.

What was happening with me all these years, from June 1996 to July 1998? On September 18th 1996 I was attacked near the NBP headquarters situated at 7, 2nd Frunzenskaya Street. This happened around 7:30 PM. I was hit from behind, I fell and I was kicked in the head. As a result I got injuries of both eyes’ balls (I have problems with them up to today), many fractures of the nose and the face bones and a serious brain concussion. I spent April and May in Central Asia heading a group of National-Bolsheviks who went to assist a congress of Kazaks in the city of Kokchetav in Kazakhstan. We were arrested there, and then we ran through the entire Asia in Tajikistan. We spent some time there in the lines of the 201st division. On June 14th 1997 our headquarters on 2nd Frunzenskaya were blown up. The charge of explosives was equal to 250 grams of TNT. Fortunately nobody was injured; there were only major property damage. In June, August and September 1997 I was in the Stavropol region in the city of Georgievsk and I was running in Georgievsk’s electoral district on the State Duma pre-elections. I lost the elections; however the experience I got from there was unforgettable and useful. A part of the region’s territory, in particular the Kursky district with the Galyugaevskaya stanitsa are situated on the border with the Chechen republic. Also my district comprised the ill-famed Budenosvk where, by the way, I took the third place in the numbers of vote. In April 1998 the NBP split, Alexandr Dugin left us; with E. Letov and me he was the Party’s founder. In 1998 the first swift growth of the National Bolshevik Party took place; it appears that the seeds sawed by the Limonka newspaper from 1994 sprouted four years later.


Putin’s appointment at the head of the FSB took place on June 25th 1998. Finally he got a job in his specialization. After eight years of being on management posts. Well actually, as I already noted, a good number of people who have explored his life think that even in the KGB in 1975-1990, especially in the last five years in the GDR, Putin was mostly doing management work.

Putin’s arrival coincided with the downsizing of the FSB central staff. From six thousand to four thousand. It does not mean that the Lubyanka was emptied. New structures were created under Putin: the Department on the work with the regions (apparently Putin grew to like this thing after working with the regions in the president’s administration), the Department on the defense of the constitutional order (that was the department that started to spy on political parties and repress the activists of political organizations) and the Department on computer security. Putin also started to transfer his former colleagues from Saint Petersburg to leading posts in the FSB.

It should be said that since Putin had close ties with the worst enemy of the Russian special services Anatoly Sobchak (he is accused of slandering the KGB and the army in the period when he was the chairman of the Commission investigating the Tbilissi events), the corporation of special services agents received Putin with displeasure. And since the downsizing of the FSB staff was executed rather wildly – everybody who had the right to a pension because of their seniority was fired – it turned out that the most experienced specialists were fired. In the first place, those who had a real work experience in combat situations, since there the seniority was calculated two years for one. This did not add popularity to Putin among the agents. And of course, the agents’ corporation, like any other corporation would have preferred someone from their ranks, a worthy person, standing high in the FSB hierarchy. In their opinion they were disgraced with a parvenu, a lieutenant colonel.

Simultaneously with the staff downsizing Putin managed to enlarge the staff of the FSB Board up to seventeen people. Putin did not forget the Petersburger general-lieutenant Alexandr Grigoriev, formerly the first deputy of the FSB head in Saint Petersburg. He appointed him on the post of director of the FSB Department of economic security. It was Grigoriev who helped bring Sobchak in France. One good turn deserves another.

As for the former head of the FSB department in Saint Petersburg, the general lieutenant Viktor Cherkesov, he was appointed the first deputy of the FSB director Putin. (Later he became the RF president’s plenipotentiary in the Northwest federal district and a bit later – the head of the State Drugs Control.)

The general-major Sergey Ivanov was appointed the head of the FSB Department of analysis, prognosis and strategic planning; he was transferred from the foreign intelligence Service. Ivanov is an old friend of Putin’s still from Leningrad’s University. (Later Ivanov became (at the end of November 1999) the head of the RF Security Council, then minister of defense. Experts see him as Putin’s potential successor in 2008.)

Actually, a part of the FSB old-timers kept their posts. The general-colonel Valentin Sobolev kept his post as the FSB deputy director. Just as Valery Pechenkin, general colonel, and head of the Counter-intelligence Department.

It is interesting that Putin’s post, head of the Central Department of Control, was later occupied by a person from the FSB – Nikolay Patrushev, Putin’s close friend. When Putin went ahead, Patrushev took the post of FSB director.

On the post of FSB director Putin hushed up a big scandal and contributed to the development of another big scandal. This was the “Litvinenko case” and the “Prosecutor General Skuratov case”. I remind what the “Litvinenko case” was about: on November 17th 1998 there was a press conference, on which a group of FB officers (among them Trepashkin, recently released from prison and Litvinenko) affirmed that the management of the FSB counterintelligence ordered them to kill the businessman Boris Berezovsky. The officers present on the conference were A. Litvinenko, Shebalin, A. Ponkin, G. Sheglov, Latishenok (two lieutenant colonels, one colonel, major and a senior lieutenant). There was also an ex KGB investigator, an employee of the tax police M. Trepashkin. Litvinenko testifies in his book “Lubyanka’s criminal organization”: “Our goal was to address the parliament, the president and the public and tell them what is happening in the FSB and that with such special services it is inevitable that we will roll back to a totalitarian society… But on the following day I read in the newspapers that this is a provocation from Berezovsky…”

The order to kill Berezovsky was given to Litvinenko on December 27th 1997 by A. P. Kapishnikov, deputy director of the FSB Department of organized crime, 1st rank captain, on an operative meeting in the presence of other people. On April 15th 1998 Berezovsky addressed the deputy manager of Yeltsin’s administration E. V. Savostyanov, demanding him to investigate the case. On October 2nd the central military prosecutors’ office replied to Berezovsky (document number 29/00/0008-98): “It was established that in 1997-1998 the management and the employees of the indicated Department did not plan or execute any illegal actions against you /…/ concerning A. P. Kamishnikov’s thoughtless remarks in your address made on December 27th in the presence of the subordinates Litvinenko, Shebalin, Ponkin and Latishenko, these remarks discredit him as a leader, however this does not indicate the intention to organize a murder”. This is what the prosecutor’s office writes about a man who said to Litvinenko: “Since you know Berezovsky you will be the one to get rid of him”.

This story began when N. D. Kovalev was the director. When Putin became the director Litvinenko went to see the new director on Berezovsky’s advice. “Putin agreed with everything I said, he kept the list (a corruption list brought by Litvinenko), he took my notice about the Uzbek criminal organization. He asked for my home telephone number. He promised to call me, but didn’t do it. Later, after reading the materials of my criminal case I realized that right after our meeting Putin ordered to continue spying on me,” - testifies A. Litvinenko in his book “Lubyanka’s criminal organization”, page 107. On the day following Putin’s appointment, says Litvinenko, the general colonel A. V. Trofimov, deputy director of the FSB, “called me and said: “Tell Berezovsky: did they lose their minds in the Kremlin?! Why did they appoint him? Don’t they understand what is happening in Saint Petersburg? These are bandits. Later Litvinenko spent eight months of detention in Lubyanka and finally escaped to London.

In spring 1999 took place one of the biggest scandals in modern Russia: “Suratov’s case”. The central channels aired a videotape showing “a man looking like the Prosecutor General” in a bed with two prostitutes. On April 7th 1999 Putin spoke on television and said that a preliminary evaluation of FSB and police experts has confirmed the authenticity of the videotape, while in the press (Kommersant 4. 8. 99) he spoke in favor of Skuratov’s voluntary resignation. He also said that the videotaped “activity” was paid by “individuals presently under criminal charges” and declared that it was necessary to reunite the materials of both criminal cases – article 285 of the Criminal Code (“Abuse of official functions”) regarding Skuratov and article 137 (“Infringement on private life”) regarding the individuals who have illegally spied on the Prosecutor General. One would have thought that this is a Solomon’s decision from a wise and just FSB director. However if one is to remember that president Yeltsin wanted to obtain the dismissal of Prosecutor General Skuratov, then Skuratov’s case looks differently, like the “dirty” elimination of a big functionary who had fallen out of favor. Therefore it is not surprising that the individuals who have made the scandalous videotape remained undiscovered and that the identity of the “man looking like the Prosecutor General” was not legally confirmed as Skuratov’s. But the videotape had for result that Skuratov was discharged from his functions. The Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov, the terrible weapon of the power and of Putin in particular, has now become odious.

Thus, in Lubyanka Putin’s name is linked with the downsizing hated by the agents, with two enormous “dirty” scandals (one of them discrediting the FSB), but also with a positive change. In fact Putin managed to obtain that the officers from Lubyanka receive their paychecks on time. A real manager! Before paychecks to Lubyanka were sent irregularly, like to the rest of the country. “I must say that anywhere Putin worked, his employees started to receive their paychecks regularly,” notes Alexey Mukhin from the Center of political information. Well, he is the manager.

During his service as FSB director, lasting one year and fifteen days, Putin was continuously appointed to all sorts of other posts: he was joined to the commission on the optimization of the State defense order and included in the international fund of protection against discrimination. He was even the secretary of the RF Security Council. There is no information available as to what he had achieved on these posts or did he achieve anything at all.

As Putin started to occupy bigger posts in the hierarchy of the RF functionaries, obviously he made himself a lot of enemies among the big functionaries or even entire clans of functionaries competing with him. In spring 1999, right after Putin’s appointment as the secretary of the RF Security Council, rumors appeared in the press that there is a videotape showing Putin, similar to Skuratov’s. However nothing concrete was presented. Also at that time appeared information that the Stasi archives still keep compromising information about Putin. (Many FSB officers were of the opinion that this blow was made from Primakov’s side, since Putin was one of the few in the special services, on whom Primakov did not have an influence.) In April 1999 Moskovsky Komsomoletz published the information that Putin was discharged from the post of FSB director. Nezavisimaya Gazeta of 30th March 1999 published a testimony of a CIA officer in Brussels (he was serving in NATO’s headquarters) that the American special services tried to gather a compromising file on Putin but supposedly they did not succeed. According to the newspaper that testimony proves the contrary – that such a file does exist.

In issue 31 of 1999 the Versia newspaper published a “Reference about V. V. Putin”. The origin of the reference is unknown. In the reference Putin is characterized very negatively.

In 1999, right after Putin became prime minister (after august 16th 1999) Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service checked a certain SPAG company headed by the lawyer Rudolph Ritter. I will explain in the next chapter what is the link between Putin and SPAG, now I will only decipher the company’s full name: Sankt Peterburg Immobilien und Beteilgungen Aktiengesellshaft, i.e. Saint Petersburg’s real estate.

In these years Edward Limonov was writing hundreds of letters to the regions, articles in the Limonka, painstakingly creating National-Bolshevik Party’s organizations in the regions. In April 1998 the Party split. Alexander Dugin left with twelve supporters. For some time he tried to fight for the NBP brand, and then he abandoned the fight. As a result of Dugin’s departure the Party shifted to the left. In these years I was meeting a lot of people with the goal of party building. On October 1st and 2nd these efforts were rewarded with the First All-Russian Congress of the National-Bolshevik Party. It took place in the Almaz Movie Theater near the Shabolovka subway station. About 600 delegates from 47 RF regions were present on the Congress. After the Congress we sent documents to the Justice Ministry for our registration as the National-Bolshevik Party. Just before November 7th the Justice Ministry refused to register us. Mr. Krashennikov, a puffy blond looking like a plumper Nicolas II, has put his hand to that decision. At that time he was a member of the Union of Rightist Forces, later conjectural considerations forced him to join United Russia, the party in power. On November 14th we have called a special congress in Saint Petersburg in order to modify the official documents (this is what the Justice Ministry formally required from us, although the reasons for the refusal were different – fear of the young growing Party uncontrolled by the Kremlin) and we have modified them according to the requirements. Why were we in such a hurry? The State Duma has adopted a law, according to which only those political parties could be allowed to run for the elections that have been registered as all-Russian a year before the elections. And the elections were supposed to be held in December 1999. The ministry headed by Krashennikov refused to register the NBP the second time as well. Then we sued the Ministry but the Taganski Court took its side.

The position of the Justice ministry was justified in an original way by an old alcoholic functionary, gray-headed and red-faced: “They are over five thousand, they are all young, we don’t know what to expect from them”. Already there State violence was used against us. The lies of the official people who have blocked the young Party’s access to the elector was obvious.

Already in 1999 the Party switched to direct actions. Since we were not given access to the elector and into State Duma’s political space we started to make political space for ourselves wherever we wanted. In February and March 1999 the NBP confronted Nikita Mikhalkov. We learned that this apology for a nationalist has campaigned for the reelection of president Nazarbaev in Kazakhstan in January 1999. This is why the NBP published the leaflet “A butcher’s friend”, in which all Nazarbaev’s crimes were listed and our leaflet was scattered on a presentation of a Mikhalkov’s movie. Our activists were then beaten by the police and almost on the same day somebody tried to throw a box of bottles with an explosive mix into our headquarters. A police and FSB team burst into the headquarters twenty minutes later and although they did not find anything illegal (the guys had already transported the box to the local police station), the headquarters were sealed. Actually two days later we obtained its reopening. And in March the nazbols Bakhur and Gorshkov took vengeance on Mikhalkov for the raid. On Mikhalkov’s master-course in the Kino House they threw eggs at the phony nationalist. For which they were beaten and thrown in jail. This is how gradually the relationship of the authorities and the National-Bolshevik Party were worsening by the fault of the power.


I knew that there was a book by Korzhakov called “Boris Yeltsin: from dusk till dawn”, but I have not read it until lately. Only recently I fell upon it, living in a secret apartment, where I was hiding from repressions. The cover and the pictures first shocked me. The cover shows a probably sunbathing Yeltsin with the angry face of a criminal. And the pictures are so revealing that they could serve as evidence against Yeltsin and his people in a trial over them. Meaty, angry, drunken, baggy, looking like tramps and thugs, Yeltsin and the members of his government are odious. Visibly supposing to write an apology of himself, Korzhakov has in fact made an exposing book. Among others exposing himself, a dull-witted, unpleasant, simple half-police, half-FSB officer, and a man of violence, understanding only violence. Korzhakov is in such rapture when he describes the bloody events of October 1993, how glad he is at the proposition of a certain 1st rank captain Zakharov to shoot down the White House from tanks! As for Yeltsin he just appears like a boor, the regular of some foul cheburek-house. These are the kind of people who were governing us in 1991-1999. There is picture that is particularly impressive. There are three persons on it: a visibly frozen Yeltsin in a coat with hands under his armpits and wearing an ugly, shit-colored huge beret pushed on his front. He sits at a table with the rests of loathsome appetizers on it. Beside him sits Chernomirdin in a leather cap, with a beer and on the other side an anonymous alcoholic hiding his face with his hand. The leaders of Russia!

Maybe it was on such a drunken council that Boris Nikolaevich has decided to leave the country to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. On august 9th 1999 Putin was appointed first vice-premier of the RF government and later, after the resignation of Sergey Stepashkin’s government, he was appointed prime minister. On August 16th Putin was confirmed by the State Duma in his post of chairman of the Russia Federation’s government. It was far from a unanimous decision. 233 votes were given “for”, 84 – “against” and 17 deputies “abstained”. It is useful to remember who voted how, not to reproach the deputies and political parties, but in order to define the historical experience of mistakes. From the Yabloko fraction 18 deputies, including Gregory Alexeevich Yavlinski have voted for the confirmation, 8 Yabloko members have voted against. 52 CPRF deputies (including A. Lukyanov and A. Makashov) have voted against. Gennady Zuyganov did not vote. 32 deputies from the CPRF fraction presided by the State Duma speaker Gennady Seleznev have unfortunately voted for Putin. A part of the deputies of the leftist Popular Power fraction have voted against as well. The other parties have voted almost unanimously for Putin’s confirmation as prime minister.

It is interesting that in real fact Yeltsin had called Putin his successor on the presidential post back in August 9th and he has resigned only on December 31st. Here is what this monstrous man, Boris Yeltsin, has said in his television speech on august 9th 1999: “Now I decided to name the person who in my opinion is capable of consolidating the society and bearing on the largest political forces, gurantee the progress of reforms in Russia. He will be able to rally around him those who have the mission of renewing the great Russia in the new, XXI century. It is the secretary of the Security Council, FSB director – Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin… I have faith in him. But I want everybody who will come to the voting polls and make his choice in July to have faith in him as well. I think he has enough time for proving himself. ”

On the same day, August 9th, in a TV interview Putin said that he accepts Yeltsin’s proposition and will run as president. So when they voted on August 16th, a week later, the State Duma deputies already knew that they were confirming a person named Putin, with the biography of V. Putin on the president’s functions. And still have not blocked him. It is interesting how many of those 233 who have voted for him realize today that they have committed a mistake bordering on crime?

The mass media, at that time still not as subordinated to the Kremlin as today tried to warn society, inform it about the supposed new boss of the Kremlin. In the previous chapter we have already talked about the information that has appeared in the newspapers Versia, Stringer and others. I want to remind that the Versia newspaper, issue 31 1999 has published an article called “Reference about V. V. Putin”, in which he was quite negatively characterized. Let us return here to the scandal with the SPAG Company. After Putin became primer minister, i.e. after August 16th 1999, Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has verified the SPAG Company. The company was created in 1992, when V. Putin has visited Frankfurt-on-the-Maine at the head of a delegation from Saint Petersburg’s city hall. There Putin and another delegation member Vladimir Smirnov convinced a group of Frankfurt investors to create the German company SPAG (Saint Petersburg’s real estate etc.) The company started to invest in Saint Petersburg’s real estate through branch Russian-German companies. At the same time four functionaries of Saint Petersburg’s city hall, among them Putin have entered SPAG’s “supervisory board” (as shown by the documents of Germany’s commercial registration chamber). The company was headed by the lawyer Rudolf Ritter. Saint Petersburg’s joint-stock company Znamenskaya, whose general director was A. Smirnov, became SPAG’s filial. Saint Petersburg’s city hall received two hundred SPAG actions transferred by Putin to A. Smirnov to manage. And in 1999 the BND has accused R. Ritter of laundering money for Russian criminal organizations as well as for Columbian drug dealers – The Kali cocaine cartel. In May 2000 Ritter was arrested in Liechtenstein and in summer 2001 he was charged with the mentioned accusations. Supposedly Putin formally remained SPAG’s adviser until March 2000. Western newspapers have written in detail about Putin and the SPAG Company. I will refer to the French Le Monde from June 25th 2000, the Italian La Republica from June 13th 2001, and the Newsweek from September 3rd 2001. In the Russian Kommersant information about SPAG appeared on May 16th 2003. By the way Newsweek from September 3rd 2001 affirmed that V. Kumarin-Barsukov, a criminal authority famous in Saint Petersburg was a direction member of the joint stock company Znamenskaya. The journalist Jurgen Roth from the Berliner Zeitung has received materials about SPAG. In 2003 he published the book “Gangsters from the East”. In an interview to the newspaper Sobesednik (2003, issue 33) Jurgen Roth affirmed that he has evidence of Putin’s ties with Russian organized crime – through his “adviser” Smirnov.

Stringer wrote about Putin’s ties with the criminal world in July 2001, describing the so-called “criminal organization of Tambov” and mentioning the names of Vladimir Kumarin, Ilia Trauber and others. Supposedly it is through Trauber that Putin joined Pavel Borodin’s team – who then was the RF president’s manager. To their honor, even during the first year of Putin’s presidential term the journalists were not afraid to publish compromising materials about him. The Limonka newspaper was not afraid of the power then or today, this is why we were publishing risky materials about Putin in 1999 and in 2000. I will not cite Limonka; people will say that I cite myself as evidence. I will only talk about the article “Shoulder to shoulder” (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2002, March 13th), where the NG in its turn refers to publications in Perm’s newspapers Vechernyaya Perm and Rossiiskaya Gazeta and publishes photos where Putin is seen next to a certain Vladimir Plotnikov, a Perm businessman and the vice-president of Russia’s Judo Federation, known as “the Carpenter” and “the Director” in the region’s criminal world.

One could possibly brush aside these facts and find a certain explanation to every scandalous bloc of information about the President’s ties and actions. But there is so much of these ties and actions that a rational person even he does not want to, must believe in some evil aura of suspicious actions that surrounds V. V. Putin. Of course he is the president now, people pay more attention to him. But still. Even if only half of what he is suspected of is true, then we have a person whose place is not at the head of a State.

Yeltsin’s choice of a successor looks all the more incomprehensible if we remember that in August 1999 began the invasion of Dagestan by two thousand Chechen fighters headed by Basayev. The invasion was a complete surprise for the RF leaders. Because the Federal Security Service headed by Putin has slept over the invasion. And that person that has failed on the post of FSB director is appointed a premier and successor. A mystery? Not. Yeltsin needed to secure his impunity after his retiring.

Putin spent eight months on the post of prime minister. In essence he was doing his pre-electoral campaign on this post. Two pre-electoral goals stood before him: pacify Chechnya (militants have invaded Dagestan), create a base for the victory of Putin’s Kremlin on the December 1999 elections and also get popular in the political sense.

On September 4th 1999 a car loaded with explosives caused the explosion of a residential building in Dagestan’s city of Buynaxk. On September 9th 1999 a house was blown up on Guryanov Street in Moscow. On September 13th a house was blown up in Volgodonsk. All of these events have caused Putin’s harsh reaction. The successful military operations in Dagestan and Chechnya that have followed these bombings have rapidly increased Putin’s rating. Later, since the finding of explosives and detonators in the basement of a Ryazan house looked extremely suspicious (The FSB claimed it was a “training operation”), part of our society started to suspect that the bombings of September 1999 were organized by the FSB in order to raise the ratings of the presidency candidate V. V. Putin. There was no independent investigation on this case and therefore it is impossible at the present time to prove or to refute such frightening accusations. Maybe we will learn the truth when we will have another president. Maybe we will never learn it. Minimally the Ryazan’s story is extremely suspicious.

A quite banal economic program was written for Prime Minister Putin. Also very harsh tax conditions were created in order to fill up the State’s budget. As a proof of his efficiency on his prime minister post on October 31st 1999 on Sergey Dorenko’s talk show Putin gave the growth rate of industrial production: 7%. On December 31 1999 Yeltsin spoke on television too, he said he is resigning before term and Putin became president interim.

What was Edward Limonov doing these months? On august 24th 1999, on Ukraine’s Independence Day members of the National-Bolshevik Party peacefully occupied the tower of the Sailors Club in Sevastopol. On a 36 meters altitude they hung out NBP flags and the banner “Sevastopol is a Russian city!” They spread leaflets with the text: “Kuchma, you will choke on Sevastopol!” After a few hours of siege the tower’s doors were forced. Sixteen National-Bolsheviks were arrested and spent six months in Ukrainian prisons. On January 29th 2000 I took the boys from a prison in Moscow where they arrived from Ukraine. A different political climate was in the country then and the prison commandant even shook my hand, thanking me for the courage of my party members. In Ukraine, especially in Crimea this action created an unseen arising among the millions of Russian-speaking as well as Ukrainian citizens who consider Sevastopol the holy city of Russian national glory. Never did any Russian political organization hold such a striking and big action during Ukraine’s eight-years history.

On February 23rd 2000 the National-Bolshevik Party formed a column on Pushkin Square. In the front we were carrying two black 20 meters-long banners. One read: “Down with autocracy and throne succession!” and the other: “Putin, we didn’t call for you, leave!” Columns of other opposition parties angrily looked at our slogans and us. They did not agree with us then. Today they do.



Against Putin

On December 14th 2004 39 activists of the National-Bolshevik Party entered the public reception room of the President’s Administration and after occupying one of the offices they demanded to meet president Putin. The protesters were spreading leaflets of the following content:

* * *

Appeal to the RF President V. V. Putin


Mr. President, we have a long list of pretensions to you. On your conscience you have:

1. The manipulation of elections – both for State Duma and for president.

2. The deprivation of the citizens of Russia of their electoral rights: passage from the election to the appointment of governors. These are State coups, the destruction of the federative state.

3. The robbing of the people through the “monetization of benefits”. Only naive people believe in the fairy tale about the villains Zurabov and Gref gone out of hands. We know: nothing in the State of the Russian Federation is done without your approval. It was possible not to abolish, but to double and to triple the benefits with the present prices on oil.

4. The appearance of American military bases in Central Asia. You let them there after the events of September 11th 2001. You ingratiate yourself with the USA.

5. The transfer of Russian territories to China. 35 years ago border guards have conquered the islands on the Far East in bloody battles. Judging by your saying, you intend to do the same with the Kurils – give them to Japan. And Kaliningrad to comrade Gerhard?

6. The friendship with the monstrous regime of Turkmenbashi, who banished Russians from Turkmenia.

7. The closing down of independent TV channels. Thanks to you the television ceased to show the truth and is daily lying to the people.

8. The witless interference in the elections in Abkhazia and Ukraine. However difficult it was to spoil the relations with the friendly Abkhaz people, but you succeeded in this. And Ukraine, by your efforts, stands on the threshold of disintegration and civil war.

9. The victims of Nord-Ost and Beslan. There is no “international terrorism” whatsoever, there is a war in Chechnya. Which you could not win and which now you do not have the courage to end. Confess that this war is conducted not for national interests, but for your personal rating, for your “tough guy” reputation.

10. The renewal of political repressions in Russia. The National-Bolsheviks Gromov, Tishin, Globa-Mikhaylenko, Bespalov, Korshunsky, Yezhov, Klenov, who stood up against the robbing of the people are political prisoners. The victims of political arbitrariness are such people as the physicist Danilov and the lawyer Trepashkin, punished altogether only for their independent behavior.

These are not all the claims to you, but these are already sufficient. It seems that you imagined yourself a Tsar, and not a President, elected by the people and responsible before the people. You forgot the words of oath, which you gave at your inauguration: “I swear… to respect and to guard human and civil rights and freedoms, to respect and to protect the constitution of the Russian Federation, to protect the sovereignty and independence, safety and integrity of the State, to serve the people loyally”. Possibly, you don’t act by evil will; simply you do not have political talent. All the more, find courage in yourself and retire. The more rapidly you do this, the better it will be for Russia.

The National-Bolsheviks.



One of the first tragic scandals that have given the RF citizens their first view of the person, who has climbed up the Kremlin throne with Yeltsin’s help, was the history of the loss and the investigation of the loss of the “Kursk” submarine.

Let us go through the pages of recent history. The nuclear submarine K-141, a project Antaeus, whose construction began in 1990 on the Northern machine-building works in Severodvinsk, was put out to sea on August 10th 2000. 118 crewmembers and the captain G. P. Lyachin were aboard on August 12th 2000 when at 11:28AM supposedly an underwater explosion was registered in the Barents Sea; two minutes later – another one. As it turned out later, the explosions occurred four hours earlier at about 7:30AM. At 5:30PM the Kursk did not respond and was declared wrecking at 11:30PM. On August 13th at 4:46AM hydro acoustics first discovered the submarine lying on the ground. At 7:30PM the submarine was discovered visually.

It was that day, August 12th 2000 that president Putin went to Sochi on vacation and did not interrupt it in relation to the catastrophe of the Kursk submarine, stayed there during the entire period of the rescue operation. Tanned, in a polo shirt he appeared in the news on television without any sign of grief on his face. Only on August 16th the commandment of the Navy received the president’s sanction for accepting foreign aid to save the Kursk crew, since it turned out that Russia’s Navy does not possess the necessary rescue means. But it was too late. On August 21st 2000 the Navy commandment officially declared the death of the Kursk crew. On August 22nd president Putin finally visited the Navy base in Vedyaevo and met the relatives of the dead sailors.

Then the situation developed in the following way: after committing a criminal negligence the president decided to pay off the relatives of the dead sailors with honors. On August 26th the Kursk captain Gennady Lyachin was posthumously granted the title of Russia’s Hero and the 117 crewmembers were posthumously rewarded with the order of courage. The Kursk would have remained under water it wasn’t for the media, still half-free then, who started to spread information that the Kursk sunk after he collided with an American submarine spying after Russian Navy training. The media had reasons to claim so. Back in August 15th (the next day after the whole world learned about the tragedy) the radio station Echo of Moscow has declared, citing an anonymous source in the American administration: “During the incident with the Kursk submarine, two US Navy submarines were staying near it and their acoustics have registered the sound of the explosion Saturday”. In the evening of the same day the Navy’s Commander-in-Chief, the admiral Vladimir Kuroedov has said that there was a possible collision between the Kursk and an American submarine. On August 16th the Defense Minister Igor Sergeev appeared on television and directly said that the Kursk was rammed. So, on September 19th 2000 president Putin gave the order to start the operations for bringing the rest of the crew and the submarine itself to the surface. However, it was not for elucidating the mystery of its loss. He knew the mystery. He needed to hide the truth.

On October 20th 2000 an expedition of Russian and Norwegian divers arrived to the place where the Kursk sunk.

On November 7th the operation was completed; fifteen bodies were brought out of the deformed compartment. On March 24th 2001 the order about salvaging the Kursk was signed and on May 18th a contract to lift the submarine was signed with the Dutch firm Mammoet. On July 6th the expedition goes out into the Barents Sea.

Notice that the first thing that the expedition did was to separate the first compartment, which was the one to be hit, on July 16th. (The fact that it was, was declared by the chairman of the government commission Ilya Klebanov back on November 8th 2000: “After the operations undertaken by the deep-water Mir machines and the exploration of the submarine by the divers, the collision version received a serious video-proof: an interior dent was discovered in the first compartment.”)

On October 7th 2001 the salvage operation begins. The first compartment is cut and left on the seabed. The Dutch were not trusted for lifting it. On October 21st 2001 the Kursk's body without the first compartment was put in the dock of a ship-repair factory in Roslyakovo. On October 23rd investigators stepped up on the deck of the submarine. Ustinov and his comrades were working hard, examining the submarine without its first compartment, where it was hit by an “object”. On February 2002 the investigators finished their work. On March 20th 2002 the identification of the Kursk sailors was finished. On April 26th 2002 the Kursk was scrapped. Without its first compartment.

Only on May 31st 2002 the salvaging of the first compartment of the Kursk submarine was begun. It was a long process and it ended only on June 21st 2002. Apparently they were gathering the tiniest fragments from the seabed. In case the neighboring Norwegians might lift some. And there might be evidence of a collision with the Americans.

And in June 29th 2002 on the concluding meeting of the investigative commission the official reason was finally named – the explosion of a torpedo. And it was a deliberate lie. A huge lie. A monstrous lie!

I remember the pseudo-investigation commission and the daily television appearances of a freezing Ilya Klebanov, almost from the deck of the ship, which was doing the salvage operation. This lie, the longest in the RF history lasted almost a year. At that time I was detained in Lefortovo prison and observed with disgust the national daily operation: Russian citizens were lied to on the president’s order.

Here are additional facts on the Kursk tragedy, so that the RF citizens do not have any doubts. On December 6th 2000 the RIA-Novosti reported: “On August 17th Russian military planes chased a foreign submarine in Barents Sea”. Here is the text: “Russian military planes chased a foreign submarine in Barents Sea in the training area of the Northern Fleet. This was confirmed by the Defense minister Igor Sergeev. A day earlier, the recently retired Norwegian admiral Einar Skorgen reported this fact. He did not exclude the possibility of a collision between the Russian Kursk with an American submarine. The admiral also confirmed that in late August the USA submarine Memphis entered a Norwegian harbor. Commenting the Norwegian admiral, the marshal Sergeev said that a special commission finished its work and should make its conclusions. According to the Russian minister Skorgen’s declaration will be added to the commission documents and submitted to a ‘deep analysis’. Meanwhile the USA continues to refute the possible involvement of an American submarine in the loss of the Kursk submarine in Barents Sea. As RIA-Novosti learned from sources in the Russian military delegation in Brussels, the Pentagon chief William Cohen declared to the defense minister Igor Sergeev that an American submarine could not have been involved in a possible collision with the Kursk.

The site was also bringing new information under the title “Loss of the Kursk submarine”: “In Brussels the defense minister Igor Sergeev declared that the priority version of the Kursk loss still remains a collision with a foreign submarine and also confirmed that six military anti-submarine destroyers of the Northern Fleet did climb in the air. Meanwhile the USA defense minister William Cohen continues to affirm that American submarines have nothing to do with the catastrophe. However the Norwegian admiral Einar Skorgen confirmed the facts, explaining that he has sent a couple of his planes to intercept Russian machines. According to information from Norway the American Toledo submarine left the place of the catastrophe after the collision with Kursk. The submarine was damaged in the front, seven sailors died; the screw propeller and the steering gear were partly destroyed. In two days the crew managed to neutralize the effects of the collision and on August 15th it led the submarine into the deep under the cover of two NATO’s Orions. When on August 18th the Memphis submarine called at a Norwegian harbor for repairs, it was only a part of the operation on rescuing the Toledo. Just as the information about all the British submarines returning to their bases, supposedly because of dysfunctions discovered in the reactor of one of them. Some circumstances became known after the dismissal of Skorgen, who differed in opinion with the NATO leadership, more precisely with the USA Navy commandment and allowed himself to point out the Americans’ involvement in the catastrophe. There is information confirming that the admiral Vyacheslav Popov did give the order to destroy a foreign submarine in the area where the Kursk was lost. It is for this reason that anti-submarine destroyers were called to fly over the Norwegian coast. But then Popov suddenly cancelled his order after talks with the admiral Skorgen and the planes were returned to the base. It is these circumstances that the Deputy Prime Minister Klebanov was supposed to make public on November 21st like some secret. But he did not because something unforeseen happened: the American democracy started to skid; it did not need another scandal on the background of the presidential elections. About at the same time the Northern Fleet held bombing exercises as a late show of determination to sink spy submarines discovered near the Kursk…

Back in September 16th 200, a month after the catastrophe, the site published information taken from the Stringer newspaper, called “Kursk collided with an American submarine!” with the subtitle “The last ram attack”. I abridge the text below: “Russia’s president has put 118 lives on the victory altar of Albert Gore on the presidential elections in the US. The editorial staff got documents proving that the reason of the Kursk loss was a collision with the American Sea wolf-class Jimmy Carter (SSN-23) submarine. Then the Stringer editorial board starts to justify president Putin: “We perfectly understand the frightening choice that stood before Putin right after the Kursk tragedy/…/ Either to stay silent and get a deal, with his conscience in the first place, but to receive a real benefit for Russia in result. We do not condemn Putin’s choice. Maybe on his place anyone would have done the same thing. We are not going to read notations to the president… But let us go to the text through the justification: “Three explosions. Everything happened suddenly, during 10-20 seconds. The nuclear submarine Kursk was raising to the surface with a speed of 20 knots (about 40 km/hour). The periscope and the antennas were already raised. /…/ Suddenly metal screeching was heard in the front compartment. A container with compressed air exploded from a collision with an unidentified object. The head of the submarine was thrown down. 145 seconds later the cruiser crashes at full speed into the bottom of Barents Sea. The blow of a machine weighting 18 thousand tons against the ground was terrifying. /…/ The blow caused the torpedoes to fall from their fastenings and to detonate. /…/

However, apart from the two explosions registered by Norwegian seismologists (NATO representatives were insistently talking about them at that time) there was also a third explosion. Jimmy Carter heavily damaged during the ram attack was slowly crawling away from the Kursk, throwing distress buoys. 45 minutes and 18 seconds were needed to the American submarine to get away from the place of accident by only half a mile. Most probably the submarine was practically drifting. During all this time its crew was desperately fighting for their lives. But at this time an explosion was heard on the American submarine cruiser. After this all trace of the killer submarine vanished. Most probably slow paced, it got to the closest NATO military base, where it is hiding to this day. The Americans demonstrated the second Los Angeles-class submarine Memphis to the entire world. And they even let the VGTRK correspondent Sergey Brilev to a safe distance to it. Nobody has ever seen the first submarine.

Further Stringer substantiates its text: “The records of hydro-acoustic instruments made by specialists of the RF Navy show that three explosions were heard in the area where the Kursk was lost. The first at 7:30AM on August 12th was a small one – equivalent to up to 300 grams of trotil, the second 145 seconds later; a more powerful one – equivalent to up to 1700 kg of trotil. The third – after 45 minutes and 18 seconds. It was equivalent to up to 400 grams of trotil.

The first and the second are identified with the place where the Kursk was discovered, in an area of about 150 meters in the diameter of variation. The third was registered about 700-1000 meters from the spot where the Kursk is located. /…/ All the above-mentioned permits to conclude that the version about Kursk being hit by a military product, an hydrogen explosion or a mining does not appear to be possible. Since in this case the lapse of time between the first two explosions is unexplainable.

The available data shows that a possible cause for the detonation of the torpedoes could have been Kursk’s collision with the bottom of Barents Sea that followed the first explosion at 7:30AM on August 12th. A 120-meters-long gash from the submarine is clearly seen on the seabed.

The total absence of any attempts by the submarine crew to use any rescue equipment or distress signalization in the following 145 minutes demonstrates that the control over the submarine was lost in the first 10-20 seconds after the beginning of the tragedy. This (the loss of control) could have happened only as the result of a rapid flooding (burning) of the second control compartment, consisting of four levels making up 500 cubic meters in total. Such large-scale damages by a small explosion registered at 7:30AM are unlikely. According to Rubin Design Bureau where the submarine was projected, the solidity of its body and the air reserves allow to keep the control over this kind of ships when one of their compartments is hit by a directed weapon equivalent to 500 kg of trotil. It would be truer to see this explosion not as the cause of the Kursk’s loss, but as a consequence (sign) of an unfolding catastrophe. According to the constructors such an explosion could have been caused by a mechanical blow to one of the high-tension containers situated between the light and the solid bodies in the area between the first and the second compartment. In this case the version of the Kursk’s collision with an underwater object becomes the most probable one.

As we see from the analysis of the Kursk catastrophe given here during the very first month the investigation possessed credible information about what has happened. In reality, I have already mentioned that in the evening of August 15th the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Vladimir Kuroedov said that possibly the Kursk collided with an American submarine. In response the USA organized an information leak about the two explosions on the Kursk and put forward the version about trying a new missile-traction torpedo that supposedly has become the cause of the tragedy. “At this moment, continues the Stringer, the president and the Defense Ministry were already one hundred percent sure that the Kursk collided with another submarine. A distress buoy was fished out (a white and green buoy, which are used in emergency situations in the US Navy. We use red and white buoys), and fragments of the killer-sub remaining on the place of the accident were lifted from the seabed. Only the ‘national identity’ of the sub was not determined. Hypocritically parroting about a new Russian torpedo the Americans apparently hoped that there would be not enough fragments of the Sea wolf-class submarine for fully identifying its nationality.

Further the Stringer cites materials from the RF Defense Ministry about NATO ships and planes in the area of the Barents Sea. “According to the data collected by radio intelligence and acoustic scanning two USA submarines were present in the area of training exercises of the Northern Fleet from August 7th to 12th. One of them was a Los Angeles-class, the other a Sea wolf-class. Also the Norwegian Navy ship Maryata and up to five Orion spying planes were involved. Right after the Kursk catastrophe the espionage activities of the above mentioned ships rapidly declined, which is not typical of NATO actions in such situations; in such cases they try to gather the most detailed information. Instead NATO ships left the training area and called at bases in Norway. /…/ The American submarines left the training area, but from that moment all information about these submarines ceased to enter. The Los Angeles-class submarine is called at a Norwegian base, where the crew is replaced. The whereabouts of the second submarine are not established. /…/ Estimations show that the solidity characteristics and also the constructive particularities of some US types of submarines allow versions, in which damages occurred during a collision do not lead to catastrophic consequences for the ramming submarine. In the situation with the Kursk submarine a situation is possible, in which the ramming submarine was ‘lifted’ and pushed to the surface by the Kursk after reaping its body, which gave the crew time for an active organization of rescue operations. /…/ Sea wolf-class submarines are considered more modern than Los Angeles-class ones. Their production was unfolded in the midst of the Cold War, after which the expensive project was folded. All submarines of that type were re-equipped as exercise trainers. All except for one. A Sea wolf-class submarine, the US Jimmy Carter (SSN-23) was modernized and given to the NATO forces. A new nuclear reactor was installed on it, making the sub more silent and invisible. The body was strengthened with ceramic and plastic, which augmented the diving capacity. The navigation equipment was replaced with a modern one with an ultrasound system. But the navigation remained Carter’s weak spot. The last of Sea Wolves was exclusively used for intelligence operations, since it was not equipped with a system of vertical launching of nuclear missiles.

The day after Russia officially acknowledged the Kursk catastrophe, Great Britain, Norway and the USA proposed their help to rescue the sub crew. Great Britain’s Defense Minister Jeff Hoon made it twice and commenting it each time. The first time he said: “Concerning the version about the Kursk’s collision with a foreign submarine, this was certainly not a British submarine”. In the second: “At that time there was no ships of Great Britain’s Navy in the disaster area. Therefore they could not have been involved in a collision with the Kursk. Nevertheless the NATO staff already knew that Russia knows about the collision of the Kursk with a US submarine. The entire day of August 16th information was circulating about talks and consultations between British and Russian militaries. Most probably they were sorting out the confusion that appeared in the beginning because of the official registration of the SNN-23 to the NATO. (There was also confusion in names. An attentive reader has probably already noticed that in one case the killer-sub is called Jimmy Carter and in the other Toledo. According to my sources, it was renamed Toledo and included in NATO’s naval group – E. L.) The day ended with an official request for help from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs only to Great Britain and Norway. And on August 17th Putin officially thanked Great Britain’s Premier Tony Blair for the help. Even Israel’s Premier Ehud Barak was awarded with gratitude. However the RF president has not said a word about the USA and Clinton.

Also on August 17th the Deputy Head of Staff of the RF Navy, the Vice-admiral Alexander Pobozhy held talks in Brussels with the commander of NATO’s united forces. At the end of the meeting it was declared that “complete mutual understanding” was reached. The national identity of the killer-sub was finally established. On August 18th the Rear-admiral Kraig Quigley from the Pentagon declared: “The Kursk accident does not say anything about the state of readiness of the Russian Navy. I would draw no such macro-conclusions from this or any other accident. They can occur for a variety of reasons to a variety of navies around the world. So I think our focus and our concern at this point is to try to rescue those crew members on board that submarine.” The result of admiral Quigley’s declaration was a change of tone in the Western press in its covering of the Kursk tragedy. Before this Western media wrote about “the end of the Russian Navy and Putin’s dreams about the rebirth of Russia’s naval glory”. After this a human and compassionate pattern started to dominate.

After August 21st, when the loss of the Kursk crew was declared, many heads of States have called Putin and presented him their condolences. Clinton called as well. One can only guess what they were talking about. The official information said that Putin “pronounced words of gratefulness and expressed his assurance in further mutual understanding”. In the beginning of September 2000 Putin has met with Clinton in New York.

It is interesting that it is from September 2000 that the Russian authorities have started to badly react on any information about a collision with an American killer-sub as the reason of the Kursk’s loss. Thus, on September 27th 2000 Linter cites an article in the Versia newspaper untitled “Version: Putin and Clinton have agreed to hide the truth about Kursk’s loss. The text says: “The authorities of Russia and USA knew that the reason of Kursk’s loss was a collision with an American submarine, but they hid this information in order to avoid an armed conflict. ” This information, together with a photo of an American submarine called at a Norwegian naval base for repairs soon after the Kursk accident was published by the Versia newspaper on September 26th. A Russian satellite made the photo on August 19th 2000, affirm the journalists. The same day Russia’s minister of defense was given a photo of a damaged American submarine called at Haakonsvern, a Norwegian naval base. At the same time the CIA director George Tenet arrived in Moscow with the purpose of hushing up a conflict that could lead to a war, the newspaper writes. Remember that the Russian media have made the supposition that the reason for the Kursk’s loss was a collision with Memphis, an American Los Angeles-class submarine. The photo shows a submarine precisely of that type, having serious damages in the frontal part, as the journalists found out. Probably it is the Memphis or the Toledo sub. And already on November 10th, two weeks later, the agency Echo of Moscow declared that – I am citing the title and the text – “Criminal charges were brought against the Versia newspaper for the publication of photos of an American submarine, which supposedly collided with the Kursk. A criminal case was opened in connection to the publication in the Versia newspaper of photos of an American submarine, which supposedly collided with the Kursk submarine, said the editor of Versia’s investigations section Dmitry Filimonov. He appears on the case as a witness. Friday a computer was confiscated from the newspaper offices. The confiscation was done after D. Filimonov was interrogated in Moscow district’s FSB as the author of an article, which said that the Kursk submarine has preliminary collided with an American submarine. /…/ ’The special services were interested in the satellite photos published in the newspaper. The photos show an American submarine called at a Norwegian naval base and showing clear signs of damage in the frontal part’, explained D. Filimonov. The special services are now trying to find out where did he get the photos. According to D. Filimonov, the newspaper received the photos from an anonymous individual who sent a disc with the information in an envelope.

On November 5th 2001 the site published the position of the Prosecutor General citing Interfax: “The Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov has again refuted the supposition that the Kursk submarine might have been lost after a collision with another submarine. According to Interfax, Vladimir Ustinov declared that at the present moment the investigation does not have any such supposition.

It was to be expected that already in 2003, after the false conclusions of Klebanov’s commission, on February 6th “the Federal Security Service refuted claims that the FSB is putting under doubt the results of the investigation about the Kursk’s loss.” According to RIA-Novosti “The FSB refuted the claims of a Moscow newspaper that “the FSB is putting under doubt the investigation of the Kursk’s loss”. As RIA-Novosti informed Thursday in the FSB Center of Public relations, the information presented in the article of a Moscow newspaper in February 2003 does not correspond to reality.” When mister Putin’s FSB or mister Putin’s Prosecutor General refute something, RF citizens usually suppose that what is refuted is the truth.

Meanwhile, all the largest Russian naval specialists have unanimously and independently from one another said: yes, there was a collision with a killer-submarine.

Back in August 18th 2000 the former commander of the Black Sea Fleet, adm. Edward Baltin has declared this to Echo of Moscow. “The accident aboard the Kursk submarine took place in result of a collision; not with a dry cargo ship or an icebreaker, but with an American submarine.

On November 16th 2001 the Izvestia newspaper has published a long interview with the Vice-admiral Mikhail Motzak, Chief of Staff of the Northern Fleet. The interview in Izvestia is followed by the newspaper afterword. Here it is: “The Vice-admiral Mikhail Motzak, Chief of Staff of the Northern Fleet was among the instructors of the training exercises during which the Kursk was lost. Today we are publishing a confession, which the vice-admiral made in a conversation with the Izvestia correspondent Konstantin Getmansky. For the first time the Vice-admiral brings evidence that the Kursk was lost in result of a collision with a foreign submarine. We do not know why he decided to tell about this now. The military that occupy such high functions very rarely make such declarations without consulting their leadership. If such a consultation took place, it means that after the Kursk was salvaged, the commission managed to obtain the final evidence of a collision. However, if it did not – it means that the Vice-admiral staked his all, placing his admiral’s honor above his carrier.” I will cite the most interesting passages from the interview with the Vice-admiral.

A lot of direct signs were registered proving that a second underwater object, possibly wrecking itself, was in the vicinity of the wrecking Kursk. Peter the Great has registered this object with hydro-acoustic equipment. It was also visually registered by people who tried to get distress buoys out of the water…

– Then why wasn’t the buoy fished out? It could have served as evidence of a collision.

– The buoy was retained by a cable-rope about three-meters-deep. It was practically anchored. Anything could have been this anchor.

– Could it have been another submarine?

– Yes. And when an officer tried to hook the buoy with a gaff he didn’t succeed. Unfortunately, later the buoy was lost because of bad weather. By the evening of August 13th our pilots have registered fuel bubbles on a distance of about 18 miles to the northwest from the Kursk. Then anti-submarine planes discovered a submarine leaving the Barents Sea. The same flight was done on the following day, in order to confirm the location of this submarine, but the signal of all of our hydro-acoustic buoys was suppressed on all the channels by our ‘friends’ from NATO.

– Then why was the ‘underwater’ object lost by such ships as Peter the Great and Admiral Chabanenko, which are specially designed for searching submarines?

– As a head of staff I admit that this was a neglect. When it discovered the sunken submarine and registered a second underwater object, Peter the Great decided its main task was to bring rescue forces to the Kursk. Maybe it was wrong. In this situation it had to execute both the rescue task and the task of finding out the real cause of the catastrophe.

Another confession: “Twenty three people in the ninth compartment have maybe died eight hours after the catastrophe, already when the compartment was flooded. Still sailors might have remained alive in the fifth and the second-fifth compartment and they continued to bang. We heard the last bangs at 11:00AM on August 14th.” This confession is unpleasant for president Putin. After all he gave the sanction to the Navy for using foreign help to rescue the crew only on August 16th (I remind that the Navy did not possess the technical means itself). Only after it has been two days that the banging stopped.

On December 13th 2001 a Soviet Union Hero, former commander of the nuclear submarines fleet, the Vice-admiral Matushkin gave an interview to the Pravda newspaper. The newspaper writes: “He reminded that white and green buoys were found on the surface in the vicinity of the accident, which are used in emergency situations in the US Navy. ‘We have red and white buoys’, the Vice-admiral said. Then, in his words, a distress signal from a submarine was acoustically registered. ‘Doubtlessly, it was a foreign submarine. In our fleet such signals are not transmitted automatically for secrecy reasons.” He supposed that the tragedy was unfolding according to the following scenario. The Kursk and the foreign submarine were going towards each other on different depths. The Russian submarine was going deeper than “the American submarine and when they collided it received damages on the upper left side.” With such an upper damage it is impossible to create counter-pressure and stop the water from entering. “Our submarine that had a speed of, let’s say, 5-6 knots, has sharply taken a trim by the bow (50-60 degrees) and sunk to the bottom”, Matushkin pointed out. Also a shelved torpedo fell and hit the body of the submarine. Then it detonated. Lev Matuhskin categorically disapproved the version of a torpedo dysfunction causing the Kursk’s loss. He considers that this “illiterate declaration is intended for the naivety of the society. Such declarations are an attempt to compromise the submarine crew and the services of torpedo bases.” As regarding the claims and the conclusions of the attorneys, then, as Matushkin said, “not a single attorney, even a military one, can be considered an expert in naval affairs. Only the opinion of a real expert in submarines can be precious here, obviously on the condition that he is honest.”

I remind that on June 29th 2002 on the final session of the governmental commission investigating the Kursk loss, the official cause was named – a torpedo explosion. Minimally there was one honest expert in the commission – the adm. Motzak. I have reported his opinion above.

After the pronouncing of the official verdict, Russian media have forgotten about the Kursk under the pressure of the Kremlin, the FSB and well, time. But some have not forgotten about this tragedy – whom would you think? – Foreigners, of course. Only recently History Channel in Canada showed documental series about submarines. Two series were dedicated to the Kursk. Russian internet-forums were full of discussions about the Canadian movie. Here is its description, taken from an Internet site as told by Stringer on August 1st 2005.

