Day: December 13, 2006

The Security Secret

Peter Finn’s article for the Washington PostIn Russia, a Secretive Force Widens – has received quite a lot of attention in the last 24 hours or so. Deservedly so, for it’s an important one. It begins by reminding us that three recent senior appointments – Oleg Safonov as deputy head of the Russian Interior Ministry, Yevgeny Shkolov as head of its economic security department, and Valery Golubev as a deputy chief executive at Gazprom – have confirmed a tendency that has been noted for some time now by Russia-watchers: all three of these men are former KGB officers and were colleagues of Vladimir Putin, either in his days as a KGB operative in East Germany, or later as a career politician in the local government of St Petersburg:

Russia’s intertwined political and business elites are increasingly populated with people like them, former intelligence agents who have personally proved themselves to the president. At the same time, Putin has spearheaded the regrouping and strengthening of the country’s security services, which had splintered into a host of agencies after the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991.

In particular, the Federal Security Service, known by its Russian initials FSB, has emerged as one of the country’s most powerful and secretive forces, with an increasingly international mission. Putin headed the agency in the 1990s.

“If in the Soviet period and the first post-Soviet period, the KGB and FSB [people] were mainly involved in security issues, now half are still involved in security but the other half are involved in business, political parties, NGOs, regional governments, even culture,” said Olga Kryshtanovskaya, director of the Moscow-based Center for the Study of Elites. “They started to use all political institutions.”

Kryshtanovskaya recently analyzed the official biographies of 1,016 leading political figures — departmental heads of the presidential administration, all members of the government, all deputies of both houses of parliament, the heads of federal units and the heads of regional executive and legislative branches. She found that 26 percent had reported serving in the KGB or its successor agencies.

Axisglobe has some in-depth reports on the subject, linked to from this news bulletin, which among other things highlights the Center’s finding that

78% of leading political figures, heads of departments of the Presidential administration, all members of the government and members of both chambers of parliament, heads of federal structures and heads of executive power and legislature in regions, somehow in their career have been connected with the KGB or the organizations that had come to replace it.

The Trepashkin Letters – II


All-Russia Public Movement “For Human Rights” Executive Director Lev Ponomarev

Room 21, Bldg 1, House 7, M. Kislovsky Pereulok, Moscow, 125009 Tel: (095)291-62-33, Tel/Fax: (095)291-70-11, e-



News, statements, appeals, analysis, commentaries
Issue No. 44 (89)

4 December 2006 Special issue

“A very serious group created”

Open letters from Mikhail Trepashkin:
1) To Mr Alexander Litvinenko
2) They’re strangulating us like puppies!
3) The silence of the human rights advocates

(the original Russian text is available here)

1) To Mr Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko

Dear Alexander,

I’m sorry to hear that you have been poisoned but I think that failure to act in the face of specific evidence of attempts on your life is partially to blame for this. In particular, as far back as August 2002, I reported about a meeting I had near the Kitay-gorod metro station with former officer of the URPO [Department of Countermeasures Against and Prevention of the Activities of Organized Criminal Formations] FSB RF Mr V.V. Shebalin (at his request). At that meeting, he declared that he was once again working for the USB [Department of Internal Security] FSB RF (USB officer D.A. Paramonov took him on communication through Mr Vitvinov) and that “a very serious group” had been created that would “f*ck everybody connected with Berezovsky and Litvinenko”. He told me that if I stepped aside from the house bombing case and started cooperating with the group, I would be “left in peace”. At the same time, he asked me to give him information about your father and another relative (I don’t remember whom exactly), both living in Biryulyovo. I answered him then that I absolutely can’t stomach dirty violence, and especially murders. I clearly understood that it had been decided to gradually bump off your kin, masking the evidence of murder. If they are alive, it is because I immediately brought the fact of his criminal proposal to public notice. Recall that I told you about this as well, but a reaction did not follow. But you should have demanded an investigation.

