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Fearing for his life in the UK, Russian oligarch returns to Russia (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 133.

Alex Christoforou

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Russian fugitive living in London, Sergei Kapchuk, fearing for his life returned home to Russia. Kapchuk was one welcomed in England and living a dream life when things took a sudden turn for the worse, and he began to fear for his life as a UK resident.

According to a Bloomberg article on Sergei Kapchuk, after fleeing Russia to avoid prosecution for alleged fraud in 2005, then escaping from Abu Dhabi on the back of a camel to avoid extradition in 2010, Kapchuk landed at Gatwick airport with his twin brother’s passport.

Kapchuk won political asylum in the UK within four months.

His eight years in London were charmed as the former regional lawmaker and factory owner from Yekaterinburg changed his name to Sergi Windsor, dated socialites such as Miss Russia 2008 and partied with other self-imposed exiles, who amassed dubious fortunes, stashed away in City of London banks.

A year after Russia put him on the country’s so-called ‘London List of most-wanted fugitives’, Kapchuk-Windsor went on the run, but this time, fearing that the UK government was going to kill him and then claim ‘Russia did it’, Kapchuk fleed back to Moscow to seek protection from British intelligence assassins.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the strange and fascinating story of Sergi Windsor Kapchuk…a man who left Russia for the UK in order to dodge fraud charges in 2005, only to seek safety back in Russia’s arms, after one too many Russian oligarch deaths finally motivated him to get out of Britain.

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Via Bloomberg

Just about everyone contacted for this article, including fellow exiles and even a KGB veteran, say Kapchuk’s claim that U.K. operatives are hunting Russian emigres is outlandish. But his narrative, told over multiple interviews in Moscow, fits the Kremlin line that even former fugitives are safer at home these days than in the West, where Russian wealth is increasingly vulnerable to sanctions.

Russian sleeper agent, British mole, lunatic—nobody knows quite what to make of Kapchuk. However improbably, the 46-year-old bon vivant is now the poster boy for one of many Kremlin efforts to lure back as much as $1 trillion of Russian cash stashed abroad. And like many good yarns involving Vladimir Putin, Kapchuk’s story starts with an unexpected visit from a presidential envoy—and a promise that seemed too good to be true.

Back in February, Putin’s business ombudsman, Boris Titov, flew into London with an unusual offer for Kapchuk and a few dozen other wealthy Russians accused of financial crimes. At Pushkin House, a cultural center on Bloomsbury Square, Titov vowed to use the power of his office and an army of lawyers to help the men clear their names through Russian courts. All they had to do was come home.

“You’d need to have your head examined to do that,” Ilya Yurov, a former banker, remembers thinking as he left the meeting. Like almost all of the attendees, Yurov received asylum in Britain precisely because Russia’s judiciary often functions as an arm of the Kremlin. (A U.K. judge in September rejected a request from Moscow to extradite Yurov.)

Well, Kapchuk, alone among Titov’s guests, bought the pitch. And his rationale for deciding to give up his cushy life to become a guinea pig in a quixotic experiment goes way beyond quashing charges related to the misappropriation of an apartment two decades ago.

Shortly after the Pushkin House presentation, two events happened that changed Kapchuk’s thinking about Titov’s offer. The first was the nerve-agent attack on turncoat spy Sergei Skripal that Britain says two Russian agents carried out. Then, just days later, a former partner of the late fallen oligarch Boris Berezovsky, Nikolai Glushkov, was strangled in his home.

Glushkov was No. 1 of 22 names on the London List, which quickly became Putin’s “hit list” in the British tabloids. Kapchuk, No. 12, said he found himself hounded by reporters who were sure his life was suddenly in danger.

Admittedly paranoid, he agreed, but saw the threat coming from the other way. He said he read the attacks as a “provocation” by MI6 and hired two local bodyguards on the assumption that Britain would balk at endangering its own citizens in any attempt on his life.

“I understood that a dead Russian is one thing, but if two U.K. citizens are also killed, that’s quite another matter,” Kapchuk said.

The assertions dovetailed with Russian propaganda efforts, suggesting Kapchuk may have cut some sort of deal to get his case dropped, according to Gennady Gudkov, a former KGB and FSB officer who’s now an opposition politician.

