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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
Guest
Ghifari AL Mukhtar

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

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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