During the course of that meeting, I told V.V. Shebalin: “Forget about A.V. Litvinenko! He’s in London. And enough with these dirty affairs to settle personal accounts. There are affairs more important for the FSB RF – a field commander of Salman Raduyev’s who goes by the alias of Abdul and was earlier detained by me has appeared in Moscow. He is a specialist in terrorist operations. N.P. Patrushev ordered his release in December 1995. Then he tore off to Turkey, but promised to gather forces and return, having shot down me, Gagayev, and Shevchenko. And now here he is in Moscow; Alexander Yevstigneyev saw him. In addition to this, I know from clients (Trepashkin’s law clients. – Ed.) that many armed Chechens have appeared since May of 2002 in the Western and South-Western districts (of Moscow – Ed.), and that they’re audaciously meeting together, fearlessly showing up at these gatherings with weapons. Something’s afoot, and immediate work needs to be done in this direction, not settling accounts with Litvinenko!” I then gave Shebalin (for the FSB RF) information from 1995-1996 with “Abdul’s” old places of residence and his contacts. But they did not react at the FSB RF. The events at the House of Culture on Dubrovka (“Nord-Ost”) exploded, leading to 130 deaths of hostages.

The episode of the meeting with Shebalin and the warnings about a terrorist act being organized has been imputed to me as the divulging of a state secret, disclosing information about the plans of the FSB RF! As I understood, questions of the pursuit of B.A. Berezovsky and A.V. Litvinenko, as well as of their supporters in Russia, were put by the
authorities in a more important place than the prevention of terrorist acts in Moscow. Or maybe “Nord-Ost” is also a part of the plans of the FSB RF? And then deputy procurator-general of the RF Kolesnikov raised the dusty old events having to do with contracts for “Zhigulis”, in order to get Berezovsky. They arbitrarily locked me up in jail and are holding me in isolation behind barbed wire going on four years already. And calmly (in the calm atmosphere of the “people-loving” Russian “rule-of-law” state, as it is presented in the international arena), according to a separate plan, they decided to get to you, Alexander Valterovich! If you continue to do nothing more than spew out slogans, instead of describing concrete proof, and keep silent with respect to the facts set forth, then they will destroy you! By the way, I’m concerned that some kind of information blockade has been organized with respect to my case as well. I write a lot of concrete things, but nothing gets placed, not only in the central mass media, but even on my sites. Although in March of this year, in response to my appeal, B.A. Berezovsky promised to help with coverage of my case in the mass media.

However, quite to the contrary, I was isolated even by defenders and human rights advocates! I do not object to the publication of this letter in the mass media.

With respect and empathy

M.I. Trepashkin
20 November 2006

P.S. Since my letters often don’t reach their intended addressee, please confirm receipt of this letter, if only with a single sentence.

2). They’re strangulating us like puppies!

In 1998, there was a big article in one of the central newspapers entitled “They Will Strangulate Us Like Puppies”. In it, officer of the URPO FSB RF lieutenant-colonel A.V. Litvinenko expressed h is prognosis after the famous press conference by officers of the named administration that took place on 17 November 1998 at “Interfax”, at which he, together with work colleagues colonel V.V. Shebalin (the man in the mask), major A.V. Pon’kin, senior lieutenant Konstantin Latyshonok and German Shcheglov told about how the leadership of the FSB RF had instructed them to abduct and murder people. In particular, they told about three instances of crimes that had been arranged on the orders of former FSB RF director N.D. Kovalev (currently a deputy to the State Duma of Russia), generals Khokhol’kov, Makarychev and others:

1) the murder of CIS executive secretary B.A. Berezovsky;
2) the abduction of businessman U. Djabrailov for the purposes of obtaining a ransom;
3) the physical elimination of me (at that time I was head of the investigative branch of the UFSNP RF for Moscow Oblast).

I will note that in addition to the 5 (five) URPO FSB RF officers, more than 7 additional persons confirmed the fact that an act of violence was being organized with respect to me, including FSB RF officers lieutenant-colonels Gusak, Skryabin, Yermolov, Kruglov, and others. Because prior to this I had been summoned to the Main Military Procuracy, where they had familiarized me with a series of documents on attempts on my life that were being arranged, including with statements by many FSB RF officers addressed to the head of the Administration of the President of Russia, I agreed to participate on 17 November 1998 in the famous press conference as an intended victim of a murder attempt. Unfortunately, in the mass media I was grouped together with the FSB RF officers who had been contracted to physically eliminate Berezovsky.