Kapchuk adamantly denies that, noting it took months for anyone in Moscow to respond to his pleas for help. Alone and with nowhere to turn, he said he jumped on a train to Paris and spent the next several weeks moving around Europe, sleeping in a different location each night.

The plot thickened in May, when Kapchuk said he discovered Britain had annulled his travel permit—an unusual move if true. Legal experts say that’s normally only done with suspected terrorists.

He said he learned this while traveling to a relative’s home in Croatia and border guards confiscated the permit without explanation, an account backed up by a Croatian Interior Ministry report dated May 7 and seen by Bloomberg.

The ministry now says it impounded Sergi Windsor’s paperwork because it was declared lost, though it won’t say by whom. The U.K. Home Office declined to comment.

It’s “odd,” said Christopher Cole, a U.K. solicitor who specializes in immigration issues. “It appears the U.K. government cancelled his travel document to stop him from traveling, but then wanted him to return.”

Stateless and stranded in the coastal city of Rijeka, Kapchuk said he got a tip-off from his nephew’s landlady late one night that police were en route to arrest him, so he ran into the woods. Crouching among the trees, he pulled out his phone and contacted Titov, who arranged for the Russian Embassy in Zagreb to pick him up, according to both Kapchuk and Titov’s office.

The embassy sheltered Kapchuk for three weeks while it negotiated with Croatian officials to let him leave the country. On June 15, Ambassador Anvar Azimov escorted Kapchuk to the airport for the former fugitive’s journey to Moscow.

“He’s a patriot who’s made the right choice,” the ambassador told a television crew as they were being driven to the flight.

Kapchuk, thanks to Titov, finally made it back to Yekaterinburg at the end of September. He’s now under the watchful eye of the FSB as he fights charges he says were concocted by the same murky alliance of local businessmen, crooked officials and crime lords that seized his metal plant and forced him to flee 13 years ago.

He’s one of just five Russians who’ve joined the repatriation program out of an initial 41 selected by Titov’s office, which reviewed hundreds of similar cases with the help of some 60 law firms. But even with the quiet backing of Putin, who ordered eight of the men’s names removed from wanted notices in May, the project is being hampered by local turf wars.

One returnee managed to get his case thrown out in Rostov-on-Don only for a prosecutor to get it re-opened. And Kapchuk, who said Russia’s president has twice intervened on his behalf at Titov’s request, has already been grilled by investigators in Yekaterinburg.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, declined to comment on the president’s role in the Kapchuk affair. Titov, a champagne magnate in his own right, said in an interview that he has no illusions about the legal difficulties facing any returning fugitive.

“Coming home is a big risk to take for all the people on the London List,” Titov said at his office in Moscow’s new financial district. “They’ll have to go through the whole criminal process again, but is it better to spend your entire life in hiding?”

For Kapchuk, trying to dodge whatever dangers he saw lurking in London was no longer an option.

He said he misses Britain a lot more than he ever missed Russia, a confession that’s yet to make the state-run media’s coverage of his plight. But he’s determined to see justice done so he can fulfill a lifelong dream—being elected to his homeland’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma.

“There’s no way back,” he said. “I’ve reached the point of no return.”

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Ghifari AL MukhtarMarthaMichael Bakervoza0dbam hants Recent comment authors
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AM Hants
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AM Hants

Cannot wait to see his story on film. ‘Oh What a Life’, but, once back in Russia, will he cause problems for the Government?

voza0db
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voza0db

At least he was clever enough to get out from that shitty country!

Michael Baker
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Michael Baker

The anti Russia propagandsa does not extend to the vast majority of ordinary British people who resent the negative rhetoric from Politician and their media stooges called the MSM. It is also reported that the Russian businessmen resident in Britain gave large financial support to the Tory Party during and prior to the last election to ensure that May and Conservative cabinet got into Office . So all is not as it seems from the MS noise in the media etc.

Martha
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Martha

The “authorities” in England are all freemasons, and Rabbi Stephen Wise TOLD us that freemasonry is yehudaism. The Yehudis hate non-Yehudis.
SO…((who)) runs the Bank of England and the B’nai B’rith-ish Crown as a whole?? England was taken over during the reign of Elizabeth the first by the B’nai B’rith-ish. And the takeover in America happened when the U.S. got its last central bank. These Russian “expats” are safer in the Urals, although I have no sympathy for any of them when push comes to shove. They’re all criminals.