First they showed what we have already seen and heard. How and when it happened, how our military commanders reacted. The usual images. Hysterical women and all that. Accusations to Putin that he stayed on the Black Sea. They showed Ilya Klebanov, if you remember, at that time he was Deputy Primer Minister. They showed how Klebanov silently stood in front of hysterical women, not knowing what to answer.

We already relaxed, expecting that they will start to criticize Russians as usual. And suddenly an unexpected turn. /…/ They showed that there were two American submarines in the training area. They were on a special mission, spying over the training. One sub, the Memphis, was covered by another, the Toledo. It seemed that there was only one submarine on radar and sonar screens. Then the Memphis emerged from its leading sub, in order to have a better view of the launching of a ballistic missile from the Kursk, but it miscalculated the trajectory and the distance. The Americans found themselves on the opposite trajectory and frontally collided with the Russians. They damaged the Kursk’s most vulnerable second compartment. But the most terrible happened later. The captain on the second American sub Toledo decided that the Russians have in some way attacked the Memphis and without giving it a second thought launched a torpedo at the Kursk. The torpedo hit right in the loosened part on the junction of the second and third compartment and exploded inside. The movie showed a computer variation involving the three subs about what has happened. Our planes have registered oil marks in the water on the trajectory of the leaving foreign submarine. (Some newspapers wrote that this was a foreign submarine, a British one, it seems, and we have all read about this).

Now about what we did not know. It turns out that the Russians were following these two American submarines before all of these events and knew for sure that these were Americans on a spying mission. After the collision and the attack on the Kursk the defense minister Sergeev sent two counter-submarine squadrons. Putin in the South was immediately informed. And at the same moment Americans entered in contact with Putin. After speaking with the Americans Putin called the planes back. /…/ The CIA director urgently arrived in Moscow for consultations. All this time Putin was in contact with Bill Clinton. In the end, nobody was allowed near the submarine, although the entire world was offering qualified assistance. After all we all thought that somebody could be saved. A few days later the Russians agreed to let the Dutch, but with the strict order not to go near the submarine’s head. The Dutch managed to open the hatch in the eighth compartment; they found some messages left by the crew and confirmed that nobody had survived inside the sub. After this our divers got to work. They did not care about the sub anymore, its reactor and the dead sailors. It turns out that they were removing the debris and fragments of the American Memphis from the seabed around the Kursk. The Russian newspapers that managed to publish satellite images of a ‘suspicious foreign’ submarine in repairs in a Norwegian harbor were instantly threatened by the FSB. This submarine was in fact the American Memphis and it took it seven days to get to Norway instead of the usual two. The other American submarine Toledo left to the USA in zigzags, following an unusual trajectory. Two representatives of the Russian military and political leadership Igor Sergeev and Ilya Klebanov who insisted on the American track as the public version were in the end forced to resign. Some time later (about two weeks after the tragedy) the entire Russian debt to the USA was canceled and the United States gave a new $10-billion credit to Russia. Each family of the sailors dead on the Kursk got the unthinkable by Russian shabby standards compensation of 25 thousand rubles.

Nevertheless, Putin had to salvage the sub in order to raise his political image. A year later a contract with A Dutch firm, the only one that agreed to lift only the middle and the rear part, was signed for salvaging the Kursk. All the other firms agreed to lift the whole vessel for lesser money. The Dutch sawed off two head compartments and brought all the rest on the ground. Here we were shown zoomed-in images of the sub on their arrival. Right at the spot where it was sawed off there was a huge round hole and its borders were crumpled inside. Our TV certainly did not show this, because this part of the fuselage was instantly declared classified and was later liquidated actually as all video footage. The film presented testimonies of experts who confirmed that only an American new model torpedo (I do not remember its exact name) could leave such marks, burning the extern layer and bursting inside.

An astonishing movie. Especially here, in Canada. One thing is for sure: the idea of an American track was not even put in doubt. The film was made with the participation of British, Canadian and independent American journalists.

My comment: Some confusion with the name of the killer-sub (was it Memphis, Toledo or Jimmy Carter) is easily explained: the spy-sub did not leave a visiting card after it rammed the Kursk. And if it did, it was picked up by Putin’s guys from the FSB.



The address to the RF president Putin entitled “We don’t need such a president” begins with the words: “Mr president, we have a long list of pretensions to you.

1. The manipulation of elections – both for State Duma and for president.”

What manipulation and what scale of it did the nazbols have in mind? Let us find out. The State Duma elections took place on December 7th 2003. Already a few days later there were voices that affirmed that the results of the elections were manipulated. The next day, December 8th, an exit-pull was made public by Romir Monitoring research holding. The poll was ordered by The Moscow Times newspaper, the Soros Fund and the Renaissance Capital Investment Bank. 42 828 people were polled. According to the results both the Union of Right Forces (SPS) and Yabloko have made it into the Duma. More precisely they should have. Here are the Ramir numbers:

United Russia 34,1 %

CPRF 13,2 %

LDPR 10,9 %

Block Rodina 9,5 %

Against All 6,8 %

SPS 6,1 %

Yabloko 5,8 %

The official site of the CPRF. Based on their parallel count on records. 10 838 records of district electoral commissions were counted. The CPRF got the following results:

United Russia 33,6 %

CPRF 12,77 %

LDPR 11,50 %

Block Rodina 10,66 %

Yabloko 5,92 %

SPS 5,11 %

Against All 5,26 %

So we see that according to Ramir data and the communists’ calculations both Yavlinsky’s party and the Union of Right Forces have reached the 5% barrier and made it into the State Duma. On November 11th 2003 the Vedomosti newspaper wrote: “The CPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov has accused the Central Electoral Commission of manipulating the results of Duma’s election, which harmed the SPS and Yabloko. /…/ According to the communists the CPRF was not much harmed by the manipulation, but the SPS and Yabloko had in reality obtained correspondingly 5. 1% and 5. 9%. The block Rodina has lost votes as well – officially it obtained 9% but the communists calculated that it was 10. 6%. The distortions, as the communists calculated it, favored United Russia – it must have obtained not 37.1% of the votes but 33.1%. ‘We can’t admit the results of a voting that was a one hundred percent fraud,’ Zyuganov declared.

The same day the Kommersant wrote: “The usually reserved CEC head Alexander Veshnyakov has yelled yesterday: Tthis isn’t serious, it’s a swindle!’ This is how the head arbiter of Duma’s battles reacted to the declaration of the CPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov about the 3,5 million votes added to United Russia fraudulently according to the communists’ alternative counting. /…/ ‘We are ready for cooperation, but not for swindling!’ The usually reserved and politically correct Veshnyakov started to yell yesterday on a CEC session: ‘We will harshly punish both for manipulation and for slander! And we will not turn the right cheek if we’re hit on the left.” Then Kommersant continues: “Gennady Zyuganov declared that already based on the records of the electoral commissions (it is their copies that the CPRF reads) we studied we can make the conclusion that at least 3,5 million ballot-papers were fraudulently added. These nonexistent votes were thrown in favor of one of the parties. Considering that according to the yet unofficial data of the CEC (the official data will be available December 18th) slightly over 57 million people took part in the elections, a manipulation with 3,5 million ballot-papers is something very serious. These are 6. 1% of votes that not only have allowed improving the total result of the party in power, but also did not allow the right-wing parties to make it into the Duma, ‘washing down’ their real result. Besides adding votes the CPRF leader has accused the CEC of overstating the real data about voters’ participation. ‘The voters’ participation was not 56%, as the CEC said, but 53,5%’, Zyuganov declared. He expressed his assurance that in reality both Yabloko and SPS have overcome the 5% barrier and made it into the Duma. ‘We can’t admit the results of a voting that was a one hundred percent fraud. We request that the ballot-papers be recounted by hand’, Zyuganov said. Also he emphasized that ‘in a zone of total manipulation they categorically refuse to give us the copies of the records. And this zone is not only Tatarstan, Mordovia and Bashkiria but Moscow as well.

In her turn Irina Khakamada declared to Kommersant: “According to our data, since we also have a parallel voting count, there was, in fact, a fraudulent addition of ballot-papers on the elections and when such things happen, then purely automatically the indicators of the parties situated on the margin of the 5% barrier decrease.” And here is the opinion of David Atkinson, head of the delegation of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly on the Russian elections, as expressed to Nezavisimaya Gazeta: “On one hand, four years ago we recommended to Russia to take a series of measures in order to improve the voting and Russia has followed our advices. On the other hand we can’t ignore the deliberate distortion of Russia’s real political picture by TV channels controlled by the State in favor of a single party at the expense of all the others – as during the pre-electoral campaign, as long before it. The deliberate lack of objectivity from the State and semi-State media is unacceptable for the Council of Europe. Therefore we came to the following conclusion: although these elections were free, they were unfair and the Russian advancement towards democracy has significantly slowed down. Based on this we insistently urge Russia to create and strengthen an independent media system, first of all, a system of television and radio broadcasting totally free of any influence and control from the State.

On 17.12.03 the site published an article by Olga Bobrovskaya. Among other things the journalist writes: “Vadim Solovyev, member of the Central Election Committee with deliberative functions from the CPRF declared that 60 thousand records among those obtained by his party’s members directly in the regional election committees ‘don’t correspond to the CEC official records, which were entered into the counting system and published on the Internet.’ The communists have worked with 87 643 records, which makes up 93,1% of their total quantity. According to Solovyev about 60 thousand records are invalid, since the number of votes for different parties and for “Against All” does not correspond to the number of ballot-papers given out for the voting. /…/ After collecting all the evidence of manipulation, the CPRF leadership headed by Gennady Zyuganov sent a letter to the CEC, in which it declared that it was necessary ‘to hold a complete recounting of ballot-papers’ in Bashkortostan, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Mordovia, Tatarstan and the regions of Amur, Orlov, Rostov, Samara and Saratov and not to publish the final election results until the completion of the above-mentioned recounting. Otherwise the Communist Party ‘would undertake all the measures stipulated by the Constitution for the protection of the citizens’ electoral rights, including mass protest actions and an appeal to international courts’. Which means the Supreme Court and then the European Court of Human Rights.

However only on September 27th 2004 did the Communist Party together with the Yabloko party with S. V. Ivanenko (from Yabloko), E. A. Kiselev (famous liberal journalist), D. A. Muratov, V. A. Rizhkov (independent State Duma deputy), G. A. Satarov (liberal, president of the Indem Fund), V. G. Solovyev (KPRF) and I. M. Khakamada (SPS) address the RF Supreme Court. They demanded the cancellation of the Central Electoral Commission’s enactment of December 19th 2003 Number 71/615-4 “About the establishment of the total results of the elections of the State Duma deputies”.

All the declarations, independently from their political views were united by the fact that they consider that their rights and freedoms were violated during the elections. Thus, the Yabloko party affirms, “at least 170 from the 225 electoral commissions’ records do not correspond to reality”. The declaration also spoke about “the injustice and unbalance of the information provided about the participants of the election campaign.” Thus, the monitoring of TV programs on the results of the electoral campaign showed that almost a third of the total time dedicated to political parties and electoral blocks during the campaign was used by TV channels to inform the voters about a single party – United Russia. The counting of the time distribution in news stories during the campaign showed that United Russia got about 28% of the total time, KPRF – 13% and Yabloko – 8,5%. The injustice and unbalance in informing the voters were especially obvious on State channels (First Channel, VGTRK Russia and TVC), which are financed by the taxpayers and should not give the priority to any political party. These channels were even more obviously favoring United Russia, giving it an average of 40% of the time, despite the fact that 23 electoral associations took part in the elections. This situation was worsened by the fact that in Russia national State channels have the largest scope of broadcasting territory (the First Channel – 99%, VGTRK Russia – 97,4% and TVC – over 70% of the country’s territory).

Not only the time but also the trend of the information was unjust and unbalanced. The total amount of information made public by the main TV channels about United Russia was equal to 860 minutes and 48 seconds. And the amount of information that was illegal pre-electoral publicity was equal to 529 minutes and 09 seconds, or 61,5%. It was the State channels that broadcasted 75% of positive information about United Russia. At the same time over half (331 minutes and 22 seconds or 66%) of the total amount of information broadcasted about the CPRF by the five leading TV channels (524 minutes and 54 seconds) consisted of negative publicity. Even these numbers are enough to affirm that the victory of United Russia was obtained not only at the price of direct manipulation, but was also prepared by the media by presenting dishonest and unjust information.

In their address to the Supreme Court the plaintiffs have also said that many RF courts have many times violated the right to defend one’s electoral rights in court. As a rule, plaints about laws violations by electoral commissions, media and individuals are not answered; there were many cases of refusals to open criminal cases about these violations.

The Supreme Court examination of this declaration began on November 15th and ended on December 16th 2004. During this time 19 court sessions were held. The court refused almost every petition of the plaintiffs: about calling over one hundred witnesses to court, about adding two hundred documents to the case, about requesting evidence from the CEC, the Ministry of Press and other State bodies and channels. Besides the Supreme Court did not examine more than 1% of the evidence presented by the plaintiffs during the court sessions. The Supreme Court has also simply refused to examine the question about the manipulation of elections on 57 thousand electoral districts, supposedly because this question is not in the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction, directly ignoring part 4 of article 75 of the Federal Law “About the principal guaranties of electoral rights and the rights for RF citizens to take part in a referendum”.

During the trial the lawyers have petitioned four times (on November 16th and 29th and two times on December 6th) to challenge the judge V. U. Zaytzev for several reasons, among them:

– He refused to satisfy numerous petitions about examining evidence and calling witnesses;

– He did not read out some written documents accordingly to their real content;

– And some other judicial reasons.

All of these reasons were single-handedly turned-down by the judge V. U. Zaytzev.

On December 16th 2004 the Supreme Court took a decision, in which he refused to satisfy the declaration of the plaintiffs.

On December 18th 2005 the declarators appealed.

On February 7th 2005 the appeal board of the Supreme Court left the decision unchanged.

On August 4th 2005 the parties KPRF and Yabloko and also the individuals named above addressed a plaint to the European Court of Human rights about the decision of the Supreme Court, which refused to satisfy their suit to the CEC about the cancellation of the parliamentary elections of December 7th 2003.

I remind that manipulation the elections is a crime directed against the very bases of any modern society. Since the appointment by elections of the popular representatives in the Parliament is a ground, on which the entire system is based, I repeat, of any society (whether it is Western, Indian, Pakistani and others). I will also remind that the so-called Orange revolution in Ukraine was a reaction of the Ukrainian society to the manipulated results of the presidential elections in Ukraine. It is unfortunate that the Russian opposition did not have the forces and skills to react on the manipulation of the December 2003 elections as fast and as confidently as the Ukrainian opposition did. They should have addressed the court immediately and the suit itself should have been reinforced by street manifestations of the opposition forces. By delaying the bringing of charges until next year’s fall the Russian opposition allowed the tension of the passions caused by the indignation with the manipulation fading away.



“35 years ago border guards have defended the islands on the

Far East in bloody battles. Judging by your saying, you intend to do the same with the Kurils – give them to Japan. And Kaliningrad to comrade Gerhard?” – This is what my comrades Decembrists said, accusing president Putin of squandering Russian territories.

“When the black-haired Chinese will come, the red-haired Russian will seem to be a brother”, goes a Kazakh proverb. Many people have experienced the heavy yoke of Chinese occupation: the Tibetans, the Mongols, the Uygurs and other Turk peoples of Xingjian. Totally submitted to the army-like discipline of military capitalism and the dictate of the Chinese Communist Party, 14 000 000 heads threaten their neighbors only by their multitude. Invite one – everybody will come. China lives slowly; it is not hurrying anywhere. And it builds up its might. Like a boa gradually swallows a rabbit, so Chine swallows its territories.

It is for the reason of a possible Chinese danger that Kazakhstan’s president Nazarbaev moved the capital city from the hot Alma-Ata to the frozen Astana. Since Chinese tanks will take six hours to reach Alma-Ata through the border. The leaders of Kazakhstan’s eastern regions complain that they will soon be left without water: the Chinese are blocking the Irtish River, which takes its source in the mountains of Xingjian. There are only 15 million people in Kazakhstan; it contains extremely rich deposits of oil, uranium and rare metals. Sooner or later most of that territory, voluntarily, masochistically abandoned by Russia will become Chinese. Only recently thanks to the generosity of the Russian president China received its “Khabarovsk’s Kuril Islands” on the Amur River as a gift. The Russian president signed the order for this on October 14th 2004 in Beijing. “During his visit to China in October Vladimir Putin has signed a document about giving the island of Tabarov and a part of the Big Ussuriisky Island to the CPR. From now on the border question is definitely solved and the four-thousand-long border will become calm. /…/ As for Russia, this deal opened up the possibility to conclude billions-worth deals with China,” writes the pro-president newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda with servility. Actually, no deals have ever followed.

Before the president has made his generous gesture, the islands belonged to the Khabarovsk region. Its residents are cautious about the prospect that their islands will now be populated by the Chinese,” points out the site And it continues: “The Islands of Tabarov and the Big Ussuriisky were considered a disputed territory since a long time. In 1991 the USSR president Mikhail Gorbachev has signed a border agreement with China and the border was drawn on Amur’s channel. /…/

The only demarcated zone on the Amur River was situated before Khabarovsk on Kazakevich Channel. There was only 25 kilometers from Khabarovsk to that old border before Putin signed the order to transfer the islands. Now, after the islands were transferred, the border will pass through the city, along its riverside and in the most developed and populated part of Khabarovsk – the Industrial District. As for the disputed islands, they were not disputed originally; they were made such thanks to the long efforts of the Chinese to change the course of the Amur River (and thus its channel), which defines the line of the State border. A long time ago the Chinese have sunk a barge here. ‘In recent years, tells Viktor Ishaev, governor of Khabarovsk’s region, the Chinese have built about three hundred kilometers of dikes on their side in order to artificially turn Amur in the direction they need and empty Kazakevich Channel, whose riverbed defines the border in this zone. That is what I am telling you, the Chinese work slowly, they are not in a hurry. Their history numbers millenniums; they have learned to trick and to cheat long ago. They are always smiling, anticipating the famous American smile by thousands of years. Without problem they have cheated the son of a metalworker and a housekeeper. He gave them the islands himself. Can you imagine that? The servile State Duma has adopted the law on May 20th 2005 and the Federation Council has reported its approval on May 25th.

Meanwhile, the head of the Main Operation Department of the RF Armed Forces Alexandr Rukshin noted, “the second fortified zone of the Far East Military district is situated on two islands on the eastern side of the Russian Chinese border”, Interfax says. The same Rukshin, as a true Russian general afraid that he might lose his general’s post, has instantly justified the transfer of the islands: “However today this zone does not represent any military significance”, he noted, reminding that this fortified zone was created in 1974 in completely different conditions and a different situation. “It is more advantageous and efficient for us to disband this zone, he added. - Today there are almost no troops from China in a zone of three hundred kilometers from Khabarovsk and there is also none in the five hundred kilometers zone on Bolshoy Island on Argun River. (The thing is that by the same order Putin has given China also half of Bolshoy Island on Argun River in Chitinskaya region.) I am writing these lines, trying to be objective and impartial, but the slackness of the Russian general is outraging. What is three hundred kilometers with the modern means of transportation? In a few hours it is possible to transfer Chinese troops to Khabarovsk by car or truck and in one hour by helicopter. These are not the 60s; the Chinese military technology is not worse than ours now. And for saying that there are no troops in a five hundred kilometers zone on Bolshoy Island, the head of the General Staff’s Operation Department should be… Degraded? His ears tweaked? Given the title of the best groveler of the Russian Army? Decide for yourselves.

Since many years Russian border patrols and 16 thousand (!) country cottages of Khabarovsk’s residents are located on Bolshoy Ussuriisky Island. The new border will pass near the chapel of the martyr-warrior Viktor and will divide the island in half. Supposedly the cottages of Khabarovsk’s residents will stay on Russian territory, while the Chinese will get the rest. Tarabarov Island, where buildings of private companies are located will be given to China in totality. In whole the Chinese will get 337 square kilometers of Russian territory.

The islands given by Putin abound with natural resources, writes Nezavisimaya Gazeta. – Up to 70% of the area could be used as arable land, hayfields or pasture. /…/ A polder was built on an area of 61 sq. km, protected from flood by a high dike. Over four thousand tons of potato are grown here per year; in the summer up to 1500 heads of cattle are kept and up to 1700 tons of milk is produced per year. There are, rather there were projects for the enlargement of the polders. The island is inhabited by valuable species of fur animals and waterfowl. The Far eastern and black storks, the black and Japanese cranes, the mandarin duck, the dry-beak goose, the Far eastern leather turtle and others were included in the Red Book of the World Wildlife Fund. Just as the protected fish on the islands: the black Amur and the Chinese perch. The autumn migration of the keta salmon and the lamprey passes near the islands. More fish species than in the entire Volga inhabit the waters near the islands. In other words, it is a corner of paradise twenty-five kilometers away from a big city. There are two towns with permanent residents on the island.

The news about the transfer of the islands came as a surprise to Khabarovsk’s authorities. According to a high functionary of the region’s administration nobody has consulted the governor of Khabarovsk’s region before signing the documents. The governor had his own plans for Bolshoy Ussuriisky Island. He intended to build a bridge. According to Far-eastern economists, giving the islands to China brought a 3-4 billion dollars damage counting the loss of the already invested capital, the transfer of Khabarovsk’s airport and the adjustment of the border on new grounds.

If we turn to the history of the Russian borders on the Far East, then both the historical Russia and we are right. Both banks of Amur were not populated by the Chinese in the XVII century. These were wild lands, populated by rare forest tribes. The Russians assimilated Amur’s banks already in the XVII century. The first Russian-Chinese border agreement can be considered to be the 1689 Nerchinsky treaty, when under the pressure of the Chinese troops, the Russians were forced to acknowledge the sovereignty of China over Amur’s left bank and the Primorye. But around the middle of the XIX century the strengthened Russia bloodlessly annexed 165.9 thousand sq. km of Primorye, which until then it ruled together with China. In result China lost access to the Japanese sea. This acquisition was sealed by the Tientsin treaty on June 1st 1858 and confirmed on November 2nd 1860 by the Beijing treaty. “After the border signs are put, it said, the border line should not be modified”.

When China was occupied by Japan the Soviet Union has put some islands on the Chinese side of Amur and Ussuri under its control for defense reasons. In 1964 both sides developed an agreement project. This is when a “window” has appeared in the form of Tarabarov and Bolshoy Ussuriisky Islands. However the document was not signed (Khrushev was removed), which was the reason why the Chinese have attacked Damansky Island, which they considered theirs, in 1968. After Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991 has signed the agreement that the border with China should pass through Amur’s channel, the Chinese obtained the possibility to dispute Russia’s rights over Bolshoy Ussuriisky and Tarabarov Islands right next to Khabarovsk’s walls. However, as I explain, the problem consists of which of the branches should be considered the principal course of Amur. Before Putin decided to transfer the islands to China, the border passed in the middle of the Kazakevich Channel and China forced Putin to acknowledge that it must pass right through Khabarovsk’s city beach. Putin’s decision minimally proves his incompetence and indifference to the fate of the largest Russian city in this region. And also that he knows nothing about strategy.

And this is not all concerning the border near Khabarovsk. With the help of the Chinese’s efforts Kazakevich Channel is rapidly washing off with sand, I remind the barge sunk on purpose and the dikes, and very fast the disputed Bolshoy Ussuriisky Island will be replaced by a far less disputed peninsula tied to Chinese territory.

Beside this, there is also a problem near Vladivostok. Here the Chinese should get the territory along the left bank of Tumannaya River and the local authorities, the population and rational experts and analysts are starting to protest in mass. The opponents of the bank’s transfer say that nothing would prevent the Chinese from building here a port and make it compete with the Russian Far-eastern harbors.

Why did this happen? Well, first, the cheating of the Chinese allowed them to get Heixiazi Dao Islands (Tarabarov and Bolshoy Ussuriisky) on Amur and Abaigaitui Island (Bolshoy) on Argun River from the stupid tsar Putin. The Chinese have well read the agreement between the RF and the PRC about the Russian Chinese border and in particular its third article. It says: “The line of the Russian-Chinese border, described in article 1 of the present agreement passes through the middle of the channels of navigable rivers and through the middle of non navigable rivers. The exact situations of the channel and its middle are defined during the demarcation of the Russian Chinese border.

The main criterion for defining the main channel is its depth and width. The middle of the channel is a line that defines the middle of a stream on the channel. The main criterion to define the main branch of a river is the water outlay at middle level.

This is why the Chinese needed the barge and the dikes. They are ready to throw baskets of sand into the Amur River; they are ancient and wise. They do not intend just to snatch and run.

The CPRF member Anatoly Lokot spoke against the transfer of the islands in the State Duma. He said that it should be verified, “What is the price of these agreements”. Besides, Rodina’s coordinator Sergey Glotov said that by ratifying this agreement Russia is making concessions to the PRC and asked the minister of foreign affairs Lavrov “to whom else are we going to make such concessions”.

However, as usual it was the National-Bolsheviks who reacted first. In Khabarovsk the regional department headed by Rem Latipov held a protest action against the Chinese embassy: the guys threw bottles with paint at the embassy building. They paid dearly for this: several criminal cases were opened. Latipov spent several months in an isolation ward; he was sentenced to prison conditionally and up to now cannot extricate himself fully from the hands of the Russian justice.

What concerns the sessions of the State Duma on May 20th 2005, the minister Sergey Lavrov absurdly declared: “In the legal plan there is no place to concessions or us transferring our territory to China”. (So what does take place, Mr. Lavrov, you, diplomat?) Lavrov added that the president is certain “that this will strengthen security in the RF”. And the head of the border service, first deputy of the FSB director Vladimir Pronichev said, “the agreement on the Russian Chinese border will contribute to the reinforcement of Russia’s border security”. The deputies quietly believed Lavrov and voted on the same day. 301 deputies voted for the ratification, 80 against and two abstained, as informed the ITAR-TASS agency.

It is curious that Lavrov did not deny that Russia has unregulated territorial issues with several States. He named the USA (in the Bering Strait), Norway (in the Barents Sea) and “besides, Russia still hasn’t signed the border agreement with Latvia. Although this agreement is ready we are naturally against any attempts of a unilateral interpretation of this agreement”, Lavrov said. He reminded about other territorial conflicts on the border with Georgia and other “small issues of demarcation that need to be clarified”.

So the National-Bolsheviks, the 39 of them who are detained in Moscow prisons since December 14th 2004 are completely right in their denouncing of the transfer of territories right next to Khabarovsk’s walls to China and in their fearing that other territories might be transferred as well. What does that agreement with Latvia mentioned by Lavrov say? Isn’t it a part of the Pskov region, the Pitalovski area that Latvia has been claiming for itself since a long time? I am extremely worried that Lavrov is already against a unilateral interpretation of the agreement. So there is something that might be interpreted unilaterally?

I will mention here the declaration of Khabarovsk’s NBP on November 5th 2004. This is the most decent document on the subject of the islands. The more so that it is reinforced by the prison detention of its authors, beating and repressions that have not ceased to this day. I have only shortened it in the beginning. The title is “Island Betrayal”. The text: “On October 14th president Putin has committed an act of political betrayal towards Khabarovsk’s residents as well as our entire people. During a visit to Beijing Putin got generous and during the conclusion of the agreement about the Russian-Chinese border with a stroke of the pen gave Bolshoy Island on Argun River, Tarabarov and half of Bolshoy Ussuriisky with Kazakevich Channel to the Chinese. These islands are situated near Khabarovsk and their transfer to China automatically turns our city into a border city. /…/ The Chinese tried to annex the disputed islands by treachery: they were sinking boats and barges with sand near the islands from their side – in order to dry out the channel and get the islands to be on their territory. In return the Russian Kazaks built the chapel of the martyr-warrior Viktor on Bolshoy Ussuriisky with the inscription “Even one in the field is a warrior”. The 30-meters-high chapel stands on the highest point of the island and is perfectly seen from the Chinese side. Now after the signed agreement the chapel will stand right on the border.

In all the Chinese will get about 370 sq. km of Russian land and all of this without a single shot. I do not think that the transfer of the islands is the result of the Chinese diplomats’ excellent work. Simply Putin is our ‘kind’ sovereign: ‘You want islands? Take’em!’ The Chinese just slyly smiled and thanked VVP for his ‘generosity’. It is always easy to give what does not belong to you. And Vova did not feel uneasy.

There is a special fortified zone located on Bolshoy Ussuriisky. According to plans, in case of a Chinese invasion it should retain the enemies during 45 minutes at the gates of the city. Now there won’t be any need in that – in case of an attack it will take the Chinese half an hour to seize the entire city. Moreover, the take-out trajectory of the 11th army’s military planes was passing above Tarabarov Island. Now the planes will not fly… So the military consequences of the islands’ transfer appear quiet clearly – Khabarovsk has turned into a vulnerable target for its southern neighbor. Even the fat asses from the district’s General Staff and the region’s administration understand that: in case of an invasion they will not be able to get the hell out and they will have to support the occupation with the rest of the residents. /…/

As for the political aspect of Putin’s transfer of the islands, it will certainly cause territorial pretensions from our other ‘good’ neighbors. The Japanese will politely ask for Kunashir, the Germans will demand Kaliningrad with the whole region. How could our Vova refuse it to them? It would be double standards politics: why China can and not the others? What a generous soul you have, Vova! /…/

What concerns the attitude of the population, then the news about the upcoming transfer of the islands came as a surprise to many Khabarovsk residents and caused a negative reaction. Criticism was heard in the local media as well as in the region’s administration. The region’s Legislative Duma adopted an address to the State Duma and the Federation Council, in which it expressed its concern about any demarcation changes. Still, in whole all this functionary protest attitude recalled a lackey’s resentment of his master’s foolishness. Khabarovsk residents limit themselves to ‘kitchen protest’; it is easy to illustrate the dominating attitude with the opinion of a private soldier of the railway forces (this unit is located on Bolshoy Ussuriisky) from the article of a local newspaper: ‘Our fathers and grandfathers fought for these lands; they shed their blood and the president has given everything away with a stroke of the pen. He feels good; he lives in Moscow, but we are here near a billion of Chinese people. You can’t just give away your lands like that. Although this is probably done with a defined State goal. Only what will we have from this? Again, like in the song ‘The Russian and the Chinese are brothers forever’?’ In private conversations with ordinary people I hear swearing after the words ‘president’ and ‘Putin’. I doubt that they will forgive Vova for this political betrayal. The attitude is even more radical on Bolshoy Ussuriisky itself. The residents reacted very negatively to the territorial modification. Some intend to start a guerrilla war: ‘We will not let these Chinese people to our islands so easily. We will arm ourselves and beat them.’ Well, it’s only words.

Nothing much can be said about the reaction of the political forces from the fact that there was almost none. The first to react was a couple of young nationalists, history students who by night were spreading leaflets in the city decorated with two ‘sieg’ runes and headed with the words ‘We were abandoned’. The inexperienced fighters for the nation were arrested during this activity. The media were about to attribute this action to the nazbols. But we joined the political fight for the islands together with the CPRF. A picket near the embassy, a collect of signatures against the transfer of the islands, ‘Putin is a traitor’ graffiti on the fences. Tikhonov’s party and the agrarians have also spoken out. The first with a bleak picket, the second with an even more bleak declaration. Zhirinovsky’s people kept silent: their ‘fuehrer’ was in Ukraine; the party doesn’t have an official position. Well, sure, Zhirinovsky doesn’t want to mess up with Putin. And in the whole, there was a silence.

It is obvious that all the fuss with the transfer of islands is just a way to observe the reaction of the population and of the political organizations. In case of a large-scale protest campaign (throughout the entire Russia and not just in Khabarovsk, whose residents are all convinced that nothing depends on them) the power would maybe have to go back on its word and cancel the signed agreements. In case of a deathly silence broken only by sporadic protest actions we should expect further territorial losses. Vova is preparing to visit Japan and that means that the Kuril Islands could repeat the fate of Amur’s. Then we could even expect to lose Kaliningrad.

Putin doesn’t behave like society’s servant but like a bad tsar (actually, even tsars didn’t give up land; they conquered it), thinking that Russia is his feudal estate that he can use as he pleases. Even the dumbest people must realize that he’s a danger to Russia and our people. The slogan ‘Our fatherland is in danger! Everybody against Putin!’ becomes more and more urgent. /…/

Rem Latipov. Khabarovsk

The fifth NBP congress on November 30th 2004 adopted a resolution that categorically condemns the transfer of the islands.


In their “long list of claims” to Putin the Decembrists put the following as number nine:

9. The victims of Nord-Ost and Beslan. There is no ‘international terrorism’, there is a war in Chechnya that you weren’t able to win and now you don’t have the courage to stop. Confess that this war is not for national interests but for your personal ratings, for your ‘tough guy’ reputation.

The National-Bolsheviks have absolutely justly formulated the first part of their accusation. In fact, it was not agents of international terrorism who committed the terrorist acts of 1999-2005 (years of Putin’s rule), but wreckers sent from Chechnya. This circumstance is indicated not only by the national composition of the wreckers’ “commandos” killed in the Center on Dubrovka (Nord-Ost) and in Beslan and in all “commandos” we know that have committed the terrorist acts, – almost all of them, the overwhelming majority, are Chechens, but also by a simple comparison. Think about it: there are no terrorist acts on the territory of our neighbor Ukraine; there are no terrorist acts on the territory of our neighbor Belarus. Yet we have a common history and we equally live today in History’s post soviet period. Then why they do not have terrorism while we do? The answer is simple: neither Ukraine, nor Belarus lead a war in Chechnya.

President Putin and his group did not win the war in Chechnya since being men of violence from education and life experience, they know only how to employ police, violent measures for solving political problems. But political problems cannot be solved by police methods a priori. This is why when they suppressed Ichkeria’s army with the help of aviation and artillery, superior technical might, the federal forces have only forced this army to switch to a guerrilla war. This is a war in which wrecker groups that are sent into the Russian Federation are now the principal operational method. Result: the war is not won; it became a guerilla war. What Putin’s group really succeeded in doing (and what did not exist during the first Chechen campaign in 1994-96), is the creation of a civil war in Chechnya. Some clans of Chechens realized that they could not overcome Russia in a frontal war. Such clans (I could name the principal ones: Kadirov, Yamadayev and Alkhanov) joined the federal troops in order to gain victory over the opposing clans (or groups of militants) subordinated to Maskhadov and Basayev. They were gaining psychological and military skills with Russia’s help. In its turn Russia willingly let them organize and arm themselves and it was pleased to transfer a part of the burden of the Chechen war on them. However gradually but naturally the roles switched: today the federals are practically fighting for the interests of the Kadirov, Yamadayev and Alkhanov clans since the Russian interest for Chechnya is exclusively applied, moral, I would say. But certainly not territorial. I will gladly explain what I mean. Russia is leading a war in Chechnya, the nazbols were right: for Putin’s personal ratings, for his “tough guy” reputation. But I will add – also for the reputation of a tough Russia and for the quite false supposition that if they “release” Chechnya other North Caucasian and Muslim republics will follow suit. The supposition is false because by releasing Chechnya, the negative impression of this “release” could be balanced by taking into Russia the fertile lands of Abkhazia and Southern Ossetia. I will note that besides, in other North Caucasian republics the population is mostly Russian or mixed. Chechnya and the Chechens are rather a huge exception from the rule, than the rule.

And so. A civil war in Chechnya is in fact, Putin’s group achievement. Until now the situation of a civil war worked for Putin. However everything is changing before our eyes and will change not in Putin’s favor. The thing is that both the Kadirovs and Yamadayevs are just as Chechen as Maskhadov (was, of course) or Basayev. They are not supposed to like Russians and all the more Russians on their land. They keep showing this more and more. Not so long ago, in summer 2005 Ramzan Kadirov said that there is no more need to send Russian policemen in Chechnya, that Chechnya’s police is already strong enough; they are numerous and can face the militants in the mountains. What is this if not a diplomatic request to withdraw the troops? Yes, this is a diplomatic request to withdraw the Russian troops. It is justly formulated and the Russian policemen themselves will be glad not to ride to Chechnya’s deathly spaces. And what did the terrorists, or wreckers, request in Nord-Ost and Beslan from Putin? The withdrawal of Russian troops. So it turns out that we, Russia, are losing Chechnya both ways. Both in case of Basayev’s victory (today it appears as problematic) and in case of Kadirov’s victory Chechnya will not be Russian. And I am so right!

Now more about the motives that led Putin to war in Chechnya. I will add another one to the ones enumerated by the nazbols. In essence Putin might have given Chechnya to Kadirov Senior right after he was elected president of the Chechen republic. This did not happen because president Putin does not lead this war only for his ratings and the image of a tough guy but also for maintaining the de facto state of emergency regime that reigns in Russian cities. If Chechnya is released, there will be no pretext for the police State in the RF to continue its existence. The wrecker groups will stop to send suicide bombers from Chechnya – then good-bye, metal detectors and searches, they will have to remove part of the police from the streets and a part of the hatred for the Caucasians will disappear. Even the society we have will ask for relaxation in the end when it will see that the Chechens have gotten to their business after the Russian troops finally left their territory. I formulate it again: Putin needs the Chechen war to sustain the police State in Russia, to limit the personal and political rights of the citizens in order to keep and reinforce his power. The nazbols haven’t said this, but I do.

Let us try to understand how many human lives president Putin costs to Russia; what is the war in Chechnya expressed in losses of human lives. I will cite some numbers: Moscow Business Times on 16.08.2005 writes: “For the first and second military campaigns in Chechnya 106 thousand people have died. This was told by the head of Chechnya’s State Council Taus Jabrailov. ‘According to our estimates about 150-160 thousand people have died during the first and second campaign in Chechnya. Of them, 30-40 thousand are Chechens’, Jabrailov said on a press conference. According to him there was a lot of victims among civilians during the first campaign. Mostly among the Russian-speaking residents of the republic who had nowhere to go from the cities, in contrary to the Chechens who were hiding at their relatives homes in the mountains. Jabrailov added that these numbers include the total number of losses, including the federal forces and the law enforcing bodies as well as the militants. Last week the Defense Ministry published the number of losses of the federal troops from the beginning of the second Chechnya campaign. According to this data 3 459 military have died in Chechnya from 1999 and 32 have disappeared.”

It is interesting that according to the official data of the same Defense Ministry (the data of Radio Svoboda on 21.10.03, two years before the numbers given above) 4 572 Russian military have died during the second Chechen campaign from October 1st 1999 to December 23rd 2002. Another 15,5 thousand military were wounded. No comments needed here. Let the Defense Ministry explain such a discrepancy in numbers; its striking lie. On the same Radio Svoboda program on 21.10.2003, the Novaya Gazeta military correspondent mayor Vyacheslav Izmailov mentioned his own data: “The first Chechen campaign lasted two years, from the end of 1994 to the end of 1996; about 6 thousand military have died. And about the same number have died during the 4 years of the actual Chechen campaign. In whole it makes about 12 thousand military. About 30 thousand wounded.”

And here is the data of the human rights center Memorial on 02.07.05: “During the first war in Chechnya in 1994-96 up to 50 thousand civilians have died… The quantity of civilians who died during the actual war in Chechnya from 1999 is from 10 to 20 thousand, without counting the 3 to 5 thousand who have disappeared.”

Valentina Melnikova from the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers said in an interview to BBC on 02.18.03: “Our estimations show that over 11 thousand soldiers have died in combat or from wounds and another 25 thousand were wounded during the war”. The same BBC said: “According to the Russian authorities about 15 thousand Chechen militants were killed in the war.

In Novaya Gazeta on 08.15.05 the same military analyst Vyacheslav Izmailov sums up the quantity of Russian military losses during the second (Putin’s) Chechen campaign: “There was over 7 700 military dead during the second Chechen campaign.” (I remind that Izmailov gave the previous number of losses, 6 thousand, in 2003.)

If we are to resume this data, it turns out that during Putin’s presidential term 7 700 RF military, 7,5 thousand militants and about (let us take an average number without counting the disappeared) 15 thousand civilians lost their lives in Chechnya. Over 30 thousand people in total. Concerning the total quantity of wounded, we have Izmailov’s data only about the military: 30 thousand for both campaigns, divided by two makes 15 thousand. This is what the second Chechen war brought us because of Putin. Try to imagine thirty thousand dead bodies on the ground – it is an awful lot. What did we get in exchange for these lives? The hatred of the Chechens and the grief of our mothers. There is no other benefit. The mythical Chechen oil exists in a quantity sufficient for the personal enrichment of a few generals and militants but its supplies and output are absolutely miserable, in order to lose so much lives.

I foresee an opposing argument: after all Basayev entered Dagestan with two thousand militants. Yes, that is right. However he was beaten out after combats in August-September 1999. Only 500 Russian military died during that period until October 1st 1999. They should have beaten him out of Dagestan and stop. Or get to Terek River and stop and begin to build a real State border. But it was decided otherwise. Putin was the prime minister and successor.

Let us try to reconstruct the development of events during the second Chechen war. So:

August 1999 – Shamil Basayev invaded Dagestan.

August 31st 1999 – Explosion in the capital city’s downtown, 1 dead, 40 wounded.

September 4th 1999 - a five-stories home was blown up in Dagestan’s city of Buynaxk. 64 dead, including 23 children, 146 wounded.

September 8th – Explosion of a house in Moscow. Over ninety dead, about 200 wounded.

September 13th – A violent explosion in an eight-stories house on Kashirskoe road. Over 120 dead including 13 children.

September 16th – A violent explosion in downtown of Volgodonsk of the Rostov region, in the yard of a nine-stories house. 18 people died, including two children; 310 were injured.

September 22nd 1999 – An event worth mentioning here happened in Ryazan. On September 22nd at 9PM the bus driver Alexey Kartofelnikov noticed that suspicious people were dragging bags from a white car to the basement of the house where he was living. Kartofelnikov got worried and called the police.

The police arrived and discovered bags with wires in the basement. They evacuated the people from the house.

At 10:30PM on the same day the explosive device was put off (the timer was set at 5:30AM on September 23rd). The chief of the police’s technical department Yuri Tkachenko found that there was hexogen in the mix taken from the bags.

September 23rd 5:30-6AM. After the bags were brought out of the basement, the residents were allowed to go back in.

On September 23rd 1999 an information group of Ryazan’s police said that three bags of hexogen were found in the basement of a residential house and a terrorist act was prevented and that the employees of a FSB laboratory in Moscow will be able to say if this was a provocation or an attempted terrorist act after the expertise. On the same day the police press center said that hexogen was found during the analysis of the substance in the bags. At the same time the head of Ryazan’s FSB, the general-major Sergeev congratulated the residents with their second birth. The head of Ryazan’s police, the lieutenant-colonel Kabashov said in an interview to the Versia program that the expertise confirmed the presence of hexogen.

Vladimir Putin has also spoken – at that time he was prime minister. In the Vesti program he said: “Concerning the events in Ryazan I don’t think that this was a failure. If these explosive bags were noticed, it means that at least the population reacts the right way. /…/ No panic, no mercy to the bandits.

On September 24th on a conference on the fight with organized crime the police head Rushaylo said that a terrorist act was prevented in Ryazan.

And suddenly after all these declarations of high ranked officials – the prime minister, the interior minister, analysts and FSB officers – on September 24th the head of the FSB Center of public relations Zdanovich made a surprising declaration that there was no hexogen in the bags and there was no detonator but that there were “some elements of a detonator” and “similar devices”. On the same day at noon the FSB director Patrushev said in an interview to NTV: “The incident in Ryazan was not a bombing. This was a training exercise. There was sugar in those bags”.

Even Patrushev’s subordinates in Ryazan could not agree with such a turn. Maybe they would have agreed but their professional honor was at stake. Ryazan’s FSB published a surprising declaration, surprising if we take in account the habit of FSB employees to keep silence and not to argue with the management publicly. “As it became known, the imitation of an explosive device discovered on 09.22.99 was part of a training exercise. We were surprised to hear this information in a moment when the FSB has identified the place of residence of the individuals implicated in the installation of the explosive device and their arrest was being prepared…

I will interrupt here this very interesting story in order to continue the description of the events during Putin’s rule concerning the Chechen war and the terrorist acts directly linked to it. So that the integrity of the story is not broken. I will only notice that this strange Ryazan story served as a base to accuse the FSB of organizing the terrorist acts in Buynaxk, Moscow and Volgodonsk. I ask you to take note of the dates: August 31st, September 4th, September 8th, September 13th, September 16th and September 22nd. Each four, five or six days. But let us continue in chronological order.

September 29th 1999 – the federal troops crossed the border with Chechnya and started the military operations (actually continued them but on Chechnya’s territory) against the Chechen militants. The troops rapidly cross the steppes to Terek River. Grozny is ahead.

October 22nd 1999 – Several explosions take place in Grozny, which according to the Chechen side result in the deaths of 137 people and the wounds of 250 other. These were our people working, wreckers.

December 1999 – February 2000 - Grozny is taken after a difficult operation.

February 7th 2000 - the defense minister Igor Sergeev declared that the liberation of Grozny is over. The minister said that about 450 militants were liquidated in the last day.

February 21st 2000 – a violent explosion in the evening on the south border of Dagestan’s capital city Makhachkala with the goal of killing the head of Makhachkala’s border patrol, the general-major Sergey Bondarev. The general-major was not harmed.

March 13th 2000 – capture in Chechnya of the field commander Salman Raduyev by the federal troops, after which he was put in Lefortovo prison in Moscow.

April 21st – Gennady Troshev is appointed commander of the united group of federal troops on the North Caucasus.

May 1st 2000 – unsuccessful attempt on Chechnya’s mufti Akhmad Kadirov.

May 18th – Viktor Kazantzev is appointed by the president as representative of the president in the North Caucasus federal district. (Soon it was renamed South federal district).

May 30th – the deputy government representative in Chechnya Sergey Zverev and the mayor’s assistant Nurseda Khabuseeva died in a terrorist act. Grozny’s mayor Supyan Mochkhayev was wounded in the head.

May 31st 2000 – An explosion took place in Volgograd next to a control post. Two soldiers were killed and fifteen heavily wounded.

June 12th 2000 – the mufti Akhmad Kadirov is appointed head of administration of the Chechen republic.

June 14th – Akhmad Kadirov makes a declaration, in which he summons the militants “to stop their resistance, put down their weapons and return to peaceful life”.

August 8th 2000 – an explosion in Moscow in an underground crossing under Pushkin Square. 13 people died (seven died on the spot and six other in the hospital), 118 people including six children were wounded.

October 12th – a large terrorist act in Grozny near the building of Oktyabrsky police department. In the moment when a car with Prosecutor General’s employees was entering the building a car stuffed with explosives was blown up. 10 people died, 16 wounded.

February 5th 2001 – An explosion took place in Moscow on Belorusskaya-Koltzevaya subway station. 15 people were injured mainly with burns and concussions.

June 24th 2001 – the field commander Arbi Barayev was killed.

September 24th – Adam Umarov, head of an armed group part of a unit headed by the field commander Ruslan Gelayev, was arrested in Chechnya.

November 1st 2001 – One of the most famous spiritual leaders of Muslims Magomet Dolkayev was killed in Chechnya.

December 5th 2001 – Salman Raduyev was found guilty by Dagestan’s Supreme court in all charges: attack on Kizlyar, illegal capturing of people, capturing Penzen’s OMON agents, stealing weapons, organizing illegal armed groups.

January 17th 2002 – last night the field commander nicknamed “Uzbek” was destroyed in Chechnya. He was the “third person” around the Arab military fighting in Chechnya – Khattab.

May 9th 2002 – terrorist act in Kaspiisk. The explosive device detonated on the side of a road when a festive column was passing. Forty-five people died, over 170 were wounded.

August 19th 2002 – the field commander Mussana was killed in Chechnya.

October 10th – the building of Zavodsk’s police department was bombed. Twenty-five people died.

October 19 – an explosive device hidden in a car detonated near a MacDonald’s on Pokrishkin Street. Eight people were wounded; one of the injured later died in the hospital.

October 23rd 2002 – a unit of Chechen terrorists headed by Basayev captured the Theater Center on Dubrovka in Moscow where about a thousand viewers and actors of the Nord-Ost musical were present at the time. The principal demand of the terrorists was the withdrawal of troops from Chechnya’s territory. On October 26th all the militants and a part of the hostages, 129 people, were destroyed in the course of a special operation to liberate the hostages (nerve gas was put in through the ventilation shafts).

December 28th 2002 – the House of government of Chechnya was blown up. 70 people died and about 200 were wounded.

March 23rd 2003 – a referendum in Chechnya about the support of a new Chechen constitution and laws about the elections of the republic’s president and parliament. The election committee obtained incredible results. 95,97% of the referendum participants voted for the Constitution project. 95,4% of the electors voted for the law about the elections of Chechnya’s president and 96,05% supported the law about the parliamentary elections.

May 12th 2003 – a car stuffed with explosives detonated near the buildings of the district administration and the FSB in the Chechen town of Znamenskoe. 60 people died, over 200 were wounded.

June 5th 2003 – a terrorist act on Moscow’s airfield in Tushino where a rock-festival was taking place. 16 people died, 57 were wounded.

August 1st 2003 – the building of Mozdox hospital in North Ossetia was blown up. 50 people died, over 60 were wounded.

December 5th 2003 – the Kislovodsk-Essentuki train was blown up in Stavropol region. 44 people died and 156 were wounded.

December 9th 2003 – two female suicide bombers detonated an explosive device near the National Hotel in Moscow. 6 people died.

February 6th 2004 – an explosion in a train in the span between Avtozavodskaya and Paveletzkaya stations. 40 people died, over 10 were wounded.

May 9th 2004 – Chechnya’s president Akhmad Kadirov was blown up during a festive concert in the Dynamo stadium in Grozny.

June 21st 2004 – Chechen wreckers attempted a large-scale attack on Ingushetia. Police and prison buildings were attacked as well as the headquarters of Nazransk’s border patrol; attacks were made on Karabulak, Sleptzovskaya and Orjonikidzevskaya villages. About twenty administrative buildings and military objects were attacked. 88 people died, most of them police and FSB officers, 117 people were wounded.

August 26th 2004 – crash of two Tu-134 and Tu-154 planes going to Volgograd and Sochi. 89 people were victims of the crashes.

August 29th 2004 - presidential elections in Chechnya. The ministry of Interior Alu Alkhanov won. Over 73% of the republic’s citizens participating in the elections voted for him. Some candidates were removed from the elections under various pretexts or were convinced not to participate.

August 31st 2004 – explosion in Moscow near Rizhskaya station. 10 people died, 51 were wounded.