This was untrue, and caused confusion in the publications, as well as negative consequences in my subsequent fate. Litvinenko was asked then: what can you expect for yourself after such high-profile revelations? He replied: if there isn’t good support, then the criminal murderer-generals will fire us, and then will strangulate us like puppies! The solidarity of the generals and big money did their deed. In addition, V.V. Putin and N.P. Patrushev (who had arrived at different times in the FSB RF from the GPU of the Administration of the President of the RF) suddenly burst into power, and it was necessary to reinforce the authority of state security. The revelations impeded this. Who is going to let someone saw through the legs of their trampoline? And they started to strangulate everyone involved with the 17 November 1998 press conference like puppies, to get rid of them like so much unneeded waste.

A.V. Litvinenko spent time in the “Lefortovo” SIZO and in Butyrki, went through many charges, and, as a result, 3 years 6 months of deprivation of liberty, suspended, for questionable acts and flight to London. And now he’s been killed! All of the “revelators” without exception were fired from the FSB RF.

A.I. Gusak was convicted, and also given a suspended sentence (they scraped together what they could under orders).

Field work on the victims as well continued. Berezovsky was forced to emigrate. Trofimov (former FSB general – Ed.) was murdered in Moscow (he sent Litvinenko in 1994 to investigate the first attempt on Berezovsky’s life, as the result of which they became friends). I was locked up, and for a fourth year already I’m being held in places of deprivation of liberty under a special regime of isolation on a fabricated charge!

The only one who lucked out is the spineless coward V.V. Shebalin. Knowing that there’s a series of serious crimes behind his shoulders (unlike the other participants in the press conference), and having understood that Berezovsky is not going to help him become a general (which he very much counted on when he became one of the leaders of the group of “revelators”), Shebalin threw himself at the feet of the sleazy FSB RF officers and offered to function as an agent provocateur for the USB FSB RF and a false witness against Litvinenko and his circle. They took the bastard! He saved his hide. And even got into the group developing schemes to destroy both Litvinenko himself and his supporters.

M.I. Trepashkin 24.11.2006

The officially voiced hypothesis about A.V. Litvinenko having been murdered because he “often appeared in the company of Chechen separatist emissary Akhmed Zakayev” looks funny. The fact is that Litvinenko and Zakayev had lodgings in close proximity to one another in England. They were neighbours! And as Russian-speaking refugees, they associated with one another. When taking some kind of interview or asking for a comment on some kind of event, representatives of the mass media, as a rule, invited both “political refugees”. And so they would show up together These are logical and fully explainable circumstances. But to stress this, as though they were accomplices, isn’t exactly right. If we follow such a hypothesis, then Zakayev himself should have been the first to be poisoned. Or am I wrong?

M.I. Trepashkin

3) “ But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied; they also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is” (Psalm of David, 37).

I greatly regret that the human rights advocates did not give due attention to what A.V. Litvinenko was talking about way back in April 1998, when he, being an officer of the URPO FSB RF and clearly risking his job, together with his colleagues A.I. Gusak and A.V. Pon’kin, gave a revealing interview to ORT television channel journalist Sergey
Leonidovich Dorenko about crimes by the leaders of the FSB RF, including about murders committed by the hands of both FSB RF officers and their agents.

Nor was there a proper response when participants in the notorious press conference at “Interfax” on 17 November 1998, at which officers of that same URPO FSB RF A.V. Litvinenko, V.V. Shebalin, K. Latyshonok, G. Shcheglov, and A.V. Pon’kin told about contract murders and abductions of people committed upon the orders of the leadership of the FSB RF – N.D. Kovalev, Ye.G. Khokhol’kov, generals Makarychev, Ovchinnikov and others – were subjected to unprecedented pursuit. Didn’t believe that such a thing can be? It all was limited to general phrases in the mass
media from both sides. Nobody stopped to analyze the concrete proof. The participants in the press conference had it, and the criminal-authorities’ side didn’t. And everybody, like zombies, toed the line proposed by the authorities: it’s not worth it to make a noise around the revelations. And that’s exactly what the authorities needed.

Then – as a consequence of impunity – there followed the blowing up of the houses in September 1999, “Nord-Ost” and a series of other bloody crimes, where the guilt of the special services was obvious. Somehow everybody believed the fairy tales about the solving of these crimes!

