One thing the Russian citizen Oleg Orlov knew for sure when he was about to board the flight from Prague to Dubai in August 2004 was that he wanted to put as many miles as possible between himself and Kiev or for that matter Moscow. He did not get to Dubai that day or ever since. The Czech police arrested Orlov in the airport on the international warrant and put in the prison, charging Orlov with smuggling to Iran several Ukrainian cruise missiles, capable of delivering 200-kiloton nuclear charge to targets 3000 kilometers away. For a year or so Orlov fought his extradition to Ukraine, surviving an assassination attempt and a stroke. He knew he would be killed in Kiev. The CIA team that was interrogating him in the prison knew this too and used Orlov's fear to blackmail him into talking to them. Then Orlov was brought to Kiev...
There was virtually no information about Orlov since then. Only unconfirmed rumors that he was very sick and hardly able to speak.
Then, on July 5 an brief anonymous announcement was published in stringer.ru that Orlov was murdered. For almost two weeks Ukrainian authorities kept silent and ignored even the official inquiry of Russian Foreign Office about Orlov's fate. Finally, Kiev announced that Orlov was throttled to death by another inmate in the Kiev detention center. However, some details that have emerged since then, strongly suggest foul play.
The investigative article by the Moscow editorial board of burtsev.ru claims that--according to their sources who are close to Ukrainian secret services and identified only as “the intelligence team 'Yaroslav Galan'”-- Orlov's “liquidation” was an outcome of the long struggle between Yulia Timoshenko and her close advisors and a group of senior officers of Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR). The article identifies the latter as Generals Vladimir Filin and Alexei Likhvintsev and names as their allies the present headt of GUR General Alexander Galaka, as well as the former head of Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) and GUR General Igor Smeshko. This group of Ukrainian intelligence heads is thought to compose the Ukrainian branch of the “consulting” agency FarWest, LLC (formerly -- FarWest, LTD) – with the central office in Dubai, which has been linked to the sale of X-55 to Iran and China.
According to the “Yaroslav Galan” team, Timoshenko was angry at the GRU chefs for their role in her losing the post of the premier last summer, when Filin and Likhvintsev arranged for the head of the Social-Democratic Party Alexander Moroz' switching sides and going over to Yanukovich. As the result the governing coalition lost the majority and the supposedly pro-Russian Party of the Regions formed the new government by “anti-crisis coalition” bretween Yanukovich, Moroz, and the communists. Other reasons given for the feud are “control of secret funds” and political disagreements. Filin is afraid that Timoshenko's open anti-Russian stance could lead to Ukraine being split into two, with its industrial Eastern parts and the Crimea joining Russia. He believes that Yanukovich and his “Donetsk” oligarchs are in a better position to preserve the unity of Ukraine and, eventually, deliver it to NATO.
In her struggle against the FarWest group Timoshenko's advisors already “leaked” to the press some of the classified information about the X-55 deal. Last year, her closest advisor Alexander Turchinov and the former SBU general Kozhemyakin organized the three-part publication in the newspaper “Novyi region.” 1 According to the classified documents published, FarWest LTD was in the center of the secret operation as the agent of Dick Cheney's circle of secret services operatives and ideologues, looking to create a casus belli for attacking Iran. The operation was supervised by the front company of this group – the private intelligence company Diligence LLC, chaired by Reagan's Ambassador to Germany Richard Burt also of Alpha-Capital, shady monopoly of Russian oligarch Mikhail Friedman, and Barbour Griffith & Rogers – one of the most influential right-wing lobbying firms in Washington, close to the Bush Family.
After this publication, meetings were held between Timoshenko and Turchinov and Filin, Likhvintsev and Galaka. In the words of the Ukrainian sources, during some of them “both sides used foul language and exchanged physical threats.” After one of such meetings in April 2007, SBU announced it had information about the plans to assassinate Timoshenko. This announcement, the sources say, was to remind Timoshenko that Filin's threats were not empty words and to increase psychological pressure on her.