September 1st 2004 – capture of hostages in School Number 1 of Beslan in North Ossetia. According to Beslan’s teachers’ committee there were over 1200 hostages. According to the official data of the Prosecutor General 331 hostages died in Beslan including 172 children.

March 8th 2005 – the second president of the Ichkeria republic Aslan Maskhadov was killed in the Tolstoy-Yurt town.

According to the official news counting from 1999, 36 terrorist acts in Russia took the lives of 1 397 people and 1 750 were wounded.

So according to the shyest estimates the stubborn desire of V. V. Putin and his group to keep the Chechens in the RF cost about 32 thousand lives. Again imagine these hecatombs of dead bodies laid out on Ichkeria’s long suffering land, no, on Moscow’s sidewalks. Blue, yellow, torn apart…



On October 23rd 2002 I was in Saratov’s central prison, in the 3rd section for those charged with heavy crimes: this evening, as usual, I was brought late from court. My cellmates left me food; I was heating my supper on the oven when the TV program was interrupted with a special announcement. It was (9:05PM. The announcer said that terrorists have captured the Theater Center on Dubrovka in Moscow, which was presenting the Nord-Ost musical. Around one thousand people together with the viewers, the actors and the employees found themselves hostages.

A group of about 50 terrorists arrived to the building on small buses. They were armed with guns, hand grenades and explosive devices. There were about ten women among them calling themselves widows of those dead for Ichkeria’s freedom. The armed people declared themselves fighters of the 29th division; as it later turned out the unit was headed by the field commander Movsar Barayev, nephew of the famous Chechen militant Arbi Barayev, killed in the summer of 2001.

In the second act, when a plane was supposed to appear on stage (the climax) armed Chechens wearing black overalls and camouflage, most of them in masks came out on the scene. Actually they have not only appeared on the scene but from all the doors. Let us follow the chronology of the events.

October 23rd

At about 10PM a police cordon is set around the building.

10:26PM President Putin was informed about the capture.

At 11PM the plan “Storm” was put in action; according to it all police and FSB officers must arrive to their sections. The security of the buildings where power bodies are located as well as vitally important objects of the city’s infrastructure is reinforced. The mayor Luzhkov arrived to the building as well as highly ranked officials from the police, the FSB, the Prosecutor General and the Ministry of emergency situations. Operational headquarters were organized. They were headed by the deputy director of the FSB, Vladimir Pronichev. SOBR, OMON, Sofrin’s brigade, FSB sections Alfa and Vimpel and other special units were called to Dubrovka.

By midnight the traffic on the neighboring streets is completely stopped. The police cordoned off the journalists and the crowds of idlers. The operational headquarters attempt to contact the terrorists. By midnight without setting any condition the terrorists have released some dozens of hostages, among whom children, women, Muslims and some foreign citizens, in particular Georgians. Ten people escaped through the windows of secondary rooms.

At midnight the Caucasus-Center agency published information saying that the taking of hostages was done by a unit of suicide bombers under the leadership of Movsar Barayev. The Chechens have only one request – “stop the war and begin the immediate withdrawal of the Russian occupation troops from Chechnya.” “The Chechen mujahideen have come to Moscow in order to die and not to survive,” the agency cited commander Barayev. Besides the agency affirmed that the militants have shot the FSB officer Olga Romanova, 26 years old who tried to get into the building. (Later it turned out that the woman was blind drunk.)

October 24th

At 12:44 an midnight the terrorists released a hostage so that he could tell their demands to the operational headquarters. They were the same: stop the war in Chechnya. If a raid is attempted they will blow up the building.

1:32AM several gunshots are heard near the Center on Dubrovka.

At 1:36AM Patrushev informed Putin that sections of the FSB Center of Special Assignment as well as the special section of the police and the Defense ministry were ready for action. Evacuators remove all the cars parked on Dubrovskaya Street. They are preparing to raid.

At 2:00AM October 24th the State Duma deputy from Chechnya Aslanbek Aslakhanov had a telephone conversation with Movsar Barayev. The negotiations did not yield results, but the sides agreed to reestablish the contact at 4:00.

At 3:00AM the terrorists liberate another 17 hostages without setting any conditions. In an official statement the FSB said that it does not intend to raid the building.

3:10AM. It became known that there are 64 foreigners among the hostages (4 from the USA, 7 from Germany, 3 from the UK, 23 from Ukraine, etc.)

3:35AM. The terrorists voluntarily released 15 children from the building. They were released in small groups.

4:00AM. A short telephone contact between Aslakhanov and Barayev. Barayev repeats: “Let the troops out. We are suicide bombers; we came here to die.” The deputy Aslakhanov is not given plenary powers. The contact ends. An hour later Aslakhanov contacts Barayev again. The conversation is even shorter. Without result.

4:04AM. President Putin canceled his trip to Germany and Portugal.

6:05AM. There is some shooting in the building.

7:40AM. The terrorists started to write down the names of the hostages.

08:00AM. The Health Ministry says that there is no dead or wounded among the hostages.

09:00AM. An explosion detonated in the building. A small one. The origin of the explosion is not found.

09:16AM. Information appeared that the RF government proposed the terrorists to go to some other country.

09:20AM. One of the terrorists contacted He refuted the information that the militants asked a huge sum of money from the authorities in exchange for the hostages. “I want to remind you: we don’t need money; we need freedom. Because some of your channels said we asked for money. We don’t ask; if we need it, we’ll take it.”

09: 25AM. Another ten trucks with military men of the domestic troops arrive to the Center on Dubrovka.

09:30AM. The terrorists promise to release all the captured foreigners at noon.

10:20AM. ORT and REN-TV journalists are allowed inside the cordoned zone.

10:30AM. The terrorists demand the arrival of representatives from the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders for talks.

11:00AM. The commander in chief of the domestic troops said that the terrorists have not made any contact for almost eight hours.

11:49AM. The terrorists released a boy who had an asthma attack.

11:50AM. Preparations are made in the Sklifosovsky Institute to receive a large quantity of “sick” people, in other words there was an order to prepare to receive the wounded from Dubrovka, which directly indicates that the decision to raid has already been made.

12: 05. FBI agents arrive to the building. They join the group of diplomats.

12:10. The terrorists refuse to release the foreign hostages because the ambassadors of the countries whose citizens were hostages did not arrive by noon.

12:15. The State Duma prepares a statement in relation to the capture.

12:20. The terrorists said that they are ready to speak only with the Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

1:00PM. A terrorist representative who called himself Abu Said contacted the operational headquarters and confirmed their political demands, declaring that there are 50 fighters of the Ichkeria army in the mined building – 25 men and 25 women.

1:25PM. In its statement the State Duma says: “saving the lives and health of the hostages is an obvious priority. All the efforts of the RF State authorities, society and the media must be directed to insure this goal.”

1:30PM. Red Cross representatives led out an old UK citizen from the building.

1:40PM. The State Duma deputy and singer Josef Kobzon and the Sunday Times journalist accompanying him led the Pavlov Posad resident Lyubov Kornilova and her three children out of the Center.

3:00PM. The hostages write an address to president V. Putin demanding to begin the fastest withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya. One of the hostages, president of the association of children’s cardiologists Maria Shkolnikova said this by telephone. The hostages also hope that they will be able to address Putin live on broadcast.

3:10PM. Doctors Without Borders assumed the negotiators’ mission.

3:35PM. The State Duma deputies Irina Khakamada and Josef Kabzon entered the Center.

4:05PM. The deputies Khakamada and Kobzon left the building without released hostages. They were negotiating with a terrorist who called himself Abu Bakar and he said that if Chechnya’s head of administration, Akhmad Kadirov, arrives, they would release 50 hostages. They will not release anyone else. Irina Khakamada said that the terrorists are not crazy and are ready to led doctors to the hostages but only if they have foreign passports. And that they have proposals to regulate the situation in Chechnya.

4:45PM. The psychologists started to fear that the hostages are hit by the “Stokholm syndrome”. When contacting the media by their cellphones many of them affirm that the terrorists should and must be understood and that their demands must be fulfilled.

5:00PM. The terrorists said that from now on they would negotiate only with the official authorities.

5:50PM. A child who needed an urgent hospitalization was brought out of the building on a stretcher. Inside the building there are two Jordanian doctors and Leonid Roshal, head of Children’s Trauma Department of the Pediatric Scientific Center Institute.

6:30PM. Film crews of the NTV and REN-TV television companies went to the building.

6:38PM. Two hostages, Elena Zinovieva and Svetlana Kononova escaped from the bathroom’s window. After this the terrorists stopped to let the hostages to the bathroom and started to use the orchestra pit instead of the bathroom.

6:52PM. The terrorists expelled the doctors out of the building and refused to take food and water for the hostages.

7:30PM. The hostages summon again Russia’s government to withdraw “at least some military sub- unit from Chechnya. /…/ It is a question of minutes of waiting.” The hostages also earnestly request to avoid any violent actions and not to begin the raid of the building.

8:16PM. The terrorists released Maria Shkolnikova, president of the Russian association of children’s cardiologists.

8:30PM. Two Red Cross employees entered the building and gave medicaments.

8:30PM. The official statement of the government: if the hostages are released the terrorists will be able to leave the RF territory unhindered.

9:50PM. The terrorists refused again to take food and water for the hostages.

11:40PM. Grigory Yavlinsky entered the talks with the terrorists.

October 25th

12:58. Grigory Yavlinsky came out of the building without any released hostages. He declined to comment his conversation with the terrorists.

1:35AM. Dr. Roshal was allowed to the terrorists. He gave them medicaments. Some doctors representing the Red Cross entered the building with him.

1:40AM. The terrorists led Russian journalists into the building.

2:40AM. An NTV film crew recorded an interview with the terrorists’ leader. Movsar Basayev said that the action was prepared two months. The fighters have often come to see the Nord-Ost show. Basayev said that he could release all the children by tomorrow morning.

5:30AM. One person was released.

6:30AM. The terrorists released another six hostages.

7:00. NTV showed images taken in the Center on Dubrovka.

7:20AM. Sergey Ignatchenko, deputy director of the FSB’s Center of Special Assignment said: “They force the hostages to make cellphone calls to their relatives and demand that their relatives hold pickets near the House of Culture demanding the withdrawal of troops from Chechnya.

8.20AM. The terrorists agreed to release the captured foreign citizens in the presence of the States’ ambassadors.

8.30AM. The heating main in the building was broken. The first floors are flooded with water. The terrorists accuse the special services of provocation.

08.45AM. A crowd of the hostages’ relatives appeared near the captured building with posters reading: “Down with the war in Chechnya!”

9.40AM. Ambassadors have gathered near the building. The terrorists do not make any contact. The USA ambassador Alexander Vershbow is among them. They wait a certain time after which they leave.

11.00AM. The terrorists promise to release the children if an anti-military meeting is held on the Red Square before noon. The children were allowed to call their relatives.

12.20. Five Red Cross doctors and Leonid Roshal entered the building.

12.35. The terrorists released 8 children without setting any conditions. The Red Cross doctors led them out.

12.50. Dr. Roshal came out. He said that he managed to give two packages and a package of medicaments.

1:10PM. The FSB Center of Special Assignment says that the terrorists continue to hold 16 children.

1:20PM. The deputy minister of the Interior Vladimir Vasiliev said that the operational headquarters attempted to contact Aslan Maskhadov but they did not succeed.

2:10PM. The official authorities refuted Vasiliev’s claim that they have tried to contact Maskhadov.

2:30PM. The terrorists demanded to put them immediately in contact with the former Ingushetia president Ruslan Aushev.

2:50PM. The journalist Anna Politkovskaya entered the building. Roshal was with her with a package of medicaments.

3:15PM. The terrorists told the Sunday Times journalist Mark Franketti that they consider their mission accomplished and “do not intend to go anywhere, with or without the hostages until there are changes made in Chechnya.”

3:30PM. The relatives of the hostages began a demonstration on the Red Square under the slogan “Down with the war in Chechnya!” Some demonstrators were arrested and taken away by the police.

3:50PM. The FSB director Nikolay Patrushev said that the terrorists will be left alife if they release the hostages. “We are continuing the negotiations and I hope they will bring the release of the hostages.” He made this statement after a meeting with president Putin. The Minister of Interior Boris Grizlov added: “Presently the situation with the hostages is difficult; there are sick people, there are problems with food and water. Some need medical assistance that they don’t get.” There are reasons to believe that it is on that meeting with Putin that the final decision about raiding the building was taken. On the dawn of the following day. A raid that would be disguised as a forced reaction to the execution of the hostages, which actually never happened. And it began…

4:15PM. Some media said that the terrorists made an ultimatum: they will start to shoot the hostages if the Russian governement does not execute their political demands before 6AM on October 26th.

4:30PM. The operational headquarters (I remind that it is headed by the FSB deputy director Pronichev who will later “work” in Beslan with his Nord-Ost “experience”, although not as headquarters chief but hiding behind Ossetia’s FSB general, Andreyev) confirmed that the terrorists threaten to shoot the hostages if their demands are not executed. Let me explain that this is why all the militants with no exception were sent to the other wolrd (without even considering the information that they could have obtained from them on interrogations), so that they could not affirm in court that they did not make any ultimatum on October 25th at 4:15PM. And now how could one find out if there was an ultimatum or no? The contact was made by cellphones.

5:00PM. The journalist Sergey Govorukhin and the assistant editor of Literaturnaya Gazeta Dmitry Belovetzky entered the Center to negotiate with the terrorists.

5:10PM. Anna Politkovskaya came out of the building and said that the terrorists demand juice and water. One little question comes up: why did the terrorists suddently need juice and water? To give them to the hostages before executing them?

5:20PM. Television channels air a Maskhadov’s video. In the video, shot God knows when and why, Maskhadov said that the Chechens switched from guerrilla methods to offensive operations. “On the final stage we will carry out an ever more unique operations, similar to jihad”, Maskhadov says on video. Dubrovka, Nord-Ost or the Theater Center are not mentioned. This video could have been made before the wreck excursions to Budennovsk, Kizlyar or anywhere else. What does “final stage” means? Final stage of what? In fact, it was the “special operation to release the hostages” that has already began. They are preparing the public opinion. On all the channels simultaneously.

6:00PM. Ruslan Aushev arrived to the operational headquarters.

6:15PM. Sergey Govorukhin and Dmitry Beletzky came back without any hostages. The militants said that next time they would shoot the visitors who come uninvited. Apparently the militants suspected these two were spies.

6:55PM. Meeting of president Putin with the leaders of State Duma’s fractions. The president demanded, “to put aside any sorts of political statements and debates. /…/ They are out of place and harmful, especially when it concerns the suffering of hundreds of innocent people. What we need is a sober, objective evaluation of the situation and precise, well-thought actions directed to help these people save their lives.” You should remember this statement because ten hours later the president’s special services will do the exact opposite: they will help the people in the hall on Dubrovka to get rid of their lives, inconsiderately using a little-known gas, practically they will kill them.

7:38PM. Anna Politkovskaya and the deputy Aslambek Aslakhanov entered the building and brought juice and water for the hostages. Two Red Cross doctors were with them.

7:40PM. Ruslan Aushev and the former premier Evgeny Primakov entered the building in order to get in contact with the terrorists.

8:25PM. Evgeny Primakov, Ruslan Aushev, Aslambek Aslakhanov and Anna Politkovskaya led a negotiation with the terrorists and left the building. Primakov did not comment. Aushev said that the terrorists demand to speak with an official representative of Vladimir Putin, however they do not name anybody in particular.

(We see that despite the started disinformation about an ultimatum and the preparing execution of the hostages there is more and more contacts. If there was an ultimatum then why demand to negotiate with a Putin’s representative?)

9:15PM. The signer Alla Pugacheva arrived to the operational headquarters. She brought with her the plan of the Theater Center building where her son-in-law Ruslan Baysarov rents a nightclub. Most probably this was the plan the special services used to let in the gas in the ventilation shafts.

9:55PM. 4 hostages are released from the Center: 3 women and a man, all Azeris. Another confirmation that the terrorists did not make an ultimatum.

10:38PM. The operational headquarters banned life broadcasting from the Center on Dubrovka and the bordering streets. The deputy minister of Interior Vladimir Vasiliev explained, “This practice is illiterate from a professional point of view”. In reality the deputy minister lies; they are preparing to raid the building and it is clear that they do not need television cameras.

10:40PM. The minister of Interior Boris Grizlov and the FBI director Robert Muller agreed to cooperate by keeping constantly in touch. The perfidious Russian Byzantines are cheating the Americans. Grizlov knows that the raid is in seven hours.

10:40PM. At the same time Putin, Luzhkov and Primakov have a meeting. They discussed the situation with the hostages. It is possible to suppose that Primakov expressed his personal impressions.

10:50PM. The operational headquarters say “it does not appear to be possible to get a normal contact with the terrorists”. This is a total lie because there are hundreds of cellphones in the hall and all the terrorists have cellphones.

At 11:40PM a man entered running the Center on Dubrovka. The unidentified man passed through the cordon, ran across the square in front of the building and disappeared in the central hallway.

October 26th

At 12:50 the Center’s security was reinforced. Three military trucks blocked Dubrovskaya Street.

At 1:30AM gunshots were heard in the House of Culture. What did happen there? A former hostage testifies: “On the night before the raid an old man got inside and demanded that his little son be given to him. One of the terrorists, Idris, tried to intercede for the madman. He yelled to Barayev that he knows for sure that the boy is on the balcony. Unfortunately this did not help the man; he was led outside the building. Then I heard gunshots.” The witness Sergey Lobankov, the producer of the Nord-Ost musical: “In three days the militants shot three people. /…/ The first was a young woman who came inside the hall from somewhere in an absolutely abnormal state, I think she was drunk. She came out to their leader and started to defiantly talk to him. He shot her. Then after some time a man appeared in the hall. He said that he was looking for his son and even said his name but the child was in my group and this man is not his father. The Chechens suspected that he could be a spy and shot him in the foyer. The third killed is a young man who went hysterical. He was running in the hall yelling, he wanted to attack a Chechen woman with a bomb, he was shot and he fell. The bullet that was shot at him hit two other hostages.” The witness Elena Shumilova: “Suddently a man in his thirties in the center of the hall got up, threw an empty glass bottle at the Chechen women sitting with a bomb and started to run in their direction on the backs of the seats. The women shot in the air and the Chechen on the stage shot and hit two sitting people: a man in the brow (he died in the hospital) and a woman in the chest. The guy was held down but he was absolutely out of his mind.

2:00AM. Two hostages were brought out of the building on stretchers. According to preliminary information, one of them was a woman wounded in the stomach and the other is a man hit in the head. So everything corresponds. These two episodes the nights before the raid were not a supposedly planned execution in response to the non-execution of the terrorists’ ultimatum, which did not exist. The hysterical man freaked out and the terrorists freaked out. What concerns the man, supposedly a spy who came for someone else’s child, and then a lot of all sorts of nutcases gathered near the cordon during the three days. Soldiers at the cordon and journalists alike said that. One of the nutcases ran into the building. And he was not stopped. Most probably, he wasn’t stopped on purpose, in order to check the terrorists’ alertness.

5:30AM. Special tactic teams arrived to the building. Intensive shooting was heard and then supposedly several explosions.

5:40AM. The operational headquarters resumed the negotiations with the terrorists “in the form of telephone contacts”. According to the headquarters’ representative Pavel Kudryavtsev “the terrorists did not give a clear answer” about the reasons of the shooting, but said that they have shot two hostages in the past two hours.

The last affirmation is an absolute lie because these shootings are not confirmed by any of the surviving hostages. There was simply none. No shootings after two accidental wounded, a man and a woman, were brought out on stretchers at two o’clock in the morning. Elena Shumova, former hostage testifies: “When the OMON started to investigate the roof (we even heard steps above) we were forced to gather in a bunch, the women with the explosives dispersed between us. /…/ Then we were suddenly brought back to our seats, they said that they are waiting for someone from the government at 11 o’clock. /…/ I woke up at 6:30AM – they were going back and forth. Then I smelled something…” Georgi Vasiliev, one of the authors and producers of the musical: “For me it was obvious that there was going to be a raid by the tone of the media and the politicians. It was possible to follow that because some hostages had radios and rumors were passed from row to row.” Vasiliev did not see any execution of hostages. Irina Filippova, former hostage: “Early in the morning we were sitting in trance when we heard gunshots from the central entrance, the men ran there yelling ‘Allah akbar!’ and the women made a circle around the hall. With the usual gesture we got down from the seats, somebody near me said: ‘I think I smell gas’. The hostages were sitting in a trance; if the terrorists were executing them after they left the hall it is clear that there would not be any trance, everybody would have waken up in fear and terror. The Chechens were running yelling “Allah akbar!” because imitating the execution of the hostages the special tactics units fired at the Nord-Ost panel hanging above the central entrance of the building. This was the 5:30AM shooting. When the special tactics units arrived to the building. Only the shooting was not inside but on the faзade. The witnesses testify this. Later I will cite testimonies. But now I want to emphasize the sentence of the hostage Shumova: “They said that they are waiting for someone from the government at 11 o’clock”. It can be understood only in one sense: the operational headquarters continued to lie to the terrorists that somebody from the government will arrive at 11 o’clock. When at the same time they were planning to kill everybody. Well, ok, Barayev’s group, they were suicide bombers, terrorists, who will pity them?! But the operational headquarters said that there were still 16 children and about a thousand adults in there!

6:20AM. Two women escaped from the building. Most probably they were hostages. (Personally I do not know who they were. Everybody is already gazed there, how could anybody escape?)

6:24AM. The Alpha and Vimpel units of the FSB Center of Special Assignment started to raid the Theater Center on Dubrovskaya Street. Indistinct explosions were shot, then gunshots.

6:32AM. Additional units arrived to the building.

6:55AM. Ambulances and empty buses arrived to the building.

7:13AM. Special units’ agents bring the hostages out of the building, put them into the ambulances and buses. An ambulance doctor, Nikolay Stepchenkov testifies: “At 6:50AM they gave us the order to go to the theater. /…/ There were already dozens of inanimate bodies on the entrance. Many old people, some already dead. And they died long ago – two-three hours ago: their skin was cold. But more and more people are brought outside. /…/ The victims had the same overdose symptoms like after a drug – a narrow pupil and the absence of breathing. People were making four-five breaths per minute. Dmitry N., an ambulance doctor: “We were already waiting near the theater. But on the last night it was clear that there would be a raid. I was not on duty but I was raised from bed. Our cars stood waiting on Volgogradsky Street. /…/ Twenty ambulances were called. Exactly at 5:30 they banned any radio communication. No information at all. The managers of the column were hinting that the order is to go to the theater and bring out the corpses. We’ve seen worse…” It is not surprising that Dmitry N. preferred to name only the first letter of his last name. Since he testifies that the authorities did not only prepare the raid but also were preparing in cold blood for a huge number of corpses. Ten hours earlier Putin was declaring that he intends to help people save their lives. And was already covering-up: demanded to “leave aside any sorts of political statements and debates”; he also wanted to avoid himself the blame and the condemnation for the dead bodies. We clearly do not need such a president. Hypocrite and cruel to his own citizens. The reader might ask: what was he supposed to do? Negotiate with the fighters who took the hostages. Merchandise. Withdraw a military unit from Chechnya like the hostages were asking, show the withdrawal on television and take the children and women from the Center on Dubrovka. This is how they do it in the whole world, although the governments prefer to officially say that they do not negotiate with terrorists, but in fact they do! They do! And Putin is posing on the account of the lives of your children, posing like some Superman! For his “tough guy” reputation 129 hostages have died. Their skin was cold… The witness Gennady B.: “We weren’t told exactly what substance was used in the Center, but we were using naloxon and not an antidote, which we didn’t have. Judging by the external symptoms the poisoning looked like an opium overdose. Only later we learned that this was fentanyl.

7:18AM. The official representative of the operational headquarters, general Vasiliev, said that the FSB special tactics unit seized the Theater Center. (Me too, they seized me in Altay; they were 70 people capturing an unarmed man.)

9:23AM. All Moscow’s free ambulances are ordered to gather on Dubrovka.

9:50AM. All the hostages are taken out of the building.

10:35AM. The FSB director Nikolay Patrushev and the Interior Minister Boris Grizlov informed Putin about the successful completion of the operation to release the hostages.

At 9:00AM Russia’s president Vladimir Putin addressed the nation: “Dear compatriots! During these days we have gone through a terrible ordeal. All our thoughts were with the people who fell in the hands of the armed bastards. We hoped that these people will be freed but every one of us realized that we have to be ready for the worse. Today, early in the morning an operation to release the hostages was carried out. We achieved the near impossible, saving hundreds, hundreds of people. We proved that they can’t put Russia on its knees. But now I foremost want to adress the relatives and the loved-ones of the people who died. Forgive us. The memory of the dead must unite us. We were not able to save them all. I thank all Russia’s citizens for their self-control and unity. My special thanks go to those who took part in releasing the people. Foremost, the commandos of the special units who did not hesitate to risk their lives and fought for saving the people. We are also grateful to our friends in the whole world for their moral and practical support in our fight with our common ennemy. This ennemy is strong and dangerous, unhuman and cruel. It is international terrorism. Until it is overcome people in the whole world will not feel safe. But it must be overcome. And will be overcome. Today in the hospital I spoke with one of the victims. He said: ‘I was not afraid – I was certain that the terrorists don’t have a future.’ And this is true. They don’t have a future. But we do.

Thinking over the president’s speech I come to the conclusion that it is all lies. Movsar Basayev and his group of 50 militants: 18 women and 33 men were all Chechens and not international terrorists. And they demanded to stop the war in Chechnya and did not ask anything else. The terrorists did have a future at the moment when the president gave his speech and this was proved by the subsequent terrorist acts in Chechnya, such as the murder of Akhmad Kadirov and the terrorist acts on Russia’s territory, including Moscow. And the terrorists will have a future until Chechnya’s fate is resolved politically.

What concerns the gratefulness to the commandos of the special units, I am sure that it stuck in their craws. The FSB special forces’ commandos were used to kill the hostages. I have no doubt that many of those who took part in this killing make nightmares and will make them until the end of their days. “Who did not hesitate to risk their lives and fought for saving the people”, said the presidnet. In reality there was ridiculosuly little risk. And the main proof of that is the fact that nobody from the commandos died, while 174 histages did, this is the number, on which insists today the Nord-Ost Victims Committee. As for other proofs, well, here they are. Let us return to the testimonies of the witnesses. October 23rd 2003, Kommersant, the title is “Overdose”. The subtitle: “The FSB carried out an experiment on the hostages”. “ Practicly all of the hostages were killed by the gas used by the speical forces, as Moscow’s health Committee aknowledged yesterday. This gas was not normally used as a weapon by the Alpha unit. It can’t be excluded that the dead hostages were the victims of an experiment carried out in the frames of the worldwide fight with terrorism.

The following picture appears from reading the entire text of the “Overdose” article. Two hours before the raid Movsar Barayev was called on his cellphone by politicians, generals and even the criminal authority Lechi Islamov (The Beard) from Krasnopresen Prison. (You recall that at 5:40 the operational headquarters affirmed that they resumed the talks “in the form of telephone contacts”.) This was made in order to distract Barayev and relax the vigilance of the terrorists. While Movsar Barayev was talking, commandos of the Alpha special unit were already at work in the Theater Center on Dubrovka. Before this they were already consulting the Center’s technical employees for two days. “The agents brought out a plan of the building, one of the technicians told Kommersant, and asked me where are located the ventilation boxes and shafts: on the night before the raid one of the special units got to the first floor of the building where the technical rooms were. They have large windows, the size of a person. And the terrorists, fearing snipers, did not go down there. The commandos made small openings in the walls and the partitions. With their help they managed to get access to the ventilation and also to fix the video system that allowed controlling all the events happening in the hall. Thus the commandos found out that the male terrorists armed with automatic guns are located on the stage and on the second floor of the captured building. The hall is mainly controlled by the female suicide bombers. When gunfire was heard in the hall, continues the technical employee of the Center on Dubrovka, we were in a storeroom on the first floor with the commandos. They immediately started to contact someone on their walki-talkies and judging by their conversation got the ‘ok’ for the raid. Actually the group that was with us did not fight. The commandos went near the openings in the walls leading to the ventilation. Some of them took their backpacks and got out cylinders that reminded those of the scuba divers, only smaller and made of plastic and not of metal. I don’t know what happened next. Before releasing the gas they led the civilians out of the building and the cordon.

I am sure that the people working in Alpha are courageous. However it is disgusting to imagine special forces officers with cylinders, in masks, ready to kill 174 peacful viewers together with the militants. They look like Drs Mengele and not special forces’ officers. Kommersant cites the remarks of the hostages’ relatives present in the yard of the 13th Hospital on October 23rd 2003, looking for their loved corpses: “They killed the people, they killed their own people”, “we were exterminated like cockroaches”. In fact, like cockroaches because only two hostages died from bullets, nobody died from the non-existing explosions, but all because of the gas. This deserved the special gratefulness of the president to the commandos, sent to this terrible, inhuman task under the protection of gas masks and a layer of lies. The claim that the raid was a consequence of the hostages’ executions that began in the hall is a total lie, a plain lie, a 360є lie. We remember that the militants were waiting for someone from the government at 11 o’clock. The same Kommersant cites “a boy named Yegor who left the 13th Hospital. On the journalist’s question: “Were you shot at?” Yegor answers: “No, nobody was shot at.” “So there were no executions before the raid? There weren’t. Then why did they say that the terrorists started to execute the hostages? a naпve German journalist asks Yegor. “I haven’t slept that day, answers Yegor. The terrorists were calm and when the gas was released they did not understand at first. I saw how they were running, scared. And then they started to fall and to fall asleep. I lost consciousness too.

On the same day, Valery, whose daughter was a hostage answered the question of a Spanish journalist (as told by Kommersant): “Do you think this was terrorism?” “Yes, it was. It’s always terrorism when people are taken as hostages. But the people died from their own. My daughter called me; she said it was all quiet there. They treated the kids normally. She told me that only one woman was killed in the very beginning. Do you understand?

There were gunshots before the raid. They were heard. But not a single hostage confirms what the operational headquarters’ representative, Pavel Kudryavtsev, declared at 5:40AM. They affirm the contrary, that there were no executions before the raid. The terrorists did not execute the hostages early in the morning of October 26th. Otherwise the female terrorists sleeping in peaceful poses among the hostages would not have been killed. So what did happen? Here is what. “The gas attack, Kommersant writes, was preceded by a light-and-noise cover. The commandos fired on the Nord-Ost publicity banner, which blocks the windows of the second floor. The terrorists thought that the commandos got inside and threw grenades at them from the balcony and started to shoot over there, distracting from the hostages, a participant of the raid told Kommersant, but the shooting stopped in a moment because the gas started to work.

Notice that the latter was said by a participant of the raid and not a hostage. What he said was a lie. Because when the raid started, every human being in the hall either slept or was already dead two hours ago. Let us recall that Nikolay Stepchenkov, an ambulance doctor testified that at 6:50 there were already dozens of inanimate bodies on the entrance. /…/ Some already dead. And they were dead since a long time – two-three hours ago.” If it is two hours, then they released the gas at 4:50 and if it is three hours then it was at 3:50. In any case Stepchenkov is precise: their skin was cold. After all, he is a doctor, he knows.

So what did happen? Barayev was distracted with phone calls from generals and criminal authorities. They released the gas in the hall. Then the commandos opened fire on the Nord-Ost banner as planned, really carrying out a light-and-noise cover. However this cover was not intended for the militants but for the media, for the Russian society. They had to create a false “execution of hostages”. In real fact the commandos who burst into the hall had nobody to shoot at: all the militants in the hall were either sleeping, or like a part of the hostages, already dead. Otherwise there would have been casualties among the commandos. There were only some male militants left on the second floor. It was them who shouted “Allah akbar!” and tried to organize a resistance. But most of the terrorists were shot by the commandos in their sleep, apparently after the hostages in a creepy slumber (a few breaths per minute, you remember!) were brought out of the hall.

After that they cleaned the hall. They left the killed Chechens and corrected the reality according to how they wanted to present it to the society. And they invited a few trusted journalists, while the FSB operators filmed the hall on camera. The FSB video aired by the television channels show powerful bombs thoroughly put in evidence and cables leading to them and disappearing somewhere in the ceiling. Not a single independent journalist saw the hall of the Theater Center on Dubrovka before it was cleaned by the commandos. The video shows a frame-up.

Later, the NTV channel, still disobedient at that time, demonstrated another video filmed by a hostage and also photos secretly made by another hostage (an Ukrainian). On these video documents we can see that there is no bomb on the place of the largest land mine. There is a bag (two times smaller than the bomb on the FSB video) and there are no cables attached to it. The FSB agents cleaned the hall and fixed the bomb and the cables in order to justify their wrongdoing against innocent Russian hostages. There was no risk that the building might explode! The risk of an explosion is brought by the authorities as the most important argument to justify the raid. “We couldn’t save everybody”, the president said. You killed them, Mr. President. You and your employees of the special forces who spent the morning covering up the bodies. Without hesitation, without risking their lives.



The National-Bolsheviks have declared Putin responsible for Beslan’s victims. This is how German journalists from Spiegel, authors of the book “01.09. Beslan’s File” saw the very beginning of the Beslan tragedy. I will cite the very beginning of the foreword. “Early in the morning of September 1st 2004 a group of thirty-one men and two women came out of a wood on Sunjen Ridge and went their way. Armed with grenade-throwers, guns, hand grenades, sniper rifles and automatic guns they went to seize School Number One in Beslan, a town in the neighboring North Ossetia. /…/ During several days the terrorists molested, according to official data, 1120 hostages, 331 of whom died, including 186 children, from babies to first grade students. 783 were wounded and among them there is also a lot of children. Beslan, until then an idyllic town on the background of the Caucasus Ridge became the embodiment of grief, a town condemned to live with an everlasting pain.

If a corresponding crime had happened in some German town or a French village or an American province, its cruel inhumanity would have become the subject of the media for months to come. And under the pressure of the public the authorities would have been forced to thoroughly investigate the crime and report about its results as soon as possible.

But not in Russia. But not on the Caucasus. Silencing and hushing up for generations have become part of the lifestyle here. They must protect the foreign sovereigns from claims and pretensions. Therefore it is extremely difficult here to carry out an investigation among those who were touched by this event.

Everything is interlinked on the North Caucasus. Everybody is linked with one another by either a deep friendship or a deep animosity. And the distances here are modest too. There is only one hundred km from Beslan in the Christian North Ossetia to Grozny in the Muslim Chechnya. And between them is squeezed the small and also Muslim Ingushetia. The countries are all dwarfish, surrounding Moscow like a necklace on a distance of 130 km from it. Here, near Caucasus’ Northern spurs, the former Soviet empire has broken to little pieces, which today’s Russia doesn’t have the forces to put back together. In the contrary: the war in Chechnya is shattering the region and allows the separatist movements here and there to gain strength. In the mountains and forests of Chechnya and Ingushetia Allah’s Muslim warriors are getting ready. And the terrorist attack on Beslan was an attempt to draw North Ossetia, a Christian republic, for centuries faithful to Moscow, into war.

The Russian official bodies are slowing down as they can the flow of information about the reasons and the analysis of the events. The art of disinformation has flourished again since the Soviet times. For instance the information that the Prosecutor General, the special services, the army and police officials share with the public are first of all reflecting their desire to hide their own neglect and miscalculations.

This neglect and mistakes are astounding. The destroyed building of School Number 1 was never investigated as the spot when the crime was committed like it was supposed to be according to the rules of criminalistics. Even the process of hostage taking itself was not sufficiently clarified by the officials; at least the public did not get such information. A lot is unclear with the tragic end itself, which was contributed to by the lack of professionalism of those who acted from the name of the State.

In order to understand the Beslan tragedy, it is necessary to have at least the chronology of these first three days of September in Beslan. Here it is.

September 1st 2003. 9:08AM. The holiday in the yard of Beslan’s School Number 1 on Komintern Street began at nine o’clock. The school is big; it has 890 students and 57 teachers. This is a complex of buildings forming the letter E on the city map. And suddenly people in camouflage run in the schoolyard through the gates on Komintern Street. Most of them wear camouflage ski masks. Those without masks have beards. They gather the people through the gates to the gymnasium shooting in the air from their guns. In the gymnasium they order the hostages to sit on the floor and not to move. At the same time the people in camouflage start to mine the gymnasium.

10:17AM, same day. The first three motorcycle divisions start to move to Beslan from Ossetia’s capital Vladikavkaz. From 11:30 the school is surrounded by divisions of the 58th army.

11:05AM The militants pass a message through the hostage Larisa Mamitova, a doctor, in which they express their intention to negotiate only with the president of North Ossetia Dzasokhov, Ingushetia’s president Ziazikov and Dr. Roshal. (Later, one of the witnesses on the trial of Nurpashi Kulayev, the only surviving militant, will tell that the militants wanted to see Rushailo, executive secretary of the RF and not Roshal.) The terrorists gave their phone number 8-928-728-33-74, however the number did not respond. The terrorists did not write the last two numbers right. Mamitova gives the message and tells the Ossetian fighter who put his gun on the grass and took her message that there are 1300 hostages in the school. She returns inside.

At 4:05PM a hostage came out of the school again with a new message. The message contains the last name of a person, with which the militants would like to talk: the presidential adviser A. Aslakhanov. A phone number for contacts was written again: 8-928-728-33-47. With this number the negotiator, a lieutenant colonel of North Ossetia’s FSB managed to get in contact with the militants in the school. The militant called himself a suicide bomber and said that he blew up twenty hostages in one of the classes. The reason is that the terrorists were upset that they heard the first lie on television and radio: there are supposedly only 354 hostages. At the same time six hostages managed to escape during the second half of the day on September 1st. They were questioned about the situation in the school. It turned out that the hostages were distributed by groups and located in different parts of the school. Most of the people were in the gymnasium. In other parts of the school there were groups of one hundred people and above. The report of the Beslan police chief at 4:20PM of that day indicates: the number of hostages is over 700; the lists are being verified. According to the North Ossetian parliamentary commission (the text is cited in Novaya Gazeta, issue 64, 2005): “The next two days the official representatives of the headquarters, including its nominal leader, general V. A. Andreyev, told the media about 354 hostages. This deliberate lie, according to the numerous testimonies of the hostages, led to the growing aggression of the terrorists. And also became the cause of the execution of some male hostages, whose bodies were thrown out of the window of the literature office, from the second floor. (The suicide-bomber was talking about them when he said that he “blew up twenty hostages”. And it is to take them that four agents of the Ministry of Emergencies will arrive at 1 o’clock on September 3rd and the raid will begin.)

2:00PM. Beslan. Anti-crisis headquarters. In Beslan’s city hall. Actually, there are two headquarters in the same building. Or even several. One gets the impression that already the first day, in the first hours, all efforts were made to scatter responsibility and cover those who really gave the orders in Beslan. On the first day several structures from the FSB, the 58th army, and the ministry of Interior, the functionaries and North Ossetia executive power are formed. It is supposedly president Dzasokhov who manages all. But neither the site of dislocation is defined nor the actions are coordinated. On the second day of the terrorist act the general Andreyev, head of North Ossetia’s FSB, becomes the leader of the counter-terrorist operation (according to Torshin’s report, Putin personally appointed general Andreyev). About one day and a half was spent for the appointment of this “pointsman”.

2:27PM Mozdok. Airport. The FSB director Patrushev arrives from Moscow. However from Mozdok he does not go to the anti-crisis headquarters. Nobody will see him there in the next two days. Still, there are lots of high officials there in the headquarters. General Vasily Andreyev, president Dzasokhov, parliament speaker Taymuraz Mamsurov, State Duma deputies Rogozin and Markelov, deputy Prosecutor General Fredinsky. Later that day Patrushev’s deputies Pronichev and Anisimov arrive from Moscow, as well as the head of the FSB Center of special assignment general Alexander Tikhonov, commanding the groups Alpha and Vimpel. And also the FSB head of the South Federal District, general Kaloyev. (Notice that general Valery Andreyev commands his own bosses!) However in reality it is not chaos, as various journalists who investigated Beslan’s tragedy interpret it. The methodic of covering up responsibility is in play. Here is what Novaya Gazeta writes (issue 64, 2005): “At the same time, the witnesses who were present in the headquarters say that Moscow’s FSB agents and employees of the presidential administration created their own parallel headquarters, where neither Andreyev nor even Dzasokhov could go. The role of Pronichev and Anisimov in the administration of the Counter-terrorist headquarters is not clear to this day. The materials of the criminal case do not contain their interrogations as direct witnesses.”

But who are these representatives of the presidential administration? Here they are in the report of the North Ossetian parliamentary commission. I cite Novaya Gazeta again: “According to the North Ossetian commission it is the representatives of the federal center who bear responsibility for the deliberately false information about the hostages: the employee of the presidential administration, deputy press-secretary of the RF president Dmitry Peskov and the employee of Moscow’s State Broadcasting Company office Vasilyev. According to the testimony of the vice-speaker (of the Ossetian parliament) Kesayev on September 2nd he was called to the operational headquarters to talk about informing the population about the real quantity of hostages in the school. The Moscovites presented themselves as employees of the presidential administration’s information department and asked him not to disclose any information that contradicts the official version. Actually, this is a criminal offense. But who cares. The North Ossetian commission turned out to be much more honest than Torshin’s commission.

Ossetia’s president Dzasokhov was finally interrogated. He “admits several times that in essence all the decisions in Beslan were made by Patrushev’s deputies: the FSB generals Pronichev, Anisimov and Tikhonov.” Pronichev, first deputy director of FSB, a general-colonel, already has the necessary experience of “liberating” hostages, in particular in the Theater Center on Dubrovka. With gas. When they killed 129 hostages, by official count. They killed them and thus liberated them.

The North Ossetian commission is convinced that the real leaders of the Counter-terrorist operation were high FSB officials. The commission harshly criticizes the fact that the criminal case does not contain the interrogations of the main participants of the counter-terrorist operation: generals Pronichev, Anisimov and Tikhonov and the FSB director Patrushev.

September 1st. Beslan. End of the day. The terrorists wait in vain. Their demands to bring Dzasokhov, Ziazikov, Aslakhanov and Roshal (rather Rushailo) were not executed, supposedly “because there was a real danger they might be killed”. Ziazikov, Ingushetia’s president spent the three days of the tragedy in Moscow’s President Hotel, supposedly it was Putin who “left him out of the game”. No signals come in from Putin’s advisor on North Caucasus. Also, according to the federal law about terrorism the demands of the militants about the withdrawal of troops from Chechnya cannot be subject to negotiations as they threaten the base of the constitutional order and the wholeness of the Russsian Federation.

Instead, the operational headquarters proposed the militants to exchange the hostages for the suspects arrested in Inhusgetia for the attack on Nazran. Ikarus buses were prepared in case the militants agree. (This is the data of Torshin’s federal parliamentary commission, so we better not trust it).

September 1st. Second half of the day. A “black widow”, a female suicide bomber detonates herself. Hostages and terrorists are wounded and killed. The “widow” herself is torn into pieces. Before this the hostages saw this woman arguing with other terrorists.

September 1st. 4:30PM. The literature office. Another seven male hostages were executed by the militants.

September 1st. After 8:00PM. The plane carrying Dr. Roshal lands in Vladikavkaz. After midnight Roshal is in the anti-crisis headquarters over his cellphone. He is told from the school: “If you try to arrive to the school alone we will shoot you. Only with the presidents of Ingushetia and North Ossetia. /…/ We don’t need you alone! You make twenty steps toward the school and you are a corpse.” Here Roshal’s mission ends. He was clearly confounded with Roshailo.

September 2nd. 9:30AM. Beslan. Anti-crisis headquarters. I cite the book “01.09. Beslan’s File” written by Spiegel journalists based on documental testimonies, I remind. “The ratio of forces in the anti-crisis headquarters changes to the FSB favor. Its vice-chief Pronichev and general Alexander Tikhonov, commanding the anti-terrorism groups Alpha and Vimpel discuss the possibilities of a raid. North Ossetian politicians heavily protest. They beg the FSB not to undertake anything.”

September 2nd. Noon. Beslan. Anti-crisis headquarters. They are waiting for Aslakhanov. He has not arrived to Beslan from Moscow yet. 27 hours passed since the beginning of the hostage taking. It takes two hours to fly from Moscow to Vladikavkaz. Where is Aslakhanov?

Instead, Ruslan Aushev, former Ingushetia’s president, an Afghanistan’s veteran appears near the headquarters. The brothers Gutzeriev who enjoy authority in the Caucasus also appear. Mikhail is a former vice-speaker of the State Duma (now he is Rosneft's director) and his brother Khamzan, Ingushetia’s retired Minister of Interior. Aushev is among Putin’s personal enemies. Neither the Gutzerievs nor Aushev are let inside the headquarters where Putin’s appointees are. From the moment he arrived Aushev has to call and direct the events standing in the yard of the headquarters.

September 2nd, second half of the day. Beslan. Anti-crisis headquarters. Vladimir Yakovlev, Putin’s proxy in Russia’s South, arrives. Thirty hours have passed from the beginning of the crisis. He enters the headquarters. During this time Aushev continues to negotiate with the terrorists on the phone. This is how it is dryly noted in the report of Torshin’s federal commission: “On September 2nd the terrorists have named the outlaw Aslan Makhadov as a possible negotiator. Dzasokhov and Aushev tried to contact him through Zakayev but Maskhadov did not answer.” That’s it. However much more is said differently in the report of North Ossetia’s commission. “The hope for a bloodless end was linked with the possible participation of A. Maskhadov in the release of the hostages. The witness A. Zakayev was questioned by the commission and he told that he learned about the real state of things in Beslan from his first phone conversation with R. Aushev on September 2nd 29 hours after the capture of the school. R. Aushev asked Zakayev about bringing A. Maskhadov to negotiate. From the second half of September 2nd to the first half of September 3rd Zakayev tried to reach Maskhadov through third persons. Maskhadov was ready to go to Beslan but on one condition: providing an unhindered pathway to the school. Zakayev doubted the possibility to create a pathway for Maskhadov and proposed instead his candidacy to participate in the negotiations with the militants. On September 3rd at noon Zakayev contacted Dzasokhov and confirmed his and Maskhadov’s agreement to take part in the negotiations. Dzasokhov asked two hours to resolve the technical questions and organize the negotiations. The next conversation between Dzasokhov and Zakayev was supposed to take place at 2 o’clock. /…/ The commission finds strange the fact that nobody from the operational headquarters attempted to contact Maskhadov in the first day of the school’s capture.

September 2nd. 2:45PM. Aslambek Aslakhanov spoke with the terrorists on the phone and promised to personally inform Putin about their demands. The terrorists proposed Aslakhanov to come to the school with Aushev.

September 2nd. 3:30PM. School Number One. Aushev goes to the school. He crosses the yard, comes to the big door in the gymnasium, which opens as he enters. He stops on the doorway. He asks the capturers if they recognize him. They do. Aushev is alone, there is no Aslakhanov.

All the terrorists have put on masks for the visit. They film Aushev on video. They give Aushev a list of demands addressed to Putin by “Allah’s slave” Shamil Basayev. “The Colonel”, the terrorists’ leader, tells Aushev that the government can gather all the relatives of those who captured the school and execute them – this will not modify their resolutness to insist on their demands. They allow Aushev to take some hostages with him. He leaves the school with 11 women and 16 babies. The whole world sees the photo on which Aushev stands near his car with a naked baby on the car’s rear seat.

The list of the terrorists’ demands is analyzed in the anti-crisis headquarters. Their demands are the same: the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Chechnya.

September 2nd. Second half of the day. Beslan. Hospital. The direction is preparing beds by an order from Moscow. They can free 215 beds. If they call all the doctors from the district, there will be about two hundred people.

September 2nd. Second half of the day. Vladikavkaz. From the 710 beds, 350 are kept ready in case. There are two operation rooms; 70 doctors and 200 nurses were called.

The same day, second. Second half of the day. Vladikavkaz. The republican children’s hospital. The building is half unfinished. There are 820 beds. Of them 230 are made ready for Beslan’s victims. The patients whose state allows it are sent home. The direction keeps 7 operational brigades ready.

Only on the second day of the capture of hostages there are 1045 beds ready in four hospitals in Beslan and Vladikavkaz. The orders to the directors of the hospitals arrived directly from Moscow, from the Health ministry. The same government that still speaks about 354 hostages in official statements at the same time makes sure that over thousand beds are made ready for the hostages,” the German journalists write in the book “01.09. Beslan’s File”. It should be added here that this is the same government that lies to its people today that the federals did not start the raid, that everything was the terrorists’ fault. But the terrorists would have benefited from stretching the time as much as possible! Each hour benefited them. And each hour of keeping the hostages damaged the president’s reputation personally.

September 2nd. Second half of the day. Anti-crisis headquarters. Roshal, whom nobody called, tries to convince the terrorists to make concessions by phone. They answer “No!” to everything.

The North Ossetian commission concludes: “ By the end of the second day nobody from the high federal officials, whose functions at least partly include the negotiation of the demands put forward by the militants, accepted to negotiate with the terrorists. /…/ By entrusting the negotiations to the regional functionaries, to the Special Forces, to a pediatrician as well as to M. Gurtziev and R. Aushev (S. Shoigu has personally asked him about it), the RF authorities have in essence distanced themselves from the responsibility and condemned the entire negotiation process to failure.

September 2nd. Beslan. 4:30PM. The headquarters head Andreyev ordered Sobolev, the commander of the 58th army, to provide tanks and armored vehicles to the FSB special assignment center on their demand. At 5 o’clock Sobolev asked a tank division to Beslan. At 6:15PM the tanks arrived to Beslan. Viktor Sobolev, the commander of the 58th army also gave six armored vehicles to the FSB.

By midnight on September 2nd the speaker of North Ossetia’s parliament Mamsurov and the State Duma deputy Rogozin sketched the project of an agreement with the terrorists. The project is essentially about negotiations of the federal leadership with Maskhadov, the plan of an autonomy status for Chechnya and a gradual withdrawal of troops.

September 3rd. 7:30AM. Beslan. Anti-crisis headquarters. The negotiations with the terrorists lasted until 2 o’clock in the morning. The headquarters tried to obtain the transfer of medicaments, water and food to the school. “The Colonel”, leader of the terrorists, kept giving the same answer: “The hostages don’t need food or water. They have declared a hunger-strike to their government.” After long telephone conversations the Ingushetian businessman Gutzeriev, who gradually becomes the principal negotiator, manages to convince the terrorists that the corpses must be removed from the schoolyard and from Komintern Street. They have been laying there for almost two days on the sun and the rain.

September 3rd. 10:30AM. Beslan. The houses closest to the school are already evacuated. Most of them are still empty. However four commandos from the Alpha group appear in house number 37. They fix a machine-gun. Gradually other positions are occupied around the school.