Ghifari AL Mukhtar
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Ghifari AL Mukhtar

Do you mean that they no long feel safe in Israel too- They must be broke.

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FBI recommended Michael Flynn not have lawyer present during interview, did not warn of false statement consequences

Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 18.

Washington Examiner

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Via The Washington Examiner…


Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who arranged the bureau’s interview with then-national security adviser Michael Flynn at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017 — the interview that ultimately led to Flynn’s guilty plea on one count of making false statements — suggested Flynn not have a lawyer present at the session, according to newly-filed court documents. In addition, FBI officials, along with the two agents who interviewed Flynn, decided specifically not to warn him that there would be penalties for making false statements because the agents wanted to ensure that Flynn was “relaxed” during the session.

The new information, drawn from McCabe’s account of events plus the FBI agents’ writeup of the interview — the so-called 302 report — is contained in a sentencing memo filed Tuesday by Flynn’s defense team.

Citing McCabe’s account, the sentencing memo says that shortly after noon on Jan. 24 — the fourth day of the new Trump administration — McCabe called Flynn on a secure phone in Flynn’s West Wing office. The two men discussed business briefly and then McCabe said that he “felt that we needed to have two of our agents sit down” with Flynn to discuss Flynn’s talks with Russian officials during the presidential transition.

McCabe, by his own account, urged Flynn to talk to the agents alone, without a lawyer present. “I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [Flynn] and the agents only,” McCabe wrote. “I further stated that if LTG Flynn wished to include anyone else in the meeting, like the White House counsel for instance, that I would need to involve the Department of Justice. [Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants.”

Within two hours, the agents were in Flynn’s office. According to the 302 report quoted in the Flynn sentencing document, the agents said Flynn was “relaxed and jocular” and offered the agents “a little tour” of his part of the White House.

“The agents did not provide Gen. Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement under 18 U.S.C. 1001 before, during, or after the interview,” the Flynn memo says. According to the 302, before the interview, McCabe and other FBI officials “decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport.”

The agents had, of course, seen transcripts of Flynn’s wiretapped conversations with Russian then-ambassador Sergey Kislyak. “Before the interview, FBI officials had also decided that if ‘Flynn said he did not remember something they knew he said, they would use the exact words Flynn used … to try to refresh his recollection. If Flynn still would not confirm what he said … they would not confront him or talk him through it,'” the Flynn memo says, citing the FBI 302.

“One of the agents reported that Gen. Flynn was ‘unguarded’ during the interview and ‘clearly saw the FBI agents as allies,'” the Flynn memo says, again citing the 302.

Later in the memo, Flynn’s lawyers argue that the FBI treated Flynn differently from two other Trump-Russia figures who have pleaded guilty to and been sentenced for making false statements. One of them, Alexander Van der Zwaan, “was represented by counsel during the interview; he was interviewed at a time when there was a publicly disclosed, full-bore investigation regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election; and he was given a warning that it is a federal crime to lie during the interview,” according to the memo. The other, George Papadopoulos, “was specifically notified of the seriousness of the investigation…was warned that lying to investigators was a ‘federal offense’…had time to reflect on his answers…and met with the FBI the following month for a further set of interviews, accompanied by his counsel, and did not correct his false statements.”

The message of the sentencing memo is clear: Flynn, his lawyers suggest, was surprised, rushed, not warned of the context or seriousness of the questioning, and discouraged from having a lawyer present.

That is all the sentencing document contains about the interview itself. In a footnote, Flynn’s lawyers noted that the government did not object to the quotations from the FBI 302 report.

In one striking detail, footnotes in the Flynn memo say the 302 report cited was dated Aug. 22, 2017 — nearly seven months after the Flynn interview. It is not clear why the report would be written so long after the interview itself.

The brief excerpts from the 302 used in the Flynn defense memo will likely spur more requests from Congress to see the original FBI documents. Both House and Senate investigating committees have demanded that the Justice Department allow them to see the Flynn 302, but have so far been refused.

In the memo, Flynn’s lawyers say that he made a “serious error in judgment” in the interview. Citing Flynn’s distinguished 30-plus year record of service in the U.S. Army, they ask the judge to go along with special counsel Robert Mueller’s recommendation that Flynn be spared any time in prison.

