In the end of June Internet weekly Left Russia published the first part of its journalistic investigation by the autonomous research group burtsev.ru. In the focus of this investigation is a group of renegate Soviet secret service officers who are allegedly involved in international drug traffiking and have ties with Western and Saudi security apparatus. Recently, this group of people made a public debut in the role of "radical communists" and "green revolutionists" (Islamic) under the cover of the Moscow Institute of Globalization Studies (IPROG) headed by the prominent Russian leftist Boris Kagarlitsky. The burtsev.ru group believes that the Institute has become one of the centers for a pro-Western coup d'etat in Russia.
Kagarlitsky Defends Himself Against Cover -Up Accusations
On July 1 2005 the organizers of the new social movement Left Front had a press conference. Participants included Boris Kagarlitsky, Ilya Ponomarev, Alexander Prigarin, and Boris Kravchenko. The correspondent for the Internet weekly Left Russia Dmitry Yakushev attended the event and asked Boris Kagarlitsky about his connections to secret services and Mr. Anton Surikov. What follows is the recording of their exchange.
I have a question for Boris Kagarlitsky. In 2000 Novaya Gazeta published your article about a meeting between Voloshin and Basaev. In this article you wrote that the “former” agent of GRU Anton Surikov took part in this meeting as well. Your article links the participants of this meeting to Basaev’s invasion into Dagestan and the blowing of residential buildings in Moscow. Now, five years after, Mr. Surikov works as a “senior scholar” in the Institute of Globalization Studies. How can you explain this? Do secret services of any country have something to do with your announced political initiative Left Front? Why did you hide these facts about Surikov from our left public?
This is a very interesting question. What do mean by hiding from the left public? And where from then did Mr. Yakushev learn about Surikov?
We uncovered this.
No, you did not uncover anything. You simply read our web site where we openly announced everything.
Your web site has no information about Surikov being a secret service agent and that he was involved in that meeting between Voloshin and Basaev. This story has been long forgotten and we had to dig it out. So I repeat my question: How did it happen that Mr. Surikov works in your Institute?
Now let’s talk about Surikov. You have to ask Surikov himself about the details of his biography. It is well known that I know him well and that Surikov and I collaborated together, discussed things and so on since at least 1998. And also, my relations with him became frequently visible to the public in the mid-1990s. Moreover, Surikov was often published in a number of oppositional newspapers. Now as far as the events of 1999, in the first place, I never accused anybody in anything. I simply related those facts that had become known to me. Not a single participant of those events came forward to deny those facts after I had made them public. They neither confirmed nor denied those facts. They could deny them; they could take me to court and so on. Yet they all did not say a word. Take a note that my article was published not in some marginal publication, not on the Web or some compromat.ru, but in Novaya Gazeta, a quite popular and influential press. Now, the article did not say anything bad about Surikov. He is a military man. This is a man who collaborates with and in the past belonged to organizations like GRU. He follows his orders.
Does he follow his orders in your Institute as well?
Ah…. It’s quite possible, but this question should be addressed to him.
But he is a member of your Institute and you are the Director.
I cannot deny this. But he is not on the permanent staff. His connections to secret services are his business. I believe in our country everyone either was or is in this situation. What is relevant in this situation is that Surikov is well-known journalist. He publishes regularly, makes his views public. The staff of our Institute does not necessarily share these views. Nevertheless we share a whole number of views, including political views. This is my first point. Secondly, he is simply involved in one concrete type of research in the Institute. This is his job as the head of this project. IPROG is not a one political team, but an expert community (“structure”) that includes people of different views.
Ilya Ponomarev: Allow me to say a few words. Dmitry Vladimirovich (Yakushev) should also keep in mind that we espouse the ideals of internationalism as the foundation of our activities. Our position on the conflict in Chechnya is also well known. We demand the speediest peaceful settlement. Comrade Surikov and a number of other members of our Institute do a number of research projects and not just research related to this problem in order to facilitate peace in Chechnya.
Clearly, Boris Kagarlitsky evades answering the question of our correspondent. He was asked to explain his decision to collaborate in a number of "left" projects with the man he implicated in a grave international crime. However, his evasion tricks raise new questions. For one, Kagarlitsky admits that Surikov may presently continue to have ties with secret services. But he seems to have no problems with this even though Surikov--using his position in IPROG--actively participates in the projects sponsored by Kagarlitsky's Institute, like the First Social Forum last spring. Apparently, Kagarlitsky's idea of left politics has become so stretchable that it includes the secret services of that very bourgeois state that Kagarlitsky and his circle claim to be in "opposition" to. We have every reason to believe that the majority of our left activists do not share his "globalist" tolerance. Yet Kagarlitsky, being one of the few leading organizers of the recent left "forums" and "movements", has failed to inform their participants that they were discussing the "future revolution" with the "former" officers of Russian secret services like Colonel Anton Surikov and General Aleksey Kondaurov. This is a serious and dangerous business. In the coming parts of our investigation we will be looking for answers to explain what made Kagarlitsky to give cover to Surikov and his secret service colleagues under the roof of IPROG. For now one thing is certain. Kagarlitsky continues to stand behind his article of 2000 in Novaya Gazeta, including the part concerning Surikov. If Kagarlitsky is correct, then judging by the evidence of his article one should suspect that Surikov is not only a military criminal, but also a very dangerous and experienced provocateur.
Amazingly, Kagarlitsky claims that in his article he "did not say anything bad" about Surikov. Then why he proceeds to defend him? Kagarlitsky's arguments in defense of Surikov are neither new nor leftist. Surikov is a military man. He just obeys his orders. That's what Kagarlitsky says. We recall hearing these arguments. In Nuremberg and many other places. Is it conceivable that a man with such a level of moral development, a man surrounded by people like Surikov, can be a leading organizer and ideologist of our broad Left?
Burtsev.ru is an autonomous research group, affiliated with the Internet weekly Left.ru/Levaya Rossiia. Burtsev.ru is a proper name and has no relation to the domain burtsev.ru.