September 3rd. 1:00PM. Beslan. A truck enters the school territory from Komintern Street. Two employees of the Ministry of Emergencies stand inside. The vehicle is moving slowly, almost crawling. The terrorists agreed that the corpses that have lain there for two days now must be removed from the schoolyard. The clock shows 1:01PM. Maybe 1:02. Maybe 1:03. An explosion is heard from the direction of the school, a powerful one. Than another and a third one 10-20 minutes later.

The report of Torshin’s federal commission says the following: “At 1:05PM two powerful explosions took place in the school. According to some hostages the terrorists were intoxicated. Possibly because of this they lost the ability to control the explosive device and an explosion ensued.” That is all. One gets the impression that the commission purposely skipped the most important question of Beslan’s tragedy: what is the nature of the explosions, after which began the raid that led to the deaths of 331 hostages? In other words, who is responsible for the deaths of 331 people, 186 of whom were children?

The North Ossetian parliamentary commission (I cite Novaya Gazeta, issue 64): “From the testimonies of hostages and witnesses the conclusion can be made that the explosions in the gymnasium were a surprise for the militants themselves. Also there are a lot of witnesses who say that the explosions in the gymnasium were provoked from outside. Also there is information that none of the closed chains linking the explosive devices have detonated in the gymnasium. There is information that after the explosions in the gymnasium, sappers of the 58th army could demine most of the device. In all there were fourteen self-made explosive devices and four antipersonnel mines. Eleven explosive devices were found and demined.” The commission points out the following: “Thanks to the law quality of the investigation made by the Prosecutor General’s office about the causes of the first explosions, only the testimonies of the hostages and witnesses can be trusted. The absence of a qualified expertise in the commission’s criminal case seem definitely strange and calls for many questions.” The commission considers the version about the cause-and-effect link between the use of flame-throwers (the flame-throwers, rather their tubes were presented to Torshin’s commission by the victims: the Committee of Beslan’s Mothers) and the first explosions in the gymnasium as the main one because the official version claiming that the bomb exploded automatically or accidentally because of the militants’ actions is not supported by any evidence. The Ossetian commission also points out that “no traces of hard drugs were found in the bodies of the militants”, which corresponds to the testimonies of the hostages who emphasize the high professionalism of the terrorists and do not tend to consider the terrorists as banal drug addicts. We will turn to the extremely important question about the nature of the explosions at 1:02PM and 1:05PM in the end of this chapter, but now let us follow the tragedy to the end.

So, the first explosion at one o’clock coincided with the arrival of the truck with employees from the Ministry of emergencies. At the same time a second explosion followed. Right after the first two explosions the hostages started to get out through the broken windows (the terrorists have broken the windows in the beginning of the capture fearing that gas might be employed against them – like in the Center on Dubrovka.), first one by one, then by dozens and ran for their lives on the school’s territory. Shooting broke out from both sides. Immediately after the first two explosions general Andreyev gave the order to general Tikhonov (leader of the FSB special assignment center, commanding the Alpha and Vimpel groups) to start the military operation to save the hostages, i.e. to start the raid. The snipers of the intelligence group started to fire at the enemy. Fire trucks, ambulances, police and private vehicles were occupying positions around the school during these minutes. They picked up those who escaped and brought them to Beslan’s hospitals.

September 3rd. 1: 30PM. The roof of the gymnasium collapsed. An entire wing of the building caught fire. An armored vehicle is firing. The terrorists try to gather part of the hostages to the basement. And through the main hallway into the theater hall. This is how the German journalists saw this situation at 1:30: “ All of this looks like a planned storm from the other side, from Komintern Street. Two tanks arrive with armored vehicles; grenade and flamethrowers take position. We don’t see rescue equipment, only attack equipment. Combat helicopters of the MI-24 type arrive. The children and the elderly are running and crawling in all directions in the yard. Girls and mothers run away from the gymnasium almost with no clothes on.

According to the unanimous testimony of the witnesses the combat helicopter appeared above the school right after 1:05AM or even at 1:04AM. I am of the opinion that the first explosions were not shots from flamethrowers but missiles from the helicopters. I watched how this is done in the Serbia wars.

2:00PM. There are seventy hostages in the cafeteria. The militants order the children to tear the white curtains from the walls, to go on the windows and to wave the curtains. And to shout “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot!” Nurpashi Kulayev, the future hero of the trial, in a training suit, unarmed, joins the hostages. “I didn’t kill anybody here. They forced me.”

2:45PM. Some of the terrorist group mixed with the hostages. They wear jeans and t-shirts; they left their camouflage and weapons. But the jeans give them away, since the hostages were going to school in festive clothes for September 1st. In the flow of the running hostages they escape from the school on Komintern Street and cross the railroad. Helicopters pursue the running militants. They are shot from the air. Others are encircled near private houses. The commandos run up to them and execute them. The German journalists comment: “It doesn’t look like they intended to arrest anybody. The commandos shot without asking questions.

3:05PM. General Tikhonov gives the order to enter the school.

3:30PM. The shooting diminished. Nurpashi Kulayev leaves the school with a group of hostages (in particular with the physical education teacher Tzagalov). The commandos do not have the guts to shoot him in front of everybody. He is arrested.

4:35PM. The fighting is not over. In the rear part of the building the terrorists are resisting with all their forces. On the second floor as well. Some militants barricaded themselves in the storeroom, some managed to reach the basement. They shoot from grenade throwers.

4:40PM. Beslan. Hospital. Already 554 wounded were brought in, 500 of them were sent to Vladikavkaz.

5:00PM. School Number One. The gymnasium, the main hallway, the theater hall, the cafeteria, the classes in the front part of the building are already in the hands of the security forces. The school is burning.

6:13PM. Beslan. The anti-crisis Center. They tell the official number of wounded in the hospitals of Beslan and Vladikavkaz. 346. They are lying as usual. In reality there are already over six hundred. Putin’s proxy Aslambek Aslakhanov spreads the statement “that the number of victims could be over 150.” In reality he knows that they are already about three hundred.

7:00PM. Beslan. The morgue. In order to obtain the body of the dead, the relatives must bring seven meters of cellophane and two bedcovers to the hospital. Yes, they do. The transport of the body is paid by the relatives. The beloved Motherland will not pay a penny here. It costs three hundred rubles to keep the beloved corpse one night in the refrigerator.

7:08PM. Thousands of relatives stand near the House of Culture and the city hall. Many are loudly sobbing.

9:09PM. Beslan. The Anti-crisis Center. The chief of North Ossetia’s FSB Valery Andreyev informs that the fighting in the school goes on. Especially in the big workshop. The tank number 325 of the 58th army arrives to the rear part of the school. It lowers the muzzle of the cannon and shoots in the basement. After this it is impossible to know who was there.

September 4th. 2:00AM. School Number One. The back of the school. Ten explosions, similar to hand grenade explosions shatter the back wing of the school. The death cries: “Allah akbar! Allah akbar!” are heard in the silence. The end.

After this technical, although incomplete, chronology (after all, I am not writing a book about the Beslan tragedy alone) let us return to the issue of responsibility. The militants wanted to negotiate. In general, we know that they demanded the withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya. The North Ossetian commission concludes, I cite Novaya Gazeta: “To this day there is no complete clarity about the demands of the terrorists. Also unknown is the fate and the content of the tape the terrorists gave to the operational headquarters (given through Aushev, – E. L.) /…/ The RF authorities, in essence, distanced themselves from the responsibility and condemned the entire negotiation process to failure.” (However, meanwhile they prepared tanks, armored vehicles, helicopters, and 1054 hospital beds; we know that the order to prepare the beds came from Moscow).

The question about the responsibility for the massacre of the innocents can be solved if we establish who is the author of the first explosions. Novaya Gazeta writes: “Doubtlessly, the first explosions have a hidden motive – legal and political. The possible appearance of Maskhadov and Zakayev in Beslan put the Kremlin before a difficult choice: allow the rescue of the hostages and thus legalize Maskhadov’s figure and allow the possibility of a political regulation of the Chechen problem. The “unplanned” raid as an alternative of the unfolding of events allowed avoiding such a situation. But it also made the authorities’ responsibility for the deaths of the hostages non obvious.

So the most important is the nature of the explosions. In the middle of May 2005 the trial of Nurpashi Kulayev, the only surviving terrorist from Beslan’s School Number One, began in Vladikavkaz. The witnesses and victims give a straightforward answer when asked about the nature of the explosions. “On one of the last sessions (in September) the following facts were confirmed and concretized by the victims who were present near the school on September 3rd, Novaya Gazeta, issue 65, writes, “ simultaneously with the first explosion a smoke cloud of a perfect form (which is extremely important) went up vertically over the roof of the gymnasium and bits of the roofing slate were scattered on a distance of up to one hundred meters from the gymnasium. According to the best experts in explosives… both the smoke cloud of a perfect form and the roofing slate scattered on a long distance are the consequences of the roof being fired on from the inside. This fact is also supported by the nature of the hearths and the picture of the fire spreading in the gymnasium. Initially the fire broke out at 1:05PM after the first explosion at 1:02PM in the garret; the ceiling’s wooden overlaps and plastic paneling were enveloped in fire. After this the smoldering paneling and the burning overlaps started to fall on the people wounded and shell-shocked after the explosions. This is also appearing from the testimonies of many hostages who could not hear the second explosion because of their shell shock but have felt the bright burning flame that provoked a large fire inside the gymnasium. This flame could have been the cause of the detonation of one (one of the three, – E.L.) of the large self-made explosive devices. It is the third explosion that was the most powerful one.

Here I should give the analysis of the nature and the causes of death of 331 people.

Gunshot wounds – 51ne people (21 of them were killed on September 1st and 2nd and 10 people are commandos.)

Splinter-shell wounds – 150 people.

Thermal burns – 10 people.

Wounds caused by blunt objects (fragments of the burning roof) – 4 people.

The experts were not able to establish the cause of death of 115 people because of the heavy effects of the flames, up to complete carbonization.

Now let us turn directly to the testimonies of the witnesses on Kulayev`s trial:

The victim Zemfira Agayeva said how, when the terrorists were rounding up the people, they were shouting that we don’t fear anything, that ‘We are here so that they withdraw the troops from Chechnya’. The victim also spoke about the beginning of the raid: ‘Right after the first explosion was heard, some unbearable whistle was heard from the side of the schoolyard and something exploded again, only it was far more powerful. And a few minutes later it became hot as hell in the gymnasium, I even thought I was burning. These were the flamethrowers firing, although Shepel affirms (Russia’s deputy Prosecutor General Nikolay Shepel) that the flamethrowers could not have put anything on fire. If he was here I would have liked to ask him a question. Kommersant, 08.03.05.

The victim Rimma Kusraeva: “On September 1st at three or four o’clock at night they (the militants) told us that, from their previous experience, they think that there will be a raid. The militants said then that we should get down immediately, so that our people don’t kill us all and they will be able to resist the first attack. On the following day they came and said that they are declaring a hunger strike together with us, so that they stop the war in Chechnya. They were saying: ‘We are not terrorists, we are freedom fighters.’ And when the first explosion came, one of them told another that the roof was burning. We were led to the cafeteria, from there to the theater hall. Then to the cafeteria again. The children were drinking water there. I ran up to one of the terrorists and asked him: ‘Are you going to kill us?’ And he said: ‘don’t you see who is firing at you? Rima Kusraeva, Kommersant continues, told how the militants put the women and children in the window frames and gave them curtains. They were supposed to wave them like white flags so that they don’t shoot at the windows. ‘Then an armored vehicle arrived, three soldiers jumped out of it and started to shoot at the windows,’ the victim said. – I saw how a woman fell, after this there was a heap of corpses on the windowsill. The terrorists did not shoot us at all – I even thought that when they are done killing them, they (the military federals) will go in and kill us all.” Kommersant 08.08.05.

The victim Zarina Tokaeva: “When I heard the first explosion I fell and saw the ceiling. It started to burn and to collapse… I saw the militants who stood near the changing-room. Their faces were confused. I heard them saying ‘You were blown up by your own people.’ While I was regaining my senses after the explosion, the roof of the gymnasium was heavily bombed all this time. A few children and we were making sprints first from the gymnasium to the changing-room and then to the second changing-room. Children were hiding and screaming from fear everywhere and we were gathering them on our way. All this time the hall and the roofs of the changing-rooms were heavily bombed; it seemed as if we were going from the changing-room to another room and they instantly start to bomb that room. But there were no militants in the gymnasium. Why did they bomb it?

– What do you mean by bombing? – The prosecutor Semisinova asked.

– Well… – the former hostage was confused, – it’s when they fire missiles on the roof and the walls and they explode. This is approximately how it was in the gymnasium and the school.

– On the preliminary investigation you testified that a militant has fixed a mine that was hanging above you; he made something with his hands there…

–  Yes, I remember that mine. I have come to know it inside out after three days. It didn’t explode after the explosion. After the first explosion the walls of the gymnasium shook and the ceiling collapsed… Novaya Gazeta, issue 55, 08.08-03.05

The witness Kazbek Torchinov. He was recognized as a victim although he wasn’t a hostage, because during the raid his house, situated near the school, was heavily damaged. /…/ Kazbek Torchinov remembered the beginning of the raid in all its details. He saw everything from his window.

–  A vehicle arrived and four men wearing uniforms of the Ministry of emergencies came out of it. They held their hands up and went to an open window where one of the militants was apparently sitting. They had a talk and started to load the corpses into the car. A terrorist came up to them and watched how they worked. At one moment the militant seemed to notice something and darted back inside the school. And right after this they started to fire at the angle of the school from the armored vehicle. I don’t know why he shot but a few seconds later the first explosion took place. – After a little thinking Kazbek Torchinov added:

– I can’t understand why they didn’t let Maskhadov, who strived for it, to enter the school. Were they ashamed? And today, aren’t they ashamed to look at the memorial? ” Kommersant. 09.28.05

The victim Vitaly Makeev, 13 years old, about the beginning of the raid: “It seemed to me that somebody had fired from the street because some sort of fire flew in the gymnasium. After this a terrorist run up and told us to go to the training room. And we started to run over the bodies. I noticed one of my classmates there – he was lying on the floor… without his head. Then they told us to go to the cafeteria. And there I saw a red ball flaying in through the window. It hit the bars and they broke.” Kommersant, 09.21.05

The victim Viktorya Kastuyeva explained with whom did the terrorists want to talk: “He (the militant who led the talks on the cellphone) was saying that he needed four persons: Dzasokhov, Alkhanov (Chechnya’s president) and Rushailo. He also said on the phone ‘you too’. Later in the hospital I asked my brother whom did the terrorists want to see apart from those three. They told me it was Ziazikov (Ingushetia`s president) and I realized that he was speaking with him. I still don’t understand why everybody started saying that he wanted to see Roshal. Amir was yelling on the phone that he’s not sick; he doesn’t need a doctor. I’m sure he said he wants Rushailo to come, not Roshal. I heard it myself.The victim Kastuyeva said that the negotiator of the terrorists nicknamed Amir (not a single former hostage had identified him among the killed terrorists) said: ‘it is a great sin before God that because of me children and women are left without water’. ‘He said that the special services had poisoned the water, like in Nord-Ost, told the woman. The victim said that she was outraged by the claims of Nikolay Shepel in the television program Man and Law. ‘He says there that he doesn’t know at what time the tanks started to fire at the school,’ said the woman looking straight at the deputy prosecutor, ‘With my own eyes I saw that the tanks started to fire at about four o’clock! The militants ordered me to stand in the window and to wave a curtain into the street while they are firing back!

– And in what direction was the tank firing? – Nikolay Shepel asked.

– At the school, naturally, answered the upset victim. – Do you think the missile could have changed its direction? /…/ I have nothing against the tankers who fired and the commandos, said the woman through tears. – I have a bullet in my lungs, our bullet… I don’t blame them. But where were our Special services during these three days? Why neither Putin nor Ivanov, our commanders-in-chief, did anything? The commandos were cannon fodder just like us. The woman burst in tears and the judge stopped the interrogation.

Let us sum up. Even before two commissions have started the investigation, the official version was that the massacre was caused by an accidental explosion that occurred in the gymnasium. Supposedly, the basketball rings high over the heads of the hostages were mined. Supposedly, for some reason, notice, in the moment when four men in uniforms of the Ministry of emergencies started to load the corpses; they arrived in a truck, in a crucial moment when the terrorists should fear an attack, they decided to start remining the gymnasium according to another scheme and the system blew up. Notice that the mined rings, everybody talked about them right after Beslan, give a good answer as to why did the roof explode. Later, during the Kulayev trial the precise official version said that there was a detonation button, on which a terrorist was constantly sitting and pressed it with his foot. The last version was that our Russian sniper removed this terrorist.

The official version is a doubtless lie. The flamethrowers, as Novaya Gazeta journalists affirm, were doubtlessly used during the raid, however professional military will not fire on the roof with them. I affirm that the raid began with the firing of missiles from helicopters on the gymnasium’s roof. The helicopters appeared over the school at 1:04PM according to some sources, at 1:11PM according to others and not later. In order for the helicopters to be in the air at that time they should have been lifted before 1 o’clock. The firing can be made during the time when the helicopter has not yet appeared over the school. (And it will not hover above it or it will get shot.) The roof was torn open with missiles. (In order to justify the missiles they needed the rings.) In a moment of panic among the terrorists the first commandos in uniforms of the Ministry of emergency were supposed to burst into the building followed by other attacking forces. This is what happened; the witness Kazbek Torchinov said: “They started to fire from the armored vehicle at the school.” However the 33 suicide bombers who occupied the school were experienced and cold-blooded fighters. (Let us not forget that the Chechens have defended the Brest tower.) In result the operation “Release” came down to the massacre of children, to the massacre of the innocents. One detail: The Committee of the Dubrovka Victims has addressed Putin on September 2nd asking him not to use gas in Beslan. The president, with his usual scorn or arrogance did not answer anything. Putin fulfilled the request of the Committee; he did not use gas. But he gave his agreement to the raid of a school fully packed with crying children, since he always puts his personal (confounding them with the State’s) interests incomparably above the lives of Russian citizens, above the lives of children. Therefore he is an inhuman president. Therefore the nazbols are right when they chant on their meetings: “Putin is the butcher of Beslan!” Therefore he is an extremely dangerous president. It is simply absurd to contest the fact that he was taking the fateful decision about the raid of the school. It does not appear to be possible to imagine that such a highly important decision was taken without the participation of the head of State. Even in non absolutist-type States such important decisions are made by the head of State after he has heard the opinions of professional specialists. What speaks in favor of the fact that Putin made this inhuman decision, as well as the decision to raid the Center on Dubrovka himself is the surprising circumstance that no one from the ministers and generals was fired, degraded or sent on retirement. Because Putin had no one to punish. He gave the order. He cannot fire himself.

Again, like in the case of the neutralization of the terrorist act on Dubrovka, a big lie was built up. Again the blame for the raid was cast on the terrorists. It is impossible to contest that the terrorists, whatever goals they pursued or whatever they are called, even “wreckers”, and even if they acted in the interests of their Chechen people, and that is how they acted, it is impossible to contest that they are inhuman if only because of the single fact that they took hostages and above all children. However it is not at all necessary to contest the inhumanity of the president. Again, like two years before that, he refused to negotiate; he refused to show the video of the hostages speaking. Again with his agreement, his servants lied, lied, lied. It appears that lying is his operational method. With its help he covers up the inhumanity of his actions.

And finally, let us turn to the final witness.

On the night of September 15th Shamil Basayev sent a declaration letter about the tragedy in Beslan on the Internet site Caucasus-Center. Shamil Basayev wants the Chechen side to look more honorable. And still it makes sense to listen to his voice, judging this tragedy, the more so that he makes the impression of a person who can allow himself not to lie. Among other things, here is what Basayev said: “A terrible tragedy happened in Beslan: the Kremlin’s vampire destroyed and wounded a thousand of children and adults, by giving the order to raid the school, for the sake of his imperial ambitions and the preservation of his seat.” “We affirm that Russia’s special services have raided the school, that the raid was planned from the beginning and here are some facts: the demands of the mujahideen were clear and precise: – We demand the immediate ceasing of the war in Chechnya and the beginning of the withdrawal of troops. – If Putin doesn’t want peace we demand Putin`s immediate discharge from the post of RF president.

Then Basayev presents the Chechen view on the events, he presents the Chechen truth, contesting Kremlin`s official version. He affirms:

– The mujahideen did not demand to release anybody from prison.

– The (supposedly) “empty” tape contained an address of the hostages to Putin.

– They distanced the relatives of the hostages by making up a night firing.

– The old KGB agent Roshal cheated and calmed the relatives by telling them that the children will stay alive 8-9 days without water and food.

– They have chosen the time of the prayer for the beginning of the raid – 1 o’clock PM.

– The mujahideen committed a fatal error by letting the vehicle of the “Ministry of emergencies” FSB, which contained God know what, to the building.

– The employees of the Ministry of emergencies shouted “Run out!” to the hostages and the explosions occurred right after this.

– They fired at the school in order to cover the employees of the Ministry of emergencies and after the explosion two of our mujahideen who came out to them were killed.

– The helicopters with snipers appeared instantly.

– It’s bullshit that Alpha and Vimpel weren’t ready, that “they even didn’t have the time to assign the firing sectors and the firing points.” Although the politicians have turned them into butchers they are still honorable professionals.

– The apology for a Prosecutor General Ustinov told Putin that the mujahideen changed the chain and that caused an accidental explosion. Even the sorriest of idiots will not change the chain during an operation, especially at the moment when an enemy vehicle is approaching the building.

– There is almost no splinters on the walls of the gymnasium while there are over 30 thousand splinters in a mine. (Then Basayev professionally calculates the number of splinters in each mine: “Eight regular army “frog” mines, 2700 splinters in each; ten self-made mines, 1000 splinters in each and two self-made MON-1000 from saltpeter, 1000 splinters in each.)

– The basketball rings in which the big mines were are intact.

– The auto-detonation is excluded – otherwise all the 20 mines linked together in a single chain would have exploded simultaneously; while four non exploded mines were shown… it would have been all or none.

I will stop here to note that I am forced, and you with me, to search for pieces of truth among those who are fighting against us, looking for independence for their country. It is outrageous that we, Russia’s citizens are the object of the lies of Russia’s president and its government. In his letter, Basayev also cites his personal message to Putin, which Basayev gave through Aushev and Dzasokhov. It is vitally important to know what did the suicide bombers, the 33 Chechen wreckers who captured the school in Beslan, want. Listen to this message. It has a proud independent style: “From Allah’s slave Shamil Abu-Idris to the RF president V. V. Putin. Vladimir Putin, you didn’t start this war, but you can stop it if you have enough of De Gaulle’s courage and resoluteness. We offer you a wise peace on a mutually beneficial base according to the principle: ‘Independence in exchange for security.’ In the case of the withdrawal of troops and the recognition of the Chechen republic’s independence, we pledge:

– not to conclude any political, military or economical alliances with anybody against Russia;

– not to dislocate foreign military bases leading armed fight against the Russian Federation on our territory;

– not to support or finance groups or organizations leading an armed fight against the Russian federation;

– join the CIS;

– stay in the same ruble zone.

– Besides, we can sign the Collective Security Treaty, although we would prefer the status of a neutral State.

– Also we can guarantee the refusal of all Russian Muslims from armed fight methods against the RF, minimally for 10-15 years, on the condition that freedom of religion is respected, which, by the way, is fixed in the RF Constitution;

– We have no relation to the bombing in Moscow and Volgodonsk, but, for the sake of the cause, we can take the blame in an acceptable form.

The Chechen people is leading a national-liberation war for its freedom and independence, for it self-preservation and not for destroying Russia or humiliate it. When we are free we will be interested in a strong neighbor.

We are acting by methods and means to which you force us and we will not hesitate before anything in order to stop the genocide of the Chechen people. We propose you peace and the choice is yours. Allah akbar. 08.30.04.

The little president has made his choice. He gave the order to lie, to raid a building full of children, presenting the thing as if the Chechens started the fire. Did the president commit a crime?

It looks very much like a crime. And what will he do, for instance, when the terrorists, whose families, let us say, were massacred in the mountains of North Caucasus by the presidential army, seize a nuclear plant in Central Russia? Judging by his previous deeds, the president will give the order to raid. And you will all die, comrades commoners, including those who wanted to hear a supposedly confident talk on the televisions screens.

On a meeting with president Putin in the Kremlin a year after the terrorist act, on September 2nd 2005, the head of the Committee of Beslan`s Mothers, Susanna Dudieva said: “This conversation was very difficult for us. You imagine what kind of emotions are overflowing us and what I feel, what these women and the people who stayed home, whose children were killed feel and you bear the blame for that as head of State. All Beslan thinks you are responsible. Because when people ask why he didn’t come they unanimously say that Vladimir Putin is responsible.

Putin: “I don’t decline all responsibility.”

In other words this man knows that he is guilty of the massacre of children.


The National-Bolsheviks who came to the reception room of the president’s administration and demanded to see president Putin had the following claim at the third place in their leaflet: “The robbing of the people through the monetization of the benefits. Only naпve people believe the tale about the evildoers Zurabov and Gref who got out of hand”, the nazbols wrote, “We know that nothing in the Russian Federation is made without your consent. With today’s oil prices the benefits could have easily been doubled and tripled instead of being cancelled.

On my table I have a thick pile of papers written in a small, rather extremely small font, about two hundred pages. The title alone is so long, so purposely complex, that if you don’t know that this is the infamous law Number 122, you will not realize that this is about the monetisation of benefits. Here is how the title, put in bold font, sounds:

The Federal Law of August 22nd 2004. Number 122-F3. ‘About the amendment of the legislative acts of the Russian Federation and the recognition of some legislative acts of the Russian federation as obsolete in relation to the adoption of the Federal Laws ‘About the amendment of the Federal Law ‘About the general principles of organization of the legislative (representative) and executive bodies of State power of the Russian federation subjects’ and ‘About the general principles of organization of the local self-government in the Russian Federation’ (with amendments on November 29th and December 21st, 29th and 30th 2004). Adopted by the State Duma on August 5th 2004. Approved by the federation Council on August 8th 2004.

Then follows a disgustingly false preamble, so false that the famous Ministry of Truth from George Orwell’s novel “1984” comes to mind. Here is this masterpiece of Jesuit mockery, the preamble:

The present Federal Law is adopted in order to protect the rights and freedoms of the Russian federation’s citizens on the base of a delimitation of functions between the federal bodies of State power of the Russian federation subjects. /…/

In the present Federal Law are also solved the missions of guaranteeing the constitutional principle of the equality of human and civil rights and freedoms, raising the material well-being of the citizens, guaranteeing the State’s economical security and bringing the system of the social protection of the citizens who use benefits and social guarantees and those who receive compensations, in conformity with the principle of delimitation of functions between the federal bodies of the State power, the bodies of the State power of the Russian Federation’s subjects and the bodies of local self-government, and also the principles of a State of Law with a socially oriented market economy.

During the transfer to a system of the citizens` social protection, based on the provisions of the present federal Law, the Russian federation subjects and the municipal formations must:

During the replacement of the benefits in kind by monetary compensations, introduce efficient legal mechanisms that guarantee the conservation and the possible augmentation of the level of social protection of the citizens, taking in account the specifics of their legal and property-related situation as well as other circumstances;

Realize the principle of support of the citizens` faith in the law and the actions of the State by way of keeping the stability of the legal regulation;

Present the citizens with the possibility, during a reasonable transition period, to adapt to the modifications brought into the legislation, in particular by means of establishing a temporary regulation of public relations;

Not to allow violations of the rights and freedoms of other individuals during the realization of the social rights and freedoms of the citizens.

The norms of the present federal law must be realized in accordance with the provisions fixed in the present preamble and cannot be used for the derogation of the human and civil rights and lawful interests.” Period.

This radiantly false preamble is followed by one hundred and fifty six articles of Number F3 122 that exactly oppose the good intentions expressed in the preamble. In other words that dramatically diminish the well being of the RF citizens. That diminish the level of the citizens’ social protection tragically, to zero; that trample the human and civil rights and lawful interests to the ground. The following humbly stands at the very end of this unbridled mockery: President of the Russian federation V. Putin, Moscow, Kremlin, August 22nd 2004, Number 122 F3.

What are these 156 articles about? They concern many aspects of the lives of various groups of citizens as well as such things as, for instance, the social support of children-orphans, the State support of cinematography, the ecology of Lake Baikal, the amendments in the law about the veterans, the law about the disabled people, amendments in the law “About fire security”, the law about the federal military courier, and hundreds of other things. In other words the law Number 122 is a real encyclopedia of Russian life. It is also a gloomy song of grief for those concerned by the law Number 122; and it concerns the overwhelming majority of Russian citizens. I am not writing a separate book about this refined sadist work; therefore I have to limit myself to certain observations. The most frequently encountered provisions in all 156 articles of the law are “to exclude the word ‘free’ ”, as well as “declare part such-and-such as obsolete”. Number F3 122 begins with Article one, which brings amendments to the RF Law of April 18th 1991 Number 1026-1 “About the police”. Thus, in order to understand Article one about the amendments in the Law “About the police”, a police officer will have to have before him the text of the law Number 1026-1 as well, otherwise he will not realize that he is being forced to pay what was once free and that many benefits are simply taken away from him by this laconic “declare as obsolete”. But he will not understand what he is being taken away. For instance the police officers are among other hings deprived of free use of public transport.

The fact that the first blow was made to the police, those who are called to protect the existing State order demonstrates the serene foolishness of those who siege in the Kremlin and in the White House. I doubt that they would have deprived their own security guards of benefits because they would get upset and turn on the people’s side in a critical situation. But apparently these gentlemen have faith in their inviolable divine nature and are not afraid.

Here it should be said that the little word “benefits” does not exactly, or even does not at all exactly, defines the nature of the rights that are being taken away from the RF citizens (because they were not taken away yet, the people got upset, got mad and came out on the streets with the help of the nazbols and communists). For a pensioner, for a handicapped person, for a police officer, for a veteran, the right to free use of public transport was only the realization not in the form of money of a part of his pension or his salary. Because the pension of the majority of citizens is so small that even by adding the real cost of public transport rides of a single citizen who used the benefits, we still get a meager amount. Therefore “benefits” did not mean “privileges” at all; it was a part of a salary, but expressed in kind, not in money. It seemed to the Kremlin who was reorganizing the society and the State according to the standards of, as they put it, “market economy”, that the time has come to put an end to the benefits, to these vestiges (as the Kremlin thinks) of the socialist system. And that the people are obedient enough; that they will accept it. If instead of the benefits the citizens would have been proposed a real compensation, more precisely, the cost of all the tickets that a citizen veteran, handicapped, pensioner, policeman, Chernobyl victim can use in a month and maybe even with a reserve for the inflation, then possibly nobody would have protested. But the greedy government, the pitiless developers Zurabov and Gref in over-expensive European suits (it is striking but both are extremely fashionable and thoroughly dressed individuals) have planned shabby compensations that do not cover 10% of the possible cost of public transport tickets. For convenience I am speaking here about public transport, preferring to narrow down the amount. Therefore the law Number 122 has caused a storm of emotions in the people and outrage unheard of in the usually submissive Russia. The power’s real criterion of benignancy or malignancy is its attitude towards the people. Does the power treat the popular masses as equals or does it treat them like weak and silly, whose interests can be overlooked? There is no doubt that these Putin’s guys in expensive suits and ties treat the popular masses with haughty scorn and fastidiousness. The law Number 122 is a detailed proof of it. It can be certainly used as evidence in court. After Gaydar’s shock therapy, law Number 122 is the second national tragedy and I am not exaggerating, I weight my words. A responsible power cannot allow a brutal fall in the standard of living of the majority of the population because the main tasks of any State power in the modern world is guaranteeing the citizens’ well-being and security. Shakespearian kings or the tyrant Peter I could have followed other, personal goals on the border of the XVII and XVIII centuries. Today, similar violence, let us say, the implantation of certain reforms that Zurabov and Putin judge necessary, are taboo for a responsible power. But the problem is that Putin’s group is irresponsible. And archaic. Despite their fashionable suits, their work methods make them people with an autocratic conscience. In the third volume of its “Politics” Aristotle has dedicated a short paragraph to the form of government that he called “paternalist”, in which the king governs his State in the same way in which a father governs his family. This form of government existed in Europe’s absolutist monarchies, but was gradually relegated to history’s archives, replaced by republican regimes or, if they were monarchist regimes, the power of the father-sovereign was brought to naught by the rights of the parliaments. In Russia the paternalist form of government lasted until 1917, but even after that the Bolsheviks, in the end, turned after a short period of revolutionary unruliness, again to paternalism with the mustached harsh father Stalin in its head. Putin and his people, whether they wear silk ties or service caps, are governing Russia in the former paternalist spirit. The tsars were as usual cruel fathers, beating up those who did not obey them. Stalin was like this. And Putin’s people are like this. They would not even think to ask the people if, for example, they want reforms or the law Number 122. After all, who asks little children? Cut back on their ration and that’s all. Like Aristotle said. Let them suffer a bit.

The National-Bolsheviks watched the preparation of the law Number 122. We received documents from the friendly State Duma deputy Viktor Alksnis back in spring 2004. We knew what was coming. When on July 2nd the State Duma was adopting law Number 122 in the first reading, the National-Bolsheviks managed to get inside the State Duma on the balcony for the journalists and spread leaflets in the hall, protesting against the law. At the same time another group of nazbols got on top of the Moscow Hotel and unfolded a banner: “The cancellation of benefits is a crime before the people!” It was not easy to do all that because the authorities were expecting protest actions and it was almost impossible to get inside the State Duma these days. On August 2nd 2004, before the adoption of law Number 122 was declared in the State Duma after the second reading, a group of 50 National-Bolsheviks peacefully arrived to the Health Ministry and “captured” some offices, including the office of the principal author of the Law about the monetization of benefits – the minister Zurabov. The National-Bolsheviks hung out flags, opened windows and the president’s portrait, removed from the wall, was thrown out (it was caught while it was falling by dozens of journalists’ lenses and got not only in the Russian, but also in the international press). The National-Bolsheviks held about two hours in the ministry besieged by “the forces of order”. During their arrest they were all brutally beaten. Subsequently on December 20th 2004 Moscow’s Tverskoy court sentenced the National-Bolsheviks Maxim Gromov, Anatoly Globa-Mikhailenko, Grigory Tishin, Sergey Ezhov, Anatoly Korshunski, Oleg Bespalov and Kirill Klenov, each to five years of detention. A bit later Moscow’s Municipal court reduced their sentences to 3 and 2,5 years. I will talk about the process of the seven National-Bolsheviks in the chapter “Resumption of political repressions in Russia”, here I only want to emphasize that the National-Bolsheviks stood up for popular interests. They stood up before the society could even grasp all the unjust and anti-popular nature of the Law about the monetization of benefits.

The law came into force from January 1st 2005, but the people really felt it only on January 11th, when the holidays passed. The awakening of the people in the morning of January 11th was not a happy one. Here is what the press wrote at that time. Nezavisimaya Gazeta on 01.12.05. The article “The Veterans Took Their Crutches” with the subtitle “The most unprotected levels of the population gave a hostile reception to the monetization of benefits”: “The Russian benefit holders who just finished to celebrate the holidays granted by the State Duma, only after they ended realized that they are already living in another country. Most of the Russians who, in the last years, had, for example, the right to free public transport, realized that the State that has promised them monetary compensations instead of free transportation, is not in a hurry to pay them. In the end the population ‘sobered up’ without even having the time to celebrate. The first to rebel were the pensioners living in Khimki, near Moscow. Monday, several hundreds of people, on the initiative of the local Pensioners’ Union blocked Leningradskoe road and demanded, ‘to be joined to the capital’, where the transport benefits were kept on the account of the local budget. In order to free the road, the law enforcing bodies had to intervene. /…/ Yesterday in the afternoon Moscow region’s official site published a comment on the Khimki events by the governor Boris Gromov. As it is told /…/ he pointed out that similar actions have also taken place in Dubna, Solnechnogorsk, Mitishi and Ramenski district. But only in Khimki did an unsanctioned meeting grow into a road blocking. In result for over two hours automobile traffic was paralyzed and air traffic was disrupted. /…/ As it was said in the press release, the fact that these meetings are well planned and prepared is suspicious. The governor emphasized that those who push the pensioners to commit such actions, as a rule do not participate themselves in these meetings and actions. /…/ Boris Gromov asked the citizens of the Moscow region not to yield to provocations next time. (According to other sources, Gromov accused the National-Bolsheviks of organizing the meeting of Khimki’s pensioners.)

The initiative of Moscow’s suburbs was on the same day supported in Russia’s other regions. In Almetyevsk (Tatarstan) about five thousand citizens came out on a meeting demanding to restore the free transport and cancel the one-hundred-percent fee for the residential services. This happened despite the declaration of the republic’s president Shaymiev that the budget has money for the monetization. The problem is worsened by Tatarstan’s transfer to a one-hundred-percent fee for residential services. /…/

In Ufa, over four thousand residents came out on a protest action organized by the local CPRF department.

Samara’s war and labor veterans as well as home front workers blocked one of the center’s main roads – Revolution Street- for two hours and held an unsanctioned meeting. The protest action was held under the leadership of the CPRF and the NBP. From January 1st the cost of a transport ticket in Samara has gone up by one ruble to reach 7 rubles. Former benefit holders are guaranteed the money equivalent of only 18 trips per month. Samara’s conductors and ticket collectors notice many attempts by the elderly passengers to refuse to pay their ticket. /…/ In Kaliningrad, for instance a security guard from whom the ticket collector of a city tramway demanded to pay his ticket, called his armed colleagues for help. In result the wagon and all the other tramways of that line stood 40 minutes on the tracks and charges were brought against the conductor Galina Omelchenko. The police officers referred to the order of the region’s police chief, major general Sergey Kirichenko, who demanded, ‘to immediately take measures for stopping any actions from transport employees towards police officers on duty’. /…/ The Baltic Navy officers were also put in a difficult situation. As the Baltic Navy commander, admiral Vladimir Valuyev, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the Navy has not received the promised money either. At the same time a significant part of the officers and warrant officers reside in Kaliningrad and serve in Baltiisk and the transport fare is now 40 rubles.

In the capital of Karachaevo-Cherkessia, Cherkessk, a veteran has beaten a female ticket collector with crutches, when she asked the old man to pay for his ticket on a tramway. /…/

In the Saratov region only federal benefit holders (170 000 people) met the New Year with the promised compensations. The authorities’ promise that until January 11th all benefit holders will not be thrown out of public transport was not held.

In the Sverdlov region, where the former system of benefits was extended until April 1st, already now benefit holders are denied free transport. /…/

The residents of the Volgogradsk region were also lucky: this region became one of the few, in which regional benefits remain in kind until June 1st 2005. /…/ In all, according to the data of the Department of the population’s social protection, there are 270 000 regional benefit holders in the region and 240 000 federal ones. If monetary compensation is introduced with 200 rubles to a labor veteran and 300 rubles to a home front worker, the Volgograd region alone will need 2,2 billion rubles for these payments. As for the project of the federal budget for 2005, it foresees 8 billion rubles for all the country’s regions as compensations.” The overview was prepared by the materials of Nezavisimaya Gazeta correspondents in the regions and shows the evil cruelty, savagery and complete irresponsibility of the Kremlin and all its ministers and of course, the president who put his signature under Law Number 122.

In Saint Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city, the situation turned out to be the most wrought up. I cite the site “NBP-info” on 01.17.05. “Saint Petersburg: third day of the demonstrations. The demands of the citizens: a meeting with Matvienko. Historical events are taking place in Saint Petersburg these days – practically, it is a new revolution. The authorities, afraid of the mass protest of the citizens headed by the recently formed coalition NBP-Yabloko-CPRF started to make concessions. The pensioners were given the possibility to travel for free. But the people want more: they demand to return all the taken benefits, let out all political prisoners from prisons, they demand Putin’s and Matvienko’s resignation. The chairman of the Saint Petersburg Committee on the administration’s social policy, Alexander Rzhanekov, who was beaten up by pensioners on a meeting, transmitted Valentina Matvienko’s proposal to meet the representatives of the demonstrators. The leaders of the city’s departments of NBP, Yabloko and CPRF worked out rather radical demands to the municipal authorities (reflecting the attitude of the demonstrators) and tomorrow at noon will present them to the governor when they will meet her personally. In case they are not fulfilled mass protest actions with the blocking of downtown will continue. The demands of the citizens who took part in the 01.14-16.05 protest actions in Saint Petersburg. There are ten demands: 1. Withheld the action of Law Number 122 on the territory of Saint Petersburg and prepare a legislative initiative to cancel this law, as violating the RF constitution. 2. Prepare and adopt a resolution to restore the earlier existing transport benefits for all categories of citizens. /…/ 4. Adopt a resolution to keep the benefits on suburb transport. /…/ Restore the telephone benefits for all categories of citizens who used these benefits before. /…/ 6. Introduce a legislative initiative to increase the basic pension from 650 to 3000 rubles. 7. Introduce an initiative to make the 2005 budget law in accordance with the budget code in the part about the distribution of the budget between the federal center and the regions in a 50/50 proportion. /…/ And finally, point 9. The governor must inform the federal power and the public about the position of the protesters about the necessity to revise the sentence to the NBP members who captured Zurabov’s office; the removal of the unfounded accusations in violent seizure of power for the capture of the president’s administration by NBP members since the young activists expressed the lawful demands of the citizens. Signed by: V. I. Fedorov, first CPRF secretary of Saint Petersburg, M. Reznik, chairman of Saint Petersburg’s Yabloko, A. Dmitriev, chairman of Saint Petersburg’s NBP, O. Kurnosova, secretary of the Civil Union, E. Kozlov, chairman of the Committee of United Actions, G. Belkova, co-chairman of the Movement of Civil Initiatives.

Let us examine carefully, which benefits were taken away from the main categories of citizens.

Which benefits were taken away from the veterans:

The new legislation defining the measures of social support to the veterans lacks the reminder that they can have tax benefits. The right to establish the benefits for the residential services was transferred by the federal authorities to the regional ones. The new law about the veterans lacks the reminder of their right to credits for acquiring apartments, houses and garden lots. War veterans are left without the right to free telephone installation and the 50% payment of the telephone, radio and collective TV antenna. Single war invalids and blockade veterans are now left without the right to a 50% reduction of security service. War veterans can use free tickets to sanatoriums not more than once a year and only on medical prescription. They now do not have the possibility to receive monetary compensations once in two years if they do not receive the tickets. The veterans are left without the right to a free car and the possibility to receive compensations for gas and technical service or a compensation for transport services.

The monetization of benefits for the handicapped:

The State freed itself from the responsibility to assist the citizens who support individuals needing constant care. Now the list of the social services for the elderly or the handicapped will be defined by the regional authorities and not the federal ones. The handicapped have lost the right to free specialized help, including dental help. The necessity to take in account the opinion of organizations of handicapped during the construction of buildings is removed. The quota for employing handicapped people is established for organizations that have over 100 employees and not 30 like before. The demand that the handicapped receive household items and other means necessary for social adaptation for free is removed. Not only the handicapped, but also the people who accompany them are left without the right to free or reduced-cost public transportation.

Which main benefits are taken away from the military and FSB employees:

The right to free transportation on all public transport is removed. The military, military pensioners and family members are left without the right to acquire products at reduced cost through the network of military trade. Monetary compensations instead of the food and uniform rations will not be defined by their cost. The method of granting loans for first necessity items is changed. Now the loans are defined by the government. The military of the permanent readiness units will not demand additional leisure time that compensates their service on top of their weekly service time. The military doing their service in conflict zones, including in Chechnya have lost the right to 15 additional days to their annual vacation and to 10 days for each 3 months of service in state of emergency and armed conflicts. The right of the militaries doing their service in conflict zones to receive a monetary compensation instead of a ticket to a sanatorium has been removed. Earlier the difference between the cost of keeping the children of the military in pre-school institutions and the amount the parents paid was compensated. Now they receive payments established by the Minister of defense. Medical help to family members of officers will not be free now, but defined by the government. From now on the military and their families will be only provided with a residence, which they will not be able to privatize. There will be no 75-100% subsidies for residences that the military that have served for over 10 years could acquire by joining a cooperative or building a house themselves. Besides the local authorities do not have to provide the military with the opportunity to join cooperatives or provide them with land for construction. The citizens who became handicapped during their service are left without the right to receive a credit for the construction of a house and acquire household items. The military who served for over 10-15 years are left without the right to free land lots and those who served over 20 years are left without the right to be freed from local taxes.

Which benefits were taken away from the students and teachers.

The students studying in middle or specialized professional institutions:

1. The students are left without the right to a reduced fare in public transport, food and sanatorium care. The laws about the social support to students are far less clear now. The State declined its responsibility to allocate sums for socio-cultural activities to education institutions.

2. The law now lacks even the reminder of the students’ right to free railroad transportation once a year.

3. The students of non-governmental institutions are denied of all the benefits, which were used by students of governmental institutions. The local authorities establish the amount of social guarantees for the students.

4. The State relieved itself from the responsibility to “totally compensate the inflation growth of expenses for the food and health of the students.”

5. The mention about a special system of crediting in the form of a personal social educational credit, which is created for the organization of the social support of students who study in institutions of professional and middle education has disappeared from the law on education.

6. The State relieved itself from the responsibility to put quotas on work posts in enterprises for graduates of educational institutions.

7. Enterprises, institutions and organizations whose employees go to school are not freed from taxes on the amount that they spend on these employees.

Which benefits were taken away from the students:

1. The State refused to compensate the expenses for education in non-governmental general education institutions.

2. The obligation to finance special (correctional) educational institutions for children and teenagers with deficits was removed. The same fate occurred to the educational institutions for children with exceptional capacities.

Which benefits were taken away from the teachers:

1. The State decided to relieve itself from the responsibilities, which it actually never fulfilled, in relation to the teachers’ salary. Their minimal wage rates should have exceeded the level of the average salary in Russia and the average wage rate should have exceeded the average salary in the industry. Also, the mention that the minimal wage rates for pedagogic employees from higher education institutions should not be lower than 8 times the minimal salary and the necessity to index them at each quarter were removed.

2. The monthly monetary compensation for buying books and periodicals of 150 rubles for university teachers and 100 rubles for other teachers is kept only for the employees of federal educational institutions. It is the local authorities who decide if they will give this compensation to others and how much. Besides, now these payments are taxable.

3. From now on the benefits foreseen for agriculture specialists do not concern teachers of schools situated far from municipal centers.

4. The graduates of pedagogic colleges who arrive to rural areas for work cannot count on subsidies for acquiring household items.

5. The workers of educational and scientific laboratories are left

without the benefits established for the employees of the corresponding harmful production.

Because of the lack of space it is impossible to enumerate all the losses suffered by various groups of citizens in accordance with the Law Number 122.

Scared by the benefit revolts the Kremlin and regional authorities quickly slowed down the monetization process. In some regions (for example in the Krasnoyarsk region) they postponed the monetization until 2006. The same happened in the Khanti-Mansiisky autonomous region. In other regions the monetization was frozen. In the Chelyabinsk region all the benefits were kept in their totality. In Primorie free transportation for benefit holders was kept. In the Kemerevo region the governor Tuleyev restored free transportation for pensioners. In Penza reduced transportation fare for pensioners was restored. In the Vladimir region war laborers and labor veterans will pay only 20 rubles per month for using the train. In Bashkiria the amount of compensation for the transportation expenses was doubled. And so forth.

On 01.18.05 Kommersant published the account of journalist Andrey Kolesnikov about the meeting of president Putin with the government, in particular minister Zurabov was there. The report is called “The Guarantor of Monetization” with the subtitle “The president forgave the ministers for the cancellation of benefits”. I will cite here only the last part of the report: “Vladimir Putin finally said that he would like to speak about the question ‘formulated before the New Year and is put in force from January 1st’. The president said that he would like to speak about the motives of the decision about the monetization of benefits (i.e. apparently he wanted to say that it was his decision), although he has already explained them many times and also how this decision is put in practice. Back in the USSR the system of benefits existed and functioned efficiently, in his view. And here is why.

– Only a small part of the country’s population was eligible for benefits, said he. After the fall of the USSR problems with the economy and the social sphere began (apparently there weren’t any before the fall. – A. K.)… And the State covered its failure in the sphere of economy with benefits, fulfilling its obligations only partially, what’s more. Now the government must be ready to criticism from left and right wing parties who, on one hand were creating an oligarchic system of capitalism in Russia and allowed Russia’s national resources to be robbed away, and on the other – were adopting popular but absolutely unfeasible decisions or contributed to their adoption, the president continued.

This way he wanted to hint to the critics of the ‘benefit’ reforms at the direction of the principal blow. Since there is no right-wing party in politics today, it is the communists who participate in what happens in the streets. I have to admit that this was rather provocative even for me, a person who does not react to the most extreme demonstrations of political cynicism.

– In result, the president told, – over 50% of the country’s population was listed in the category of benefit holders. And the other half had to pay for these benefits. In cities, the number of citizens who use public transport for free exceeded the number of honest workers. At the same time the quality of the service was decreased and the tariffs increased. Everybody was unhappy with that – both the benefit holders and those who supported them. So the motives of the decision taken by the State Duma and the government are clear! – The president suddenly declared.

I.e. he did not dare to publicly bear the responsibility of this decision!

Nonetheless Vladimir Putin considers this decision as principally right. But:

– Both the government and the leaders of the regions did not fulfill their tasks to the end: not to worsen the situation of those who need the State’s help.

But here the president quickly came to rescue the government and the leaders of regions:

– There are decisions that help to maintain social justice. Among them is providing a single transport document for an amount that does not exceed the amount of a minimal compensation.

Mister Putin comforted even those who did not even think about using public transportation: – You can decide not to buy a ticket and leave the money for yourself, was the president’s friendly advice…

Vladimir Putin is ready to bear responsibility for only one personal decision: index the pension not for 100 rubles and not from April 2005, like the government wanted, but for 200 and from March 1st: – in order to finally solve the transport problem, – finished the president, visibly satisfied.

Mikhail Zurabov /…/ said /…/ that the indexation can make up 240 rubles, in his opinion. He said that in fact everything is not so bad. Over a million passengers took the suburb train for free during the two weeks from the beginning of the year. There is only one difference with what was before January 1st 2005: – the citizens got used to take the train without any kind of tickets, disapprovingly said Zurabov, – but now they will have to go to the cashier and get a free ticket.

The best comment, concluding this subject will consist of these two materials:

One is called “The social package for federal benefit holders”. The text: “What is a social package? It is a set of social services. It consists of:

Reduced fare for suburb trains;

Free drugs in the drugstore;

Medical treatment in a sanatorium (on the doctor’s order) – one ticket once per four year.

The cost of a social package is 40 rubles per month. From 2006 the benefit holders can refuse the social package or some part of it. For this they have to make a declaration to a pension fund until October 1st 2005. And thus, from 2006 you will receive money instead of the social package.