Maybe the death of A.V. Litvinenko, who fell as a victim of vengeance with impunity, will finally force those who are engaged in protecting human rights to pay attention to the specifics of what is going on? After all, the specifics will show the falseness of the authorities! There is extreme vexation on my soul in connection with the death of A.V. Litvinenko. Yes, vexation! The same kind of vexation as after the murder of A.S. Politkovskaya. I’ve had empathy for them for nearly 10 years. And now – vexation because the wimpy and unorganized human rights movement of Russia is incapable of effectively preventing neither political murders nor the protection of persons being pursued by the authorities for political motives (apparently this ought to read “preventing pursuit for political motives” – Ed.), nor other crimes by high state officials against people. Weakness because of disunity, some kind of dissentions, often fear – these are but a few of the reasons for the passivity of the human rights advocates.

Together with A.V. Litvinenko, I was a participant in the press conference of 17 November 1998. I was already no longer an officer of the organs of state security, I was unfamiliar until October 1998 with the officers of the URPO FSB RF who appeared at the press conference. I was invited as a victim of a murder being arranged by FSB RF officers because earlier I had brought attention to crimes being committed by FSB RF officers with the knowledge of management. For this they fired me from the FSB RF and organized attempts on my life many a time, including with the forces of the URPO FSB RF.

The murderers succeeded in dousing the wave of scandal without hindrance! The human rights advocates, even though they had some doubts, kept silent! And then the victims started falling! Among others, the revelators are dying, and those who were the targets of the criminal endeavours (the authorities continued to murder and pursue them).
For 11 years I’m warring almost by myself with criminals from among the high-level officials in the special services against people, residents of Moscow and Russia as a whole, against children. In October 2003, the plan of the FSB RF which Gusak, Litvinenko, and Pon’kin told ORT about way back in April 1998 was carried out calmly, cold-bloodedly, and with impunity – a pistol and cartridges were slipped into my belongings, so as to lock me up and shut me up. They held me in a cell with chemicals –insecticide powder, persuaded (apparently, this ought to be read as “threatened” – Ed.) to stab me with a sharpened screwdriver, and placed me in conditions constantly inducing allergy.

And everybody’s waiting to see how long I can hold out. The hangmen are waiting, and, what’s vexing, so are the human rights advocates. For their reaction to clearly evident lawlessness is very weak. In the main, individual people are protesting. There are no appeals to the structures of the Council of Europe and the UN against the criminal lawlessness.

I’m in the following position:

“For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet” (Psalm 21).

And I ask of help, but ever it comes not.

I am being held in a SIZO, IVS, and zone for a fourth year already, not having committed anything unlawful against people. All of my charges (apparently, this ought to be read as “charges against me” – Ed.) are concocted! And this can be seen even with the eye of a non-lawyer. But for a fourth year I can not tell people what I’m sitting behind barbed
wire for, i.e. what the hangmen have concocted for me! Even defenders and human rights advocates are keeping me in some kind of informational blockade, very advantageous for the authorities, so as to pour dirt on me and pressure me in the zone. If it weren’t for the silence, and it were publicised through the central mass media what specific acts the
criminals from authority have locked me up behind bars for, then the criminal case would have been reviewed a long time ago.

Litvinenko, I – we’re not the last in the chain of those being pursued. You remain silent? Tomorrow any one of you may find yourself in this chain. Think about it. And, perhaps, Litvinenko’s death will force you to believe in the reality of what he spoke about! Believe and begin to take more decisive action. I had warned A.V. Litvinenko about the creation way back in 2002 of a group for his destruction.

Even earlier, I described a concrete situation about the use in the FSB RF of special poisons for the physical destruction of people. Already in 1994, certain of the officers of the VKR were sneaking these poisons out from development sites and were attempting to sell them to businessmen they knew for the elimination of competitors.

On this they got burned, running up against the agents of the FSK RF. These poisons do not leave traces in the organism. Most often, autopsy results list cardiac failure as the cause of death of those poisoned. The poison is usually applied by aerosol or with a brush to the steering wheel and door handles of an automobile, in a place where an air conditioner is working, on telephone receivers, and so forth. In the instance described by me, there were 10 kinds of poisons of various effect (through the respiratory passages, through the skin of the hands, through the conjunctiva of the eyes, and so forth). Traces of such poisons are present in the case of the murder of Kivelidi, Shchekochikhin, and others. It can not be ruled out that such poisons have been used for the murder of A.V. Litvinenko. Be silent. And you’ll be next.

M.I. Trepashkin
23 November 2006

(see also: The Trepashkin Letters

Mikhail Trepashkin)