Apparently, Timoshenko correctly understood the hint and changed her tactics to show she was open to a compromise. There was a political reason too. Nobody wants to antagonize secret services on the eve of new elections.
But Farwest couldn't take the risk that Timoshenko may use the X-55 episode again while Oleg Orlov was alive and could testify against them, especially, given the possibility of US Democrats coming to power in 2008 and opening the official investigation. This sealed Orlov's fate.
The article in Left.ru contains also an interview with the chairman of the international editorial board of burtsev.ru – Vadim Stolz who shares his thoughts about Olov's murder. The interview was taken by Natasha Barch, representative of the Moscow group. The abridged translation of this interview as follows.
NB. Vadim, I gather by this time you had the opportunity to discuss the sad news about Oleg Orlov with your American friends. So my main question to you is: Why do the Democrats refuse to raise the question about the smuggling of X-55s to Iran and the role of the Cheney gang in it?
VS. There is no one single answer to this. Several things should be kept in mind. First, even raising these questions in the mainstream press can provoke th ehell of a storm in the United States. Just think about this. The White House transfer OMD to Iran's “mullahs”! And the same White House attacks Iraq under the false pretext of Saddam having OMD! Even Hitler would have blushed at such a hypocrisy! This is more than cynicism. It shows the criminal mind at work in the very heart of the celebrated US system of government. If the American people learn about this the entire political system will be shaken. And Democrats are no less interested in its preservation than the Republicans. Class solidarity between the rulers – that's the name of the game.
Second, the Democrats themselves might be indirectly involved in this crime. When in 1999 Filin and Likhvintsev came up with the plan to sell X-55s to China, Smeshko (SBU) and Maleev (Ukrspetsexport) they agreed at once, but wanted Kuchma's approval. Kuchma provisionally agreed, but notified George Tenet, DCI. Tenet just didn't reply. But he , no doubt, notified Clinton and Gore as well as Cheney's people. Tenet was a good boy to everyone, that's why Cheney let him stay after the Democrats had left. Then the Chinese made a discreet inquiry with the Kremlin. The President apparently decided that there was nothing bad in improving China's defenses and did not interfere. After that FarWest brought in their people in military intelligence and Rosvooruzhenie, as well as the notorious Viktor Bout, the old buddy since their Angola dealings in arms and diamonds. And, lo and behold! In May 2000 the Chinese received half a dozen X-55s. Everyone was happy and pleased with FarWest. The Chinese, the Kremlin, and the Ukrainians did not realize that this sale was a trap, which FarWest set up for them at the behest of the neocon cabal in the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department.
NB. This is the first time I hear about the smuggling of X-55s as intended to be a trap for China. Usually they talk about Iran. Could you expand on this?
VS. This is true. China as the target of Cheney's provocation has never been mentioned, to my knowledge. Apparently, people cannot comprehend how one can attack China. But there exist strong evidence that the neocons planned a preventive war against China as early as 1998. Incidentally, this could be one reason they bought the so-called “Kurginyan's geopolitical conception.” This is what Brzezinsky, in horror, called the “new Holly Alliance” between the United States, Russia, Israel, and India against China, the Muslim world, and the “old Europe.” The old Zbig still foams at the mouth whenever he recalls this abominable idea. Yet the neocons reasoned very simply: Why wait before the Chinese get stronger than us? Don't forger that Libby and Wolfowitz authored the thesis about the preventive strike against any country that could challenge the world supremacy of the United States. They had grand plans. No less that a permanent revolution of sorts. Iraq was only for the appetizer. Next, Iran would be struck and has an “orange revolution” of its own. That would give the neocons the control over China's supplies of oil and make it ready for a “democratic revolution” -- Tiananmen-2. What else can the freedom loving American people do in the face of “those Russians” arming with WMDs the Chinese “commies”?! With China becoming “democratic,” the fate of Russia will be sealed. Most people simply cannot imagine such plans can exist. Their consciousness falls behind their social being. Neocon ideologues are made of a different stuff. They were schooled in neo-Trotskyism and neo-Hegelianism. This taught them to think in big historical categories. And their game is not over yet.