The second commentary material is called “benefits currently in force”.

The benefits of the functionaries:

A paid vacation of 30-40 days and also additional paid vacations for extra time or hard climatic work conditions.

Service in a polyclinic (including for family members). The functionary can use such a polyclinic after his retirement.

Free acquiring of higher education. During his study the functionary receives a salary.

Service transportation (in relation to the post).

One-time subsidy for the acquiring of a residence. Is given once during all the period of the civil service.

A State summer house (for higher order functionaries).

A pension worth 80% of the functionary’s salary if he has ten years of experience. Is indexed when the salary is raised.

The benefits of the deputies:

A service apartment in Moscow during the deputy functions (in practice former deputies retain their apartments).

Service in a specialized polyclinic, service in a sanatorium.

A pension after one term of service in the State Duma (four years) worth 75% of the deputy salary.

Free airplane transportation to the district, free international and inter-municipal telephone conversations.

The end.


Being the president of a country where the minimal monthly salary is below a thousand rubles president Putin lives in unprecedented luxury. According to the press, Vladimir Putin lives in the Moscow region, in the Barvikha-3 residence, on Rublevskoe Road. The official maintenance of the presidential group is 899 915 800 rubles, if we are to believe the budget. The presidential security consists of 700 people; 50 people are on duty daily.

In the Kremlin the president occupies the building of the former Senate – 567 offices of several thousand sq. meters in total. Putin has three offices for himself: a work office, a representative office (a hall to receive visitors) and a reserve office, where the information from the Situation Center of the president is concentrated. The offices are equipped with seven special communication lines. In Moscow there is another presidential residence – ABC, but we do not know anything about it.

The president has also the following residences for himself: Gorki-9 (the biggest one, Yeltsin lives on pension there, it is 15 km west of Moscow); Rus – 150 km north of Moscow in the Tver region and Barvikha, 7 km west of Moscow.

Putin also uses the residencies in Novoogarevo (west of Moscow); the residence Valday (Novgorod region); Volzhski Utes (Samara region); Tantal (Saratovo region); Angarskie Khutora (Irkutsk region); Sosni (Krasnoyarsk region); in Sochi he has the residence Bocharov Ruchey (Krasnodar region); in Karelia – Shuyskaya Chupa (25 km from Petrozavodsk); in Saint Petersburg he has a “sea residence” in the Constantinople Palace in Strelna. In total, except for the Kremlin, mister Putin has 13 residences or estates, as you like. This is truly a tsar’s life!

Putin’s special plane IL-96-300 – his flying residence built in 1997. Later another “Plane Number One” was made – IL-96-300 PU (M), considerably perfected. Besides Putin uses a few helicopters and a special train. For sea travels he has the Russia sea motor ship, also known as “the president’s flagman ship” (length 83,6 meters, width 12,7, can contain 40 passengers). In the Baltic Sea he has a “service yacht”, a 27,4 long, 6,5 wide boat that can contain twenty people, it is called the Storm Petrel. The Moscow shipbuilding factory built for Putin Pallada, a 32 meters-long motorized yacht with two engines. On the Black Sea Putin has a yacht – the governmental ship Caucasus, 45-meters-long. And finally, as if all that wasn’t enough (the British papers solved the mystery in spring 2005), first in the port of Tuapse and then in the port of Sochi, Olympia, a new de luxe yacht guarded by the Federal Security Service, has appeared.

Not let us clarify all this. Let us begin with Plane Number One – the old and new. IL-96-300 was built by Voronezh’s plane-building association. Its salon has two stories. There are two bedrooms, one shower, a hall for meetings, a room for rest and even a reanimation office. The plane was painted in Holland and the salon was trimmed up in Switzerland. The interior was estimated at $35-40 million. The total value of IL-96-300 reaches $300 million.

In 2001 a second plane, IL-96-300 PU (M), was built for Putin on the same factory. According to the site on 02.10.03 the plane was being completed then: “The trimming of the second presidential machine was richer than the first. Every day wagons with wood arrive to the factory. In the first plane there is only one bar, in the new one there are three. The room for rest is also larger and is ornate with two beds for the presidential couple. The sanitary engineering for president Putin has cost a pretty penny, for instance the bathroom pan cost almost 75 thousand dollars. All the interior wooden trimming was produced nationally.

Now the yachts. The president’s official site in the section “the president’s sea transport” mentions only the motor ship Russia built in 1973 and attached to Moscow’s port. But it is not the place we should look in.

The construction of the Storm Petrel cost three million dollars to the Russian taxpayers. It was built specially for Putin on the 300th anniversary of Saint Petersburg. The president’s site does not mention it because this presidential ship lies in Leningrad’s naval base.

The 45 meters-long yacht Caucasus was built in 1980 on Brezhnev’s order. In 2002 its was modernized on the Almaz shipyard (one of the shipbuilding bases of Saint Petersburg). According to Tom Parfitt, journalist of the Scotsman, the renovations cost 1,5 million pounds (sterling), i.e. $2 835 000. “After the reconstruction, Novaya Gazeta writes, the Caucasus was added new Japanese air conditioners, a home theater, ceilings coated with French mirrors, white leather sofas and armchairs, furniture from rare tree species, wall paneling from redwood and suede. The decks were made from tick.” It was not the President’s Administration that ordered the reconstruction like it is supposed to, but the federal Border Service. And this is a manner of the new rich – to register their cars and real estate on the names of their relatives in order to hide their property in case of a prosecution. Putin is a classical new rich. He began as a manager at Sobchak’s.

In 2003, a year after the Caucasus modernization the president acquired two new toys: the Storm Petrel, built, as we already know, specially for Putin on Saint Petersburg’s 300th anniversary and Pallada, also built for this occasion – Saint Petersburg’s 300th anniversary. The new project was built in Holland and assembled in Moscow, on Moscow’s shipbuilding factory. “The Dutch partner of the shipbuilding company, Guido de Groot, cautiously said that the highly ranked owner of the Pallada, being a native of Saint Petersburg, ordered that the yacht be finished for the celebration of the 300th anniversary of his home city, Novaya Gazeta informs. The general director of Moscow’s shipbuilding factory Dmitry Mironenkov mentioned that ships like The Pallada cost about 4 million dollars. The maintenance of such yachts usually cost at least 10% of the yacht’s cost. Per year.

Pallada’s design is based on the theme of Peter the Great. There are wall-sized paintings of him. In the reception-room he is depicted building the city on the Neva River; in the boss’s room, over his bedhead, young Peter is writing something; in the bathroom there is a painting of Amsterdam, as Peter saw it. Like The Caucasus, Pallada has decks made of ticking and furniture made of rare tree species. The sofas and armchairs are made of white leather. All this is in comfortable rooms, salons and halls of a total surface of 390 sq. meters, on three decks, one of which is hidden from view. The salons and reception-rooms of the two superior decks are also protected from curious eyes. The huge windows are covered in a special darkening dust. The yacht is equipped with a stage and home theaters. On the prow of the ship the guests can sit on a soft semi-circular sofa with a disk-shaped table. Putin’s adviser Vladimir Shevchenko acknowledged the fact that the Pallada was built on the order of the president’s administration and said, “This ship is designed for official protocol events”. However he preferred not to mention how much did the Pallada cost to the Russian citizens. Actually it cost from 4 to 7 million dollars.

In summer 2005 the British paper Daily Telegraph published the article “By giving Putin a yacht Abramovich got himself a cheap insurance policy”. I cite the text of the newspaper according to the site on 06.21.05. “It's been a tense few months for Russian oligarchs, what with Mikhail Khodorkovsky's fall from grace. The Yukos tycoon's recent imprisonment on charges of tax fraud left oil billionaires quivering in their boots that they could soon be the government's next target. /…/ All, that is, except Roman Abramovich, who is said to be on good terms with the Kremlin. The Russian government has allegedly received a Ј30 million yacht from the Chelsea FC owner. The yacht, built in the Netherlands in 2002, was in the past thought to have belonged to Abramovich's business partner, Yevgeny Shvidler. ‘The boat has actually always belonged to Abramovich,’ adds my source. ‘Friends are now joking that at Ј30 million, the gift represents quite a cheap insurance policy. It's called Olympia and was given with the intention of it being a sort of Royal Yacht Britannia for the Kremlin's official use. It was recently spotted in the Black Sea port of Sochi, patrolled by federal guards, with Putin apparently on board. It's a 180-footer and quite a monster,’ says my mole.

Novaya Gazeta investigated the origin of the yacht. Here is what they wrote on 05.31.05: “The president’s administration refused to give us the official information about the yacht – the ‘object’ was classified. The photo taken by the ITAR-TASS agency in the Sochi seaport shows that this yacht runs under the flag of the Cayman Islands – a British dominion, a tax-free offshore zone, where billionaires from around the world prefer to register their yachts. The yacht was produced by the Dutch company Feadship. Here is what is known about the ship: the snow-white, 57 meters-long five-decks yacht Olympia was built three years ago on the shipyard of the Dutch city of Papendrecht. After it was finished Olympia went in Amsterdam for a redesign, after which it took course on Russia and arrived first to Tunis and then to the Sochi port. At the port in Sochi it was greeted by a special commission from Moscow. One of the functionaries close to the organizers of the reception committee told Novaya Gazeta: ‘It is comfortable and royally splendid. All the rooms there are trimmed with real red wood and rotang, an African palmier. Everything is gilded, of course. The beds are fixed with joints in such a way that even if the ship heels over by thirty degrees the bed will stay straight.’ /…/ The superior open deck of the Olympia is equipped with a large super modern jacuzzi, a bar and a barbecue and on the middle deck there are cutters that can be used for water skiing. In the reception-rooms and apartments on the other decks the furniture and paneling is made of rare white ash; the colonnades are made of rare maple, there is a Linn audio-video system, whose value is measured in hundreds of thousands dollars; a huge bathroom with glossy ceilings entirely tiled with Rosa Porto Gallo marble.

Officially 2 352 000 dollars were spent on the president’s representative expenses for the five years of Putin’s rule. How was the Olympia acquired then? Novaya Gazeta asked Lloyd’s Registry of Shipping and was answered: “Initially the registered owner of the Olympia was Ironstone Investments (address: Langtrey House, La Motte Street, St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands, Great Britain); the manager of the ship was Unicom Management Services Ltd (address: Unicom Tower, Maximos Plaza, 2 Paparigopoulou Street, 3309 Limassol, Cyprus)” It is interesting that Ironstone Investments started off on January 17th 2002, right before buying the Olympia and was liquidated on May 6th 2004 and its property (the Olympia) was inherited by a company with a similar name, Ironstone Marine Investments Ltd, registered on the British Islands. Somebody was covering up his tracks. But the manager still remains Unicom Management Services Ltd, registered on the Cyprus and which is a filial of the Russian Sovkomflot Company. All 100% of the Sovkomflot’s shares belong to the State. In other words their balance supposes that the expenses are paid from the taxpayers’ pockets. The company’s board of directors is headed by Igor Shuvalov, adviser of the RF president.

So here is the thing. Roman Abramovich has another mega-yacht. Its name is Blue Abyss. What remained unclear is whether the State paid Putin’s yacht with our money and transferred 50 millions of our money to Abramovich’s offshore accounts, like it just happened with 13 billion dollars the State transferred to Abramovich for Sibneft, or Abramovich gave this yacht to the State as a gift?

The total cost of Russia’s president’s fleet:

– Repair and modernization of the Caucasus – from 1 to 2,8 million dollars.

– Construction of the Storm Petrel – 3 million dollars.

– Construction of the Pallada – from 4 to 7 million dollars.

– Maintenance of the Pallada – from 0,8 to 1,34 million dollars per year.

– Construction of the Olympia – 50 million dollars.

– Interior design of the Olympia – from 3 to 4 million dollars.

– Maintenance of the Olympia – about 1,5 million dollars per year.

And this is not all. Already 1,2 million dollars were spent on the project of a representative ship to replace the Russia motor ship.

The total: only the sea trips of president Putin cost the country from 78 to 84 million dollars.

Why does the president need five yachts? The president himself could give an answer to this question. But he will not tell the truth like he did not tell the truth about the Kursk, about the raid of the center on Dubrovka, about Beslan.

The British singer Beverly Knight visited one of Putin’s yachts in May 2003 and told about it to London’s Sunday Times. After the singer’s performance on the G8 summit in Saint Petersburg in May 2003 president Putin “has invited her to a dinner on his yacht”, where she found herself face to face with Tony Blair, Gerhard Shredder and Putin himself. The singer said: “I didn’t want to refuse the chance to meet the most influential people in the world. Putin impressed me. He was visibly nervous because I was looking straight in his eyes. I liked his manner of appearing a bit sinister, like Darth Vader.

Does the president of a country, where the minimal salary is less than a thousand rubles, have the moral right to have this sea luxury paid by us? Undoubtedly he does not. The National-Bolsheviks wrote in their leaflet, right in the end:

It seems that you imagined you are a tsar, and not a president, elected by the people and responsible before the people. You forgot the words of oath, which you gave at your inauguration: “I swear to respect and to guard human and civil rights and freedoms, to respect and to protect the constitution of the Russian Federation, to protect the sovereignty and independence, safety and integrity of the State, to serve the people loyally.

In reality tsars behave more decently than Putin, the son of a house-cleaner and a metal worker. The Spanish king Juan Carlos has sold his yacht because of economical difficulties in his country and the mere intention of the tourist companies of the Balearic Islands to give him a new one, worth 20 million dollars, caused a big political scandal in Spain.

The RF citizens grew used to president Putin wearing a 60 thousand dollars-worth Patek Philippe watch in a country where over 30% of the population live below the poverty line. This is not even corruption anymore; this is tactlessness, lack of good sense. As is the fact that each Putin’s trip to the Kremlin and back, when the streets are entirely blocked and the traffic is paralyzed for a long time, costs Moscow’s budget 220 thousand dollars and is humiliating for the Muscovites.

As for the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, the president’s “sea residence”, it has cost over 280 million dollars. All the construction works were over by spring 2003, on the threshold of the celebration of Saint Petersburg’s 300th anniversary and the Russia-EU summit, which took place in the restored palace. As we see, moved by vanity, the son of a metal worker and a house cleaner made royal gifts to himself for the 300th anniversary: two yachts – the Storm Petrel and the Pallada and restored a palace for 280 millions. And of course he wanted to impress the foreigners: “I am the king of the Earth’s kings…” Putin… Die from jealousy.

Officially “the works were financed by sponsor donations.” The companies EAS, Slavneft, Transneft, Rosneft, Moscow’s Bank, Eurofinance and Severnaya Verf took part in the palace’s restoration. The payments were made to a fund called Konstantinovsky palace and park ensemble in Strelna, whose chairman was Vladimir Kozhin, the president’s manager. However the real picture is such that it puts in doubt Putin’s declaration that “the restoration was organized 99% on private companies’ money”. According to the Kommersant on 05.12.04. “A scandal grows around Putin’s residency”: A scandal appeared, the Kommersant writes, around the palace in Strelna (Konstantinovsky Palace) restored on the eve of Saint Petersburg’s 300th anniversary. The Northwestern department of the federal agency on special construction filed a suit on one of the structures of the President’s Administration with the demand to pay for the executed works. /…/ This suit may be followed by others – about 30 million dollars were not paid to the companies working in the palace.

Let us return to this department that demands money. The Department on special construction (USTT) is included in the RF defense ministry, these are military constructers. They have built 14 of the 20 cottages of the town where were supposed to live the heads of States who came for the festivities; they have reequipped the former building of Leningrad’s artistic school into the five-stars hotel The Baltic Star and have also restored the Konyushenny building of the palace. The total cost of the works executed by the military constructers amounted to over 2,5 billion dollars. By the middle of April the State’s liabilities made 213, 8 million rubles plus 25,8 million that were the interests for an unjustified use of the money. Notice that the suit was not filed on “the Konstantinovsky ensemble in Strelna” but on the president’s administration. Vladimir Kozhin said through his press secretary Viktor Khrekov that “he is not ready to comment the suit of the constructers but has the intention to deeply clarify all the claims and clarify how was spent the money that entered the fund.”

The site commented the Kommersant’s article in the following way: “The restoration of the palace in Strelna was supposedly financed not by the State (the taxpayers) but by private companies. However one is allowed to doubt the voluntary character of these donations. The mechanism at work here is apparently the same as in the times of Nikolas I when a petty merchant saw that the gendarme has an old sword and had to immediately offer him a new one. So the difference between the fiscal and the private is rather relative here. Other things are more essential. Let’s say that in the first half of the XIX century (in the end of the 1830s the Winter Palace had to be reconstructed after a violent fire) few people were asking themselves why should a poor country spend huge sums on the construction of luxurious royal palaces. In the beginning of the XXI century such a question appears to be actual. However in today’s’ Russia still nobody asks it. History is powerless against the national tradition.

The National-Bolsheviks, the young and therefore brave generation asked this question and gave an answer to it: “You seem to imagine you are a tsar,” president Putin? Otherwise why would you need five yachts and fourteen residences, including the Kremlin?

The fact that V. V. Putin has imagined he is a tsar is eloquently demonstrated, besides by the luxury that surrounds him, by the atmosphere of servility reigning in the country under the regime of total autocracy. It is demonstrated by the president’s two inaugurations. I watched the first in 2000 and the second in 2004, on the TV screen of course. Both inaugurations were vulgar sights. Sights from an operetta. I pitied the poor soldiers and officers of the Kremlin’s garrison, dressed up in outrageous hats with high “hussar” shakos and short boots, like a crowd scene from Kalman’s Mariza. I felt burning shame for my country, humiliated by this outrageous show in the Kremlin, for the amusement of foreign diplomats. I remember my ears and cheeks were burning. The soldiers were visibly ashamed too; many of them drew their shoulders in. Apart from the Austro-Hungarian operettas of Kalman both inaugurations recalled Nikita Mikhalkov’s “The Barber of Siberia” by their kitsch esthetics. In the conclusion of the second 2004 inauguration the president received the parade of Kremlin’s regiment. A bellied colonel marched, shaking his fat; the orchestra blew in plastic trumpets (they were made out of plastic so that it would be easier for the orchestra to move during the ballet). The mounted division dropped horse shit on the paving stones. Oh, exultant triteness! These sights make clear that the president emulates tsarism. What can you expect from a KGB colonel from the reserve? He refused the communist worldview and ideology following the spirit of his time and the conjuncture (it became disadvantageous to be a communist), following the epidemic of desertion that fell upon the functionaries then. What could he rely on then? After all there was only one truly Russian, mass consumed ideology beside the communist one, the ideology common before 1917 – the Russian absolutism. It is the one Russia’s president is persistently imitating. He imitates the tsars in their worst manifestations.


The deprivation of the citizens of Russia of their electoral rights: passage from the election to the appointment of governors. This is a State coup, the destruction of the federative state,” the nazbols accuse Putin in their leaflet.

The National-Bolsheviks entered the reception room of the president’s administration with their peaceful petition calling for president Putin to resign on December 14th 2004 and on December 3rd, 11 days before the nazbols’ action, the State Duma adopted a law introduced by the president about the new order of electing the governors. The law was voted by 358 deputies (with the necessary minimum of 226 votes), 62 were against and two abstained.

According to the new law the governor’s elections were replaced by the confirmation of the regions’ heads by the local legislative assemblies according to the president’s presentation. The RF president Putin introduced the law bill into the state Duma himself at the end of September. It is a part of an anti-terrorism package, about which Putin told right after the hostage taking in Beslan and the two airplanes crashes in August. From now on the candidacy of a head of region is introduced by the president 35 days before the expiration of the actual governor’s mandate and during 14 days the regional parliament must take a decision. In case the regional parliament rejects a candidacy twice the president has the right to introduce the candidacy again and in case it is rejected he has the right to dissolve the regional parliament and appoint a provisional governor. (The governors elected directly by the people before this law comes into force can call for a vote of confidence before the president.) President Putin promised not to overstep the constitution. However if the elected provincial princes had the right to occupy their post during two mandates at most, the appointed ones will govern until they are called off. Actually, “the president’s loss of confidence” is sufficient to call them off.

On December 11th, three days before the nazbols entered the administration’s reception room, Putin signed the law and it came into force. In real fact this law comes down to a constitutional amendment: the heads of the 89 Russian regions directly elected until now are appointed by the Kremlin and only confirmed by the regional parliaments. The independent deputy Vladimir Rizhkov has called the law “extremely disgusting”. He made a parallel with the law that granted extraordinary powers to Hitler in 1933. According to Rizhkov, the new law is “an offense to the electors”.

It is interesting to note that article 83 of the Constitution clearly states the president’s powers and according to the actual constitution the president does not have the right to appoint or remove governors, there are no such powers in article 83. Thus, the law adopted on December 3rd and that came into force on December 11th 2004 contradicts the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The law adopted by the State Duma on December 3rd also violates Russia’s federative system. After all in our federative system with 89 federation subjects the population elects the head of the federation subject. The appointment of governors is the prerogative of a unitary State. In all, according to experts, the law about the appointment of governors violates not one but over ten articles of the Constitution.

Naturally, Putin’s group welcomed its new law and adopted it in the State Duma. The deputy head of the president’s administration V. Surkov explained, “the new order of appointing governors will increase the solidity reserve of our political system.” And adapts “the State mechanism to the extreme conditions of an undeclared war.” What he means is of course the fight with terrorism; under the pretext of this “war” they have deftly palmed off an authoritarian law on the confused society, easily violating the Constitution. What concerns the qualification of the law about the appointment of governors as an anti-terrorist law, of course it is a provocative lie. After all terrorism is exported in the Russian regions right from where the heads of administration are presently appointed by the Kremlin. This is the Chechen republic, where first Akhmad Kadirov was “elected” and now the general Alu Alkhanov, a Putin protйgй governs there. This is Ingushetia where Putin, by hook or by crook, by pressuring other candidates, has put the FSB general Murat Zyazikov at the head of the republic.

Finally, I should remind that article 11 of the Constitution states: “The State power in the subjects of the Russian Federation is executed by the bodies of State power they have created.They, i.e. the subjects, and not president Putin, who thus has broke up with the Constitution.

The same day, on December 3rd 2004 the State Duma did another shameful action: it adopted a law that pursues the reform of the political system in Russia, – according to its authors, but in reality – that definitely destroys politics in Russia. They have adopted the law about increasing the minimal number of party members from 10 to 50 thousand people. According to the new law, in over a half of the RF subjects a political party has to have 500 or more members in its regional departments. In the rest of its regional departments there has to be 250 people and more.

Without any doubt these demands are the excessive demands of a police regime for making it impossible for the RF citizens to realize their constitutional rights, precisely: they violate the rights guaranteed to the RF citizens by part 1 of article 30 of the RF Constitution.

Together with the already existing laws limiting the electoral rights of the citizens, including the law “On political parties”, “The law on public associations”, the law on the complete transfer to a proportional electoral system, when only parties have the right to participate in the elections and also the fixed 7% barrier to pass into the State Duma, Putin’s group has executed the complete destruction of politics in Russia. Such a malicious control of the State over politics does not exist anywhere in the world, in the West or in the East. Nowhere in the world do we find a law that demands that a party has 50 thousand members to be registered. I will give only two examples to illustrate the crude violation of the citizens’ rights. From 104 to 108 millions voters are registered for each election in the RF. 7% percent of this number makes over 8 million voters. And now, by the Kremlin’s will a political party that has received, for example, 7,5 million votes will not be represented in the country’s parliament. 7,5 million citizens will not be represented. But many European countries have a much smaller population! A second example: a voter has lost his deputy. He will not be able anymore to vote for a candidate non-affiliated to a party. He is proposed to vote for a party list, of which he will know three names at best. And the conditions of registering a party were so harshened by the law adopted by the State Duma on December 3rd that the number of political parties who got into the State Duma, already small enough (on the 2003 elections four parties got into the State Duma: United Russia, Rodina, CPRF and LDPR) will decrease to three, two or one on the 2007 elections. Thus, the law adopted on December 3rd 2004 about the minimal number of party members is simply crossing out politics in Russia. It’s over. It does not exist anymore. The national-bolsheviks have felt right: what happened on December 3rd practically removes the electoral rights of Russia’s citizens.

One should realize that during Yeltsin’s era, especially in the last 1996-1999 years, Russian politics were squeezed and swallowed by the State. Thus, for example, the participation or the non-participation of political parties in the elections depended from two State institutions: from the ministry of justice and the central electoral commission. Both institutions were and are the instruments of a gang that took the power and were never neutral; they were always engaged on the side of the party in power. The justice ministry used every trick and device in order to avoid registering a different party. However only the absence of such a registration did not allow the party to participate in the elections to the country’s parliament. A clear example of that is the NBP. The National-Bolshevik Party tried to register (because it has spread nationally and had organizations in 47 RF regions) already in October 1998. However we were denied registration five times since then, on the base of a “moral judgment”, made in 1998 by the justice minister Krashennikov. The judgment was not at all caused by our deeds and actions, but by the suspicions, which the political organization caused by its young members. The suspicions of the parties in power – the owners of the “Justice ministry” company – were best expressed by their representative – an old alcoholic with a red face. After he exhausted his argumentation he finally said: “Well, look at them, there are lots of them, over five thousand, all young; we don’t know what to expect from them”.

The NBP did not manage to get over the bastions of the justice ministry. All these years we lived with the status of the inter-regional public association “National-Bolshevik Party”. From 2001 the FSB tried to take this status away from us. Finally they succeeded. On 06.29.05 Moscow’s district court ruled positively about the liquidation of NBP and its exclusion from the United State Registry of juridical persons. We addressed the Supreme Court. Suddenly the Supreme Court canceled the decision of Moscow’s district court. Surprise! It seemed that justice would finally triumph.

Actually, our joy did not last. The Prosecutor General immediately protested the decision. On October 5th the Supreme Court held a session. I described it in the article “Who are the judges?” in our party’s newspaper. I will cite here most of the article: “The guards in galloons warned the audience to stand up and one after another, eleven judges appeared from the back door, all in black gowns. They sat along a long table. Then they let the press: four TV cameras, many photographers; 20-25 people in all and almost immediately told them to go. The reporting judge started his report. One got the impression that he doesn’t know the material of the case. Lebedev interrupted him several times, telling him to shorten his speech. Then the prosecutor started to criticize the NBP, repeating the old lie: they were not reporting about their activities, did not register the amendments to their code and also mentioned that many Party members were condemned for protests, although this did not figure in the case’s materials. After he finished barking the prosecutor sat down.

Then our lawyer Vitaly Varivod spoke. Vitaly’s speech was short and clear. Then I spoke. I got up and read out a text I have written the night before. I cite it, omitting the beginning: ‘The prosecution’s demand should not be satisfied for the following motives: 1. From 2001 the Prosecutor General made several attempts to liquidate the NBP. It was the head of FSB’s department of investigation, general-lieutenant S. D. Balashov who gave the first impulse to these attempts. His letter, addressed to the first deputy Prosecutor General U. S. Biryukov with a demand to organize the liquidation of the National Bolshevik Party is contained in the criminal case Number 171 (accusing me and five of my comrades on four articles of the criminal code: 205th, 208th, 222nd and 280th), volume 1, pages 76-78, document number 6/3-2770 on 07.23.01. It is significant that the liquidation demand was declared on the first stage of the investigation. The trial over case Number 171 began only a year later – on 07.04.02, while the sentence was made only on 04.15.03. The court’s sentence freed my comrades and me from the accusations on the articles completely and thus completely refuted the accusations made by Balashov, when he demanded the liquidation of the NBP. However, despite the fact that the investigation was only beginning then, the Prosecutor General obediently made a report to the FSB. I cite page 79 of the first volume of this criminal case. V. Y. Golishev, deputy chief of the Prosecutor General’s surveillance department is answering Balashov. The date is 09.03.01. the document’s number is 7/2-2053-01: ‘Your message about the illegal activities of the NBP was examined. Moscow’s department of the justice ministry has filed a suit against this association on 07.11.01. demanding to exclude this association from the state registry of juridical persons. The civil case is in the production of the Moscow district court and a hearing is fixed for 09.18.01. Moscow’s prosecutor has to direct a demand about the liquidation of the NBP to the court before 09.11.01. The execution is taken under control.’

As you can see from these sources, the FSB and the Prosecutor General have taken an unlawful, prejudiced stance towards the NBP from the start; they tried to force the liquidation of a political party, using the administrative resource. The Prosecutor General and the justice ministry did everything the FSB ordered them. However the district court did not rule in favor of the FSB then. The suit of Moscow’s department of the justice ministry was declined by the district court. And the Supreme Court confirmed the decision of Moscow’s district court back in 2001.

I will not linger on all the episodes and vicissitudes of the attempts of Moscow’s Prosecutor General and Moscow’s department of the justice ministry to execute the demand of the FSB and liquidate the NBP. I will only note that the decision about the liquidation of the NBP, taken on 06.29.05. by Moscow’s district court was made under the enormous pressure of the same forces that initiated the first attempts of the NBP liquidation back in July 2001. These forces, namely the FSB and the Prosecutor General are not popular among our people today and are justly considered to be the instruments of political violence against differently thinking individuals and parties. The Supreme Court took a just decision on August 16th 2005 and the RF judicial corporation can be proud of it. It has ceased the abuse.

2. Presently there are 35 thousand members in the NBP. Thus, the deputy Prosecutor General Zvyagintzev demands to take away the right to create and participate in a public association from 35 thousand people, i.e. he demands to the Supreme Court to violate the Constitution.

3. Zvyagintzev points out in his handing-in: ‘After the organization stops its activities it must remove the violations of the legislation. The NBP did not do that.’ As the NBP chairman I declare that we fulfilled all the demands, in particular we changed the name of our organization, excluding the word ‘party’ from it and we also changed our legal address; we excluded the right to advance deputies from our Code. Three times we made attempts to register the changes in documents. These changes were not registered by Moscow’s department of the justice ministry, as demonstrated by the written refusals on 09.16.03, 07.14.04. and 07.07.05. These decisions were made on such insignificant grounds that there could be no other conclusion than to ascertain: Moscow’s department of the justice ministry refuses to register the changes made by the NBP on purpose. By the hands of the Prosecutor General Zvyagintzev is trying to make the Supreme Court join the political violence, the repressions that are constantly used against the NBP.

4. The Russian society has noticed the excessive cruelty of the power (because the FSB, the Prosecutor General and the justice ministry are all instruments of the power) towards the NBP members. I will cite here the testimony of the Izvestia newspaper on December 3rd of this year. The ‘editor’s opinion’ is stated in the following words: ‘For those who follow the trials of the Limonovists, nothing surprising happened. The Russian legal machine has been grinding the lives of this youth organization’s members with a special cruelty since a long time.’ And further: ‘Someone doesn’t like the Limonovists very much. Someone wants them to receive the maximum punishment.’ And also: ‘It’s been a long time that the power is excessively harsh towards the Limonovists. Only now everybody has noticed this.’ I ask you to note that this is not the opinion of a single journalist, but a whole journalistic collectivity. This is also how the society of the Russian Federation thinks.

5. Let’s call a spade a spade, casting aside the euphemism ‘liquidation’. We have a disgusting result: the ban on a political organization is being forced. This ban, if the Surpeme Court will support it will expose Russia and present it as a country of State repressions against differently thinking political parties. Doubtlessly this ban will make a bad impression on Russia and other countries’ public. And such a decision, if the Supreme Court decides to initiate it and, God forbid, support the prosecutor General in its striving to liquidate the NBP, will damage the reputation of Russia’s legal corporation in general and the reputation of the Supreme Court in particular. I have studied both the Roman law and Napoleon’s Code; I respect the notion of ‘Law’. This is a high and honorable notion, the best in humanity’s organization; this is a Law that limits brutality and bestial instincts. I would have liked that the Russian courts and in particular the Supreme Court were a mighty and self-sufficient corporation. The people believe that the Prosecutor General is not self-sufficient today. I beg you not to yield to the pressure of the Prosecutor General.

6. The decision about the liquidation of the NBP will lead to unpredictable consequences. It will force it to go underground. On party conferences that were just held in July and September the secretaries of the executive committees of the NBP regional organizations have unanimously spoke in favor of continuing the activities of the National-Bolshevik Party even after the decision to liquidate it.

Now, in short, my arguments.


To refuse the demand of the Prosecutor General about the cancellation of the Supreme Court’s decision of 08.16.05. and not to appeal the decision. I ask you, honorable Supreme judges, to take a just decision. History is looking at you in these moments.

Truly yours. E. V. Savenko (Limonov). October 5th 2005, Moscow.’

‘After me, the floor was given to Alexander Averin. Alexander confirmed our desire that the decision of the SC of August 16th remain in force; it is a just decision. After Averin the floor was given to a woman from the Department of Justice. Followed a lie, bleak as the woman herself. The chairman Lebedev declared a break. /…/

About an hour later we were invited. The journalists were also invited to enter. Lebedev read out a short decision. As it was to be expected, the presidium of the Supreme Court took the decision that the Prosecutor General demanded: return the case in appeal. History, really watching these Supreme judges has cursed above in the sky, I think. She found the cowardly old men in gowns disgusting…”

In conclusion we clearly see how the history of the NBP’s defeat (and the refusals to grant it the status of an all-Russian party, on the details of which I did not linger) illustrates the repressive behavior of all the “legal” institutions of the State. The justice ministry, the Prosecutor General and the Supreme Court. They all behave dishonestly and violate the laws by the hand of the law.

On its knees, the justice ministry serves Putin’s group. All decisions are taken dependently from the party’s affiliation to the Kremlin. For those parties that seem to be affiliated or made by the president’s administration no registration problems ever appear. Their documents are not examined; possibly they are not even leafed through. Nobody verifies their fake lists. Thus, there exists a Popular Party of Gudkov and Raykov; it has already taken part in some federal elections. It was registered as a party with 120 thousand members. At the same time it is known that the Popular Party does not hold mass meetings and marches, it is practically absent from the regions. I.e. it is a fake organization. But the justice ministry will not put in doubt the Popular Party because it is affiliated to the Kremlin. If it stops to be affiliated, an order will be given from above and it will be removed. There are several dozens of such parties, existing on paper, without a membership, in the registry of the Federal registration service.

The central electoral commission has fulfilled the functions of a filtration center even under Yeltsin. It was destroying undesirable parties and blocks, which managed to break through the filtration system of the justice ministry. I have watched the CEC in action; how it has dashingly dealt with undesirable presidential candidates before the 1996 elections. The methodic was simple: the CEC declared over 15% of the signatures collected for the advancement of a candidate invalid. Thus, Galina Starovoytova as well as other candidates who aspired to participate in the elections was knocked out before my eyes. The CEC was extremely malicious; those candidates who could have taken votes away from Yeltsin’s principal opponent Gennady Zyuganov were willingly registered and their signatures were not rejected.

In the last years the Central electoral committee and its head, the frantic Veshnyakov, started to formulate and advance limiting laws directed at the destruction of both politics and the principle of competition in politics through the State Duma. The last masterpieces of the CEC’s police art are the laws banning the creation of electoral party blocks, the law about the transfer to an exclusively proportional electoral system and the introduction of a 7% barrier to get into the State Duma. The CEC also serves Putin’s group on its knees. And Veshnyakov keeps inspiringly lying in raptures. This is why National-Bolsheviks have abundantly poured mayonnaise over him in August 2003, when he was presiding over a vile forum. At least he was punished in that way, this man who has many liberties taken away from Russia’s citizens on his conscience.

In Yeltsin’s RF the political field was controlled; however the concept of “affiliation” was interpreted more broadly under Yeltsin. Affiliated were Yabloko, SPS and smaller political organizations. And the Kremlin did not yet have the desire to tighten the circle of “affiliated” and have a complete control over politics. However when the new boss, VVP, came into the Kremlin he decided to have a total control over politics. The measures undertaken for this were increasingly squeezing the politics rabbit, crushing its bones. It was December 2003 when SPS and Yabloko were squeezed out of the State Duma. And in December 2004 the boa of the police State has completely swallowed the politics rabbit.

In my speech before the Supreme Court I have mentioned that the citizens consider that the Prosecutor General is not self-sufficient. I have just received a Romir Monitoring survey of 1600 people from a hundred cities and towns in the RF. Only 6% of the surveyed believe the honesty of the Prosecutor General, a little more trust the Supreme Court – 10%. Only 5% of Russians consider the government honest. And only 3% consider the Federation Council honest, while only 2% – the State Duma. What concerns the president, 30% of the surveyed still consider him honest. This book has for its aim to diminish the quantity of such idiots.

On November 15th 2005 the Supreme Court obediently confirmed the decision of Moscow’s district court about the “liquidation” of the NBP. The National-Bolshevik Party is banned.



1. How NTV was taken away

This is how my comrades Decembrists who came to the reception room of the president’s administration have formulated Putin’s accusation of strangling freedom of press: “The closing down of independent TV channels. Thanks to you the television ceased to show the truth and is daily lying to the people.” After they have come to power on the elections of March 26th 2004 Putin and his group have began to clean up the media space. Opposition mass media belonging to the oligarch Vladimir Gusinsky suffered the first repressions. There were precise reasons for this: Gusinsky (and his media) have openly taken the side of the movement Fatherland – All Russia of Yuri Luzhkov and Evgeny Primakov on the 1999 parliamentary elections. Also Gusinsky’s structures have kept sympathies to Grigory Yavlinsky’s Yabloko, but they were less supportive of it. In relation to the refusal of Yuri Luzhkov and Evgeny Primakov to participate in the presidential elections, in the beginning of February 2000 Gusinsky and the management of the Most Company declared their decision (a fatal one, as it turned out later) not to support Vladimir Putin on the presidential elections of March 26th 2000.

Before we go to the defeat of Gusinsky’s media by the president and his people, let us make a short review of these media. First of all, there is of course the NTV television company. In spring 2003 Igor Malashenko, former general director of Ostankino, former editor-in-chief of Ostankino Oleg Dobrodeyev and author of the Itogi program Evgeny Kisilev approached him with the demand to support the creation of NTV, a new independent television company. On July 12th 1993 NTV was registered. According to Yeltsin’s orders, on December 22nd 1993 NTV was granted the right to start broadcasting on the Fourth channel and from November 11th 1996 – the right to a 24-hours use of the Fourth channel. On January 25th 1998 NTV was given the status of an all-Russian television company. In February 1993 the Segodnya newspaper was established with the active participation of Gusinsky. In the end of January 1997 Gusinsky declared about the official registration of the Media-Most media holding. The holding consisted of: shares of NTV and NTV-Plus (created in July 1996), Echo of Moscow radio station and the Sem Dney publishing house, publishing the journals Itogi (created in 1996), the newspapers Segodnya and Sem Dney. Subsequently, from august 1999 the new satellite radio station Sport-FM was added to the holding. In reality all sorts of small units were also part of Gusinsky’s holding, but the general reader does not need these details; let us skip them.

The NTV turned out modern and new although obviously it bore the owner’s stamp. In June 1999 Gusinsky’s television merits were marked by the Teffi award – for his personal contribution to the development of television.

Until his forced leave outside the country Gusinsky’s political sympathies invariably laid on the side of Moscow’s mayor Yuri Luzhkov and his structures supported the movement Fatherland – All Russia on the 1999 elections. Gusinsky made the acquaintance of Luzhkov and his wife, Elena Baturina, back in 1987 when he was starting his businessman career.

By creating the Media-Most holding in 1997 Gusinky practically turned out to be the first Russia’s “media-magnate”, someone like Rupert Murdok or Ted Turner on Russia’s scale. He considered the mass media as a source of revenues. Here it should be mentioned that the mass media created for profits doubtlessly tend to give the viewer, listener or reader all the true, all the sensational, all the secrete information, while the mass media that serve as instruments of propaganda in someone’s favor will always distort, cut, hide information in their favor. Mass media can be politically engaged, why not, but in this case there has to be enough of them and they have to belong to different political forces. The citizen will have the total possible set of various points of view and switching channels on his television he will be able to receive the complete information. Like the National-Bolsheviks Decembrists have justly pointed out, now, Putin’s group has usurped all the information – it has taken over all the largest TV channels and thus daily presents only one kind of information to the viewer – the one it wants. And thus it forms the worldview of most of the country’s population, tells them how to understand. People weak of will and feeble of mind are satisfied with the official version of reality. Those who are stronger look for information like in dissidents’ times: in Radio Liberty or BBC for example. This is informational violence; it is in fact a crime of Putin’s group. But let us return to Gusinsky.

Here Gusinsky interests us not so much as an oligarch, but as a media-magnate. He has discovered that exclusively non-engaged mass media can be commercially lucrative (and not needing financing from interested structures). This is the role aspired by the mass media of Gusinsky’s holding. Nevertheless, Gusinsky was not spared by the total inclusion of the economical elite into the political whirlwind and has introduced serious corrections into his position. In other words he did not manage to stay unengaged and his principal creation – NTV – did not stay unengaged. Television is a serious political weapon; a Siegfried’s sword of sorts and the temptation to use it was great. By putting NTV and himself in opposition to Putin Gusinsky has signed his death warrant. Actually, it should be noticed in Gusinsky’s justification that Putin and his group would have taken the channel from him anyway because they govern the country from the position of absolutism and just physically do not tolerate the presence of such a powerful weapon as a TV channel in someone else’s hands.

Gusinsky has drawn many fresh talents into NTV. His producer’s education came at hand here. They say that Gusinsky did not like to personally meddle with politics until 1999. They affirm that it was Igor Malashenko, NTV’s general director, who has enthralled him with political projects. (Although back in January 1996 Gusinsky joined a coalition of bankers created by Boris Berezovsky in Davos to support Boris Yeltsin in the presidential elections).

The first attack on Gusinsky was made back in 1994. Employees of the main department of the president’s security attacked the Most-Bank office in the city hall, without presenting any charges. It was Korzhakov who gave the order. This attack is interpreted differently but most probably it was the first sign of resentment of the people in should-straps. In the end today we see even sharper oppositions of the same forces: people in should-straps have put Khodorkovsky in prison. At the time Gusinsky went to London for six months. Repressions did not follow and soon Yeltsin dismissed Korzhakov. Actually, now we are interested by the freedom of the mass media and the access of the citizen to total information about what happens in this country and in the world and not about the war between bankers and officers.

The next attack on Gusinsky and on the NTV Company happened in December 1997. The State antitrust committee opened a case against NTV about the violation of the antitrust legislation. The goal was to make NTV pay for the broadcasting of the television signal on commercial and not State tariffs, which were two-three times lower. Then NTV was saved by the presidential order of January 28th 1998 that gave NTV the status of an all-Russian television company. Then there was the scandal about the protest of patriarch Alexy II against the airing of Martin Scorsese’s The Passion of Christ on NTV. Bu these were minor problems.

Large-scale confrontations with the Kremlin began in 1999 in the midst of the electoral campaign to the State Duma. The competition between the Kremlin who supported the Unity block, it has created, and Fatherland – All Russia, supported by Gusinsky, kept growing. Gusinsky has actively joined the informational war on Luzhkov’s side, competing with the ORT channel, which continued its attacks on Luzhkov and Primakov more harshly. The Russians did not yet forget the vicissitudes of this story, unprecedented by its rage, vividness and scandal. Here is how it looked like in short. Dorenko accused Luzhkov of taking part in the murder of the American Tate, shareholder of the Radisson-Slavyanskaya Hotel. Primakov was accused of taking part in an attempt on Georgia’s president Shevarnadze. Less large-scale accusations were news about Moscow’s Bank financing Luzhkov’s pedigree stallion in Germany at a cost of about $300-400 million. After Primakov has had an operation on his hip, Dorenko made it the subject of his program. He demonstrated a video made during the operation (naturally, not Primakov’s). ORT won in this confrontation between ORT and NTV. The fight between two political clans and two TV giants was added spice by the fact that the ORT owner who hired the TV killer Dorenko was Berezovsky. (There is some information that Korzhakov effectuated the first attack on Gusinsky’s people on Berezovsky’s demand). The scandalous confrontation of the two TV channels in 1999 with the participation of the brilliant (someone would say disgusting) TV killer Dorenko is a clear example of the scandalous freedom of speech. Its contrary is the infamous silence of today’s channels, their total submission to a single boss, their hiding of the truth.

The Kremlin remembered Gusinsky’s position on the State Duma elections and started its vengeance. Even before the elections Vnesheconombank demanded Media-Most and NTV Plus to return two credits of $62,2 million. The Kremlin’s position was voiced by the former head of the president’s administration Voloshin who declared that Media-Most was receiving more State credits than the rest of the media and that it must pay. Evgeny Kisilev accused the head of administration of lying and in the Segodnya newspaper Vnesheconombank was called “a bureau that executes special orders from the president’s administration”. On December 14th 1999 a court order followed: it had to pay. Most-Bank was forced to agree and pay. At the same time Most-Bank was accused of not paying 650 million rubles to the State Customs Committee. Verifications of the Most-Bank and Media-Most documents followed one after another.

After the elections the relations between the Kremlin and Media-Most did not improve. The Kremlin did not enjoy the fact that in February 2000 Gusinsky declared that NTV would not support Putin’s candidacy on the presidential elections of March 26th 2000. Neither did the Kremlin enjoy the informational policy of NTV about the covering of the Chechen campaign. The position of the Media-Most media was strikingly different from the official interpretation of the second Chechen war and for Gusinsky at the time it was the only possibility to give blow after blow to the Kremlin and to Vladimir Putin personally, whose rating depended largely from successes in the war in Chechnya.

Gusinsky’s conflict with Putin’s group could not have finished in his favor. On June 13th 2000 Gusinsky was arrested and sent to the Butirka prison. The formal reason of the arrest was the case opened back in 1998 on charges of fraud. The NTV owner was accused of fraud and money laundering, supposedly two billion rubles. On the third day the Prosecutor General calmed the public with the following statement: “Vladimir Gusinsky’s cellmates are intellectuals. They both have a higher education degree.” The Prosecutor General also said that the case was opened for violations in the privatization of Russian video-11th channel. According to the Prosecutor General back in 1996 Gusinsky “joined a criminal conspiracy with the head of Russian video Rozhdestvensky. In result he received the rights to someone else’s property by way of fraud and breach of trust by a group of people who abused their functions.

This was the first arrest of the greatest businessman; the owner of the biggest TV channel, a media-magnate, and it caused a choc in the whole world. Suddenly two weeks later the Prosecutor General released Gusinsky and allowed him to go abroad. According to Gusinsky, when he was in prison he was forced to sign an agreement about selling Media-Most shares. As it is known the media-magnate left for Spain, but the Spanish police arrested him on December 12th 2000 on a new order of the RF Prosecutor General. Why such a radical turn: they released him and then asked to arrest him? Because Gusinsky refused to fulfill the agreement about the shares. In April 2001 the Spanish court refused to extradite Gusinsky on the RF demand, judging the reasons of the Russian investigators insufficient. Then the Prosecutor General brought new charges against Gusinsky and arrested Most finance director, Anton Titov. When in April 2001 I was sent to the Lefortovo prison Anton Titov was already there. He was charged with a conspiracy with Gusinsky to “steal over five billion rubles”. According to the investigation Titov worked out a scheme on transferring Gazprom credits abroad in 1998-99.

On July 9th 2002 Gusinsky surrendered: he finally got rid of his media empire in Russia and was forced to surrender. We (me, the media, the public) do not know what became the last drop that forced him to sell his media holding. On July 2002 the holding Gazprom-Media acquired Gusinsky’s media assets. Gazprom received blocking shares of all the largest structures of Gusinsky’s former media empire. The cost of the deal was declared a commercial secret but everybody agrees that Gazprom paid far less than their real market cost. Gazprom’s head Alexey Miller declared that this “acquisition increases the investing attraction of Gazprom-Media assets and creates more favorable conditions for further negotiations with potential investors.” But since then none of these media was transferred to a private company. It is interesting that on December 24th 2002 Cheremushkinsky court of Moscow condemned Anton Titov to three years of prison but amnestied him and released him in the courtroom. Apparently his release was a condition Gusinsky fixed to sell the assets of his media empire. From the moment NTV was transferred to Gazprom few traces were left of its former greatness. A crisis of the NTV team followed: Evgeny Kisilev left with a large group of journalists. Part of the journalists stayed and continued to fulfill their informational work more or less decently. Although doubtlessly NTV changed its position about the war in Chechnya and the opposition was given far less coverage. But even such a channel did not satisfy the Kremlin for long. In the end of 2004 NTV was destroyed once and for all. One after another the programs Freedom of Speech and Namedni were closed down and the channel’s leadership was changed again. From now on NTV does not differ of the State channels Russia and ORT that have gotten into the Kremlin’s hands long ago.

However the vindictive Kremlin (i.e. the vindictive president Putin) did not leave the former media-magnate Gusinsky alone. In August 2003 he was arrested again, now in Athens. On August 29th the Athenian court bailed him out and later decided like Madrid’s court: there are not enough grounds for an extradition.

I can conclude the story about NTV by a reminder that Putin and his group did not fight against the TV oligarch but were destroying a multitude of opinions, views on our reality and this is freedom of speech. The State oligarch, Putin’s associate, Miller bought our freedom of speech for Putin. Now he owns it.

2. How the Kremlin got ORT

I have already mentioned the fight between the media empires of Gusinsky and Berezovsky on the eve of the parliamentary elections of 1999, the TV killer Sergey Dorenko, the victory of ORT, and the fact that Berezovsky accumulated a media empire in his hands. Berezovsky started to accumulate it in 1993. It is in the end of 1993 that Berezovsky has created his advertising agency LogoVAZ-Press and the contacts with the former leader of the TV company A. Yakovlev helped him to organize his airtime. In April 1994 Berezovsky expressed his desire to initiate the creation of a “popular television”, obviously he was orienting himself on the initiative of his eternal enemy-friend Gusinsky who has registered NTV in July 1993. In November 1994 Berezovsky obtained the president’s order about the creation of ORT. With that he concentrated the direction of the financial side of the company in his hands.

At this time Berezovsky became the holder of 8% of ORT from the name of the United Bank while LogoVAZ also had 8% of ORT. These 16% allowed him to become first deputy chairman of the ORT board of directors. In 1995 Berezovsky became chairman of the ORT directors board. Since he practically headed a group of businessmen who controlled about half of the ORT shares. (16% of shares were supposedly acquired for $320 thousand. After the death of Vladislav Listiev Berezovsky became the owner of 36% of the actions. Berezovsky’s business partner Boris Fedorov had 2% of the shares and Oleg Boyko 5%.)

According to most political experts the entire project of the ORT creation was directed at the ideological provision of B. Yeltsin’s future presidential campaign, however Berezovsky also pursued a concrete business profit – after Listiev’s death he tried to seize the advertisement on ORT. He appointed his partner Sergey Lisovsky general director of ORT-advertisement and his other partner and friend Badri Patarkatzishvili chairman of the Board of directors.