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Macron offers crumbs to protestors in bid to save his globalist agenda (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 36.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at French President Macron’s pathetic display of leadership as he offers protestors little in the way of concessions while at the same time promising to crack down hard on any and all citizens who resort to violence.

Meanwhile France’s economy is set for a deep recession as French output and production grinds to a halt.

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Via Zerohedge


As if Brussels didn’t have its hands full already with Italy and the UK, the European Union will soon be forced to rationalize why one of its favorite core members is allowed to pursue populist measures to blow out its budget deficit to ease domestic unrest while another is threatened with fines potentially amounting to billions of euros.

When blaming Russia failed to quell the widespread anger elicited by his policies, French President Emmanuel Macron tried to appease the increasingly violent “yellow vests” protesters who have sacked his capital city by offering massive tax cuts that could blow the French budget out beyond the 3% budget threshold outlined in the bloc’s fiscal rules.

Given the concessions recently offered by Italy’s populists, Macron’s couldn’t have picked a worse time to challenge the bloc’s fiscal conventions. As Bloomberg pointed out, these rules will almost certainly set the Continent’s second largest economy on a collision course with Brussels. To be clear, Macron’s offered cuts come with a price tag of about €11 billion according to Les Echos, and will leave the country with a budget gap of 3.5% of GDP in 2019, with one government official said the deficit may be higher than 3.6%.

By comparison, Italy’s initial projections put its deficit target at 2.4%, a number which Europe has repeatedly refused to consider.

Macron’s promises of fiscal stimulus – which come on top of his government’s decision to delay the planned gas-tax hikes that helped inspire the protests – were part of a broader ‘mea culpa’ offered by Macron in a speech Monday night, where he also planned to hike France’s minimum wage.

Of course, when Brussels inevitably objects, perhaps Macron could just show them this video of French police tossing a wheelchair-bound protester to the ground.

Already, the Italians are complaining.  Speaking on Tuesday, Italian cabinet undersecretary Giancarlo Giorgetti said Italy hasn’t breached the EU deficit limit. “I repeat that from the Italian government there is a reasonable approach, if there is one also from the EU a solution will be found.”

“France has several times breached the 3% deficit. Italy hasn’t done it. They are different situations. There are many indicators to assess.”

Still, as one Guardian columnist pointed out in an op-ed published Tuesday morning, the fact that the gilets jaunes (yellow vest) organizers managed to pressure Macron to cave and grant concessions after just 4 weeks of protests will only embolden them to push for even more radical demands: The collapse of the government of the supremely unpopular Macron.

Then again, with Brussels now facing certain accusations of hypocrisy, the fact that Macron was pressured into the exact same populist measures for which Italy has been slammed, the French fiasco raises the odds that Rome can pass any deficit measure it wants with the EU now forced to quietly look away even as it jawbones all the way from the bank (i.e., the German taxpayers).

“Macron’s spending will encourage Salvini and Di Maio,” said Giovanni Orsina, head of the School of Government at Rome’s Luiss-Guido Carli University. “Macron was supposed to be the spearhead of pro-European forces, if he himself is forced to challenge EU rules, Salvini and Di Maio will jump on that to push their contention that those rules are wrong.”

While we look forward to how Brussels will square this circle, markets are less excited.

Exhausted from lurching from one extreme to another following conflicting headlines, traders are already asking if “France is the new Italy.” The reason: the French OAT curve has bear steepened this morning with 10Y yields rising as much as ~6bp, with the Bund/OAT spread reaching the widest since May 2017 and the French presidential election. Though well below the peaks of last year, further widening would push the gap into levels reserved for heightened political risk.

As Bloomberg macro analyst Michael Read notes this morning, it’s hard to see a specific near-term trigger blowing out the Bund/OAT spread but the trend looks likely to slowly drift higher.

While Macron has to fight on both domestic and European fronts, he’ll need to keep peace at home to stay on top. Remember that we saw the 10Y spread widen to ~80bps around the May ’17 elections as concerns of a move toward the political fringe played out in the markets, and the French President’s popularity ratings already look far from rosy.

And just like that France may have solved the Italian crisis.

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Watch: Democrat Chuck Schumer shows his East Coast elitism on live TV

Amazing moment in which the President exhibits “transparency in government” and shows the world who the Democrat leaders really are.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the reasons Donald Trump was elected to the Presidency was because of his pugnacious, “in your face” character he presented – and promised TO present – against Democrat policy decisions and “stupid government” in general.