NB. What do you have in mind?
ВШ. We see the liquidation of Orlov in the light of the coming strike against Iran, possibly a nuclear strike.
NB. Are you saying the Americans can still use the X-55 in Iran as a pretext for attacking it?
ВШ. Nothing is off the table, as they say. With Orlov gone, FarWest has no witnesses left and can present the deal any way they want. They can create a fake like the ”conspiracy in Nice” and connect the smuggling with the Kremlin. They can weave whatever fabrication they want since they have all the details, all the names, so that the fake will look irresistibly genuine. They can even implicate themselves for such an occasion. The neocon cabal has no choice. They have to create a crisis, to escalate things. Otherwise, they risk to find themselves in that very garbage basket of history where they somewhat prematurely declared communism and Marxism to have belonged. A strike against Iran will raise the stakes immensely and could allow them to introduce an emergency situation in the United States, extend the rule of Bush and Cheney, or, at least, assure the victory of John McCain.
NB. Speaking of McCain... As you know, recently Anton Surikov, the chief troubleshooter for FarWest in Moscow, has been all over town trying to convince high officials that burtsev.ru was hired by the Democrats, the CIA, and even the Bank of New York (!) to destroy FarWest, whose friend Rudolf Giuliani is the last hope of Russia. It's quite amazing how keen Surikov is to assure Kremlin bureaucrats that it is exactly Giuliani who has the best chance to run on the Republican ticket, isn't it?
NB. (laughing) This is pure Surikov. Here is his calculation. He knows that the Kremlin is afraid of Democrats, but they also hate to see the openly Russophobic McCain in the White House. This leaves Giuliani the least harmful option. So, in essence, Surikov is saying to these bureaucrats that our investigation of the illegal activities of FarWest threaten the only informal channel of communication they have with the right-wing republicans and neocons, because this channel is FarWest. This is precisely why Surikov cultivates in the Kremlin the ridiculous idea that the Democrats are more anti-Russian than the Republicans, even if they are of the completely insane variety that is in the White House now. For FarWest this is the way of making themselves valuable, even irreplaceable in the eyes of the Kremlin, making it overlook their anti-Russian activities. This is also a cover for their conspiratorial contacts with the agents of the Cheney cabal and other scum of the earth.
In reality, not the Democrats, but FarWest and this cabal behind it are dangerous to Russia and the sooner the Kremlin realizes this the fewer unpleasant surprises will it face in 2008.
NB. Could you describe the bad guys behind FarWest?
VS. These are the very people who played important, perhaps crucial role in the destruction of the Soviet Union: Robert Gates, Rodric Braithwaite, Turki al-Faisal, Fritz Ermarth. They represent conservative and neoconservative elites of Atlanticism. Now they conspire to destroy Russia.
NB. OK, let's summarize. Do you agree with the opinion of our Ukrainian sources that it was the conflict with Timoshenko that motivated FarWest to get rid of Orlov?
VS. Only in part. We believe that their motivation was more complex. I already mentioned the Iranian connection. Without Orlov, they can fake a stronger link between the Kremlin and the X-55 deal. So that besides a casus belli against Iran Washington will have a pretext to put pressure on the Kremlin, even blackmail certain state security officials and thus raise tensions in Moscow... But the Ukrainians are also right. FarWest needed to protect themselves from someone exploiting their vulnerability spot that Orlov was. They also took into account the possibility that their conspiracy with the Western-Saudi cabal fails and Sergei Ivanov becomes the next President. Ivanov does not trust FarWest and they know about his interest to the X-55 affair. So if Orlov survived till 2008 Ivanov would be able to use him against FarWest.
1 “US Companies Linked to Vice-President Cheney Supervised the Transfer of Ukrainian WMD to Iran” <http://left.ru/burtsev/ops/novyiregion.phtml>
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