In October 1997 Xenia Ponomareva became the ORT general director. This appointment was the confirmation of Berezovsky’s solid positions on the channel, which Anatoly Chubais tried to “nationalize”. Berezovsky even managed to organize a meeting between Ponomareva and president Yeltsin. It was Berezovsky who proposed the new formula “ORT with the transfer of 51 percent shares to the State” and he acquired the rest share holding at a low price.

Apart from ORT Berezovsky tried to acquire other channels as well. In 1995 he acquired 26% of shares of TV-6 Moscow. According to Berezovsky it was Edward Sagalaev who did all the work for him (“an absolutely professional man”), Berezovsky trusted him. Subsequently, when he lost ORT Berezovsky used TV-6 as a mean of his further promotion as the leader of a political movement. It is on TV-6 that Kisilev’s team went when they left NTV.

Also Berezovsky had a certain influence on Nezavisimaya Gazeta. He supported NG financially from the name of United Bank. Together with his partner Oleg Boyko Berezovsky sponsored the Ogonek journal. Actually its editor-in-chief was the former head of Yeltsin’s administration V. Yumashev. In 1997 Berezovsky did not refute the information that he supported financially Igor Golembiovsk’s Izvestia. Then when I. Golembiovsk, O. Latzis and others who have left Izvestia have created Novye Izvestia Berezovsky became its principal sponsor. When the founder of Kommersant Vladimir Yakovlev decided to sell his publication Berezovsky acquired 15% of Kommersant’s shares. The company American Capital started to control 85% of the shares. Presently Berezovsky’s media holding has shrunk like shagreen leather and the rests were united into Logovaz News Corporation. In the present case we want to know how Berezovsky lost ORT. This is how it happened.

Despite the fact that Berezovsky and his channel ORT occupied a pro-Putin position on the March 2000 presidential elections, the attempts to take away the channel from him began in summer 2000 and coincide with the attacks on Gusinsky. If Gusinsky was against Putin’s candidacy Berezovsky supported him. However it turned out that Putin does not have gratitude feelings. On September 4th BBC announced: “The famous Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky told that he intends to transfer his share holding of the ORT television company to journalists and other representatives of the artistic intelligentsia. Berezovsky said this in a letter to Russia’s president Vladimir Putin entitled: ‘About freedom of speech and ORT share’ and published by several media.

The president wants to direct ORT himself’ supposedly said some ‘high representative of the Kremlin’ to the businessman. According to Berezovsky he was presented with an ultimatum – either to give away ORT or to ‘follow Gusinsky’.

According to him the cause of such a situation is Vladimir Putin’s discontent with ORT’s coverage of the Kursk crisis. Like Berezovsky said in his letter, the ultimatum he was presented with puts under question the existence of independent mass media in Russia. ‘If I accept the ultimatum there will be no more televised information in Russia, it will be replaced with televised propaganda’, the businessman writes. ‘Despite all the shortcomings and problems that Russia suffers there are some undisputable achievements and the most important of them is that millions of people ceased to fear the power and the power is forced to be accountable to the people in some way. This became possible first of all thanks to the mass media independent from the power. For the first time in decades people have found justice against the policeman, the bureaucrat and the boss.

Addressing president Putin Berezovsky writes: “ By putting the mass media under administrative control you will return fear into our life. We will be afraid of the house manager again.” He also proposed the government to follow his example so that the Public Russian television “corresponds to its name”: “Release ORT!”

Russia’s government controls 51% of ORT shares. The businessman has 49%.

The Kremlin’s press service refused to comment the information that Berezovsky gives away his shareholding. In June Boris Berezovsky left the State Duma and a little later he announced his plans to create a new political movement oppositional to the Kremlin.”

It was supposed that Berezovsky’s shares would be transferred to the General Director of the company, Konstantin Ernst, the journalist Sergey Dorenko and the former ORT General Director Igor Shabdurasulov. Commenting this decision Shabdurasulov said on Echo of Moscow that the rest of ORT shares could be transferred not only to ORT employees and media controlled by Berezovsky but also to other persons: “This can be the most surprising figures from the journalistic community”.

The speaker of Moscow’s Duma Platonov called Berezovsky’s decision “a small ruse”. But the Kremlin was not satisfied with such an ORT. Putin wanted to have everything. Further I give the floor to Badri Patarkatzishvili. I cite his interview in Kommersant on 07.04.01. I remind that Patarkatzishvili is Berezovsky’s business partner. Here is how the events unfolded according to Patarkatzishvili:

The power decided to pressure Berezovsky using pressure on his close people. And on December 7th 2000 the former deputy general director of Aeroflot and our common friend Nikolay Glushkov was arrested without any visible grounds. A bit later it became clear that they are not able to make Glushkov give false testimonies and the Aeroflot case started to crumble. The accusations Glushkov was charged with were rapidly changing. Why all this fuss if you have a consistent accusation?” The Kommersant journalist asks: “You have mentioned attempts to pressure Berezovsky. Why did they pressure him? What is their goal?

–  Before and after Nikolay’s arrest they were pressuring Boris and me in order to “exchange” the closing of the Aeroflot case for ORT shares. And when Glushkov was arrested we agreed to this. We sold our ORT shares. Alexander Voloshin promised that they would release Glushkov. He lied.

– To whom he promised that?

– To me.

– Personally, by phone?

– Through a person both Voloshin and I trust.

Let us stop to comprehend this information. It turns out that the president and his people take close associates of businessmen in hostages (in Gusinsky’s case it was Anton Titov and in Berezovsky’s case it was Glushkov. Two other employees of Aeroflot were arrested with him), and like Chechen terrorists or gangsters demand a ransom for the kidnapped person. In this case they demand company shares. Moreover, as Patarkatzishvili explains, the Kremlin made a mistake; in real fact Berezovsky was never linked to Aeroflot. Here is Patarkatzishvili’s explanation: “The Aeroflot case investigated since 1998 was cooked by a direct order of Primakov when he was prime minister and directed against Berezovsky. Dependently from Berezovsky’s relationship with the power it was closed and reopened again. When Berezovsky helped Putin on the elections the Prosecutor General closed down the case. When he went against Putin it reopened it. But since Berezovsky never worked in the Aeroflot it was impossible to tie him to this case, no matter how hard the Prosecutor General worked.

–  But I am associating Berezovsky with Aeroflot too, the journalist notices.

– He didn’t work in Aeroflot – it’s clear. He didn’t work in Aeroflot – in other words he was never linked with any responsibilities, contracts or other actions that could be interpreted as his work with Aeroflot.

– Then why this staunch association?

– Because the power never controlled the ongoing processes and didn’t know who has Aeroflot shares; it always considered that we possess a significant share holding in Aeroflot. And wanted to strike a blow from this side.

– But stroked Glushkov instead, the journalist says.

The gangsters made a mistake. They did not kidnap the right guy. Glushkov was kept in Lefortovo. And for some time he was in the same cell as my comrade National-Bolshevik Sergey Axenov. So we know this story from the inside and can only confirm the truth of what Patarkatzishvili said in the interview. When he gave it in July 2001 there was already an international warrant on him given by the Prosecutor General. This is how Putin’s officers work.

But whom did Patarkatzishvili meet?

His answer: “Sergey Ivanov; he was still the secretary of the Security council back then.

–  Did the initiative come from you or from the power? The journalist demands.

– From us, because we wanted to release Nikolay and understood what they wanted from us.

– Once they showed on television that you have met with Sergey Ivanov. Everybody thought that it was to discuss about some Georgian problems.

– No, it was when we talked about Glushkov. But everybody though it was about military bases in Georgia.

– How many times did you meet?

– Twice. Ivanov acted on Putins order. I was proposed to do any business but not to meddle with politics or mass media. And I have made only one condition: give us Nikolay back.

(How do you like this trade, comrades and gentlemen readers? Do you want Sergey Ivanov, merchant of living merchandise, to become Putin’s successor?)

–  So how did the power formulate the conditions?

– That we sell the media empire and Berezovsky stops his political activities.

– All of your media or only e-media? The journalist asks.

– No, all of them including the newspapers. And Kommersant too.

– But if you had answered a categorical “no” it would have meant the end of negotiations about Glushkov’s fate.

– Exactly. But I didn’t say “no”. /…/

– So you left Sergey Ivanov’s office with some arrangement?

– The arrangement consisted of them telling us whom we should talk to before March 25th.

They did. First they gave the name of Alekperov. “We had to agree with Alekperov about the selling of all of our media.” When Berezovsky and Patarkatzishvili did not succeed to agree about acceptable conditions for transferring their business they were hurried. On April 11th (on April 9th I arrived to Lefortovo) 2001 the FSB organized a provocation with an “escape attempt” by Glushkov from the hospital where he was just transferred under the guard of the FSB. (“Glushkov has a hereditary blood disease and he can die without a regular treatment,” Patarkatzishvili said.) “Any talks about Glushkov’s escape and the preparation to it are just a stupid FSB special operation related to the crumbling Aeroflot affair and the power’s maniacal desire to stop Berezovsky’s political activities.

In the end Berezovsky was forced to sell his 49%-share holding of ORT to whom? -… To Putin’s close oligarch Roman Abramovich for an insignificant amount. Today Berezovsky filed a suit against Abramovich. “According to him Roman Abramovich forced him to sell his assets at a low price,” Vedomosti writes on 05.07.05 and cites Berezovsky: “It wasn’t a sale, it was a racket organized by Putin, Abramovich and the former head of the president’s administration Voloshin”, Berezovsky said.

For people who want to know where do negotiations about the fate of State hostages take place: here is what Patarkatzishvili said to the question “Where did your meetings with Ivanov take place? In the governmental residence on Kosigina, 34. On March 2nd and 13th 2001. Very confidentially. I was brought there by car.

In November 2000 Berezovsky left Russia and now lives in Great Britain. As soon as ORT was taken away from him a campaign was started to take away the TV-6 channel from him. Mister Alekperov was put at work again. In Fall 2001 V. Alekperov’s Lukoyl obtained a court decision about the liquidation of TV-6 through his filial Lukoyl-Garant (junior partner of TV-6). In the beginning of January 2002 TV-6’s appeal of the court’s decision was rejected by the presidium of the Appeal Court despite the fact that the law, on which the decision was based, became invalid from January 1st 2002.

On January 15th 2002 president Putin announced that the State would not intervene in the situation around TV-6. In the night of January 21st 2002 TV-6 stopped broadcasting. On January 29th 2002 Putin gave the government an order to work out the question of creating a national sport channel in Russia. However on March 27th 2002 the channel was given to the non-commercial partner Mediasocium headed by Evgeny Primakov and Arkady Volsky, in which E. Kiselev’s team was the junior partner. Actually the “victory” was only momentary. A few months later broadcasting on TV-6 was stopped and a sport channel started to broadcast from the TV-6 frequency.

In this chapter I have told only in general traits how the largest television channels were taken away in order to make them Kremlin’s property and Putin’s mouthpieces. Apart from this in the last years the Kremlin expropriated less significant channels, radio stations and hundreds of newspapers and journals.



The RF president’s administration possesses huge informal powers although its legal status is not written in any laws. This is how the director of the Institute of problems linked with liberal development Yuly Nisnevich defined the role of the president’s administration in an interview to Kommersant: “His administration is mentioned only in the Constitution and is not defined by other laws. Politically it is the staff of the ruling regime, which uses the power resource of other official bodies of power in its interests.” But in essence the Administration is not even second after Fradkov’s government but the first and the main government. The media name 43 people among the leaders of the Administration. The Administration is situated in large buildings on Ilyinka Street and on the Old Square. The total number of the Administration’s employees is obviously several thousand people.

From the 43 leaders of the Administration, the highest in the hierarchy is Dmitry Medvedev. This chapter was already written when rearrangements have followed. Medvedev was just transferred to the post of the government’s deputy prime minister. Former governor of the Tyumen region Sergey Sobyanin was appointed head of Administration. Still this rearrangement did not modify the essence of the Administration. He is 40 years old; he is the son of a Leningrad’s professor. He graduated from the juridical faculty of the Leningrad’s State University in 1987, and then he finished his post-graduate studies in the faculty. But his main quality is that he is Putin’s long time friend. In his biography in the Kommersant-Power newspaper it is said: “From 1990 he becomes the assistant of Lensovet’s chairman Anatoly Sobchak (he postulated for the post on an invitation of Sobchak’s advisor Vladimir Putin)”. He owns his further successes and the growth of his career to Putin’s advancement into power. Together with him he moves to Moscow. From August 31st 1999 he becomes deputy head of the president’s Administration Alexander Voloshin. It is interesting to note that in the year of Putin’s appointment on the post of FSB director in 1998, Putin and his group start to lay their hands on the financial power as well. In 1998 Medvedev is elected only as member of the Directors’ Board of the “Fraternal timber industrial complex” joint-stock company. We can only guess at how it was achieved. Maybe they hinted on the FSB powers (unlimited) and proposed the timber industrials to move aside. Actually in 1998 Vladimir Vladimirovich was certainly already an artist in the sphere of property theft. They asked the timber industrials to move aside. Unlimited opportunities opened up before Putin’s group after he became president. He became president on March 26th and on June 3rd 2000 Medvedev, Putin’s faithful companion, became first deputy of the Administration’s head (Yeltsin left Voloshin to Putin; it was impossible yet to remove him) and on June 30th Putin’s group is already taking over, not some fraternal timber industrials, oh no, Medvedev becomes chairman of Gazprom’s Board of Directors. Naturally, conserving his post of head of administration. If we remember that Alexey Miller (from 1991 he was member of the Committee of Saint Petersburg’s city hall’s external relations) becomes Gazprom’s general director almost at the same time, then these two appointments are called “Gazprom’s takeover” by Putin’s group.

It would be simpler to start the biographies of the “leaders” of the president’s Administration from the year when each of them met Putin. Igor Ivanovich Sechin is believed to be a very powerful man in the Administration. He is 45 years old. He graduated from the philological faculty of Leningrad’s State University specialized as “philologist-novelist, teacher of French and Portugal”. He worked as a translator in Mozambique and Angola. “According to the media, he worked for the KGB in Africa,” Kommersant-Power affirms for example. In Sobchak’s city hall “he was responsible for contacts with Leningrad’s cities-friends: Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona and Milan.” He met Putin during a trip of Lensovet’s delegation to Brazil in 1990. From this time he accompanies him in all of his trips. When Putin, for example, became FSB director, Sechin was his adviser. On December 31st 1999 he was appointed deputy head of the president’s Administration. From July 27th 2004 he heads Rosneft’s board of directors. In other words, as we see, the president’s administration is slowly but inevitably laying its hands on the property of huge companies. As deputy head of the administration Sechin is responsible for: the Department of external policy, the Department of informational and documental provision and the presidnet’s Office. A layperson is not able to understand, for instance, the difference between the Office and the Department of informational and, for that matter, documental provision. But believe my word, Igor Sechin is almost the most powerful man in our country after Putin. They say that he grants access to Putin. Recently Sergey Dorenko published an anti-utopia, a book called “2008”; Igor Sechin is portrayed there as diabolically sly and cynical. Externally this is a man with an oval, flabby face without a clearly defined shin.

Rumor has it that Igor Sechin is in a harsh competition with another administration’s deputy head, Vladislav Yurievich Surkov. One department is directly under his orders. But this is the Department of internal policy; therefore Vladislav Yurievich is an extremely important person in the country. He dictates the internal policy: with his hands he created fake non-existing parties, broke apart existing ones, destroyed the political freedoms in the country and politics as such. If Putin’s group was honest in its unscrupulousness Vladislav Yurievich could have proudly renamed his direction into “Zubatov’s ministry of intrigues and falsification”. We will linger on V.Y.’s activities more in detail later but now shortly about his biography. He was born in 1961 in the village of Solntzevo of the Lipetsk region. The joy of patriots-nationalists is premature here because despite his rural, supposedly Russian coordinates Vladislav Yurievich’s father is a pureblooded Chechen, which is instantly apparent when we look at Surkov. Surkov’s father is Aslambek Dudayev. He was born in the village of Duba-Yurt, where his mother, a 23-years-old graduate of Tambov’s pedagogical institute, arrived to work as a teacher in 1959. She liked her colleague, the teacher Andarbek Dudayev. Vladimir Surkov came to the world in Shalinsky hospital (how was he registered as born in Solntzevo?), until 1967 he lived with his parents in Duba-Yurta and in 1967 the family moved to Grozny, to the oil industry workers’ district, Berezka, Pugachev Street.

All this information can be obtained in the Zhizn newspaper dated as of 07.13.05. I am not at all disturbed by the fact that Surkov is a Chechen, I am even glad. Because it explains some of his actions by a split personality. Naturally it is surprising that during the second Chechen war politics in Russia were formulated in significant part by a man with a spilt consciousness. How does he live, the poor, since there are rivers of blood between the Surkovs and the Dudayevs? Well, actually, the famous general Ermolov, the conqueror of the Caucasus hated by the Chechens, was married to a Chechen and his four sons later served in the Russian army…

Vladislav Yurievich Surkov is the figure closest to the NBP; he chose to be our opponent; the organization Nashi was his project; there is a chapter dedicated to it in this book, so I will talk about Surkov more in detail. This is how he is characterized in the reference book “The President’s Administration” (published by the Center of Political Information Nevsky-Lubyanka-Kremlin): “Former representative of the “Family”, joined a strategic alliance with “Piter’s group”, oriented on V. Putin and Alpha-groups; assists the president in issues of internal policy; manages public organizations, regions and media; administers the funds of the president’s administration, signs civil contracts.” In other words Surkov is our “manager”, in the language of the special services he is an officer who watches us, keeps us under his control, represses us. At the same time Surkov is the chairman of the board of directors of Transneft-Product; the cost of the company is 428 million dollars; its sphere of activity is: the transportation of oil products, the construction of pipelines.

Since Surkov is the former representative of the Family, although he was entrusted with internal policy, he got the poorest company. The wealthiest one is Gazprom and it went to Putin’s faithful veterans: Dmitry Medvedev and Alexey Miller. Gazprom has just bought Sibneft to Roman Abramovich; together their assets are evaluated at 43,1 billion dollars. The president’s next best friend, his veteran Igor Ivanovich Sechin serves, I already told, as chairman of Rosneft’s board of directors. This company extracts, processes and sells oil. Its capital is more modest: 5,3 billion dollars. Another administration’s employee close to Putin is Viktor Petrovich Ivanov, born in 1950; in 1977 he graduated from KGB’s higher courses. He went in reserve in 1994. In 1994-96 he headed the Department of administrative bodies of Saint Petersburg’s city hall.

He left the city hall with Putin and when the latter became FSB director Viktor Ivanov became head of the FSB department of personal security. Such a post is not entrusted to anybody, only to the salt of the Earth. From January 2000 he is deputy director of the administration. By Ivanov’s initiative in 2002 the president’s amnesty commission was liquidated. As the president’s adviser Viktor Ivanov manages simultaneously two departments: the department of State service issues and the Department of staff issues and State honors. From 2002 Viktor Ivanov becomes chairman of the board of directors of Aeroflot and Almaz-Antey, costing 3,3, billion dollars. The sphere of activity of his companies: air transportation, production of anti-aircraft means. Putin has met Ivanov even before his service in the city hall, they both served in Leningrad’s FSB department. Strange things happen around Ivanov, like around any functionary of the administration. This book is not about Viktor Ivanov but in order for the reader to have a sense of the climate around these people, here is only one story. “On June 6th 2003 Igor Klimov, general director of the Almaz-Antey concern, supposedly a man from the service of foreign intelligence, former Ivanov’s assistant representing his interests in the Almaz-Altey concern, was shot in Moscow. Not long before the murder the Prosecutor General started an investigation about the theft of a huge amount of money (about $ten million) on the account of providing TOP-M1 missile complexes to Greece. They said that Klimov possessed information on this case and a few months earlier the concern’s financier Sergey Vorobiev disappeared with the money,” Izvestia wrote on 06.06.03.

On March 25th 2004 Viktor Ivanov became less powerful in the administration, since from deputy head of the administration he was appointed president’s assistant. According to some V. Ivanov started to head a serious opposition (inside the PA) to Voloshin-Surkov group and although later Voloshin left the PA himself, Surkov’s group prevailed.

Igor Ivanovich Shuvalov is considered to be very promising in the administration; he keeps increasing his power. Here is how the Center of Political Information Nevsky-Lubyanka-Kremlin characterizes him: “Former Kasyanov’s friend; oriented on V. Putin, provides the president on issues of “all-national projects”, manages the execution of the messages of the federal Council’s president, the Expert department and the commissions on issues of federative relations and local self-government.” Shuvalov was born in 1967. In 1992 he graduated from the juridical faculty of Moscow’s State University specialized as jurist. Shuvalov has the perfect career of a bureaucrat and a financier, but we do not need its stages. He is a professional, so to speak, “member of the board of directors”. In 1999, for example, he was part of Gazprom’s and in the Russian Development Bank’s board of directors. Now he is doing a quite ungrateful work on his post – he “doubles the GDP” and is responsible for social transformations. They affirm that now Shuvalov “has grown out” of his old contacts and apparently has joined the new “Piter” team. “Sources note, The President’s Samurais (Moscow, 2005, A. Mukhin) writes, in particular Shuvalov’s successes in fixing the work of the government’s apparatus. For example they say that he led a successful re-attestation among the employees, which resulted in the majority of the pensioners losing their job. Also Shuvalov managed to fix the system of document circulation, which did not work well before him. In particular each Monday he holds consultations about legislative activities, which contributed to the normalization of the system of documents’ passing.” Igor Ivanovich Shuvalov’s heroic deeds on the front of document circulation are naturally impressive, but more impressive is the financial size of the companies, which Shuvalov controls as member of the board of directors. This is Sovkomflot (sea transportation, including transportation of liquefied natural gas and oil products) and Russian Railways (freight and passenger railway transportation). The total weight of these companies is 31,4 billion dollars.

The president’s assistant Sergey Edwardovich Prikhodko was born in 1957; in 1980 he graduated from Moscow’s State University of International Relations. Until 1997 he made a good career in the Ministry of Interior. Now he is the president’s adviser on issues of external policy and international relations. Besides he is chairman of the board of directors of the TVEL Corporation; the corporation produces nuclear fuel for the reactors of nuclear plants. TVEL’s value is estimated at 1,1 billion dollars. I cannot say for sure what is the estimated value of the Tactical Rocket Weapons Corporation, whose board of directors is also presided by this man with multiple chins; I did not find it in reference books or in the media.

I have named here only six of the 43 most famous leaders of the president’s administration. But the thirty-seven that are left are not fools either. The president’s administrators are politically powerful people – they manipulate the federation Council, the State Duma, the State Duma elections and the appointment to the Federation Council (Sochin and Surkov); they appoint and (more rarely) dismiss ministers. They are like the overseers of the government and therefore there are above it. At the same time the leaders of the president’s administration are in essence new oligarchs. Therefore the nazbols are a thousand times right when they go out on meetings with the slogan “The oligarchs are in the Kremlin!” They are in the Kremlin and on Old Square. Thus, the president’s administration is a concentration of political and financial power in the country. Even those six that I mentioned: D. Medvedev, I. Sechin, V. Surkov, V. Ivanov, I. Shuvalov and S. Prikhodko control directly or indirectly a major part of the main financial flows in the country; these flows are comparable with half of Russia’s annual budget. You should realize that the post of chairman of the board of directors (or member of the board) of the largest State Company is not ceremonial; this is a real financial power; in many cases it is a monopolistic power.

In contrary to Yeltsin’s times of banal embezzlement, Putin, by putting trusted people on key businesses, has made the power to become a business. It privatized key branches of the economy for itself: oil, gas, transport, and nuclear energy. In other words basic branches that bring the main profits into the budget. The new oligarchs, leaders of the president’s administration, have a consolidated budget and one boss – the president (since the assignment of posts is in his power).

The new oligarchs are fantastically rich. “The gross profit of the companies controlled by the Administration in 2003 was about 45 billion dollars. In 2004 it was 89,828 billion dollars,” Novaya Gazeta writes in issue 8 for 2005. In 2005 Gazprom acquired Sibneft, which by the end of the year will give a minimal increase of the total profit of 8,9 billion dollars. Obviously Rosneft, which obtained Yuganskneftegaz, will also improve its indicators. If to this wealth we add the fact that it is the president’s administration that establishes the tariffs on the production of the natural resources sector, then they have unlimited possibilities for enrichment. The RF government becomes an increasingly technical body that serves the Administration.

After it took over the financial power, the president’s Administration did not reject the political power. Moreover, it is not only the president who formulates the State’s policy but the gentlemen from the president’s Administration. On September 29th 2004 Komsomolskaya Pravda published an interview with the deputy head of the president’s Administration Vladislav Surkov, entitled “Putin strengthens the State and not himself”, which is the Kremlin’s program document. In essence it is not an interview; it is known that this text was proposed by the president’s Administration first in other national newspapers, however one or two publications demanded to add at least a couple live questions to the text and were answered a firm “no”. So they put the text in Komsomolskaya Pravda, which, apparently, does not ask questions to the president’s Administration.

In the text “Putin strengthens…” Surkov is mostly justifying himself. For Beslan: “Question: – In the days of Beslan’s tragedy again we heard calls to negotiate with the terrorists… The answer: – Yes, like someone gave a signal to them… Maybe I missed something but all these years I never had the chance to hear clear proposals to regulate the crisis. Everything the power does is declared wrong. But what is right? Negotiations? Go ahead! About what? With whom? What are the negotiation positions? What has to be the result? I don’t hear you!

This is a lie, naturally. As we already know clear demands were made: stop the war and withdraw the troops. The result had to be the saving of all the hostages and if it appeared impossible the result could have been insignificant losses among the hostages. But never 331 killed and 580 wounded by the RF army children and women.

Surkov is justifying himself about the appointment of governors: “Question: – Could you explain how the new order of electing governors and deputies of the State Duma can help in the fight against terrorism? The answer: – The principal task of the interventionists is the destruction of the Russian Statehood. In the face of such a threat the president was simply obliged to realize the constitutional principle of unity of the executive power. The unity of power is the necessary condition of the nation’s unity. Of course, the elections of the regions’ leaders by legislative assemblies by the president’s presentation will not guarantee a victory over the enemy by themselves. But they will significantly increase the resistance reserve of our political system, adapt the State mechanism to the extreme conditions of an undeclared war,” – and so forth. And this is a lie too. Acts of terrorism on the RF territory are made by Chechen fighters-wreckers. Their goal is to stop the war, to get the withdrawal of Russian troops. Naturally, with his policy of repressing Islam in the Caucasus the president has outraged other Caucasus’ regions, but the war in Chechnya, going on for eleven years now (!) is the only reason of the acts of terrorism in Russian cities.

Another justification: Question: – And still there is an opinion that Putin used Beslan’s events to strengthen his personal power and to cut back on democracy. In what measure are the fears expressed by some Russian and foreign politicians on this issue are founded? Answer: – The Western politicians have to know that Russia is the only federation in the world whose subjects can have the status of national republics. I think the people in Washington would understand us better if, for instance, the African-American republic or the Spanish-Jewish Autonomous region were part of the USA. Our country is unique and demands a corresponding system of government.

Here again there is a justification and a lie. Nobody forces the Russian Federation to have national autonomous republics or regions. Tomorrow we can rename then into districts. And multinationalism is common to the USA, to India and to the majority of the countries on the planet. Surkov’s task is to justify the absolutism and the brutality of Putin’s group.

This is the reason of all these complaints: our country is unique therefore we will act like the murderers of our own citizens whenever we want. Further in this interview Surkov explains and justifies the creation of the Public Chamber, this double of the State Duma, makes justifications directed at the ears of the opponents and the doubtful: “Skeptics affirm that the parliament has to fulfill all these functions. Yes, it has and it does. Only on its manner. Parliamentarism's birth trauma is to look back on the elections, past and future. Parliamentary discussions are always and everywhere more or less tainted with populism. And with our rather low level of political culture they often turn into a farce. The experts of the Public Chamber will depend far less from the political conjuncture…” Here in Surkov’s words there is apparently also a disappointment in the State Duma deputies of 2003. They spend a long time sorting them out, but they still did not satisfy the expectations of the Administration. They vote obediently but apparently Surkov does not like them either esthetically or because they plan to be reelected for the next term and are not only squinting at the Kremlin but at the elector as well, which is naturally an unforgivable freethinking.

In conclusion Surkov shows the internal enemy: “Question: – Aren’t you afraid that the skeptics from the public and political activists you mentioned will refuse to cooperate with the power in the frames of the Public Chamber and beyond it? Answer: – The refusal to participate in a joint work is also a position. /…/ Although, of course, there are people who are lost forever for partnership. Practically a fifth column of left wing and right wing radicals has appeared in the besieged country. Lemons and apples are now growing on the same branch. The fake liberals and the real Nazis have more and more in common. Common sponsors from abroad. Common hate. As they say, hate to Putin’s Russia. But in reality it is hate to Russia as such. Dostoevsky was writing about such people. And today all these Smerdyakovs and Lyamshins are having a good time in all sorts of committees waiting the eighth year when they preach the need to defeat their own country in the war with terrorism. God be their judge. We will do without them.

Also Vladislav Yurievich Surkov conjures the readers of Komsomolskaya Pravda: “We all have to realize that the enemy is at the gates. The front passes through every city, every street, and every house. We need vigilance, solidarity, mutual aid and union of efforts of the citizens and the State

While Vladislav Yurievich was lying in raptures on September 29th, just now on August 2nd the State Duma adopted the law about the monetization of benefits. What solidarity, what mutual aid is this?


39 nazbols could not accuse Putin of creating a criminal association. 39 nazbols were already in prison when the State criminal association Nashi was created. Putin has met the Nashi and thus encouraged the thugs with his authority; gave them his permission. How did it happen? Surkov’s program interview appeared, I remind, in Komsomolskaya Pravda on September 29th 2004. And on August 2nd the portrait of president Vladimir Putin was flying out of the window of minister Zurabov’s office, taken in flight by TV and photo cameras, both Russian and foreign ones. Maxim Gromov, a National-Bolshevik, is now paying for this portrait by his uninterrupted presence in the punitive isolation ward of a prison near Ufa. And the power made its conclusions, counted the “lemons” and some “apples” as its enemies, its own enemies of course, but since it is megalomaniac, they are Russia’s enemies too. In response to the action of half a hundred nazbols who “made a run” over the Health ministry they have put forward the concept “kill the enemy!” in that article – “Putin strengthens the State and not himself” in fall. And although the definition of the enemies was pattered out, as it was not important, the public understood everything; they all got it.

If the National-Bolsheviks were afraid and had disappeared, melted into the background, the Nashi would not exist. But the National-Bolsheviks were not scared, and on December 14th they “made a run” over the reception room of the president’s administration, forty of them. They had to be arrested although they only demanded to meet Putin and were ready to meet him with his advisers, with Illarionov even.

It is then, in the last days of December and the beginning of January, when the commoner is buying up everything he needs to meet the New Year, that the project of creating the anti-NBP-organization Nashi was born in the Kremlin, in Vladislav Yurievich Surkov’s head. In other words, apparently everything was like in the series of jokes of the writer Kononenko: “One day in the beginning of August Vladimir Vladimirovich was examining the fresh newspapers and journals. And in most of them he saw his own portrait, thrown out of a window. Vladimir Vladimirovich composed the number of his Administration’s head, Vladislav Yurievich Surkov:

– Did you see the portraits? – Vladimir Vladimirovich sternly asked.

– I did, – Vladislav Yurievich sternly answered.

– So what are we gonna do, bro?

– We’ll create the Nashi organization, – Vladislav Yurievich sternly said.

– Who are these Nashi?

– Oh, some scum, hoodlums. RUBOP will teach them how to beat up the Limonovists and Yakemenko will head them. These days he keeps wasting his time; he fights with Rosental near the Bolshoy Theater.

So they did as they said, they started the project.

But this isn’t how it really was. One day in December Vladimir Vladimirovich was sitting in his Kremlin’s office and was bored as usual. The phone rang. The voice of the deputy head of the Administration Vladislav Yurievich Surkov said:

– Listen, bro, there’s some Limonovists in the reception room of your Administration; they’re waiting for you.

– Really?Vladimir Vladimirovich was surprised, – And how many are they?

– Forty, one is not even fifteen years old. They demand your dismissal; they say that you don’t have the talent to rule a country. What are we gonna do?

– I have to think, bro, - Vladimir Vladimirovich thoughtfully said.

– And while you’re thinking, what am I gonna do with them? – Vladislav Yurievich asked.

Vladimir Vladimirovich remained silent.

– I understand that its hard for you, – Vladislav Yurievich said.

– Here is what I propose. Let’s send them to different prisons; we will judge them for an attempt to capture the power and meanwhile we will create the Nashi organization.

– Who are these Nashi? - Vladimir Vladimirovich asked.

– Oh, some scum, hoodlums. RUBOP will teach them how to beat up the Limonovists and Yakemenko will head them. These days he keeps wasting his time; he fights with Rosental near the Bolshoy Theater. Agree?

–  All right, - Vladimir Vladimirovich sighed, – we’ll do like you said. These Limonovists have really gotten out of hand. One day they drop a portrait; the other they capture a reception room… And Vladimir Vladimirovich put down the Kremlin phone.

Despite the anecdotal character of the version of the Nashi organization’s creation, I suppose that this is how it was, in this spirit. Russia was informed about the Nashi organization for the first time by Kommersant on 02.21.05, by Peterburgskie Novosti on 02.21.05. and by Moskovski Komsomoletz on February 24th in the article “The hyperboloid of engineer Yakemenko”. Further I will linger in detail about these articles and will cite them. Now I want to say that the first actions of the Nashi organization have already taken place on January 29th and February 12th, they were directed against the National-Bolsheviks and were openly criminal actions. The students will join later, but the thugs were already formed into a military wing already in January. On January 29th was made the first attack on the office of the General Line newspaper situated on Maria Ulianova Street, 17, 1, Moscow. The NBP central office was situated at the same address then. There were about forty attackers; they arrived in cars and a microbus and were armed with baseball bats. In the result of skillful actions the nazbols were able to block five attackers and give them to the police. There were five injured among the nazbols.

The second attack was made in a subway wagon where about ten nazbols with CPRF members were returning from a meeting on February 12th. A crowd of thugs broke into the wagon and started to beat up the nazbols. Two attackers were arrested. There were two injured among the nazbols.

On March 5th another attack was made on the General Line office, which was also the NBP office. The attackers managed to capture the office with the exception of some rooms. A TV camera of the ORT channel “accidentally happened to be” there and the attackers were giving interviews from the NBP office, feeling they were totally safe. The police had to arrest nine of them. There were nine injured nazbols; Yakov Gorbunov, veteran of the war in Chechnya was particularly severely injured.

And finally on August 29th the same numbers of a few dozens of people arrived in a bus and attacked the National-Bolsheviks who were having a meeting in the CPRF municipal committee on Avtozavodskaya Street. Armed with baseball bats, fire crackers and traumatic weapons, hiding their faces behind masks and wearing white construction gloves the thugs attacked seven nazbols who were guarding the entrance. Five nazbols were hospitalized. Thanks to the vigilance of a police officer the bus with the attackers was arrested. 25 people were protocoled by the police.

Here I will cite the declaration made by the injured National-Bolsheviks and given to the Prosecutor General right after the third attack in March 2005.

Declaration about the opening of a criminal case. The production of the investigation department of Moscow’s Lomonosovksy police station has two criminal cases on the facts of an attack on the office of the joint-stock company Honest Businessmen, the office of the General Line newspaper published by the inter-regional public association “National-Bolshevik Party” (NBP) and NBP members situated on Maria Ulianova Street, 17, 1, Moscow. We are the victims in these cases.

1. Attack (01.29.05.) Criminal case 39068, opened on 01.29.05. on part 2 article 213 of the RF Criminal Code (under investigation, investigator G. A. Fomicheva), the victims (names follow).

2. Attack (03.05.05.) Criminal case 39194, opened on 03.15.05. on part 2 article 167 and part 2 article 213 of the RF Criminal Code (under investigation, investigator Y. B. Delivron), the victims: NBP members (names follow).

In both cases the attackers belonged to a single organized group, they acted according to a single plan, they were similarly armed with baseball bats, they were equipped with means of communication, they used automobile transportation and pursued the same goals of capturing the office of the General Line newspaper published by the NBP, taking NBP members in hostages and discrediting the NBP as a political public organization.

Besides, Moscow’s police investigation department is investigating the criminal case 118177, opened on 02.12.05. on part 2 article 213 of the RF Criminal Code about an attack on the participants of a united meeting of the NBP and CPRF that occurred right after the end of that activity (investigated by D. A. Chepasov), the victims: NBP member (name) and CPRF member (name).

The same individuals are under accusation in the criminal cases 39068 and 118177 (names).

On March 1st 2005 the Internet site published a statement made by the leader of the Walking Together public movement Vasily Yakemenko about the creation of “the Nashi anti-fascist youth movement” whose mission is to prevent the activities of “the political youth corrupter Limonov and his wannabe nazis” This statement was spread by the Interfax news agency.

Based on the information above we ask you to verify if these facts contain criminal actions on the part of the defendants as stipulated by article 282 part 1 of the RF Criminal Code (the organization of a criminal association).

Signatures (eleven victims in total).

In the beginning of November 2005 all the four criminal cases were united into one (and the investigation is coming to its end) in the Main investigation department of Moscow’s Prosecutor General’s office. We hope that the case will finally reach the court, although it is clear that many forces would not like a trial to happen.

But let us return to February 2005. On February 21st Kommersant writes in the article “Plain fascism”: “The Kremlin prepares a new youth project to replace the Walking together pro-Putin movement. The organization doesn’t have a name yet, but the functionaries call it Nashi between themselves. Departments of the movement have to be created in all Russia’s big cities under the direct patronage of Kremlin’s administration. The deputy head of the president’s Administration Vladislav Surkov met Saint Petersburg’s Nashi members last Thursday and promised to create a new political force based on the movement and that, by 2008, will possibly become the new party in power. The meeting was not publicized anywhere. As Kommersant managed to learn, the meeting took place in a normal rented apartment reequipped as headquarters. Over two hours Surkov talked with 35-40 young men who were entrusted with the role of the new movement’s “commissars”. Vasily Yakemenko, the ideologist of the Walking Together has also taken part in the meeting. /…/ The organizers are planning to reach a membership of 200-250 thousand people. /…/ Concerning the new project, Yakemenko first appeared in Saint Petersburg in the middle of January and in a few weeks he succeeded in ‘recruiting’ a few dozens of people. Preference is given to young people aged 18-22, mainly students. Already now the signs of a clear internal organization appear in the movement. Thus, all the members are divided by sectors: some will hold mass actions; other will do the analysis and the journalistic work. The ‘combat sector’ was also foreseen, on its base they plan to create the ‘youth forces of order’. In the beginning of February in a hotel near the city the first conference was held, where the future ‘commissars’ underwent testing, participated in geopolitics seminars and psychological training. Subsequently they were promised summer camps and from September 1st - a certain Leadership Institute. /…/ Yakemenko demonstrated Kremlin’s support to his supporters on the same meeting, on which Vladislav Surkov arrived to everybody’s surprise accompanied by only one guard. In the conversation that lasted for over two hours he mainly spoke about the general situation in the country, international and domestic politics, Russia’s history in the 1990s. Surkov made a special emphasize on the fact that the participants of the movement need ‘to go till the end’. Surkov who largely used citations from classical authors in his speech made an impression on the youth, as the participants confessed. After they have negatively spoken about all the existing parties (not only the SPS and Yabloko but also Rodina and United Russia were criticized), Surkov and Yakemenko said that by 2008 a new party will be possibly created on the base of the Nashi and it will have the task of replacing the party in power.” The text of the article in Saint Petersburg’s newspaper coincides with the Kommersant publication, so there is no need to cite it.

Let us now turn to Moskovsky Komsomoletz of February 24th 2005. The material is “The hyperboloid of Engineer Yakemenko”. The subtitle: “How we’ll be saved from an American putsch”. The first page contains a resume of the text: “Spring 2008. Before the elections of Russia’s president 50 thousand people organized and paid by US emissaries block Manezhnaya, Red Square and Vasilievsky Slope as well as the Central Electoral Commission. Their mission is to put a candidate favored by the States on the presidential seat and to turn our country into a colony at any cost.

But here a secret association enters the arena. It is not in vain that 300 million dollars were spent on its creation: 200 000 members of the super powerful organization gather in Moscow. Armed with blue plastic chairs they disperse America’s minions. The fatherland is saved. The victors are awarded with the right to cleanse the staff and occupy the liberated posts.


However MK obtained documents that confirm the recently spread rumors: a grandiose plan to create a new youth movement was sent to the regions. It will be called Nashi. The mission is to save the Fatherland. To save it in the way described above. It has been several months now that a personage famous in the political circles has been traveling around Russia’s cities. His name is Vasily Yakemenko. He has already created a movement – the infamous Walking Together. After Yakemenko got the idea to create the Walking he was invited to work in the president’s administration – he became the chief of the section of public relations of the Department of internal policy. (According to another version Vasily was given the idea of a pro-Putin youth organization on Old Square and he has developed it at his best). And now Mr. Yakemenko is in a new role…

February 10th 2005. A small hall in Kursk’s college of economy and law. There are a few dozens of students from Kursk and Orlov in the hall.

Yakemenko is on the platform. ‘Turn off your cellphones. Listen carefully. Don’t ask me to repeat. My name is Vasily. I am 33 years old and my function is very simple.” Let us stop. Moskovsky Komsomoletz has banally registered Yakemenko’s speech on tape. And published the transcription with its comments. “I travel in different cities, Yakemenko goes on, – in twenty regions and I invite people from the street to these meetings. I don’t know anybody among you. And the only thing I want from these meetings is that I want to find people who think like me, who share my point of view and I propose to look for a solution in this situation.” Then Yakemenko describes the horrors of American expansion into Russia: “We learned that they have fixed the date when they will introduce an external government to 2008. And this is still an optimistic date because now we have information that this could happen earlier, in other words Russia will be turned into a colony. /…/ Many people, from the old times, from the times of the USSR, think that Russia is a great country. /…/ In reality we have nothing in Russia. We have no nuclear missiles and those we have are old and rusty… /…/

Meanwhile in Russia there are growing organizations, based on which the Americans will create an analogue of the Serbian Otpor, the Georgian Kmara or the Ukrainian Pora. This is Limonov’s NBP and the Vanguard of Red Youth. We need to give an adequate response to them. To create our own organization. Now we don’t really have the name of the organization yet; more or less all the cities agreed on the word Nashi, but there is no clear monitoring of this situation. We didn’t even found the name yet; we could change it.

Then what? We hang the city’s map on the wall and there we mark all the places where usually over 200 people gather. Accordingly if this is an institute, there has to be several such places (campus, faculty). In other words we have to control each of these places. And we have to mark each of these places with a red flag. In my opinion there has to be not less than 150 such flags for a city like Orel or Kursk. And then the person who stays after this meeting and considers that he can work in this organization for now, he removes the red flag and puts a blue one instead and writes his name. And this means that we have a sympathizer in this place. Now these people in the not-yet-created organization are called commissars. And the very first task we have before us is to gather commissars not later than by the end of February 2005.

Yakemenko was expatiating on this for a long time, showing a suspiciously gloomy sense of humor. Here for example: “It’s very simple: we can catch nine drug addicts in Kursk, hang them at night along the road on a birch with the inscription ‘Drug addict. Was hung by the Nashi for using drugs’. On the following day people will know that we did it. But this is an extreme nonsense that does not suit us. There has to be a group that seriously works on these issues. /…/ Three times a week, on a facultative basis for now, for three hours you will have courses that will teach you: public relations, creation, the bases of leadership, rhetoric, technologies of directing mass actions… /…/ And now I’m talking with those of you who will be a potential commissar. You have to go to a training camp in Seliger. Two weeks in the summer, in July. You will be 150 people from different cities.” Then the anti-fascist Yakemenko exposes one-hundred-percent fascist ideas and desires: “I have made such a camp, for only 400 people though, on Seliger and there was an obligatory activity called ‘morning jogging’. /…/ Since Seliger is a beautiful place a lot of fat people go there. In cars, for fishing or for something else and naturally, when young boys, these 400 people, start to run on the road, the cars nervously hunk to them so that they leave the road and unfortunately they leave. But I hope that when you will be 3 000 people and maybe wearing t-shirts with ‘Yield’ written on the back, nobody will hunk you; they are no fools. I think everybody will stop and wait while you run on one side, then on the other, for two hours and there will already be forty cars standing, but they’ll have to wait.

And this is how Yakemenko depicted their future to the students on February 10th 2005: “You have learned the technologies of leading the masses, you can lead people, in 2-3 years you have created the most powerful organization, in comparison to which Komsomol is a child’s play and sucks. Let’s suppose that you have received a significant quantity of harshly led people – 200 or 300 thousand – this is a huge number and 10 thousand are enough for each city, there were 6 thousand in Georgia in the Kmara organization, which removed the legally elected president Shevarnadze.” Then Yakemenko depicts the situation of a Russian Maydan. Spring 2008.

Let’s suppose America supposes that they will gather about 50 thousand people who will be able to block some squares in Moscow and decide of the outcome of the elections in their favor. It means that we have to show them 200 thousand. We have to convince them that there won’t be a civil war.” Then Yakemenko transfers his thoughts to the Ukrainian Maydan. And says very frank things, considering that he says them on February 10th and on January 29th there was an attack on the NBP headquarters, in which soccer fans recruited by the Nashi took part: “ If I had to solve the question on Maydan, considering the general lack of will, I would have solved it very simply- I would have contacted my colleagues from Spartak’s fans movement (notice “my colleagues”, Yakemenko is not a soccer fan but he speaks about the fans – Nashi’s comrades-in-arms. - E. L.), they would have gathered 5 000 sympathizers with these blue plastic chairs that they use to fight in the stadium and we would have brought them to Kiev and with these blue chairs they would have driven out those 100 thousand who came to Maydan to the Dnieper River and they would have jumped on these blocks of ice on the Dnieper in their white trousers like polar bears.” Yakemenko told this in front of his people not expecting that journalists would record him; otherwise he would have abstained from racist and fascist statements. Moskovsky Komsomoletz is a yellow newspaper and although sometimes it executes the orders of the special services, however it can’t refuse a sensation.

Yakemenko continues to seduce the students with Dolce Vita pictures of their future life: “ Then in 2008 the Russian president will negotiate with you. You will receive the right to elect anyone you want. You will receive a mandate for power; you will be able to have any post you want. Instead of the 450 idiots who siege in the State Duma, 450 young people, poorly educated, 23-25 years old, so what.” Such a statement can be clearly defined as fascist, the young and uneducated against the old, the rich and the wealthy is the favorite subject of the early revolutionary German National Socialism and of the Italian fascism. Was Vladislav Surkov realizing this when he started to execute his project? Yakemenko was realizing how it could end. I cite the same article in MK: “ It will have an interesting end: I will be in The Hague next to Slobodan Milosevich, obviously as a theoretician, Kursk and Orel leaders will be in prison.” In other words Yakemenko, realizing the magnitude of the project, also realizes its illegality. An international tribunal – this is what he sees in perspective and not only a mandate for power as an alternative to the future. “In 2012 you will have to elect your president. Here is a plan I’m proposing to you.” Then he promises the students will be protected by the president, in the following expressions: “I make sure, while you’re still weak and disorganized, that the local power doesn’t harm you. If you will get in trouble we will solve these problems. The president knows about the creation of this organization. I’m telling you, the country lays its hopes on you. The president is ready to risk in order to give this to you. You are given millions of dollars for this!

In other words already on February 24th the country received important information from Vasily Yakemenko about the fact that the president approved the creation of a youth organization proposing to use methods punishable by the tribunal in The Hague for the leaders and by detention for the participants, i.e. a criminal organization.

On March 1st 2005 Yakemenko sent a statement about the creation of the Nashi youth movement to the media. It makes sense to reproduce it here in its totality: “On the eve of the 60th anniversary of Russia’s Victory in the Great Patriotic War several regional youth organizations decided to create a political movement. The Walking Together and I personally supported this healthy reaction to the growing popularity in the pseudo-intellectual circles of the political corrupter of youth Limonov and his wannabe nazis. Khakamada and her Committee-2008, the youth Yabloko, Berezovsky, Makashov and other amoral individuals have gathered under the Hitlerian flags of social-nationalism that the National-Bolsheviks wave. For us, the open statements and the impunity of the carriers of the XX century’s plague, which killed 20 millions of Russians, Tatars, Belarusians and Jews, is a personal offense. We will put an end to the union of oligarchs and anti-Semites, Nazis and liberals. In order to solve this problem we are starting a new project – the Nashi youth movement. No pasaran! Victory will be ours!

Vasily Yakemenko.”

Once again, now as stated by the agency, let us turn to the raid on the NBP headquarters.

On January 29th at 10 o’clock the NBP headquarters were attacked. There were about 40 attackers. They arrived in a microbus and two cars with tainted windows that have never parked here before (and that disappeared right after the attack) were also present near the house. The attackers were yelling Nazi (!) slogans and were armed with wooden bats – sawed handles from shovels with the price tags still on them. Two nazbols were beaten but the attackers did not manage to get inside thanks to a well-organized defense. The nazbols managed to detain five attackers. The police officers that arrived after some time brought the five to Lomonosov’s police station. A criminal case was opened on the arrested on article 213 (delinquency).

On March 5th an unidentified group of young people sawed open the door to the NBP office on Maria Ulianova Street. The National-Bolsheviks barricaded themselves inside. The attackers were attacking them with gas. According to the NBP an operator from the First Channel was present with the attackers. The police was informed about the attack however the police arrived only two hours after the call was made. The law enforcing bodies arrested nine participants of the attack on the NBP headquarters. They confiscated six baseball bats, two crowbars and gas. As people in the NBP affirm the thugs were thoroughly videotaping a dozen of syringes and twenty vodka bottles they have brought with them.” (Here we feel the RUBOP at work, they teach the Nashists: a typically RUBOP discrediting trick: syringes and vodka. Only heroin bags are missing. I also remember the FSB that cleaned up the Theater Center on Dubrovka in such a way that Barayev who was shot in flight holds an intact cognac bottle in his hand. The special services’ gloomy humor. - E. L.) “Besides, goes on, - they have beaten a nazbol who was on duty in the headquarters with a baseball bat. This is Yakov Gorbunov, a veteran of the Chechnya war. His jaw was broken and an eye was injured. NBP members affirm that members of the Nashi new pro-Kremlin movement created under the aegis of the president’s Administration are behind these incidents. In particular, as was told in the NBP office the attack was made by soccer hooligans from the Moscow Gladiators group hired by the Nashi movement.