One of the reasons President Donald Trump is reviled is because of his pugnacious, “in your face” character he presented – and promised TO present – in the American political scene.

In other words, there are two reactions to the same characteristic. On Tuesday, the President did something that probably cheered and delighted a great many Americans who witnessed this.

The Democrats have been unanimous in taking any chance to roast the President, or to call for his impeachment, or to incite violence against him. But Tuesday was President Trump’s turn. He invited the two Democrat leaders, presumptive incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and then, he turned the cameras on:

As Tucker Carlson notes, the body language from Schumer was fury. The old (something)-eating grin covered up humiliation, embarrassment and probably no small amount of fear, as this whole incident was filmed and broadcast openly and transparently to the American public. Nancy Pelosi was similarly agitated, and she expressed it later after this humiliation on camera, saying, “It’s like a manhood thing for him… As if manhood could ever be associated with him.”

She didn’t stop there. According to a report from the New York Daily News, the Queen Bee took the rhetoric a step below even her sense of dignity:

Pelosi stressed she made clear to Trump there isn’t enough support in Congress for a wall and speculated the President is refusing to back down because he’s scared to run away with his tail between his legs.

“I was trying to be the mom. I can’t explain it to you. It was so wild,” Pelosi said of the Oval Office meet, which was also attended by Vice President Pence and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “It goes to show you: you get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.”

This represented the first salvo in a major spin-job for the ultra-liberal San Francisco Democrat. The rhetoric spun by Mrs. Pelosi and Chuck Schumer was desperate as they tried to deflect their humiliation and place it back on the President:

With reporters still present, Trump boasted during the Oval meeting he would be “proud” to shutdown the government if Congress doesn’t earmark cash for his wall before a Dec. 21 spending deadline.

Pelosi told Democrats that Trump’s boisterousness will be beneficial for them.

“The fact is we did get him to say, to fully own that the shutdown was his,” Pelosi said. “That was an accomplishment.”

The press tried to characterize this as a “Trump Tantrum”, saying things like this lede:

While “discussing” a budgetary agreement for the government, President Donald Trump crossed his arms and declared: “we will shut down the government if there is no wall.”

While the Democrats and the mainstream media in the US are sure to largely buy these interpretations of the event, the fact that this matter was televised live shows that the matter was entirely different, and this will be discomfiting to all but those Democrats and Trump-dislikers that will not look at reality.

There appears to be a twofold accomplishment for the President in this confrontation:

  1. The President revealed to his support base the real nature of the conversation with the Democrat leadership, because anyone watching this broadcast (and later, video clip) saw it unedited with their own eyes. They witnessed the pettiness of both Democrats and they witnessed a President completely comfortable and confident about the situation.
  2. President Trump probably made many of his supporters cheer with the commitment to shut down the government if he doesn’t get his border wall funding. This cheering is for both the strength shown about getting the wall finished and the promise to shut the government down, and further, Mr. Trump’s assertion that he would be “proud” to shut the government down, taking complete ownership willingly, reflects a sentiment that many of his supporters share.

The usual pattern is for the media, Democrats and even some Republicans to create a “scare” narrative about government shutdowns, about how doing this is a sure-fire path to chaos and suffering for the United States.

But the educated understanding of how shutdowns work reveals something completely different. Vital services never close. However, National Parks can close partly or completely, and some non-essential government agencies are shuttered. While this is an inconvenience for the employees furloughed during the shutdown, they eventually are re-compensated for the time lost, and are likely to receive help during the shutdown period if they need it. The impact on the nation is minimal, aside from the fact that the government stops spending money at the same frenetic pace as usual.

President Trump’s expression of willingness to do this action and his singling out of the Dem leadership gives the Democrats a real problem. Now the entire country sees their nature. As President Trump is a populist, this visceral display of Democrat opposition and pettiness will make at least some impact on the population, even that group of people who are not Trump fans.

The media reaction and that of the Democrats here show, amazingly, that after three years-plus of Donald Trump being a thorn in their side, they still do not understand how he works, and they also cannot match it against their expected “norms” of establishment behavior.

This may be a brilliant masterstroke, and it also may be followed up by more. The President relishes head-to-head conflict. The reactions of these congress members showed who they really are.

Let the games begin.

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