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Grigory Pasko: Eye on Sochi, Part III

[Also see Part I and Part II of this series] sochi1119.jpgPart III: Special Operation «Olympiad» By Grigory Pasko, journalist The Olympic Chekists The creation of the state corporation «Olympstroy» was implemented in strict compliance with the standard chekist blueprints. What was the first thing they did? They appointed “their” people to all the key posts, of course. That is, the 2014 Olympic Winter Games began with the allocation of KGB and FSB employees to important posts. And so, Grigory Rapota was put in as Putin’s plenipotentiary representative in the Southern Federal District. It is known that he had worked 30 years in the KGB, where, as the mass media wrote, he was engaged in “contacts with the special services of different countries”. (Essential experience for the Olympic movement, which envisions the struggle for peace and trust in the whole world). In addition to this, Rapota had worked in the State Company for the export and import of arms «Rosvooruzheniye» (not, we have to assume, at counting javelins, bows and arrows, and discuses was he engaged there); was the director-general of the Eurasian Economic Community.

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Grigory Rapota’s “contacts with the special services of different countries” provided him with valuable experience for his new post as the president’s personal representative in the Southern Federal District, which includes Sochi.

Appointed to the post of chief of the FSB in the city of Sochi was colonel Alexander Rodionov, who had previously headed the sixth service of the UFSB for Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast. (It’s obvious that they can only entrust Sochi and control of the finances of the Olympiad to someone who is really and truly “one of theirs” – in other words, a Petersburger). From Rodionov’s service record, it is known that he had specialized in counterintelligence measures at industrial facilities. If we can imagine a skating rink or a stadium to be an “industrial facility” of sorts, then his experience, no doubt, will be useful.There’s no question that an important facility of the future Olympiad will be the airport, of course. They’ve planted one of their own there too. Appointed as the new director-general of OAO «International airport Sochi» is KGB lieutenant colonel Alexander Golovin. Before this, Golovin had already run an airport – Pulkovo, in St. Petersburg. And before that, they say, he had shown his mettle on the field of struggle with aviation terrorism.

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Alexander Golovin, the new manager of the Sochi airport, has had a long and distinguished aviation career with the KGB.

It is noteworthy that the former boss of the Sochi airport – police general Alexey Bliznyukov – now chairs the board of directors of the airport and has become head of the representative office of «Basic Element» (a holding company run by aluminum oligarch Oleg Deripaska, whose name keeps cropping up in the Sochi Olympic saga) in Sochi.And here’s a rather unexpected twist on the theme of spies in power. From my first days in Sochi, I noticed that local newspapers aren’t being sold in the kiosks. It turns out that there’s no need for this, because newspapers are stuffed into the mailbox of every home in Sochi for free. Here’s one of these newspapers, with the modest name of «People’s Newspaper of Sochi». Inside the newspaper – a leaflet of good quality printing, calling on election day to vote for a certain Yuri Bondarenko. I had already noticed an advertisement for this fellow earlier, on television. There, an off-screen voice was saying the following: “This is Bondarenko…” (followed by a pause, like in a film about James Bond), and then – “…Yuri Bondarenko”. That is, the analogy with the literary hero’s introduction: “Bond. James Bond.”, is obvious. Just as obvious as the fact that the first four letters of the surname of the candidate for deputy to the city assembly happen to be identical to the surname of the legendary literary spy.bond1126.jpgCandidate No. 001 Yuri Bondarenko’s campaign poster on a currency exchange office door in Sochi. Could that be a «United Russia» logo at the bottom left? (photo by Grigory Pasko)Where does such a childish love for literary imagery come from? Why, from the same place as everything else – from service in “the office”, as the chekists lovingly call their organization. Yes, yes, Bondarenko is a graduate of the Higher School of the KGB of the USSR, and currently chairman of the management board of the bank «Sochi» and president of the group of companies «Sochi Kapital». His pre-election slogan: “To work seriously and intensely. This, work in the bank and service in the KGB of the USSR taught me.” From the leaflet we learn, that during the time of his previous activity as a deputy, Bondarenko had put more than 74 million rubles into the development of the city.What do you think? Can such a person stay at arm’s length from the city and other budgets as they get set to receive – and spend – the 13 billion dollars that will go for the Olympiad? I think he won’t be able to, and will instead “seriously and intensely” labor “for the good of the city” (and his pocket, of course). Otherwise, it would be clear that he hadn’t learned a thing from all his “work in the bank and service in the KGB”.And another new job appointment… Former head of the FSB (then this organization was called the FSK) and current chairman of the Chamber of Accounts of the RF Sergey Stepashin has appointed… himself as head of the group for monitoring over the expenditure of budgetary funds allocated for the preparation of the 2014 Winter Olympiad. It is known that the group will include 120 auditors in six separate areas of audit.And this is right: money, as is known, needs to be counted, and well. Although, of course, it’s strange: such a quantity of chekists for what is essentially a laughable sum – a mere 13 bln dollars or so. This is but the price of a single oil company: it was precisely 13 bln dollars, as is known, that «Gazprom» paid Roman Abramovich for his «Sibneft». And by the way, «Sibneft» had been privatized by means of the very same “loans-for-shares” auctions that the Chamber of Accounts later ruled to be illegitimate. According to the auditors’ report, these transactions had been effected by way of collusion with individual representatives of the government of the RF. From this it follows that the state had been the true owner of «Sibneft» all along. In other words, in having effected the transaction for the purchase of «Sibneft», «Gazprom» had simply given Abramovich 13 bln dollars as a gift. This money came from the pockets of the citizens of Russia, because it will be collected from them by way of raising the rates for gas, and, as a result, for heat and electricity.…And where were the chekists looking while all this was going on?! How could they not notice? Surely they weren’t taking part in all this themselves?