We remind that on one of his press conferences Vasily Yakemenko stated that the principal task of the Nashi was the fight with ‘Nazis’ to whom he related the NBP. /…/ On April 10th in Moscow the NBP member Yakov Gorbunov who suffered during the raid on the NBP headquarters on March 5th was attacked. He was attacked by unidentified people on Maria Ulianova Street and was beaten with iron bars on the head. After this the criminals got into a car and drove away. The NBP consider that this was an act of vengeance from the Nashi because the veteran of the Chechen war Yakov Gorbunov testified against them about the recent attack on the nazbols’ headquarters. These testimonies on the participants of the March 5th attack on the NBP headquarters resulted in the opening of criminal cases. Earlier the Kommersant journalist Oleg Kashin and the leader of Moscow’s youth Yabloko Ilya Yashin who was beaten on a Nashi’s event in Solnechnogorsk have affirmed that the Nashi movement has attracted soccer hooligans as its combat detachments. Komsomolskaya Pravda also wrote that one of today’s leaders of the Nashi is Alexey Mitryushin, a former soccer fan.

From the announcements of the media on March 9th 2005: “The initiator of the Nashi youth movement who directed the constitutive conference of the movement in Podmoskovie on February 26-27th Vasily Yakemenko has refuted the declarations of the NBP that the individuals who raided the headquarters of the National-Bolshevik Party on March 5th “were fulfilling the functions of a group of physical defense”. V. Yakemenko emphasized that the Nashi have nothing in common with radicals and extremists: “This contradicts the principles of our organization – nonviolence and antifascism.” It was the same Yakemenko who, in Kursk on February 10th, was explaining how he would have solved the Maydan problem by brining 5 thousand “colleagues”, soccer fans, with plastic chairs. And they would have chased down 100 thousand people with these chairs.

On 03.15.05. Pravda-Info publishes on its site the results of an investigation by the Atington group called “The Secret Mission of Vasya the Killer”. The subtitle: “We received information about the individuals who made a pogrom in the NBP headquarters”. “The power is trying to create a new ‘black hundred’ from the most destructive elements among youth movements – soccer fans. For the first time ‘the new recruits’ of the power have announced about themselves by a pogrom in the NBP headquarters, where dozens of young people have broken the metal door and harshly beaten two young people who were there as well as the journalist of an Internet publication. Simultaneously with this act of deterrence similar events took place in Saint Petersburg, Kaliningrad, etc.

These same young people were identified on photos by NBP and SKM members who suffered from their actions in the Moscow subway when they were returning from a CPRF meeting on February 12th.

The Atington group has investigated the issue, using its own sources of information in various structures.

The young man who has called himself ‘Vseslav’ during the deterrence action in the NBP headquarters is well-known in the circles of soccer fans like Vasya the Killer, is a Spartak fan, is a member of the Gladiators fan group. He is well prepared physically, knows man-to-man fighting, and is aggressive; as people say he possesses a knockout punch.

He was approached by the corresponding services in summer 2004 when the Moscow police videotaped a mass fight in a MacDonald’s near the Prospekt Mira subway station between Spartak and Dinamo fans. During the fight a close friend of Vasya the Killer nicknamed Lastik was severely injured at the head with a baseball bat. He became handicapped. The victim’s mother brought charges but the case is not investigated although the police know the person who made the fatal blow – one of well-known Dinamo fans, a certain M. Many people, including bystanders were severely injured that day.

For some time Vasya the Killer was hiding and left his home but later he returned to a legal life. Moreover together with a small group of Spartak fans he openly cooperated with the authorities. This caused a negative reaction among other Spartak fans who are either apolitical or have a negative attitude towards the power. Even his friends from the Gladiators group once emitted a written condemnation of his transfer to the service of the power.

Nonetheless Spartak fans started to be sued for pro-governmental actions recently. For example during a Chelsea match in London a banner in Russian appeared on the tribune, stating a claim to Akhmed Zakayev in vulgar form. There is unconfirmed information about the participation of this group of fans in the pogrom on the Tsaritsin Market.

Presently the described group is used to cover the actions of the Nashi organization. There is no information as to whether their interaction with some special structure was registered.

The unwillingness of Vasya the Killer to hide his face during the action in the NBP headquarters is understandable: the law enforcing bodies have enough material on him even without this videotape that does not add much to the charges that can be brought against him.

Also there is information that in case of a serious publicity this man who does not represent a great value for his bosses will be easily given away.

Atington group, Pravda-Info, 03.15.05.

On February 26th in the Sinezh hotel near Moscow the Nashi movement held a conference. The leader of the youth Yabloko Ilya Yashin and the Kommersant correspondent Oleg Kashin who went to the conference were recognized by the security service of the Nashi and beaten up.

In the middle of March Kaluga’s department of the Nashi affirmed that on March 15th some people broke into the Nashi headquarters in Kaluga and beat up a certain Andrey Maltsev, a Nashist. Maria Kislitsina, the Nashi leader in Kaluga affirmed that the people who broke in raised their hand in a fascist salute and chanted “Glory to the NBP!” On the following day, on March 16th according to Kislitsina 20 nazbols put fire to the door of the headquarters and broke the windows. And the senior police officer Alexander Ulyashin did not only reject the statement but according to Kislitsina, insulted and beat her up. On the following day an unsanctioned meeting of the Nashi movement gathering 800 participants, some of them from Nizhni Novgorod, Tver, Ryazan, Moscow and other regions took place near Lenin’s police station. The meeting ended with a public reading of the order given by the chief of Kaluga’s police about Ulyashin’s dismissal from the police.

The National-Bolsheviks affirmed, “Everything that happened in Kaluga was a carefully prepared provocation” and demanded to examine the activities of the Nashi movement and to return the lieutenant colonel Ulyashin to his functions. Their arguments were: 1) The absence of witnesses and evidence about the identity of the attackers; 2) The senior police officer Ulyashin is characterized positively by his colleagues and residents; it is not clear how he could be accused of such a shameful action; 3) The nazbols proved that the meeting at the police station was thoroughly prepared. How could have such a mass of Nashi activists from cities situated far from Kaluga, such as Nizhni Novgorod and Tver been brought together in less than a day? Also the banners directed against Uliyashin were clearly produced in a factory and it is hard if not impossible to make them in one night. Nobody was accused of anything because of lack of evidence.

After these events even “the speaker of the Federation Council Sergey Mironov compared the Nashi with the Chinese Red Guards of the 60s and called this movement “a masquerade” and “too dangerous”, Izvestia wrote.

Most probably either Surkov or the president himself have reprimanded the Nashi for their crude job on March 5th – beatings, syringes, vodka, ORT interview with Vasya the Killer, baseball bats. So the Nashi prepared a set up of a nazbols’ attack in Kaluga. There is no other explanation to this incident.

Approximately at the same time in Moscow and in the regions a wave of attacks on nazbols and NBP headquarters began. The attacks continue to this day with a frequency of two-three per week. Usually the nazbols are attacked where they live or near the NBP headquarters, they are hit from behind with a baseball bat or a pipe and beaten up.

Being a fascist organization by its methods (how else could we call the attacks on political opponents with pipes and baseball bats?), the Nashi perfidiously and mockingly call themselves “antifascists”. On April 13th on a press conference dedicated to the congress of the movement Vasily Yakemenko said that the Nashi movement considers the fascists and their sympathizers as its enemies. When asked what movements in particular he considers fascist Yakemenko answered: NBP. As fascists’ sympathizers he named the leaders of the democratic movement. “Rizhkov, Khakamada, Kasparov are obviously sympathizing to the fascists,” the Nashi leader declared. Yakemenko added that today a perverted alliance between the liberals and the fascists, the westernizers and the ultra-nationalists, the international funds and the terrorists is formed. “Only one thing holds it together – hate to Putin,” he affirmed. “In this situation we will support Putin. We don’t care about someone’s personal attitude to Putin but we consider that those who don’t share his political views are our enemies.”

Yakemenko read out the movement’s manifesto. It says that the generation that rules the country from the 80s has lost faith in Russia and in its perspectives. “Ruling the country in the conditions of economical recession and Russia’s ousting on the roadside of world’s history they grew used to retreat and they are scared to give the order “Forward!” the document says. “The issue of Russia’s unity is the issue of changing the generation of leaders. Our generation has to replace the defeatists at the helm.

The main tasks of the movement as stated in the manifesto are to preserve Russia’s sovereignty and integrity, to modernize the country and to form a functioning civil society. “Our movement has to become a model for a functioning civil society. Enough of words about human rights. The phrase-mongering of today’s’ liberals is democracy’s worst publicity,” Yakemenko declared. “The phrase-mongering of the liberals” is a typical fascist expression just as the criticism of human rights is their subject.

On April 15th the Nashi held their constitutive conference in Moscow. 750 delegates from 20 regions of Russia took part in it. But the most interesting is that the minister Fursenko and the governor of the Tver region Zelenin, i.e. official representatives of the power were present on the congress. And both made speeches, greeting the creation of an organization that fights political enemies attacking them with baseball bats.

On April 17th during a meeting with youth organizations one of the participants of the meeting approached Kasparov, supposedly for an autograph, and hit him on the head with a chessboard. On the Echo of Moscow radio station the Nashi press secretary Ivan Mostovich has mockingly accused… the NBP. “This looks very much like the NBP, Mostovich affirmed. “/…/ Such methods are typical of the fascist Limonov and his assistants. /…/ What else should happen in order for the State to intervene and stop the revelry of delinquency and fascism spread by the NBP? The Nashi movement has nothing to do with this incident,” he emphasized. Clearly this is a mocking lie; the NBP has never used violent methods, first. And second – why should we attack a person whom Yakemenko himself has counted among the comrades-in-arms of the “NBP fascists”?

In the night of April 27th in Moscow near the NBP headquarters on Maria Ulianova Street, 17, a nazbol from Arzamas, Evgeny Logovsky was beaten. He was hit with a heavy object on the head, and then he was put a plastic bag on the head and was stabbed in the neck with a knife. In the night of April 28th a garage belonging to the National-Bolshevik Yuri Valiev was put on fire. Flags and banners, all NBP attributes, were kept in the garage. Two neighboring garages were burnt together with Valiev’s garage. In the beginning of the fire Valiev heard a small explosion and the garage burst into flames. When later the bookstores Phalanster and Bilingva were put on fire in Moscow, witnesses have also heard similar explosions.

On April 29th at about 10 o’clock PM Sergey Udaltsov, leader of the Vanguard of Red Youth organization was beaten near his home on Zatonnaya Street.

On May 15th the Nashi held a grandiose demonstration on Leninsky Street in Moscow. Over 2 thousand buses lined up on the sides of the street. Columns of Nashists marched to a stage near the Gradskaya hospital on specially marked asphalt. On May 16th Kommersant writes: “At noon the police has counted the participants of the action: they were 60 thousand. The crowd seemed to never end and the TV operators were cursing, not knowing how to film such a quantity of people. ‘We need Leni Riefenstahl over here,joked an operator. The image of columns with flags disappearing in the horizon really reminded scenes from Triumph of the Will (The triumph of the will cost the Kremlin from 1200 thousand dollars to one million and a half.) After the speeches followed the culmination of the action – an oath of allegiance beginning with the words: ‘I, citizen of a free Russia, today accept my homeland from the hands of the old generation.’ A thousand of veterans lined up among the side of Leninsky Street. Each veteran had to take the oath from 60 Nashis. After a young man or woman pronounced the text the veteran hung a cartridge-case on a ribbon around the neck of the newly converted. /…/ After the oath the Nashi were left to take a walk in the city, which rejoiced most of the students from the regions. ‘In school they told us that we could have a free trip to Moscow, a student from Kovrov told Kommersant. ‘I want to go to the Red Square before the bus leaves.’

In other words, according to the Old Russian tradition of forgeries and Potemkin villages they used the administrative resource and money from the budget. They sent an order to schools and universities: send students to a one-day trip to Moscow. For free. The students from the regions gladly accepted the trip. The invited veterans, as Kommersant explains, were fooled: “Actually, they didn’t know that they are taking part in an action of the Nashi movement. The Nashi federal commissar Alexander Gorodetsky explained the political meaning of the action to the journalists: ‘We gathered here to show that the neo-fascists under the NBP flags will never be able to march on the streets of Russian cities.’ ‘And the Yavlinskys won’t either,’ someone from the veterans supported the young man. ‘Exactly, only us,’ the commissar assured.

Such a gloomy mockery of good sense is possible only in Russia. Meanwhile the media continued to investigate the Nashists. On 07.13 wrote in the article “They love soccer”: “The Nashi movement, into which all the leaders who headed the first pro-Putin youth organization went after the Walking Together collapsed, present a special interest considering the informational inaccessibility. The figure of Vasily Yakemenko himself is secondary because more interesting are the informal leaders who brought with them the participants of Moscow’s largest fan groups first to the Walking and then to the Nashi. Already five years passed since the time Walking Together was created and until the opening of the Nashi camp on Seliger in 2005, five years during which Alexey Mitryushin became the Nashi’s unofficial regional leader, pushing aside less successful leaders. Today Alexey Mitryushin holds the modest post of technical director of Nashi’s Moscow department, simultaneously heading Gallant Steeds, one of the largest informal associations of CSKA fans. Initially forming a separate unit in the Walking, headed by Mitryushin the fans went into the Nashi and now hold regular training exercises on the OMON training bases in the Tver region. (Governor Zelenin turned out to be useful! - E. L.)

Mitryushin himself does not deny his soccer fan past, but declares that this was a long time ago. However his organization took part in a mass battle on the Kitay-Gorod subway station in March 2001, which resulted in 11 people sent to reanimation and in a large confrontation between delinquents on May 10th 2004 in Moscow on the Prospekt Mira station. The paradox of this situation is that in both cases the confrontations happened between the delinquents of informal organizations of CSKA and Spartak fans and from both sides there were leaders of first the Walking Together and then the Nashi movement. For example, Roman Verbitsky who is responsible for the regional development in the Nashi and Vasily Stepanov who directed the security service in the Walking Together and then transferred to work in the White Shield security organization (By the way this is a racist name! - E. L.) that provides security service during the actions of the Nashi movement, they both simultaneously head the Gladiators, the largest association of Spartak fans in Moscow. All the leaders, Mitryushin, Stepanov and Verbitsky were present on the meetings of the Nashi commissars with the head of Kremlin’s administration Vladislav Surkov and they all figure in the special files of Moscow’s 5th police department that works with soccer hooligans and skinheads.

The Nashi prefer not to speak about the soccer component of their leaders’ life. ‘Even though a few years ago Alexey Mitryushev was a soccer fan, this was a long time ago and he left this, the movement’s press secretary told The press service did not comment Vasily Stepanov and Roman Verbitsky’s involvement in the movement, confirming the information that Mitryushin is presently one of the leaders of the camp on Seliger. According to the information obtained from the editors of NBP-Info, both Verbitsky and Stepanov were arrested by the police in one of the raids on the NBP headquarters in Moscow and criminal cases were opened against them.

As we remember Vasya Yakemenko promised the summer camp already on February 10th. On July 11th 2005 he kept his promise: the Seliger-2005 all-Russian youth camp was opened on Seliger Lake on the lands of governor Zelenin. It closed on July 25th. Over 3 000 young people from 45 Russian cities took part in the activities of the camp. A journalist of the Moskovskie Novosti testifies on July 22-28th 2005. “However we discovered those whom the Nashi leaders intend for Russia’s intellectual and administrative elite. They mostly look like 12-16 years old girls and young men a little older. There are adults of course but the general membership of the Nashi is extremely young. During an informal conversation it appeared that a part of them arrived simply on vacation and ‘also to hear those we see on TV’. The gentlemen who looked more severe are the camp’s security. Actually they don’t annoy the residents of the camp with their presence. Outside the Nashi’s settlement the keen eye of the paparazzi notices scores of vehicles with tainted windows and antennas. There are cars and microbuses and we can only guess at what hides behind these tainted windows. /…/ The workday of the Seliger camp’s commissar is saturated and versatile. There are conferences given by political technologists and trainings on various directions: political leadership, psychology, organization of mass actions, public relations, electoral technologies, etc. There is choice between sports clubs, master classes on journalism and many other things. /…/ Hundreds of sport bikes and dozens of motorboats and kayaks, a few yachts, an Internet-center for 30 computers, in the evening there are shows of pop stars such as Uma Thurman, Zemphira, the Animals, etc. I have to say that the journalists who heard enough passionate stories about the poor people were wondering: why is all this magnificence available only for 3 000 selected individuals and not children from orphanages, for example?

Among other things the Nashi – Seliger-2005 Center says: “In 14 days the commissars and supporters of the Movement have listened to 870 hours of conferences, taken part in over 400 master classes, seminars and trainings. They were lectured by: Anatoly Utkin (deputy director of the USA and Canada Institute), Tatyana Evgenyeva (Moscow’s State University’s professor), Vyacheslav Sherbin (professor of the highest school of economics), Gleb Tyurin (expert of the European association for the development of the civil society), Alexander Solovyev (MSU professor) – in all over 70 teachers from the best universities. /…/ The representatives of the country’s modern intellectual elite were sharing their experience and knowledge with the commissars /…/ (Gleb Pavlovsky, Sergey Markov, Vyacheslav Nikonov, Vyacheslav Igrunov, Alexander Tsipko, Andrey Parshev, father Vsevolod Chaplin, sheikh Muhammad Karachay and others) as well as State functionaries of the highest rank (Vladislav Surkov, Dmitry Zelenin, Alexander Tkachev, Andrey Kokoshin, Mikhail Margelov and others).

On July 25th the camp on Seliger closed and on July 26th president V. Putin has personally met the Nashi. The Nashi informational center has announced the same day: “Russia’s president to the Nashi: you can influence the situation in the country. The text: ’56 commissars from 20 Russian cities who have demonstrated the best results in their specializations (social, economical, informational, analytical, Intellectual Club, Mass Actions, Rallying Events) have met the RF President Vladimir Putin during the all-Russian gathering of commissars and supporters of the Nashi youth democratic antifascist movement Seliger-2005 on Tuesday, July 26th. The meeting took place in the Zavidovo residence (Tver region) and lasted two hours. After they thanked the President for his attention and moral support the Nashi commissars asked Vladimir Putin over 20 questions on diverse subjects. /…/ ‘I am certain that if you will not be too organized, if you won’t think in clichйs, you could help, not the country’s administration, but society and the State,’ The RF President said. According to him the question is about solving urgent problems, especially among the youth, such as alcoholism, drug addiction and the fight with all sorts of phobias and attitudes in the sphere of international and inter-religious relations. ‘Doubtlessly you can influence the situation in the country. I’m counting on it,’ Vladimir Putin said, adding that the active work of the NASHI is one of the signs of a functioning civil society. The president also thanked the Movement’s commissars for the actions they already held, in particular for the numerous events dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Great Victory.

I cited this Nashist prose on purpose. On the meeting with the Nashists the president was wearing black jeans, black sneakers and a dark shirt with thin white squares – actually it is the typical uniform of a soccer hooligan. You can admire it in the July 27th issue of the Kommersant.

Following the president’s advice “not to work in clichйs” soon the Nashists “got the opportunity to influence the situation in the country”. This is what they did and in such a way that now the president will have to distance himself from the Nashi at best. I am talking about the August 29th attack. And he is already taking his distances. And apparently Surkov, who drew Putin in this story, is having a bad time. It does not mean that the president felt ashamed. After all he was not ashamed of the tragedy of the Center on Dubrovka or Beslan. Simply on July 26th he was forced to meet a criminal gang and a month later this gang demonstrated to the entire country how it is carelessly criminal.

What caused the August 29th attack on the NBP meeting? On August 26th the Supreme Court decided not to liquidate the NBP. Yakemenko was very saddened. Here is the statement he made on the same day: “We weren’t surprised by the appeal of the Supreme Court’s decision about the cancellation of the NBP liquidation by the Prosecutor General. We believe that good sense has to triumph, since the presence of legal fascists in Russia is monstrous. Today we are forced to watch how Limonov’s fascist sect’s members are trying to spit in the face of all our people who saved the world from the brown plague in the XX century. This low farce will last until all of us, the society, say ‘Enough!’ The NBP shamelessly continue to use fascist symbols and fascist rhetoric. This is why the Nashi young democratic antifascist movement will continue to say that the NBP is a fascist sect that represents, like any other fascist organization, a real social threat for our society. It is sad that our legislation does not allow our courts to judge the fascists because they are fascists. Maybe, finally, the time has come for our deputies to pay attention to this and to protect Russia’s citizens from the fascist threat in a legislative way.

The demagogy is absolutely shameless, demonical, if we consider that at least for five years now the NBP keeps talking about the restoration of the climate of political freedoms in Russia (destroyed by Putin), calls for free elections, to a multiparty parliament and a coalition government and a black hammer and sickle appears on the NBP red flag from the very foundation of the party. Hammer and sickle. Hammer and sickle.

On August 29th, three days after the decision of the Supreme Court, at about 8 o’clock PM, the CPRF office where Moscow’s NBP organization was holding a meeting was attacked by scores of unidentified people in masks and white gloves. They beat seven nazbols who were guarding the entrance with baseball bats (they broke the bones on both arms of Dmitry Yelizarov), shot at them from traumatic guns, tried to put on fire the Sobol car that belonged to NBP with three nazbols who were inside with fire crackers (like white gloves, fire crackers are the best equipment of soccer fans). Then the attackers tried to escape on a PAZ bus. “The bus was arrested by the police when it was entering Lefortovski Tunnel, Kommersant writes on August 31st. The young people who were inside warned the police inspector that by arresting the bus “he’s making a big mistake’ and ‘most probably will pay for it’. Then they started to make cellphone calls. /…/ The bus with the passengers was brought to the Danilovsky police station. /…/ As the police officers of the Danilovsky police station told Kommersant, first things unfolded according to the standard scheme in such situations. The policeman on duty registered the coordinates of the arrested. Then the investigator had to make them write an explanation about the events. ‘We received a call from above ordering to release the arrested,’ one of the police officers told Kommersant. ‘These guys have honestly warned us that we shouldn’t bother because they will soon be released.’ However they were not released immediately, because the police station was already encircled by journalists and members of left-wing radical parties who were attacked. Then the police officers tricked them: they brought out the arrested from the police station by groups of three and left them a few blocks away. Kommersant obtained a list of 25 names of those who were brought to the police station (the list follows). The police officers added that there was a 26th young man whose name was Verbitsky, who, supposedly, was driving the bus. ‘He was convincingly promising to fire us,’ the police officers told Kommersant. ‘We remembered his face but didn’t put his name on the list. According to the nazbols’ lawyer Dmitry Agranovsky, a certain Nikita Ivanov, employee of the president’s administration, arrived to the police station and released the arrested.

On the following day Yakemenko declared: “This is not the first beating of NBP and other radical organizations’ activists by non-established individuals. The accusations addressed at Nashi commissars are totally baseless and most probably are a poor attempt made by these structures’ leaders to hide their internal squabbles that are taking these monstrous, violent forms. When NBP members are being beaten, stabbed in the neck, etc. – it is a natural process of NBP’s criminal, underground existence. It is obvious that they need to finance their underground fascist activities in some way. It is obvious that the NBP activists need to pay for their actions and this money is of a very dubitable origin. The basic principle of the Nashi movement is nonviolence.” And so forth, in the same incoherent manner.

Nevertheless the criminal wild attack of August 29th has caused such a rare unanimous indignation of the Russian public, and numeral protests of State Duma deputies from CPRF and Rodina, and even the condemnation by some official structures, and the unanimous condemnation by the mass media, that there were signs of a possible decline in Mr. Yakemenko’s career and possibly of the Nashi movement. Here are some of them. The media published information that the Kremlin is creating Grom, a new organization called to replace Nashi. The protest against the rapprochement of Yabloko and NBP (I only went to Saint Petersburg where I spoke in the office of the Yabloko department) near the office of Yabloko’s central office on Pyatnitska Street in Moscow was not held by the Nashi, but already by an organization called Young Russia. The United Russia party is creating an organization called Young Guard. A Nashist, a student from Tula, Julia Gorodnicheva was not admitted to the Public Chamber although the Nashi were boasting about her admission to the Chamber in advance. She was admitted in the second mandate but she is already representing the Walking Together movement. Besides four criminal cases on the mass beatings of nazbols were reunited into one and the investigation is coming to an end. Confrontations were held in the Main Department of Investigations of Moscow’s Prosecutor General’s office. Despite the pressure of the Kremlin they will have to take this case to court. And then these Romas the Prickly and Vasyas the Killers will probably receive a sentence, at least a suspended one. And most importantly their role in the Nashi movement will be made public. And with them, probably, Vasily Yakemenko’s star will wane and maybe, I hope, that of Asik Dudayev, the schemer and creator of fake parties and movements. (At the same time there are signs that the Nashi affair is still living. Thus, in September 150 Nashi “commissars” went to study in the Highest School of Management, where they will be taught by G. Pavlovsky, M. Leontiev, V. Solovyev, A. Karaulov, A. Tsipko and S. Markov). And what about the president? The president will come through unscathed. Although he “took the risk” to give the permission and the financing for an organization that beats up people with baseball bats and metal wires. Today it is November 9th and I was informed that the Sobol vehicle, the nazbols’ vehicle they tried to put on fire during the August 29th attack, was put on fire this night.



In their leaflet the nazbols have brought three accusations against Putin of carrying out a dull and sometimes criminal foreign policy. Point 4: “The appearance of American military bases in Central Asia. You let them there after the events of September 11th 2001. You ingratiate yourself with the USA.” Point 6: “ The friendship with the monstrous regime of Turkmenbashi, who banished Russians from Turkmenia. Point 8: “ The witless interference in the elections in Abkhazia and Ukraine. However difficult it was to spoil the relations with the friendly Abkhaz people, but you succeeded in this. And Ukraine, by your efforts, stands on the threshold of disintegration and civil war.

In reality earlier crimes in the area of foreign economies can be brought against the president. This is the liquidation of the Russian naval bases in Lourdes (in Cuba) and in Kamran (Vietnam). The president has stated his motive then, during his first presidential mandate: the Russian Federation does not have the possibility to pay a supposedly unbearable rent. In total we were paying 500 million dollars per year. Of course this amount seems huge on the first sight. However it is less than 4% of the amount recently paid by the State Gazprom concern to the private shareholders of Sibneft, in particular to R. Abramovich. From the naval base in Lourdes we were controlling the Atlantic Ocean and we were perfectly close to the United States. If the US had tried to do something we would have had the possibility to respond immediately. From the base in Kamran (Vietnam) we were controlling two oceans: the Pacific and the Indian oceans. Putin’s decision to close down these bases has unquestionably left Russia without the status of a naval power. If Peter the Great has gotten us the status of a naval power at a great cost by making his way to the Baltic and Black Seas, then president Putin has closed this status. By himself.

Even with Yeltsin in the 1990s, having ousted ourselves from Europe and the world we were still remaining a large regional power. In these years the Kremlin was still “a source of legitimacy for the post-Soviet regimes” (expression used by the political scientist S. Belkovsky). “Openly and aggressively anti-Russian rulers (for example Zviad Gamsakhurdia or Abulfaz Elchibey), Belkovsky writes, did not stay in power for long. And the new elected heads of the CIS States were first eager to improve their relations with the big and generous, like grandpa Yeltsin, Russia. Besides, Moscow supported the viability of unrecognized States, guarantying the stability of a three-leveled post-Soviet construction: Russia as the legal successor of the metropolis – other CIS countries – rebellious enclaves with an unregulated status. Under Putin, Belkovsky goes on, the Russian Federation has hopelessly lost its status as the source of post-Soviet legitimacy and turned into the largest piece of yesterday’s great Empire. From the first geopolitical league where regional powers are playing (of the level of India or Brazil), we have passed to the second, where States like Paraguay or Algeria are fighting for a seat in history’s train wagon. (Obviously, the amount of oil and offshore money does not influence the State’s status in this case.) Now to obtain some legitimacy the head of a former allied republic goes directly to Washington and not to Moscow.

Let us remember the speech made by Vladimir Putin, RF president, right after the grandiose terrorist act of all times and people on September 11th 2001. He has almost started to cry and promised any thinkable help to the United States. Including his influence on Central Asian countries, so that American planes could receive the landing grounds they need to invade Afghanistan where, supposedly, Ben Laden, who is, supposedly, responsible for the bombing of the Twin Towers in New York, was hiding. And he helped them. Four years passed since then and the United States have comfortably settled down in Central Asia. US military bases have appeared in the region’s countries: in Uzbekistan, in Kyrgyzstan and in Tajikistan. The Karshi-Khanabad air base in Uzbekistan, which has strategic significance in the region, was transferred to the Pentagon for carrying out operations in Afghanistan after September 11th and for Washington’s creation of a “global anti-terrorist coalition”. The C-130 squadron, about a dozen Black Hawk helicopters and about one thousand and a half military personnel were sent to Uzbekistan to reinforce the Central Asian flank of the coalition. American military personnel and equipment were dislocated in Uzbekistan according to a bilateral agreement between Washington and Tashkent signed in October 2001. (The same agreements were signed with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan). Although each side has the right to leave the agreement until May of this year, when the Andijan events took place nothing was threatening the US interests in Uzbekistan. The American military presence benefited Tashkent economically – it added 50 million dollars per year to the budget. It had also a political benefit. Uzbekistan became one of the US key partners in Central Asia. In other words, hello, Yankees, goodbye, Russia. All of this was made in accordance with the desire of the Russian president. In other words, in accordance with his desire the United States has received air bases south of Russia. There are only a couple of flight hours for the supersonic bombers from the bases of Karshi-Khanabade (Uzbekistan), Ganci (Kyrgyzstan), Dushanbe (Tajikistan) to Russia’s big cities situated along the border with Kazakhstan, such as Astrakhan, Volgograd, Saratov, Orenburg, Ufa, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Barnaul and others. We don’t need a president like that! – The residents of all these cities must say. He put us under fire. Ok, today the US seems to be friendly, but what about tomorrow?

Actually the Americans turned out to be more principled with Uzbekistan than Putin, even in detriment to their own geopolitical interests. After the events in Andijan the US have transferred Tashkent among “suspect regimes”, to the rank of a “corrupted, repressive regime”, which the US does not want to tolerate.

Shortly, about what happened in Andijan. There on May 12-13th the government’s troops opened fire on peaceful residents who demanded social-political and economical reforms. According to the official version 187 “rebels” died. However according to the human rights organizations over 500 people were killed. President Karimov and his regime try to present this massacre as an anti-governmental rebellion. Still people were shot from machine guns. When the United States started to demand an independent investigation about the shooting in Abijan from the Uzbek authorities (in particular severe criticism was heard from the US Senate and from the democrats D. Baden and P. Likhi and from the republicans D. McCain, L. Grem and M. Divine), Uzbekistan’s authorities declared that they give 180 days to the American military to leave the country. The Americans started to negotiate a redislocation to Kyrgyzstan and to the country of Turkmenbashi.

In Russia we know very well about what happens in Turkmenistan. According to the Russian Memorial human rights society the number of political prisoners in Karimov’s country is over 7 thousand people. Torture is widely used. Independent journalists are tracked down and beaten (like National-Bolsheviks in Putin’s country). Nosir Zakirov, correspondent of Freedom Radio, was sentenced to 6 months of detention. Correspondents from BBC, Voice of America, German Wave, many newspapers, journals and Internet agencies have suffered. The BBC broke down and closed its office in Uzbekistan. On September 20th the trial of the people accused of “terrorist acts and other heavy crimes” in Andijan began in Uzbekistan’s Supreme Court. On the first day the defendants have pleaded guilty and on the second they demanded a death sentence (!) In the end of October 2005 the leader of the oppositional Sun Coalition Sanzhar Umarov was arrested. His lawyer arrived to the basement of the police station in Tashkent where he was detained. “He waited a long time before they bring Umarov in the office. Then the police asked Umarov to go down to the basement. When he looked through the window of the cell the lawyer saw the following: Sanzhar Umarov, completely naked, was standing, holding his head in his hands, swinging side to side and did not react to what was happening, Novaya Gazeta told in its 81st issue, 2005. President Putin is glad to strike a smiling pose next to president Karimov on all CIS summits. The official Russia adopted Karimov’s point of view: the death of people on May 13th is defined as an anti-governmental rebellion organized by terrorists. Putin expresses his solidarity with the repressive regime. Still, Karimov’s regime will finally fall and the Uzbek people and Uzbekistan’s following government will look on Russia and Russians like on the allies of a butcher.

But let us return to the American bases in Central Asia. In Kyrgyzstan the US military’s presence is legitimized by a bilateral agreement of October 2001. On November 8th 2005 the Americans held negotiations on the subject in Bishkek. Robert Mueller, FBI director, has heard Kyrgyzstan’s foreign minister Alekbek Jekshenkulov. No, Kyrgyzstan does not intend to say: “Yankees, go home!” to the Americans, Kyrgyzstan wants money, dollars. “The foreign minister noted the need to raise the rent of the Manas airport paid by the American side, to collect a payment for the air-navigation service and also to compensate the environmental damage from the use of the military base, Gazeta writes on 11.09.05. “Besides, it was proposed to increase the taxes, which have not yet corresponded to Kyrgyzstan’s tax legislation. (The 2001 agreement said that the non-residents among the foreign companies are freed from taxes for deliveries of products made on the Ganci US military base (The 376th air-expeditional corps of the US army with units of security and technical service are located on the Ganci base (in the Manas airport). Over 1200 militaries) and as a result the State budget, according to the republic’s finance ministry, has lost about 150 million dollars during the four years of the air base’s exploitation). /…/ Pentagon representatives have expressed their readiness to examine the oncoming financial and legal modifications of the agreement.” The principal phase of the anti-terrorist operation in the neighboring Afghanistan was finished a long time ago, therefore the necessity of a future stay of the American military and their planes in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia in general is extremely dubious. After Karimov, infuriated by US criticism, refused to give the Khanabad air base to the US, on October 3rd, during his visit to Bishkek, the special representative of the NATO general secretary in Central Asia and Caucasus, Robert Simons, enlisted the support of Kyrgyzstan’s authorities concerning the continued use of the Ganci base. Moreover an agreement was reached about the enlargement of the air base’s military contingent – by transferring there subunits dislocated in Uzbekistan. A week after Simons, Condoleezza Rice arrived in Bishkek and received a confirmation from the president that the military base will be situated in the Bishkek Manas airport until the situation in Afghanistan completely stabilizes. The United States’ desire to have a military springboard is understandable, but it was the witless politician Putin who invited the US army there.

As we see, America consolidated its positions in the Central Asia region and does not intend on leaving. The October blitzkrieg visit of the US State secretary Condoleezza Rice in the Central Asia countries is an illustration of that. In the same way US State secretaries were making visits in “the US soft underbelly” – Latin America in previous times. From now on Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are apparently considered as the US soft underbelly. The United States fixedly watches the events in Kazakhstan, the oncoming elections there. The 201st infantry division of the Russian army is still present in Tajikistan, covering the North path from Afghanistan, but it has an increasingly miserable role. The Tajik side is quietly forcing the Russians out from the region, seduced by the American money and by the fact that today it is Washington that has become the source of legitimacy for the former Soviet republics.

Putin managed to successively lose the levers of political influence on Moldova, Georgia, Belarus and Ukraine. As a result Russia was forced to withdraw its bases from Georgia in three years and for free, while recently the question was to withdraw the bases in eleven years and with a 500-million-dollars compensation from Georgia. The official propaganda explains the conflict between Russia and Georgia by Saakashvili’s pro-American orientation, in real fact a major role was played by the Kremlin’s stupid animosity to the former soviet bosses Shevarnadze and Abashidze and by the Russian side’s silly approach, stubbornness and haughtiness. There is no consequent policy in relation to Georgia (as in relation to the other former soviet republics). If we do not need Georgia, let us take Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while they still want it. If, for some unknown reason, we need Georgia and good relations with it, we have to recognize Saakashvili and work with him on clear bases and conditions. The Russian diplomacy made a fool of itself on the Abkhaz presidential elections, making all the efforts to bring to power a Kremlin’s protйgй – a former KGB officer. Abkhazia’s population resisted that. As a result a compromise was reached, Sergey Bagapsh, whom the population wanted, became president and a KGB officer imposed by Moscow became prime minister. Moscow’s awkward violence has infuriated and irritated the Abkhaz so much that more and more voices are heard in favor of keeping independence both from Georgia and from Russia. In the beginning of November Abkhazia’s defense ministry held large-scale exercises for the reservists. The goal of the exercises was “to defend the republic from an exterior attack and to assist the armed forces in repulsing a foreign aggression.” Abkhazia’s foreign minister Sergey Shamba said about this: “Abkhazia does not have to get an approval for its exercises neither from Georgia nor from Russia. We will not ask for their approval in the future either.” That’s right.

It has been ten years now that Russia is reuniting with Belarus. On October 20th 2005 “the commission preparing the Constitutional act of an Allied State announced that the project of the document that declares the alliance’s bases, would be examined by the Supreme Council before November 15th. Then the act will be submitted to a referendum, which will take place both in Russia and in Belarus,” Izvestia writes on 10.21.05. We can rejoice and applaud? Finally two people will merge into one? No, Izvestia explains. “The Constitutional act is not yet the constitution of a united State, but the document of a ‘transitional period’. The commission members draw attention to that fact. Different datelines for the adoption of the principal law are given: from November-December 2006 (i.e. on the eve of the elections in Russia) up to 2008-2010 (in this case it is the ‘successors’ of the actual presidents who will apparently decide its fate). Thus, today the allied State itself is almost virtual and its principal law is temporary. Naturally, the deliberate PR-bluffing with the Russian-Belarusian allied State, revived each time another stage of unpopular reforms is planned in Russia, is able to mislead only the most naпve observer,” the political scientist Stanislav Belkovsky that I already cited, notices.

To put it mildly, president’s Putin personal meddling in the electoral campaign in Ukraine was silly as well. The visit he made there before the elections and his unconditional support of the rather gloomy candidate Yanukovich (two trials and relations with Donbass’ criminal bosses) have polarized Ukraine’s political forces. They have mobilized western Ukraine and led it under Yushenko’s flags. I will explain, why. As all new States that have never had a State system before, Ukraine is experiencing painful sensations each time a big metropolis meddles in its affairs. This is how the “westernizers” have interpreted Putin’s visit and his support of Yanukovich. Literally Putin helped Yushenko to win the elections. And in fact, at a certain moment, by exacerbating the situation with his visit, he led the Ukrainian society (the nazbols are absolutely right!) on the brink of civil war between western and eastern Ukraine. Fuel was added to the fire by the Russian political technologists headed by Gleb Povlovsky who tried to use semi-criminal or even criminal methods during the electoral campaign, the same they use in Russia. Kremlin’s apprehension of the orange revolution is also caused by a sense of deep annoyance for its inadequate, stupid and helpless behavior. Today the Kremlin is spreading its own version of what happened in Ukraine (Maydan, the orange revolution) as a conspiracy organized and paid by the US. While in reality it is the manipulation of the elections according to the Russian model and the interference of Putin and his court political technologists that has caused the outrage of the Ukrainian society. Obviously a man used to solve problems with the use of violence (he has just “solved” the Beslan problem then) Putin would have liked the Maydan problem in Ukraine solved like in Beslan. A little provocation, shots from the Orange ranks at Ukraine’s domestic troops and “forced measures” of the swat teams in return. But the Ukrainians solved their problems peacefully, without bloodshed. From this time the RF president’s principal driving force was the fear of a “Maydan”. Realizing that the police (the Ukrainian and the Russian police have a common psychology inherited from the soviet police) would not shoot at the crowd on the Maydan because they are still under the influence of the soviet, although superficial, admiration of the “people”, Putin has approved the organization of the Nashi. Resorting to semi-military patriotic formations is the first sign of State fascism. You remember how Yakemenko breathlessly described to the students how the victorious soccer fans from Russia are driving out 100 thousand Ukrainians from the Maydan to the Dnieper with plastic chairs and then he mentioned the prison in The Hague where he will be sent. I don’t know if Putin realizes that the creation of semi-military organizations that practice beatings of their opponents, arsons and pogroms is State fascism?

Putin’s group has simply gone mad from the sight of “orange” revolutions. On October 20th 2005, on an official visit, Mister Lavrov said the following, I am citing Kommersant: “Concerning the subject of ‘color revolutions’ that is actually worrying the leaders of the CIS countries, mister Lavrov said: ‘The standardization in any form and the exportation of a certain sort of democracies with the use of force and all sorts of pressure methods are inadmissible. Even more inadmissible and counter-productive are the attempts of so-called regime changes that usually pursue quite defined foreign political goals that have nothing to do with the interests of a stable domestic development of the countries that have become the object of such intervention.” Where do you think, Sergey Lavrov, foreign minister of the Russian federation, has said this? In Askhabad, Turkmenistan’s capital, speaking in the National Institute of Democracy and Human Rights in the presence of the Turkmen president. That’s right. Inadmissible, intolerable and counter-productive are the attempts… Suffer in the stable domestic development of your Turkmenbashi, Turkmen and Russians in Turkmenistan. Belkovsky: “The Kremlin’s achievements in the sphere of defense of their compatriots outside the border are totally absent as well. The persecutions and humiliations to which the overly emotional Turkmenbashi has exposed the Russians were left unnoticed. The discrimination of the Russian minority, composing almost 40% of Latvia’s population sometimes caused a hoarse yelping in the Kremlin but it never ended in any real sanctions or other methods of pressure on Riga. And in a recent friendly conversation with his carefully selected people Vladimir Putin called not to demonize ‘our Latvian friends’.

The Kremlin did not show the slightest interest for the 2002-2004 political battles. Although, if forces loyal to Russia would have taken the power in this country it would have been much easier to solve the difficult problem of Kaliningrad’s transit. But the calls for help made from the other side of the Latvian border were ignored by the official Moscow. Not a single from the enumerated countries orients itself on Russia strategically, Belkovsky goes on. What’s left is of course the menacingly bent gas pipeline, but it’s hard to say that Putin is its creator and the image of an aggressive degenerate from the Kremlin, traditionally attached to the gifts of the pipeline by Putin’s administration does little to contribute to the growth of respect towards Russia in the remote and close corners of its former Empire. Then Belkovsky concludes: “In the whole, effective geopolitics don’t work out. And those who want to know and understand Putin will never be able to understand his motivations if they don’t learn one simple principle: the RF second president is not a politician by his nature (and even less so an imperialist). He is a normal and typical businessman. And all of his decisions and actions are exclusively subordinated to the logic of big business, which comes down to the extraction of profits.” You could not have said it better.



The tenth point of the leaflet addressed to RF president V. V. Putin says: “ The renewal of political repressions in Russia. The National-Bolsheviks Gromov, Tishin, Globa-Mikhaylenko, Bespalov, Korshunsky, Yezhov, Klenov, who stood up against the robbing of the people are political prisoners. The victims of political arbitrariness are such people as the physicist Danilov and the lawyer Trepashkin, punished altogether only for their independent behavior.”

While in detention in Lefortovo in 2001 I wrote and sent a political document – an open letter to the RF president entitled: “You have tightened the wrong screws and turned the wheel in the wrong direction”. The nazbols received this document and published it in the form of a brochure. In this document I examine many internal and external aspects of the president’s policies, it was only the second year of Putin’s rule then, but many things have already become clear. I will myself here in order to avoid reinventing some precise expressions. Here is what I wrote about the trials of the opponents of that time, logically addressing myself to Putin.

Famous show trials are defaming, shaking and worrying the country. Most probably they were started by your statement about the only dictatorship that you would like to introduce, the “dictatorship of law”. The Prosecutor General, the FSB, the police and the courts took your statement as a presidential order and hurried to execute it. However the following happened: neither the FSB, nor the Prosecutor General, nor other “services” were ever reformed and have heard about democracy and freedoms only on television. Most of the staff of these powerful organizations graduated from the Soviet school. Their mentality has frozen on the 1956 level. Independently from the staff’s age, totalitarian mentality is transmitted as a corporative spirit. Your order about a “dictatorship of law” turned into several series of trials.

1. The trials of “spies”. In this category we can put the trials of military journalists, scientists, ecologists and diplomats. The trial of captain Nikitin, the trial of Gregory Pasko (arrested in 1997 and accused of spying for Japan and of betraying the Motherland), the trial of Sutyagin, the trial of the diplomat Moyseyev (accused of spying for South Korea) and many others. Trials of “spies” consist of a different understanding by the State and the individual: what is secret and what isn’t during Putin’s rule. However until 1999 the ways, introduced by the State, that ruled in the RF were such that nothing was considered secret. Subsequently the State did not bother to announce that new secrecy rules were introduced. And it couldn’t have announced it because such rules were not introduced; simply now people were tried for what was encouraged before. The trials of “spies” are still ending in a disgrace for the investigation, but in years of unjust detention for the defendants. Why? Because two mentalities are clashing here: the 1965 worldview of the Soviet KGB and the Prosecutor General with the worldview of a modern scientist and ecologist at the end of the XX century.

(This is how I understood the situation in 2001. This is how I understand it in 2005. My comment: I did not understand then that the trials of the scientists as well as of other groups of society were made to scare, create an atmosphere of fear in the country. The goal was to paralyze society’s will in order to abuse the population easier. Many “cases” over the “spies” were started when VVP was still FSB director, possibly he started them. And I was wrong that the “spy” trials end with a disgrace for the investigation. If Nikitin, Pasko and Moyseyev made from three to four and a half years of prison each, then Igor Sutyagin and Valentin Danilov, the physicist from Krasnoyarsk, were sentenced to a merciless 14 years each. The trials of scientists continue. This year the former director of the Institute of problems related to the over-plasticity of metals (IPSM) Oscar Kaybishev was arrested. He is accused of sending technologies of “double assignment” to South Korea. What is meant is simply titanium discs for car wheels. The trial of Kaybishev started in Ufa on November 10th. In all he can be sentenced to ten years of detention.)

2. There is another series of trials: the trials of oligarchs. These trials are obviously called to prove to the population that here everybody is equal before the law and the “criminal” oligarchs, guilty of crimes, will be sentenced like any normal citizen. However the oligarchs’ trials prove something else. The three most famous oligarchs’ cases: Bykov’s case, Zhivilo’s case and Gusinsky’s case. In the first two the accusations are based exclusively on testimonies made by criminal authorities. It is the actual criminal Struganov, in Bykov’s case and Kharchinko in Zhivilo’s case as well as criminal authorities, leaders of criminal gangs. The single fact that the dictatorship of law is carried out with the help of people, whom society considers criminal, causes society to have a negative attitude towards the law and its representatives. (Besides, the “crimes”, both in Bykov’s and in Zhivilo’s case, were not carried out yet, but only, supposedly, planned.) The FSB and the Prosecutor General simply don’t have the right to behave in a “civilized” State, like they behave in Bykov and Zhivilo’s cases! Believe me, mister President; I have spent 20 years in civilized countries. This is disgraceful and illegal. Besides there are persistent rumors in the country that the true goal of Bykov and Zhivilo’s cases is to take away their property: KRAZ and NKAZA shares, to benefit other oligarchs. If it’s true, does it mean that you can order the doom of an oligarch to the FSB and the Prosecutor General? I pray God it isn’t true. Zhivilo is hiding, Bykov is in Lefortovo, while hundreds of other oligarchs, whose wealth began from crimes and fraud, are in liberty. It turns out that your justice is selective. Concerning the case of the oligarch Gusinsky, then, like the overwhelming majority of Russia’s intelligentsia, I have received the complete certainty, watching how the “dictatorship of the law” is carried out over him, that the reason of his “case’s” apparition was the long tongue of NTV – a TV channel opposed to Putin. This is already a question of freedom of speech and whether the Prosecutor General wanted it or not, they have destroyed an oppositional TV company. By the way the courts of the “civilized” countries disagreed with your prosecution and refused to extradite: Spain refused to extradite Gusinsky and France – Zhivilo… Possibly, if Bykov were not in Hungry, but in a more civilized country, he wouldn’t be in a Lefortovo cell.

(This is how I saw the situation in 2001. I saw it right. God did not give me what I asked for. It turned out that yes; you can really order to doom an oligarch to the Prosecutor General and the FSB. The biggest one if the client is Russia’s president. For two years now the country is watching how Khodorkovsky’s empire and himself were ruined, drowned and destroyed. At the same time we watched how another oligarch – Roman Abramovich has fantastically risen, became governor of Chukotka, owner of Chelsea and received 13 billion dollars for the Sibneft Company directly on his offshore accounts. Abramovich was paid with our money, dear Russians. In other words, we see how one oligarch was just brought to the Chitin region, in the city of Krasnokamensk, where the wind is dispersing uranium dust and the other has fantastic immunity. What a dictatorship of law is that? This is the toughest, harshest abuse. Actually, some say that Abramovich is only the manager of the Yeltsin family’s money. Then it is different. Today I get the impression that the investigators and prosecutors were only practicing their skills on “Bykov’s case” and “Zhivilo’s case”, preparing for a big case. Today I feel proud of myself that I was not scared to defend Bykov and have written the book “The Hunt for Bykov”, despite A. P. Bykov’s ambiguous reputation.)

3. Another large group of trials: “trials of terrorists”. The Pyatigorsk trial of Mukhanin and Saralyev ended with the jury’s founding them innocent of committing the terrorist act of October 6th 2000 in Pyatigorsk. In the Stavropol region there is an ongoing closed trial of Karachaevo-Cherkessia residents: the brothers Bastanov, Bayramukov, Frantsuzov and Taganbaev. Allegedly they were keeping explosives that were used at the bombings of the houses in Moscow and Volgodonsk. On the first day of trial the defendants said that they are innocent, that their confessions were made under physical and psychological pressure during their detention in Lefortovo. I have personally shared a cell with a man who has forced Frantsuzov to sign a “sincere confession” for a month and a half. He boasted (this man, Alexey T.) that he forced Frantsuzov to write a confession. This guy also intimidated me. This is how the “dictatorship of law”, which you have announced, is carried out, Mr. President. I will not touch the monstrous accusations Novaya Gazeta brought against the FSB. However I want to bring my accusation against the FSB – of murder. During the FSB investigation of the activities of the National-Bolshevik Party and mine personally (in the frames of the criminal case Number 1717) A. Burigin and V. Zolotarev – my Party comrades, two of those who went to Altai with me /…/ were killed. Zolotarev was thrown out of the window and Burigin died from a hemorrhage to the brain that followed a blow on the head with a heavy object.”

