TRANSLATION: Essel on HypocRossiya


by Dave Essel

Words and phrases such as “dual standards”, “genocide”, “human rights”, “democracy” and so on are so over-abused these days that they have practically lost all meaning when spotted in the MSM.

So I was quite pleased the other day to see an article (translated below) which did not bother to use such terms even though the story begged for it.

In November 2006, Alexander Litvinenko was done to death with polonium in London, England. According to Wikipedia, British authorities “are 100% sure who administered the poison, where and how”. However they did not disclose their evidence in the interest of a future trial. The main suspect in the case, a former officer of the Russian Federal Protective Service (FSO) Andrei Lugovoy (pictured, below), remains in Russia. As a member of the Duma, he now enjoys immunity from prosecution. Before the suspect was elected to the Duma, the British government tried to extradite him without success.


Russia resisted Lugovoy’s extradition on the grounds, inter alia, that the Russian Constitution does not allow the extradition of Russian citizens. This reading of the Constitution is in fact debatable since the document is poorly written but that’s what the Russian authorities claimed.

The same Wikipedia article summarises the extradition issue as follows:

Russian General Prosecutor’s Office declined to extradite Lugovoi, citing that extradition of citizens is not allowed under the Russian constitution (Article 61 of the Constitution of Russia). Russian authorities later said that Britain has not handed over any evidence against Lugovoi. Professor Daniel Tarschys, former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, commented that Russian Constitution actually “opens the door” for the extradition, and Russia ratified three international treaties on extradition (on 10 December 1999); namely, the European Convention on Extradition[53] and two Additional Protocols to it. Yury Fedotov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation, pointed out that when the Russian Federation ratified the European Convention on Extradition it entered a declaration concerning Article 6 in these terms: “The Russian Federation declares that in accordance with Article 61 (part 1) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, a citizen of the Russian Federation may not be extradited to another state.”

The text emphasised by me above is therefore Russia’s official position on sending its citizens out of the country.

That is, when it suits Russia’s authorities to feel that way.

When it doesn’t suit them, Article 61 of their p*ss-poor constitution, in any event honoured mainly in its breach, is soon forgotten, as this article elegantly illuminates:

Serf Sutyagin

How a Russian scientist was swapped for
the red-headed daughter of a general

Arkadii Babchenko

Novaya Gazeta

12 July 2010,

From the Constitution of the Russian Federation, Article 61:

1. The citizen of the Russian Federation may not be deported out of Russia or extradited to another state.

2. The Russian Federation shall guarantee its citizens defense and patronage beyond its boundaries.

Let’s say your name is Igor and that you are – say – thirty-five years old. You are a scientist. And not just any old scientist but a nuclear physicist. You government has spent tons of money and six years of work training you. Then the government that went to all this trouble goes and collapses. The institute in which you work is run down and looks like a rubbish dump. All the staff that could leave [the country] have left and those who were unable to do so have gone off to sell jeans at market stalls. Nuclear physics has heaved a great sigh and dropped off to sleep. You, a thirty-five year old scientist and citizen of the Russian Federation, have been reduced to penury.

For some reason, buying and selling jeans is not for you; robbery still less so. So you haven’t taken that road. All you ever wanted to do in life was to engage in science. So you go on doing so. As best you can and despite the poverty and humiliations to which this condemns you.

Igor Sutyagin

Because you need to buy macaroni to fee the kids, you take on whatever science work comes your way. You accept, for instance, a commission to write a report for some foreign colleagues. This, by the way, pays a measly thousand bucks – but that’s a fortune to you. In fact, that’s nearly your annual salary. You go to the library, find books, journals, scientific papers, conference notes, work the search engines. You compile the report.

What you have done is gather and collate information available from open sources.

Next, two goons knock at your door.

“Are you X?”


“You write this?”


“All right, let’s go.”


“Jail. You’re a spy.”

“Hey, come on! Everything in that report is freely and openly available…”

“Don’t know and don’t care. Come with us.”

And the result is that you’re given 15 years hard labour.

For the next eleven years, you, a nuclear physicist, sew mittens in the labour camp’s workshop. You sign no confessions. You admit to no wrong-doing. You reject all accusations of spying as stuff and nonsense. You maintain your faith in some higher justice and place your hopes on that. Your sentence is drawing to an end, just four years to go, and you are already, truth to tell, beginning to console yourself with the fact that although a third of your life may have been wasted, at least you won: you beat the baddies by not allowing yourself to be broken.

The problem is that good guys will a priori lose out to the bad guys because scum will behave like scum while there are certain things a decent person will not stoop to – he is decent precisely because he has a moral limiter built in to him.

So, eleven years into a fifteen-year sentence, another two goons call on you and say:  “Right, sign this. If you don’t, it will be your fault that you and ten others besides will stay in jail for the rest of your sentences.” So you sign. If it were just for you, you would not have dreamt of doing it. But there were ten others to consider.

After that, you’re hauled off and thrown out of your country. You’re “swapped”. Like a pair of socks. Your wishes in the matter are of no interest to anyone. And what about the Constitution? Ha! You’re being exchanged in the same way as a lord in bygone days would swap a couple of serfs for a fine mare. Families not included. The old lord kept the families. True, in your case you’re told that you will be allowed to visit your family – from time to time, not too often, and not for long.

