Finally, the bombshell document no one else would publish
TOO HOT TO HANDLE
Moskovsky Komsomolets had it. So did Versiya. In fact, the following document—a dossier on then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, prepared first by the FSB, then added to by the investigative department of the MVD under Vladimir Rushailo—has been circulating around the newsrooms of Moscow publications for over a year. Until this week, when the eXile’s sister publication, Stringer, decided to run it, the information in the document has only been hinted at in the press.
Some history on this story. Last summer, when the Russian political elite finally became disenchanted with then-Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin, a conflict arose over who should take over the reins of government. As has since become clear, the successor to Stepashin needed also to be a suitable replacement for Boris Yeltsin, whose departure from the scene was already being prepared for. Anti-Kremlin oppositionist politicians Yevgeny Primakov and Yuri Luzhkov were enormously popular at the time and seemed a realistic threat to sweep the upcoming Duma and Presidential elections. According to various sources, Kremlin insiders (including the key members of the “Family,” i.e. Boris Berezovsky, Anatoly Chubais, Alexander Voloshin, and Tatyana Dyachenko) were sufficiently alarmed by Luzhkov’s and Primakov’s popularity that they focused on siloviki, members of the security structures, as potential replacements for Yeltsin. The reasoning behind this strategy was that the future head of the government had to be a person who could be relied upon to resort to unconstitutional measures to keep the current team in power. In this atmosphere two apparently qualified candidates emerged who attracted the interest of the family—then-FSB head Vladimir Putin, and Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo.
According to Stringer’s sources, Putin was the favorite of Dyachenko, Chubais, and Kremlin Property Chief Pavel Borodin. Rushailo, on the other hand, had the support of Berezovsky and Voloshin.
Both sides prepared mightily for the behind-the-scenes campaign. Putin’s team prepared their own dossier on Rushailo, bits and pieces of which leaked out in the local press. Among other things, reports surfaced in a number of Russian newspapers that Rushailo owned a dacha next to Berezovsky and former ORT director Badar Patarkatsishvili. Rushailo was also linked to various Chechen warlords in reports alleging that Rushailo’s effectiveness in negotiating the release of hostages from Chechnya was due to the fact that he kept close relationships with the bandits.
Rushailo’s team, meanwhile, prepared its own attack on Putin. Among other things, it obtained and prepared for public release an existing dossier on Putin that had been prepared by the FSB, several years before, after Putin was first called to Moscow to work for Borodin. The FSB at the time was headed by Nikolai Kovalev, considered a Berezovsky ally. To this FSB report Rushailo apparently added information from the files of RUBOP, the anti-organized crime squad he had headed before assuming control of the Interior Ministry.
Information from this dossier appeared in reports by the newspapers Versiya and Moskovsky Komsomolets, in the articles of Alexander Khinshtein, throughout last fall. Versiya, for instance, mentioned Putin’s connection to Petersburg casinos on a number of occasions. But the full document was never published.
Stringer decided to publish the document this month after holding onto it for several months. While the paper was ultimately unable to confirm independently the information in the document, it was able to confirm the source of it—the FSB. When they presented the document to us, we agreed to run it only after satisfying ourselves as to the reliability of their sources. We can’t reveal who those sources are, but we can say that it was an official very close to Kovalev who confirmed the authenticity of their report.
In any case, without further ado, here is the “Spravka v otnosheniye V.V. Putina”:
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, born in 1952, graduated from the Leningrad State University (LGU) school of law in 1975. From 1975 through 1990, he was in the employ of the Soviet KGB, worked in Germany, then worked as an assistant on international matters to the dean of LGU.
In 1990, he became an assistant to Mayor Anatoly Sobchak. From 1990 through 1996 he worked in the mayor’s office in St. Petersburg. In 1994, he was named first deputy to the mayor of St. Petersburg. Anatoly Sobchak called him his “student.”
After the defeat of Anatoly Sobchak in the 1996 elections, Putin moved to Moscow, where he assumed the post of deputy to the head of the Kremlin Administration.
Since 1998, he has worked as the director of the FSB. [This and other passages were apparently added to the original FSB document—Ed.]
