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Vladimir Putin and Drug Cartel

This story first came to light in 2000. German police took in the firm, SPAG, which had been launderingthe money of the Colombian cartel, Kali, on European stock markets. In other words, cocaine proceeds were recorded in SPAG in cash, and came out as income from investments. The firm had been operating since 1992, its founders were two local lawyers and ... the mayor's office of St. Petersburg. Inaddition, the name SPAG itself in German was deciphered as St. Petersburg Immobilien und Beteiligungen Aktiengesellschaft (St. Petersburg Society of Real Estate and Equity Participation).

In fact, the German police had uncovered only a small part of the company’s activities. The main business was done in Russia, in St. Petersburg. Then the investigation was curtailed. The Germans were ready to dig furtherbut this was not understood in Russia.

What did SPAG specifically do in Russia in the 1990s? It collected money in Europe “for real estate investment” and transferred it to St. Petersburg, to a firm called Znamenskaya JSC. It built a business center in the Nevsky district. Money came in, then went back, then came in again. The money constantly went back and forth across the border under the pretext of construction. Yes, they did build a business center, but this was not all. In 1999, BND, the German intelligence agency, prepared a dossier on SPAG, discovering that all this money represented settlements between criminal groups. Colombians washed off cocaine proceeds, Russian bandits exported their capital, and for the public – yes, a business center was built. The intelligent service gave a tip to the police, and it got around to this office. Assistance was also provided by the Americans, who had an informer in the Kali cartel. One of the money runs was carried out under WHOSE? control, there were searches, arrests conducted, the rapid activity of the company stumbled immediately, and cash flow fell. No one was arrested on the Russian side, all the confrontations were limited to Europe. Meanwhile, the SPAG personnel on the Russian side were notable. The supreme body of this laundry office was the supervisory board, where the Deputy Chairman was none other than comrade Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Smirnov oversaw money laundering together with Putin on the supervisory board. This is the same person who was in Tambov’s organized criminal group, the chairman of the Ozero cooperative, and Kum’s partner in the Petersburg Fuel Company. And in the 2000s – a high-level official as an Adiser to Russian Goverrment. It’s about a parent company. It’s the same picture with the daughter (Znamenskaya CJSC) company. Smirnov is the Chairman, Kumarin-Barsukov is a board member.

Naturally, once SPAG had been uncovered in Europe, it also went out of businesses in St. Petersburg. And they seemed to have covered their tracks. But then the story took an unexpected turn. Somehow the SPAG dossier got from Europe to the Security Service of Ukraine. This episode is reflected in “Melnychenko films” (Kuchma’s security officer, who fled to America, along with the wiretap records of Ukrainian president’s office). In the records of June 2000, Kuchma and the head of the Security Service discussed how Putin's people were sniffing around Europe, buying out SPAG documents (they were cleaning dirt), and then FSB (former KGB) Chief Patrushev was going to come – to sell or not to sell him a dossier? It is not known what they decided, but the fact remains that Putin was very nervous about SPAG, he bought up dirt on himself, apparently fearing that someone would decide to dig deeper about his role in these matters.

And such a person eventually did turn up. It was Alexander Litvinenko. On the order and with the money of some sponsors (and such an investigation was very expensive), he began to put together a dossier on Putin's ties with the drug mafia of the 1990s. He found people who decoded Melnychenko's films (for the CIA). The Petersburg bandits, many of whom had moved to Spain in those years, former colleagues in the Security Service. He found out that Putin did not only participate in the laundering of cocaine money, but in the transit of cocaine through the port at St. Petersburg to Europe as well. He discovered that “Tambov” people were doing this, and that this drug traffic was supervised by Putin’s municipality assistant – “chekist” (KGB) Viktor Ivanov (now the head of the Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation). Litvinenko did not finish his work. He was poisoned with polonium. A 10-fold lethal dose of a rare and very expensive isotope, which cost more than 10 million US dollars. Who did not stint at such an exotic way of killing with such risks (Lugovoi himself and did not everything he touched shine)? – It was disturbing for those he was rooting against. Who immediately made Lugovoi the deputy of the State Duma, refusing to extradite him to England? – The one who gave him the order to kill Litvinenko”.

And here we come to one of the darkest sides of Putin's personality, which explains what happened in Russia in 2014 and what to expect from him further. This could be called rat fear. Putin is Chichikov. Previously Gogol wrote about the hero of his “Dead Souls”,Chichikov,asbeing neither good nor bad as a man, he was an acquirer. That is what the goal of his life was, acquisitiveness, the rest was not important, he was ready to mimic anything. Putin is exactly the same money-grabber. However, having stolen a huge fortune, having made himself dirty from all different kinds of shit from head to toe for the sake of money, he gradually came to the conclusion that all emotions boil down to just one very strong feeling – fear. That having lost power, he will lose everything, a perennial heap of lies will collapse and his true face will be revealed. Or rather, the gray rat mug of the mafia leader.

From here, from fear of revolution, he went into hysterics in February 2014, in “improvisation”, as Barack Obama put it delicately. Improvisation was expressed in a turn towards fascism inland, and in outward incitement of interethnic hatred between Russians and Ukrainians in order to interrupt their communication. So that Russians will not understand the meaning of Maidan and the fact that this is how they can get rid of Putin's dictatorship in their own country. The fear and aggression of a cornered rat is serious. I believe the 2014 turn towards Mussolini has made it impossible for a peaceful change of power in the Russian Federation. Putin and his clan are ready to cover the whole country with blood, protecting what was stolen. Well, Mussolini, so Mussolini. They chose their own destiny.

Adapted to an English version by

Herman Obuhov, CEO of the Foundation Stop Inforn Terror (of Russia)
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