(My commentary of November 2005. Sasha Burigin died on the night when the FSB carried out searches and interrogations concerning the case Number 171, on March 30th 2001. Most probably they were interrogating him and overdid it. After these two deaths a National-Bolshevik who was investigating Viktor Zolotarev’s death died in October 2002 under a train in Barnaul. In 2004, on October 30th two nazbols, Alexey Volkov and Andrey Nefedov, died also under a train in Ryazan (they were sticking leaflets) under unexplained circumstances. Almost at the same time the National-Bolshevik Mikhail Sokov was found dead in Moscow; he died from injuries. I have all the reasons to believe that these dead bodies can be put on the account of the special services’ activities against the NBP. It is significant that the corresponding literature names these two methods: throwing a body out of a window and death under the wheels of a train, as the favorite methods used by the KGB to cover its actions against its enemies as natural deaths. The train and the fall out of the window also hide well the injuries inflicted during the interrogations (and traces of torture). It is interesting that very recently one of the activists of Yabloko’s Defense Roman Shubin mysteriously died under a train. It happened in the end of July 2005.

Concerning the trials of terrorists, it is unnecessary to remind that those who are accused of terrorism must be judged severely but justly. It is criminal to punish innocent people. This is a clear legal axiom, however not for Putin’s Russia. Then, after the jury discharged Mukhanin and Saralyev, in violation of all legal norms, they were tried again and received heavy sentences. Frantsuzov’s group was mercilessly condemned, although nothing on the trial fitted together. The man who allegedly led the group, Achimez Gochiyaev, is hiding somewhere on the Caucasus. He testified that his was blindly used. That he really rented offices for his construction firm. Gochiyaev acknowledges that he rented the offices on the demand of his partner, which, as he thinks, was linked to the FSB. Gochiyaev affirms that he did not know that they would bring explosives there. After two bombings he realized that he was blindly used and called the police and the ambulance and gave the addresses of two other offices he was renting. In this manner he managed to avoid two bombings. However the investigation hid this fact and sentenced a group of Caucasians, whom Gochiyaev allegedly led. I have already told by what methods the evidence was obtained in Lefortovo: with the help of Alexey T.’s fist.

In Lefortovo I was detained with Raduyev’s group, quickly formed from people who did not even took part in the second Chechen war. It was composed of four people: Raduyev himself, Atgeriev, Alkhazurov and a forth, whom I do not remember. The trial took place in December 2001 in Dagestan. Salman Raduyev received a life sentence, Atgeriev – 15 years and Alkhazurov – five, I think. A few months later Raduyev and Atgeriev were dead. They suddenly died in prison. Simpler said, they were killed. (According to some, Alkhazurov, with whom I was detained in cell Number 32 in 2001, also died). They were young, about 35 years old. Another “terrorist”, Lecho Islamov also known as The Beard, died (he was poisoned) right after his trial, when he was on his way to prison; he was sentenced to eight years. This is what, Vladimir Vladimirovich, you call “dictatorship of law”, to try and then to kill? Your law is a satanic one. Inhuman. Sure, Raduyev is guilty of killing people. So you could have shot him during the arrest. Or let him suffer the rest of his life in prison. But to try and then to kill is the satanic dictatorship of law. This is a crime, Vladimir Vladimirovich. If not yours, then of your officers who carry out the dictatorship of the law. There are already scores of trials of terrorists in our country. It is perfect if the responsible are punished according to the level of their responsibility. But when people are punished only to give society a fake version of victory: there was a crime – here is the punishment, but if you punished the wrong people, – then such a punishment is a crime too, mister President!)

In the text of the open letter of 2001 I did not mark out the “political trials” in a separate group. In part because all the trials shaking the country, initiated by you and by your servants for paralyzing us, the people, all these trials serve a political goal – repressing us, frightening us, therefore they are all political: the trials of “spies”, oligarchs and terrorists. But political trials proper, against the members of political parties and other opponents have also appeared and already represent a rather significant phenomenon.

4. The “political” trials. In their leaflet, 39 nazbols have called their comrades, seven condemned for the peaceful occupation of a few offices in the health ministry, political prisoners. They were accusing: “ The renewal of political repressions in Russia. The National-Bolsheviks Gromov, Tishin, Globa-Mikhaylenko, Bespalov, Korshunsky, Yezhov, Klenov, who stood up against the robbing of the people are political prisoners.” I remind that on August 2nd about half a hundred National-Bolsheviks entered the health ministry and, hanging NBP flags in the windows, protested against the State Duma’s adoption of the law on monetization. (I have examined the law in detail in the corresponding chapter of this book.) The first who came across from that group of 50 nazbols were caught and these seven were sentenced on December 20th each to five years of detention on articles 213 part 2 of the RF Criminal Code (delinquency organized by a group) and 167 part 2 (destruction of property). This, despite the qualified reports of jurists and human rights activists who affirmed that the National-Bolsheviks’ actions did not contain article 213, since they did not hit anybody, did not injure, not even pushed (and an act of delinquency supposes physical violence against a person), and the damage brought to the building (i.e. article 167) was not done by the nazbols but by the OMON officers who broke down the doors and partly damaged the furniture in the offices. Subsequently under the pressure of the public, Moscow’s municipal court was forced to mitigate the sentences to the seven. Four were sentenced to three years of detention each and the three younger – to 2,5 years each. The nazbols behaved bravely during the trial; no one pleaded guilty. Now they serve their sentence in different prisons of Russia. The older – Maxim Gromov is the worse treated. He is actively pressured.

Sentenced to three years of detention and detained in a prison in Bashkiria (450049, Ufa, Novozhenova Street, 86 "А", 394/9) to the moment of this book’s writing Maxim Gromov has already spent 125 days in an isolation cell. I remind that this was the same Maxim Gromov who has thrown president Putin’s portrait on the street from the office of minister Zurabov in the health ministry on August 2nd 2004. Caught by camera lenses, the flying portrait has made the news not only in Russia but in the world press as well. Now Gromov is punished for this, left to rot in the hole. He cannot meet his relatives and parcels with food (or other) are not allowed. FSB officers enter and leave the prison like their home, interrogate and intimidate Gromov. We know extremely little about his state of health. We only know that they want to detain him in a camp prison, the so-called PKT – covered location. The name speaks for itself: in a PKT the person is totally isolated from the world, in other words, it is in realty a strict prison detention. They are also trying to add another prison term to Gromov. He does not send or receive mail; there is no communication whatsoever. All that we know about Gromov was obtained literally bit by bit. At the same time the three National-Bolsheviks who were sentenced on “the health ministry case” to two and a half years each, have already served half of their time. In order to receive the possibility to try to leave prison before term on probation they have to pay a civil action from the health ministry of 147 thousand rubles. The party is ready to pay that action, but when our lawyers demanded the health ministry to give them the number of the accounts, where we could send the money, the representatives of the ministry told us that they refuse the money. Oh no, it is not a generous gesture of the ministry’s functionaries, but another evil deed. The problem is that the seven arrested for the August 2nd action will not be able to leave prison on probation if they do not pay the action and will have to serve the whole term. As we see, meanness is a widespread quality among the Russian functionaries.

By the way, the Tverskoy court composed of the judge E. Stashina, S. Ukhnaleva and D. Popov have directly recognized that the defendants were political prisoners in their verdict. I will allow myself to cite the verdict:

They have committed the crimes in the following circumstances. In relation to the discussion of legislation about the reformation (monetization) of benefits in the State Duma of the Russian Federation, ‘leaders’ of the informal association ‘National-Bolshevik Party’ (NBP) non established by the investigation, under the pretext of protesting against the carrying out of the social reforms and the cancellation of the benefits in the end of July – beginning of August 2004, have decided to gather the members of their informal association residing in different regions of the Russian Federation in order to carry out, on August 2nd 2004, an unsanctioned meeting in front of the Ministry of health and social development of the Russian Federation situated at: Moscow, Neglinnaya Street, 25. With the goal of flagrant disturbance of the public order and the destabilization of a State institution’s functioning, the ‘leaders’ have also developed a plan, distributing the roles between the members of the informal association ‘National-Bolshevik Party’ (NBP) in their illegal penetration in the administrative building of the RF Ministry of health and social development during the above-mentioned unsanctioned meeting.” Etc. The entire verdict is a sample of lies. It turns out that the nazbols made the run over the ministry for the pleasure of disturbing the order. It is not surprising that after the trial the prosecutor S. A. Tsirkun became hysterical near the courtroom and squealed to the parents of the convicted: “I hate you, damned communists! You butchered my grand father…”

As for Mikhail Trepashkin, the authorities persecute him exclusively because he rebelled against the system, part of which he was for a long time. Former FSB investigator, then investigator of the tax police, on November 15th 1998 he took part in the much-talked-of press conference of FSB officers. On the press conference six officers (a colonel, two lieutenant colonels, two majors and a senior lieutenant) have told that the FSB has a department called URPO whose work consists of extrajudicial reprisals, murders and kidnappings. They have given precise examples, when, whom and what. A special State Duma commission was created then to investigate, but the commission has not even called one of the officers. Since then Trepashkin is persecuted and arrested, just as another officer – Alexander Litvinenko (to whom the URPO commander Kamyshnikov ordered to kill Berezovsky: “You know Berezovsky, so you’ll kill him”), forced to escape from Russia after a few arrests. Subsequently Trepashkin was shortly the lawyer of the residents of the ill-fated house in Ryazan, where FSB “exercises” were taking place, very similar to the preparation of a bombing. (Even before the press conference, when he still was an FSB officer, the unaccommodating and honest Trepashkin was investigating the circumstances surrounding an arms delivery from Russia to Chechnya and discovered that Russian generals were behind that.) After the conference Trepashkin was arrested several times. From 2002 he is detained in the Lefortovo prison under investigation. On May 19th 2004 he was sentenced to four years of detention on charges of disclosure of a State secret (article 283 of the criminal code). On August 19th 2005 Nizhny Tagil’s Tagilostroevsky district court has satisfied Trepashkin’s appeal about a release on probation. On August 29th Trepashkin was released. On September 18th 2005 Trepashkin was arrested again and sent to prison IK-13 of Nizhny Tagil. He is really “only punished for his independent behavior”.

On December 14th 2004 the 39 nazbols – authors of the leaflet “We don’t need such a president!” became political prisoners and are detained under trial on the moment that I am writing these lines. (Actually, at first, they were forty people, however, after they kept him a month in jail, the authorities finally released the youngest – the fifteen-years-old Petrov.) Among them there are nine girls and seven minors; the criminal case Number 300188 was opened against them. Here are the names of the heroes, according to their prison:

In the Butyrka prison (127055, Moscow, Novoslobodskaya Street, 45, IZ-77/2) are detained: Vladimir Angirov, Semen Vyatkin, Ilya Guryev, Alexey Devyatkin, Ivan Drozdov, Alexey Zentsov, Ivan Korolev, Vladimir Lind, Egor Merkushev, Sergey Reznichenko, Sergey Ryzhikov, Dmitry Sevastyanov, Yury Staroverov and Maxim Fedorovykh.

In the Presnenskaya prison (123308, Moscow, 1st Silikatny Street, 11, 1, IZ-77/3) are detained: Yury Bednov, Damir Valeyev, Mikhail Gangan, Andrey Gorin, Alexey Kolunov, Evgeny Korolev, Denis Kumirov, Kirill Manulin, Denis Osnach, Artem Perepelkin, Julian Ryabtsev, Alexey Tonkikh and Vladimir Tyurin.

In the prison for minors (125130, Moscow, Vyborgskaya Street, 20, IZ-77/5) are detained: Maxim Baganov, Alexey Rozhin and Alexey Solovyev.

In the women’s prison (109383, Moscow, Shosseynaya Street, 92, IZ-77/6) are detained: Lira Guskova, Valentina Dolgova, Marina Kurasova, Ekaterina Kurnosova, Alina Lebedeva, Elena Mironycheva, Anna Nazarova, Evgenya Taranenko and Natalya Chernova.

At first, all 39 were charged with three articles of the RF criminal code: article 214 (vandalism), article 167, part 2 “Premeditated destruction of property that has caused significant damage and other grave consequences” and article 278 “Forcible seizure or forcible retention of power” (liable to imprisonment for a 12 to 20 years term). However the Kremlin realized that it has overdone in its anger. On February 16th and 17th they were charged with a new accusation (article 214, 167 and 278 were excluded) on article 212, part 2 “participation in mass disorders”.

The Antimilitary Club, a human rights organization, has developed an analysis of the charges brought against the nazbols. I cite here most of their text:

The decisions of Moscow’s Prosecutor General’s investigators about the charges brought against the defendants are illegal and unfounded for the following reasons:

Despite the affirmations of the indictment, the NBP ‘leaders’ did not have the goal of organizing mass disorders – flagrant disturbance of the public safety and order and the destabilization of a State institution’s functioning ‘under the pretext of protesting against the foreign and domestic policies carried out by the RF president in Russia.’ A group of young citizens of the Russian Federation has carried out an unsanctioned meeting in the mentioned office against the authorities’ policies, in particular the anti-popular and unreasoned monetization of benefits. It is the fact of carrying out an unsanctioned meeting that is reflected in the charges.

Similarly false is the Prosecutor General’s affirmation that the NBP members hindered the carrying out of the powers of the employees of the reception room of the Administration of the Russian federation’s president, among them leaders of the Russian State, placed on them by the Constitution of the Russian federation and other federal laws and that consist of receiving the population and examining demands from citizens of the Russian Federation, since these powers of the President’s Administration’s employees are not placed on them either by the RF Constitution or other Federal laws, while the Russian State’s leaders do not receive the population in office Number 14 either on the base of normative acts or practically.

The demands of the NBP members were not characteristic of an ultimatum; they did not present the RF President’s resignation, outside of the order stipulated by the RF Constitution, as a condition to liberate the office they occupied. As for the demands of the RF President’s voluntary resignation, they are not illegal, but in the contrary are the realization of the legal right of RF citizens to freedom of speech, stipulated by article 29 of the RF Constitution.

Since the unsanctioned meeting was carried out only in one room of office Number 14, the affirmation of Moscow’s Prosecutor general about the ‘destabilization of the normal functioning of a State institution’ is unfounded.

Besides, neither the hindering of State employees from fulfilling their powers of receiving the population, nor the presentation of ultimatums demanding to remove the Russian Federation president from power, nor the destabilization of the normal functioning of a State institution constitute a criminal offense, stipulated by article 212 part 2 and were mentioned by the Prosecutor General in the text about the charges without any relation to the brought accusation.

The text with the mentioned charges contains unfounded affirmations that the NBP members were flagrantly violating public safety and were expressing clear disrespect to society.

According to article 1 of the RF Law from March 5th 1992 Number 2446-I ‘On safety’ (with amendments from December 25th 1992 and June 25th 2002) ‘the main objects of safety are: the person – his rights and freedoms; society – its material and spiritual values; the State – its constitutional order, sovereignty and territorial integrity.’

The defendants did not infringe on any of the objects of public safety established by the Law. Thus, the Prosecutor General’s affirmation is not based on law.

Equally unfounded is the affirmation that the defendants expressed disrespect to society. In the contrary, the defendants’ motives were deeply social, ethical and directed at the defense of socially significant values and interests: such as the social protection of the pensioners and disabled persons, Russia’s territorial integrity and others.

The qualification of the defendants’ actions as participation in mass disorders (on article 212 part 2 of the RF Criminal code) is unfounded. The RF Criminal code does not give a definition of ‘mass disorders’, however the legal doctrine supposes that ‘the intensity of public threat from mass disorders is defined by the sole existence of a large mass of people, unamenable to control, which creates an important psychological tension in a certain region or district of their residence; secondly, by the spontaneous nature of the behavior of the crowd’s participants’ (Course of criminal law. Volume 4. Special part ed. by the law Ph.D. professor G. N. Borzenkov and the law Ph.D. professor V. S. Komissarov M., 2002) Characterizing mass disorders A. N. Traynin pointed out: ‘The masses are a changing crowd with free access and free exit of the participants (Traynin A. N. Criminal law. Special Part. Crimes against the State and the social order. M. 1927. p.110) It is the indefinitely large circle of participants and the element of spontaneity that allow to separate mass disorders from similar crimes and offenses (delinquency, petty delinquency, premeditated destruction and damage of property, etc.) committed by two individuals or more.

In the decision text the Prosecutor General points out the organized nature of the defendants’ actions and the fact that the circle of participants of the unsanctioned meeting was defined beforehand. Thus, the event of mass disorders was absent in this case.

As mass disorders signs stipulated by article 212 of the RF CC, the Prosecutor General says the defendants made a ‘pogrom’ and destroyed property, which, however, does not correspond to the objective circumstances of the case.

The RF CC does not give a legal definition of the notion of ‘pogrom’. D. N. Ushakov’s explanatory dictionary defines ‘pogrom’ as ‘a reactionary and chauvinist protest, mass beating of some group of population by the crowd, accompanied by murders, destruction and theft of property, organized by the government or the ruling classes. The Jewish pogroms in tsarist Russia, in the Poland of the pans, in the Rumania of the boyars and in fascist Germany. The Armenian pogroms in the Turkey of the sultans. And S. I. Ozhegov’s Russian Dictionary – as ‘a reactionary and chauvinist protest against some national or other group of population, accompanied by destruction and theft of property and mass murders.’ Obviously the defendants’ actions were not accompanied by anything of the sort and cannot be qualified as ‘pogrom’.

The property enumerated in the charges was not destroyed, but only damaged, which also does not give the grounds for qualifying the defendants’ actions by article 212 of the RF CC.

Proceeding from the above-stated, the participants of the unsanctioned meeting in the Public reception room of the RF President’s Administration are not subject to amenability on articles 212 part 2 of the RF CC but can only be subjected to administrative charges stipulated by article 20.2 part 1 and 2 (Violation of the established order of organizing and holding meetings, demonstrations, marches or pickets), 20.17 (unauthorized entry in a guarded unit) and 20.1 (petty delinquency – other actions demonstratively violating public order) of the RF AC.

But great is the anger of those in power against the young people who dared to protest against the president. Therefore from June 30th Russia’s young intelligentsia is being tried like wild beasts in three iron cages in Moscow’s Nikulinsky court (they did not find a suitable room and cage in the Tverskoy court). Nobody pleaded guilty. I will cite here one of the open letters addressed by the parents of the 39 nazbols to president Putin: “Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich! What a peculiar situation! We keep writing to you and your only answer is silence. /…/ What’s the matter with you, mister President? Aren’t you worried by the fate of your forty young co- citizens? Do you seriously think that they are guilty of something or did you come to the conclusion that the country can do without them, patriots, protectors and humanists? What are you counting on? To leave a desert after you leave? Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich! In our previous addresses to you we asked you (and now we do) to approach the situation with the position of State wisdom. You did not listen to this request; we asked you (and now we do) to show understanding and mercy – ‘But the blissful are deaf to kindness…’ and, finally, we asked you (and now we do) to look in our eyes and history’s eyes – did you do it? /…/ We’re sorry, Vladimir Vladimirovich, but sometimes one gets the impression that it is from your highest assent that our children are being left to rot in prison cells.

The National-Bolsheviks’ parents have less negative experience of interacting with Putin’s government, with the State created by Putin; therefore they have more broken hopes. As for me I firmly believe that the president is not wise, not merciful, not kind, and that it is not only with his assent that forty-nine members of the National-Bolshevik Party are left to rot in prison cells and in camps, but most probably, on his initiative. Under Putin the practice of pardon has practically disappeared and only decrepit old persons – veterans of the Great Patriotic War, were amnestied, two hundred people in total. While even under Yeltsin, who was not known for its sensibility either, thousands of people were pardoned and amnestied. I will return to the president’s hard-heartedness in the last, third bloc of my book. But now a few words about Putin’s prisons, since we already touched upon that subject. I will again cite my open letter to the President from Lefortovo prison. 2001. On prisons:

“The situation in Russian prisons is desperate. Tuberculosis, AIDS and drug addiction are raging. /…/ The country’s prison population keeps rising. This is not explained by the particularly criminal tendencies of RF citizens but by the merciless severity of the laws and the bodies, which execute these laws: the police, the FSB, the Prosecutor General, the Court and the Justice Ministry. These bodies were never seriously reformed and in their nature remained totalitarian predators hunting citizens. A reform of the legal system in the country was developed and has been adopted for fifteen years now, but it is obvious that it is of little help. Because the judges will stay the same, the corporative spirit of the Soviet totalitarian justice will kill the results of the legal reform. The citizen will continue to be doomed in advance face to face with the State. Moreover, a part of the convicted, even for short terms, will inevitably die in prison from tuberculosis, a drug overdose and AIDS. Did you ever see your convicts, mister President? These are people with a sallow complexion, covered with sores and scabs.”

This is how I wrote in 2001. In reality things are far scarier. I will give here only one example of how things are inside the prisons. Even I was shaken by the letter sent on freedom by a convict who was killed in prison a few days after he wrote the letter. By an order of the investigator. Here is that letter:

On October 14th 2003 I was arrested by police officers, savagely beaten etc. etc. During the arrest, while I was laying face down on the cold ground, SOBR officers were kicking me on the head, on my body, my legs and arms; they were stepping on my handcuffs with their feet with their whole weight, stretching them so that after some time I ceased to feel my hands, they became numb and I couldn’t even move a finger. When they brought me to the station (RUBOP), after some time I realized that what they were doing during my arrest was nothing compared to that. The RUBOP officers were abusing me for about one day and a half; they totally undressed me and after handcuffing me to the radiator, they beat me on the arms and legs, with a stick on the head, body, arms and legs, on my crutch, they electrocuted me, demanding that I confess crimes that I have never committed. After some time, police officers, who didn’t take part in the tortures were appearing; they let me dress up and gave me tea and coffee and were, so to speak, nicely talking with me, but when they didn’t get what they wanted they left, the familiar individuals appeared and it was started all over again. This lasted until the evening of the following day, I think; I can’t say for sure because I, kind of, lost all sense of time, I was not fully aware of what was going on, my head hurt and I was losing consciousness.

After that I was brought to SIZO-1 in city N. I thought that the abuse was over, but in fact if has only started. I was constantly transferred from cell to cell, where I was detained with individuals who were tried earlier and already convicted. They didn’t let me sleep, eat and drink; in the morning I was taken to the UBOP when the officers continued their abuse. This lasted for about 10 days. All this time I didn’t have the possibility to meet my lawyer. On 11.15.03 I wrote a plaint about the illegality of the investigation, about the physical and psychological pressure I was subjected to by UBOP officers. N, the chief of the investigation group N came to see me about the plaint and made me write an explanation, where I described everything in detail and mentioned that I can identify the people who abuse me. Her answer to that was a refusal with the words that all my accusations were made up. After that UBOP officers headed by the police major S. started to act differently. I was sent to SIZO-1 of city K, where again I was constantly transferred from cell to cell and everywhere my cellmates were pressuring me physically and psychologically in order to obtain information about my criminal case from me and showing perfect knowledge about the case’s materials and not hiding that the chief of the department that is working on my case from city N gave an unofficial order to break, to destroy me physically and morally. On 12.11.03 I was sent to city N, my conviction term was extended and I was put again in SI-1 of city N. After some time I met major S. and he told me that he will do everything he can to convict defendant R., that this is an order from above, a question of honor and he won’t stop before anything for this. That he will go over heads in order to receive stars on his should-straps. What he needed from me were testimonies against defendant R. After this they started to work on me (so to speak) with particular zeal in SI-1 of city N. I didn’t have the possibility to send plaints or letters, to see the doctor; I couldn’t take a shower, take a walk, I was denied the possibility to receive parcels with food products, personal belongings, medicine, products of hygiene and first necessity. They beat and abused me trying to get one thing – that I did as major S. has said. Major S. made periodical visits to the prison and with an insidious smile asked me: ‘so, how are you doing, P.?’ He threatened me that I will be raped and my life in prison will become unbearable on his order. He affirmed that I wasn’t the first like this and that it’s a whole system, developed during years. A few days later a few people entered the cell where I was, they attacked me, tied me up and raped me, filming all of this on camera. Soon major S. appeared again and holding the videotape in his hands he asked if that was enough for me and if I was ready to cooperate. After receiving a negative answer S. said that my relatives would suffer then – my wife and my parents. That he will fabricate a case against them. He specifically spoke about my wife B., supposedly after nine years of living together she could have been the involuntary witness of the preparation of some crime, she could have heard something, simply he could just plant her some drugs. S. gave me time to think about this. These days I didn’t have the possibility to see my lawyers and my cellmates were vividly describing what awaits my wife in a prison for women. Later, when they brought me to the UBOP on N Street, the following happened in S.’s office: after he learned that I still have nothing to say, S. composed my wife’s telephone number and after he asked if she’s alone and if someone else is listening to the conversation, he told her that if she wants to see her husband she has to get ready, not tell anything to anyone, and to come to the UBOP after she will be called. While it was concerning me alone I was ready to suffer anything, but when it touched upon my family I had nothing left to do than what S. demanded from me. I personally wrote everything major S. dictated to me and agreed to testify. I was offered a lawyer, but I managed to obtain that they invite my lawyer G. I testified and explained the reason to my lawyer. Two days later I learned from my lawyer that my wife has left town and that some measures were taken in city N in order to protect my parents. A few days later I was led out of my cell by a prison employee, in his office he showed me a message that he said was confiscated during a search in one of the cells. It said that defendant R. is giving the order to kill P. (i.e. the author of this letter) by any available means as fast as possible. The employee did not present himself to me and did not give me the message; he said that he simply wanted to warn me about the danger. On the same evening major S. came to the prison and holding this same message in his hand, tried to explain me that now only he can protect me from the inevitable reprisal. But for this I have to help him convict R., testify against him and confess the many murders that, in major S.’s opinion, I committed. After he received my categorical refusal S. said that even then he will charge R. with responsibility for organizing my murder thanks to this little message. I take S.’s threats seriously and I fear for my life very much. During my acquaintance with him I had the time to realize that this man will not stop before anything. Major S. told me that I will be either hung or injected a large doze of a heavy drug. I really want to live because I’m still young and I love my mother and father, my little brother V. and my wife B.

I want to explain why I didn’t tell my lawyers about this and why I didn’t mention it in my plaints. I have realized that nobody is able to help a person in prison to avoid police abuse. And with each plaint I wrote my conditions were increasingly unbearable. I learned a truth, that however hard it is at a certain moment, something worse can always happen. In case S. commits what he’s planning I ask to charge him with that.

The dictatorship of the law, Mr. President. Nothing else. Satanic. Do I have to remind you the articles of the Universal declaration of human rights of 1948? Article 5: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Article 7: “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.” And finally, article 3: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

It has been five years now that you are in power, Mr. Putin, and your prisons are Hell and there are murderers among your investigators. We don’t need such a president!


Alien and wicked

I wrote this portrait of Putin soon after he was first elected president – in 2000.


Ideally a leader is not only the head of State, but also an exemplary first man of the nation. Joseph Stalin, with his pipe, moustache, boots, in a semi-military service jacket, insinuating, unhurried, speaking with an accent (with an accent sentences have often a reversed mysterious implication), set the order to USSR countries – disciplined and scared them, keeping them in fear. Everything in a leader, from the form of his nails to his button, is in fact important; nothing is aleatory. Although history does not mention the image makers of Mussolini, Stalin or Hitler, these big characters have worked out their style, or as they say today, “image”, themselves. In reality they were simply natural eccentrics.

Although History will forever ascribe Yeltsin to negative peoples’ leaders, he had a personal character, clearly of popular origin. His crazy drunkenness, petty tyranny and the roughness of a Central Committee dignitary even had a certain charm, as it turned out now. Once in a while the lack of his bad presence is felt in the space of Putin’s clean government. After his last act of petty tyranny, after imposing us God know who, i.e. Putin, Yeltsin left the scene and is groaning somewhere on the dachas, spits and drinks. But we do not know about that.

What concerns Putin, he is very untypical of Russia. It is as though he was created in a laboratory. One gets the impression that he came to this world from artificial insemination, from an unknown father and a surrogate mother. So little he has of his own and at the same time, strange thing, he is not at all a popular type. In other words he does not represent any of the popular archetypes we know. He is clearly not a petty tyrant – Central Committee dignitary, he is clearly not a worker and not a peasant either. A lieutenant colonel, he is not an officer type. Lebedev and Rokhlin, Shamanov or Troshev were officers. Putin is closer to an intellectual, a teacher, not even a university teacher but from a technical school, of chemistry, for example. But as he is, kind of distinct, alien, he would have been a renegade and an exile among the teachers. He would have surly been called “the man in a case”, “ a blotter”, and nobody would have talked with him.

It is of course scandalously accidentally that Putin received the leadership of the State. Without Yeltsin’s last act of stupid willfulness Putin, as he is, distinct, alien, would never have been elected. His fate has just played in his favor here. First the unlucky retired foreign intelligence officer was picked up by the westernizer Sobchak. Sobchak took him with him to the city hall. And here Putin showed the talent of a paper-weight-man, a folder-man. The fact that he loves office work showed up later, when in the first months of his mandate as premier he became daily available to us through the TV. It showed by the gentleness with which he pressed his little folder to his hip or even his chest. Then the little folder disappeared, but we already got it.

Putin’s main value consists of his bureaucratic efficiency. In Russia – a country of rather undisciplined, emotional, irresponsible people – a bureaucrat is simply a treasure. Therefore after the failure of Sobchak’s career Putin was immediately picked up by Pavel Pavlovich Borodin, since people with little folders like him are hard to find. Besides, not a drunker and not a smoker, not going to the sauna in company of drunken guys. Putin was certainly looking like a superman in a crowd of bosses full of vices. Through Borodin, Putin started to work with Yeltsin and in the end the old Yeltsin chose the paper-weight-man as his successor to the throne. He chose his direct opposite, for the qualities that were totally absent in the petty tyrant Yeltsin. And in result we are governed by a folder-man, a kind of a pale secretary.

There is something womanly sad in Russia’s new president. Rather, a lack of a male basis. If Yeltsin was clearly an old stallion, who scared women away only because of vodka, then V.V. Putin is a totally asexual type, i.e. not sexual. Whatever threatening statements about doing the terrorists in the shithouse he might do, one gets the impression that he is shy like a girl. Besides his fragile physic, this girly impression he makes is also contributed by his voice. We do not hear from Putin any Yeltsin or Lebedev’s macho roar or the velvet slime of Julio Iglesias. He pronounces everything in an equal, distanced, high voice devoid of emotions. Only rhetoric repetitions (like Kirienko) and pressures are slightly enlivening his speech. Putin does not show any interest in women on TV screens. He is passionless and sterile. It is clear that he is the head of State and we do not have to expect that he will chase women in front of the TV camera. However he should have showed interest a long time ago, with some special smile, or a look. Of course, not for Valentina Matvienko, but for some pretty extras on a reception or on a ski trip. Something must have showed up. Even the frightened Clinton is still visibly animated in the presence of each skirt; one can see this by his shining nose, eyes, and his movements. Nothing of the sort with Putin. Even skiing enthusiast him more than women. In the town of Ivanovo, on March 8th, being present there among the one-hundred-kilo bulks of honorable ladies, Putin looked liked a boy, humanly touched by the attention of these ladies; he even talked about his waddling. But again there was not a gram of sex in this scene, although there were quite sexy ladies in the background.

The soft-spoken, special, passionless and unemotional (even if sometimes he wants to appear emotional) fragile little blond Putin cannot, obviously, serve as a model for the Russian society (like Mussolini, Stalin and Churchill were for their time). Our workers have their own model, the intelligentsia has Yavlinsky, the functionaries have their own fashion; this is over hundred kilos of weight, a gray monolith of a suit, the belly forward, the face larger than the shoulders. The functionaries cannot change to fragile, little refined blonds. I am sure; many of them sadly look at Putin, thinking something similar to the lyrics of a today’s hit: “My boss doesn’t drink or smoke, / It would have been better if he did…” Really, it would have been better. The thing is that if the population saw some male vice in Putin, let’s say he would have been a womanizer, then they would see his humanity. But as it is Putin is strikingly alien. By voting for him, tens of millions of voters overcame their natural repulsion of everything “alien”. In this, we, of course, see the monstrous power of our television; it is hundreds times more powerful than the Orthodox Church and all of Christianity, actually.

Putin did not bring with him any special shirts, pipes, boots, hairdo or special grimaces. The new leader has no attributes at all. The Kremlin’s interior, all these little chairs with legs, sofas and little divans were inherited by Yeltsin, Pavel Borodin and the Albanian Bazhet Pakolli, who rebuilt the Kremlin. Putin does not show any preference for special ties or cotton or wool jackets. His appearance, his “look” is also totally sterile.

However he has some advancement in the area of rhetoric and demagogy. Already Yeltsin started to use nationalist phraseology along the democratic one. Baby-face Kirienko and his “young Turks” have made another step in this direction by calling themselves “Union of Right Forces” and emphasizing the interests of the State. Putin continued the movement in this direction. His pro-governmental party is called “United Russia” and himself he recently almost repeated Goebel’s call “One country, one people”, although the third element was not “one fuehrer”, but one feels that during his stay in Germany officer Putin has read some fundamental books in German. Putin’s style of government: news coverage of his every step – copied from the West. But Putin does not become more familiar from the fact that we see him daily on all sorts of ceremonies, openings, conferences and troops parades. The inauguration ceremony, rather conceited and funny, as it was produced by the monarchist Mikhalkov (maybe it was?) of course, looked strange and alien. But the inauguration is also the confirmation of the same paradoxical process: while staying “reformist” and pretending to be called “democratic”, each new RF regime increases the dose of national demagogy and nationally tainted gestures in the power’s ideology.

In the impassionate voice of a city boy from a quiet family (the kind that are made to wear dresses until the age of ten) Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin daily tells us political banalities that even the Zavtra newspaper is ashamed to publish nowadays. He is too much everywhere. It looks like the masses are not yet regretting that they elected a person totally foreign to them as president. Meanwhile the affairs of the Russian State are not so bright. Soon the country will “celebrate” the sad anniversary of the beginning of the second Chechen war and it is clear that Russia got in this bloody mess for long. In general the situation of the country does not differ from what it was under Yeltsin and the state of our economy depends on the oil prices and Western tips and indulgences to repay our debts to them.

Putin was compared to a black box. As if he was a mystery. No, V. V. Putin is the most non-mysterious man in Russia. Putin is the absence of presence. A sad, lonely, sterile bureaucrat. A conscientious secretary with a notepad. What he lacks is a talented boss.

“My boss doesn’t drink or smoke…

It would have been better if he did…”


These were impressions from 2000. And here are my impressions of 2005:

He is very short. He can be called a short person. Of a white, northern-Russian Finnish shade. Obviously thin hair, a bold crown. No shin. Rough physionomistics affirm that the absence of a shin shows lack of character. I think it is not always like that. Obviously, because of the absence of shin Vladimir Vladimirovich does not have the best sideview; nose forward, while the front and the shin are drawn back. His mouth is large, the nose is elongated and the nose tip is running into a trefoil. In the last years, apparently from fatigue, there are rings visible under his eyes.

Putin’s entire small figure is unconvincing and insignificant. Made famous by his sportive character, despite his judo and alpine skiing the president still has a visible belly. His legs are short. His shoulders are not large. The president wears too thoroughly sewed suits with a carefully laid out chest. (Nicolas I wore a corset that pressed his stomach. When marquis de Custin wrote about the corset, it offended the imperator more than all the accusations of despotism.)

When talking about unpleasant subjects, Putin tightens his jaws. Muscles show on his cheekbones. The content of the president’s speeches is banal. His voice sounds equal; emotions in his voice are rare. His voice is clearly monotonous.

The president’s wife is overweight, thanks to that she looks older and more matriarchal. Like a duck and the president with her is more of a duckling. It is impossible to adore or to dislike Mrs. Putin actively, like it happens in some countries with a presidential executive or like it was with Raisa Gorbachev. She is clearly not Jaclyn Kennedy and not even Laura Bush. A simple Soviet woman with zero charm.

After thinking about it, I have to admit that the president still has the charm of the youngest son in the family. Although, of course, he is not a popular type. Yeltsin, doubtlessly, was a popular type, even though a disgusting one.


I have spent a lot of time looking at the TV screen, studying the face of the man who rules Russia. This is an evasive face and an evasive look that does not want to meet any other, that does not want to meet our popular looks. If he has the possibility, he hides his look. Watch it yourself. Possibly he is not confident about himself, or he does not want to look at us. Not at you and me concretely, but the TV camera is us.

I also carefully listen to his talks, how he is speaking, if he stumbles or speaks smoothly. He speaks evenly, mainly without an intonation. Only sometimes Putin allows himself to puts himself out in a sucessfuly-repressed access of agitation. This is when he is angry. Then his muscles show on his cheekbones.

By all the enumerated signs, he gives the impression of a bad person who carefully hides his bad character under an indifferent business-like mumbling and turning his eyes away from us. Since the president is short, possibly he has always problems with appearing significant and for this goal he developed a sum of tricks. A business-like, rapid and cold speech creates the effect of distancing from others, isolates him. Not closing his eyes also serves the same goal. By isolating himself he elevates himself. From him we do not have to expect drunken scandals humiliating for Russia, which characterized his predecessor Yeltsin; we do not have to expect open hot anger in public. Maybe it is not bad that he does not behave like Ivan the Terrible in front of the TV cameras, but on the other hand it is worse if he has a revengeful character and he settles his scores with people behind the scenes. Not by himself. But with the help of efficient faithful servants. For example the Prosecutor General, for example the Federal Security Service, for example, with the help of the justice ministry, the Prisons Department, for example with the help of the central electoral commission…

Sometimes president Putin’s impassivity and inhumanity work against him, like in the case with the Kursk submarine. Then, you remember, he stayed in the hot Sochi, on the shore of the south sea, while only by his duty as president he must have urgently left to the shores of the Barents Sea. And there lead the rescue of the sailors, at least a bold attempt of rescue. He must have immediately go into the water on the shore, in boots and hasten the rescuers. In rubber boots. He must have used all proposals that came from foreign States, to use any help. And when, a few days later, nothing could be done anymore, he, exhausted, with the trace of sleepless nights, must have stood on the background of this cold sea that became the grave of one hundred eighteen Russian sailors and told to the camera: “Country citizens, Russian people, I did all I could, I couldn’t do anything else!” However he did not do this and we saw him tanned and calm on the shore of the south sea, in a polo shirt. He proved to be inhuman for the first time then. He proved to be indifferent. And then followed his historical cold answer to Larry King’s question: “What happened with your Kursk submarine? “It sunk”, simply informed the president, with a meek and calm expression on his face. He did not even have the idea to declare a national mourning. Already then it became clear to what level he is indifferent to his compatriots. The president’s face is brightened with sincere smiles, cordiality and sympathy only when we see him meeting big western leaders, his friends: Bush, Berlusconi, and Schroeder. Here his charm is lightening up. A question: why isn’t he the same with us, with the Russian citizens? He thinks that we need to be treated with severity or at least impassionately?

We mostly see him on television on the background of the old fashioned, “a la tsar” Kremlin furniture. He is sitting on small couches embroidered with brocade with carved and curved legs and on similar chairs. The wallpaper and the curtains, on the background of which we see him have necessarily the drawing of two-headed eagles. With a hint or an eloquent statement: here are the tsarist attributes of the president’s power. But we have a republic since the times of the February revolution of 1917! Or do I misunderstand the two-headed eagles? Since I have lived in France for a long time I remember that Francois Mitterand has sat on similar furniture, on couches with curved legs for two presidential terms. But I still did not see royal lilies and crowns there, in the Elysee Palace, on television. Pavel Pavlovich Borodin, the restaurateur of the president’s Kremlin palace apparently followed the models of the French presidents’ Elysee Palace because the furniture in the American president’s White House is less curved, the couches there are more linear and simple. My opinion is that the president of Russia, a country where from one third to half of the population are poor should not appear surrounded by such bad furniture of old fashioned wealth. My opinion is that Putin’s daily-televised meetings with the ministers around the same small table showed to the entire country is only an akward performance. That this little table was initially intended by its creators to play cards almost. There is no evidence that this table serves the president for work: there are no spread papers, no folders or files, no computer. Why cheat the population in such a vulgar manner? Imitate work. Here he is, Putin, in the business-like monotonous voice of a firm president (hiding his eyes) asks questions to a minister: “Why didn’t you do so and so?” The minister, holding a folder and coughing, affirms: “so and so is already done and this and that will be done in a week.” The citizen must be happy. The president is sober, the work is advancing. The minister is caughing; the affairs are in the folder. Or maybe these are old newspapers?

I am very interested to know what is our president’s ideal leader image? It is clear that it is not a worker in a darned jacket with folders occupying the entire table and that have migrated to the little sofas and broken them. Or whose personal computer is straining itself with all its megabytes and cannot hold all the presidential documentation. It is clear that Putin’s ideal is not Lenin who burned his brain with work, dictating to three typists at once in the puffs of smoke emitted by the workers and soldier deputies. Many important KPSS members renounced Lenin in 1990-91, entire battalions and regiments of party functionaries slammed their party cards against the table! From 1990 the retired KGB lieutenant colonel worked with his former Leningrad State University teacher Sobchak, sharing his views, so it is not Lenin, Sobchak would not have admitted a man with such ideals. One can understand the president’s political ideal with the help of his personal esthetic tastes that have particularly showed during his two inaugurations. I have already described the inaugurations in detail in the chapter “You seem to think you are a tsar”. He imitates Russian autocracy, our country’s ideology until 1917. Mister president of the Russian Federation has turned to autocracy as a model. Both consciously and unconsciously. More unconsciously, so to speak, the call of the blood, the traditions, since in our country every policeman racketeering stalls near the metro behaves like an autocrat… I will return to autocracy later; I only ask to understand and to accept my observations over Russia’s leader. This is important.

I will cite the New York Times. The newspaper tells its readers about the press conference of Russia’s president. “Even when Putin was speaking calmly and even softly his declarations were visibly harsh… When he was talking with someone his body behaved like during a duel. When he was asked questions he often leaned back against the chair, moving his shoulders or stretching his back like an athlete between approaches… When the question was asked he leaned forward, transferring his weight to his forearms and giving detailed answers… His declarations recalled the style of an active micromanager.” This is how the Washington Post characterized the same press conference: “The Russian leader spoke for three hours, bursting in anger outbreaks and attacking the critics of Russian politics with a grimacing face.”

Irritated, angry, with grimaces.” Nobody from the foreign journalists saw the president kind. I have never seen him kind. Either he cannot be kind by his nature, or he thinks that his functions – Russia’s president – obligate him to stay wicked. Most probably he is unkind by his nature and thinks that a tsar must be harsh and wicked. In Russian history the people ingratiatingly called their tsar “little father”. The word “tsar – little father” supposes some touch of kindness; the people hoped for the tsar’s kindness. And they also said “tsar-sovereign”; mostly this address is seen in popular prints about Peter the Great. Peter the Great was clearly not a little father for the people; he was a bad, mustached, bearded cruel father. President Putin is also behaving like our father, wicked, demanding, grimaces, hiding his eyes. He beats up his family, don’t expect a smile from him, does not give gifts. And he did not built Saint Petersburg, gives up lands. And demands that we readily go to the war he has invented and sacrifice ourselves for the terrorists in our cities. The Chechens do not want to live in his family but he is keeping them by force, by beatings. Vladimir Vladimirovich, mister President, do you firmly believe that you can force your family to live together with you with beatings? Without love, with beatings? No, you don’t, I suppose. Then why are you forcing the entire country to suffer you?

Russia’s president considers us his subjects, like a tsar, confounding concepts – there are too many two-headed eagles around him. But we are not his subjects and we are not in the XIX century. We are the citizens of a non-free country, yes, but we are not the subjects of this wicked tsar-father. And he tries to rule us like a wicked tsar.

There is no doubt that this man, heading the Russian State, has lost himself in time. He and his army of functionaries. And all his servants: prosecutor generals and FSB gendarmes, the structure of his State is a tsarist one. Let us recall what Lermontov wrote:

Russia, miserable Russia

Country of slaves, country of masters,

And you, blue uniforms,

And you, obedient people…

So nothing has changed. Everything has come back. All these “Butchers of freedom, genius and glory/ a greedy crowd standing at the throne.” Everything is in place. We can make a roll call.

The prosecutor general wears a “blue uniform”. Here they are, these guardians of law, weighting between 150 and 200 kilograms: Ustinov, Kolesnikov: some are thin like all deputy generals, Kolmogorov, Biryukov, Shepel and others. Ustinov (the prosecutor general, the main supervisor over the execution of laws that has recently proposed to take the terrorists’ relatives in hostages) and his team. Everybody answers: “Present! We’re here! Ready to serve!”

– The Cossacks? Where are the Cossacks?

– Present! – The cops answer. – We are the Cossacks of this regime. We disperse popular meetings.

– Is the third section, the okhranka, present?

– We’re here, the gang from the Federal Security Service answers. Masters of provocation, attentive listeners and secret agents with big hot ears. “State security” that allowed to destroy the USSR in 1991 and that is now specialized in the beating and capture of boys and girls from the NBP. Knights of cape and dagger that have arrested me on charges of organizing a seizure from Kazakhstan populated by Russians of the Eastern-Kazakh region, organizing illegal armed groups and buying arms for this goal. Just think about it, the Russian special services arrested me for this! They should have given me a medal for this, if they thought that. Why did they put me in prison, me, a patriot? And they intended to leave me behind bars forever, to leave me rot there. Only they did not manage to prove, how sad. – The okhranka is here, the FSB doesn’t sleep!

– Where are the people from Okhotny Ryad? – Those with big bellies (before they had beards too, but now they are smooth-faced), the most reactionary obscurantist forces in Russia. These were the merchants before, now it is the deputies.

– We are here, as usual, Okhotny Ryad, house number 2! – the United Russia deputies answer. They are so reactionary; soon they will forbid the birds to fly.

– Is the Union of Mikhail the Archangel present? – This one is unlikely to be here. But it is here. The Nashi organization headed by brother Yakemenko; lie in the eye, the services paid by the president’s Administration. Like a hundred years earlier they are always ready to break the skull of the Sovereign’s enemies. A modern feature: the insolents mockingly call themselves “antifascists” and Putin’s opponents – “fascists”.

On the first sight Rasputin seems to be missing, but there is the concrete Cathedral of Christ the Savior, there is the modified Principal Pope, ubiquitous like Rasputin, the Patriarch Alexey, he participates everywhere. They say for 500 kg of gold, given to him for goldening the domes of the church, in 1996 he called his flock not to vote for the communist Zyuganov. There are lesser popes, huge butts in skirts. What tsarism can there be without the popes? The archpriest Chaplin visited the Nashi on the Seliger; he blessed them for the beatings, the official representative of the Orthodox Church, with a two-meters waist.

Well, the functionaries, they are immortal everywhere! There are all sorts of them: fat and phlegmatic, like Mironov from the Federation Council, thin and hysterical like Veshnyakov from the Central Electoral Committee, polished like a piano, like Zurabov. (It seems this Zurabov is wearing two ties at the same time.) There was also Pochinok, a totally clumsy guy with saliva in the corner of his mouth, but he disappeared. And what about the hamster Stepashin… And Dmitry Kazak, or Kozak- his face is a combination of a saw with an axe. And this Grizlov, it seems that he has holes in his faces, he was eaten. He rusted to holes. My God! What kind of people is there! And the girls, the functionary girls, matriarchy, all in nail varnish, combed forever like the British queen, Slizka and Matvienko! Oh! The functionary girls with the mighty butts of hippopotamuses. There is not a good enough singer for you!

– We are here! The functionaries answer. And they all hid behind the little popularly elected, the wicked, they hid behind him and look up.

All these defenders of the throne probably think that they are the Holy Russia, respecting the bases. While, in reality they are characters from the past, gloomily conserved in Russia’s frozen climate. The Satanist Russia.

Putin’s autocracy’s main defect does not even consist of keeping the population in poverty. Putin’s group’s regime should not be measured by economic indicators (although even by these it looks miserable) but by the quantity of humiliations, suffering, pain and non-freedom brought to the citizens. By these indicators Putin’s regime must be condemned as inhuman. The unbearably haughty, anti-democratic, anti-civilizational, medieval attitude to the person – this is its principal defect. The model of a paternalist State with a severe father, its highness the “President-Boss” at the head of it is really a GUIN model of a prison camp. I was detained in one of those, Number 13, in the Zavolzhie steppes. There, obedient detainees are rewarded only with not being beaten, while the non-obedient ones are beaten, injured and killed. The model of a State-camp does not have to exist in the XIX century. Such States are not normal, they are gloomily old-fashioned.

He behaves like a bad father towards us. And himself?

He is not courageous. He did not go to the Center on Dubrovka, he flied to Beslan secretly, at night, so that no one apart from the local authorities see him, so that, God forbid, he meets the relatives of the victims face to face. Before the 2000 elections he arrived to Chechnya on a destroyer plane for pr, he spent a few hours there in the airport behind bayonets. During every crisis he is hiding and gets out when the storm is over.

He is not generous. Greedy. You can’t ask him for snow in winter. But Russia needs a kind president, a kind one, be it for the first time in its history, who will give out coats to people on Sadovoe Koltso in the cold. Who will give an amnesty to the exhausted prisoners. Who will come to the people, to the poor in their homes and talk to them and give them money. His money.

He is not noble. He keeps nine NBP girls in a cage because they came to the reception room of his administration, for a year now. He could have released at least the girls! But no, he is insensitive and unjust.

He took our freedoms away. All of them. He kept them all to himself.

He employs lies as a method of governing the State. He does not employ it as an exception, but as a rule!

He employs violence as a method of governing the State. He is a man of violence.

With the Constitution that we have, where the president’s rights are truly unlimited, they are greater than the rights that the Russian tsars had, the qualities of the president’s personality are not indifferent to us, the citizens. If he is angry and gives the order to raid the Center on Dubrovka with the help of an unknown gas, then it is we, the citizens and our children who die, and not Putin’s children. If in Beslan he gives the order to start a raid by faking an explosion from inside, then Ossetian and Russian children die in school Number 1, and not the children of the Putin couple. The second Chechen war (I have summed up a lot of information about its victims and gave an average number) has taken lives (here there are victims among civilians, federal troops and Maskhadov/Basayev’s fighters) thirty thousand people and the president calmly looks at this war like a profitable natural phenomenon and does not take measures to stop the war on purpose – it is a dangerous president. He is dangerous because he solves any crisis only by violence. Is he doing this because he comes from the special services or because he was born like this? We do not know why, but the widows and the relatives of those who died in Chechnya and Beslan’s mothers and fathers and the relatives of those who died on Dubrovka know that he is dangerous for us, the people.

Sometimes one can agree with what the president says, and he says a lot and willingly. But one cannot agree with what he does. Maybe only when he gives oats to the mini-horse Vadik. In the rest it is a wicked, apparently vindictive head of State, who became president thanks to an appointment. He organized a paternalist style of government for us, when he decides everything and we do not decide anything. He positioned himself as our wicked father.

In order to understand why he is dangerous, imagine thirty thousand dead bodies – disposed on the asphalt of the city of Moscow. He is not the only reason of the death of these people. But he too, with his personal qualities. The nazbols suffering in prison are right:


The book is translated by Sofia Arenzon

This file was created

with BookDesigner program

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