In the opinion of many people who know Putin well, the latter’s determination to achieve personal enrichment, as well as his lack of moral barriers, appeared from the very beginning of his career.
In the middle of 1990 a group of deputies from the Lensovet, under the direction of Marina Saliye and Yuri Gladkov, undertook a special investigation connected with Putin’s role in the distribution of licenses to export natural resources and precious metals. The Petersburg lawmakers accused Putin of ineffectively using his authority and of corruption. In particular, the conclusion of the commission related a story involving the distribution of licenses for the export of natural resources in return for shipments of food products, which in fact never arrived in Russia. Anatoly Sobchak was advised to released Putin from his duties.
Putin was involved with privatizations, including:
• BMP, or Baltic Sea Shipping. Control over BMP allowed for the sale of Russian ships at reduced prices. In addition, all of these actions were conducted through the criminal group headed by I. I. Trabera;
• The “Samtrust” alcohol distillery (the privatization handled through the criminal gang headed by M. M. Miralashvili, or “Misha Kutaisski”);
• The Astoria Hotel.
In the fall of 1998 a tender was held for the sale of 40% of shares in the Astoria Hotel. Putin tried to increase the size of his own personal stake in the company that won the tender. He did not succeed: the shares instead went to the director of the alcoholic beverage factory “A.F.B.-2,” A. V. Sabadazh. Putin threatened to destroy the factory and deal personally with the director. In the end, a compromise was reached: Sabadazh paid off Putin with a one-time payment (about 800,000 U.S. dollars).
In the course of the privatization (with Putin’s participation) of TV Channel 11, the St. Petersburg Channel, and its sale to the station “Russian Video,” violations of the privatization law occurred.
A criminal case has been opened in connection with “Russian Video.” The case is being overseen by a senior detective in the department of extremely important matters of the Russian Federation General Prosecutor’s Office, Y. M. Vanyushin. On the basis of the evidence in the case, the director of Russian Video, Dmitri Rozhdestvensky, was arrested. Rozdestvenskiy financed trips abroad for Putin’s wife.
Pornographic films were shot illegally by “Russian Video.” Leading this effort was Rozhdestvensky and Roman Linkov, an assistant to deceased former State Deputy Galina Starovoitova. The deputy to the director of the General Prosecutor’s department of extremely important matters, V. A. Lysenko, has additional materials on the case. Deputy General Prosecutor Katyshev is familiar with the situation surrounding the “Russian Video” case.
Putin is attempting to influence the direction of this case independently.
As deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, Putin was responsible for the distribution of licenses to casinos. He received from 100,000 to 300,000 dollars for each license given out. Beyond that, he is listed as one of the legal founders of many of the elite nightclubs in St. Petersburg.
Putin’s closest commercial contact is R. I. Tsepov, the director of security for the company “Baltic-Export” (a company founded by a certain Zolotov, who in the past worked as the head of personal security for Anatoly Sobchak, now head of personal security for Putin). In 1994, Tsepov was charged under Article 222 of the Russian criminal code, i.e., for unlawful possession of firearms.
In spite of this, Tsepov remains a registered officer of the 7th RUBOP division in St. Petersburg. It was Tsepov who personally collected all the money for the licensing of casinos in the city. For example one can look at the “Konti” casino, in which Miralishvili makes a monthly payment to Putin through Tsepov. The firm “Farmavit” pays Putin $20,000 a month.
In 1995 Tsepov gave Putin’s wife an emerald which he had won at cards from “Botsman,” a local crime lord. The latter had stolen the emerald in 1994 in South Korea. The emerald is listed as a missing item in the 1995-1996 Interpol catalogue. Tsepov offered his services to Putin in exchange for the guarantee that Putin will “cover” for his activities. Through Putin, Tsepov has received five separate documents, identifying him as a member of the staff of such organizations as the FSB, the SVR [foreign intelligence agency—Ed.], and the MVD.
In March of 1998 Deputy General Prosecutor Katyshev revived a criminal case against Tsepov (the case is under the direction of the aforementioned Vanyushin). At present, Tsepov is hiding from the authorities in the Czech Republic, where he traveled under bogus documents (a foreign passport made up under an assumed name by the UFSB in St. Petersburg).
The security structures Putin relies upon the most are the FSB and RUBOP. It was former RUBOP heads Shakhanov and Milin, together with Putin and the head of the St. Petersburg UFSB, Grigoriev, who arranged for Anatoly Sobchak to emigrate to France. Just prior to the planned interrogation of Sobchak, a special rapid reaction unit (SOBR) of RUBOP transported Sobchak to the hospital at Putin’s request. There, at the hospital, the chief of the Military-Medical Academy, Mr. Shevchenko, arranged for a “false” diagnosis. Later, a similar diagnosis would be made for Ruslan Linkov.
The criminal case conducted by Vanyushin includes materials describing how, at the request of Sobchak and Putin, Shakhanov and Milin conducted an illegal search of the home of former Sobchak aide Y. T. Shutov in order to seize tape recordings in which Sobchak allegedly converses with an agent of the French secret services. In 1992, an attack on Shutov’s person was organized, the result of which was a skull-brain trauma that left Shutov hospitalized.
Also according to Vanyushin’s report, the former head of the St. Petersburg bureau of ritual services, a certain Makutov, made a regular monthly payment to Putin of $30,000.
With the help of St. Petersburg vice-governor Grishanov (the former commander of the Baltic Fleet) Putin, through the Lomonosov port, sold military sea vessels.
The above-mentioned port, located on the territory of a former military port and created by Sobchak, Putin, and Cherkesov, has been a key point through which contraband natural resources have been exported out of Russia, and through which foreign products have been imported. The latter functions of the port were at least partially controlled by the shipping department of Russian Video.
In the spring of 1996, during Sobchak’s reelection campaign, some $30 million were sent from Tsarskoselsky Bank to a Swiss bank. The transfer was undertaken by Putin, Cherkesov, and Grigoriyev. (Information about this transfer is kept in the office of the chief of SKROSO UFSB, B. O. Desyatnikov).
The head of the administration of Vasiliostrovsky region, V. Golubev, is an acquaintance of Putin going back to the days when they both served in the first department of the UKGB in Leningrad. The former colleagues organized a series of companies, through which budget money first “circulated,” then was ultimately taken.
As Deputy Mayor, Putin organized the sale of military submarines abroad through the Leningradsky Admiralteisky Union. In 1994, the deputy director of this Union was killed (one of the versions was that he was killed for refusing to illegally export military property).
BFG—the Baltic Financial Group (run by General Director Kapish)—provides financial assistance to Putin and Cherkesov every month. In 1994-95, a disagreement arose between one of the founders of the petroleum terminal at the marine port and Kapish. Kapish ordered the murder of the port founder. For $50,000, Putin convinced the founder of the port to settle his differences with Kapish, after which he convinced him to emigrate to Israel.
According to information in our possession, Kapish in 1996 gave Putin $6 million, ostensibly for the Presidential campaign. The money went through one of the oblast banks, which was subsequently closed.
During the 1998 crisis, Putin worked closely with V. Gusinsky in planning aggressive political actions, including the announcement of the arrival of the so-called “Vremya-Ch” (the materials on this investigation are located in the files of Y. M. Vanyushin, in the interrogation of Karakpuchko).
The “XX Trust,” created by Putin in conjunction with Lensovet deputies Nikeshin and Goldman, sent budget monies—including those allocated for the “Peter the Great” business center—to Spain, where they were used to buy a hotel in Torviecho. A portion of the stolen monies was used to buy a villa for Putin in the Spanish town of Benidor (materials related to this investigation are located in the files of the KRU of the Russian Federation Finance Ministry).
Putin and Cherkesov in 1997 illegally sold the building belonging to the newspaper “Chas-Pik” (there is a case in arbitration court on the matter). The newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets lost several hundred thousand dollars on the deal.
Putin is preparing kompromat materials on the current governor of the Leningrad region, V. A. Yakovlev, and is preparing for early elections (Chubais and Kudrin are being put forward as candidates).
The necessary funds are being sought and gathered to implement these plans.