And so there you are, standing in Vienna airport, a forty-five year old scientist with ten years of time behind you – with no profession now, no home, no family, no job, no money, no country. Your life is in pieces, you’re worried you may have done the wrong thing by signing. You’ve been betrayed and sold by your country. You’ve been thrown away, an invented spy wanted by no one. You feel you’re quietly going mad…

And the reason for all this is that some red-headed daughter of a Russian general has been caught laundering money in America.

This country blows my mind at times.

29 responses to “TRANSLATION: Essel on HypocRossiya

  1. I guess it worked out OK: an innocent physicist, falsely accused of “spying” by the degenerates at the FSB, getting his freedom in exchange for 10 innocent Russian citizens, falsely accused of “spying” by the degenerates at the FBI, getting their freedom as well.

    But what would be ideal is to see these FSB and FBI goons spend 10 to 20 years in jail themselves.

    • Really Ostap the Bender, did you miss the bit where the Russians freely admitted being deep cover illegals? Admitted working for the SVR, admitted living under false names and entering the US using false passports?

      You are a ReTaRd.

      • No, nobody said that worked for SVR. Only the prosecutor claimed that they had “confided” that to him. Why would they do that? And if they did – why didn’t they say it to the judge themselves?

        We only have the prosecutor’s word for this. His word and $3.25 will get you a cup of cappuccino at Starbucks in Iowa. My entire point is that the FBI and the prosecutors are lying. Do you believe everything that the lawyers say in court to strengthen their cases, Andrew? Were you born yesterday?

        • I think all those Russian spies pleaded guilty in open court.

          • They pleaded guilty to one count of being employess of the Russian government but not to being employees of the SVR, and were sentenced to the time served (2 weeks?).

        • And they did say it to the judge.

          Learn to read ReTaRd, you are a pathetic joke.

          No wonder the USSR collapsed if morons such as yourself are its end product.


    • Two of the 11 accused Russian agents, charged over an alleged deep cover spy ring in the US, have admitted their true identities to the FBI.

      The pair, who went by the false names Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills, told investigators they are really Mikhail Kutzik and Natalia Pereverzeva. The couple claimed to be married and have two children who were taken in to care after their parents were arrested at a flat in Arlington, Virginia, earlier the week.

      The couple may have been obliged to reveal their identities for the good of their children, aged one and two. The FBI said Kutzik and Pereverzeva have asked for them to be returned to the care of family in Russia while they are detained in the US.

      Prosecutors revealed the couple’s true identities to a Virginia court yesterday where the pair were seeking bail along with a third alleged spy, Mikhail Semenko. The judge ruled that all three must remain in custody because they are a flight risk.

      In a letter to the court, prosecutors said that Zottoli had claimed to be a US citizen born in Yonkers, New York, and Mills purported to be a Canadian. But under interrogation both admitted to being Russians.

      “Zottoli admitted to FBI agents that he is a Russian citizen who true name is Mikhail Kutzik, that his date of birth is different than the one he used under the Zottoli identity, and that his father lived in Russia,” the letter said.

      “Similarly, Mills … admitted that she is, in fact, a Russian citizen named Natalia Pereverzeva. Mills further stated that her parents, brother, and sister still live in Russia.” The FBI described the couple as “highly trained” by the Russian intelligence service, the SVR.

      Prosecutors said that following the arrest of the couple, investigators discovered $100,000 in new $100 bills stuffed in to two safe deposit boxes as well as passports in their false names.

      The FBI also discovered covert communications equipment. It said it was able to establish links between the couple and other alleged members of the spy ring. It says it discovered a computer in the couple’s house that was delivered from Moscow earlier this year by a man calling himself Richard Murphy, who was arrested in New Jersey.

      “When Zottoli and Mills had trouble communicating covertly with the SVR … they travelled to New York City, where co-conspirator Richard Murphy gave Zottoli a new laptop computer that Murphy brought back from Moscow,” the prosecution’s letter said.

      “Zottoli and Mills travelled to New York on four occasions to obtain money and supplies for their work as SVR agents: in 2004, Zottoli arranged to meet Richard Murphy near Columbus Circle to receive money, and Mills stood lookout.” Two years later the couple travelled to Wurtsboro, New York, where Zottoli dug up a package of money that had been buried there two years earlier by a fellow conspirator, according to the FBI.

      Last year, Murphy delivered the couple $150,000 and a flash memory card.

      Investigators say they discovered a radio transmitter and codebook during a covert search of a flat the couple were living in Seattle two years ago.

      The couple have been charged with failing to register as an agent of a foreign government and money laundering.

      Semenko, is believed to be using his real name and is the US on a specialist work permit. According to the indictment against him, Semenko admitted in conversations with an FBI agent posing as a Russian intelligence operative that he was trained in communications by “the Centre guys”, taken to mean Moscow.

    • Russian spies going back to the cold – 10 agents admit their guilt

      Convicted of a single count of espionage, they were each sentenced to expulsion following 10 days’ imprisonment

      Standing one by one in a New York courtroom, 10 spies confessed yesterday to working in the US as undercover agents for Russia and were sentenced to immediate deportation, setting up one of the biggest, least secret swaps of intelligence officers since the end of the Cold War.

      Under an agreement hastily thrashed out between government officials in Washington and Moscow, the five men and five women captured in US cities and suburbs last week by the FBI are to be exchanged for four people imprisoned in Russia for suspected contact with western intelligence agencies.

      In Manhattan’s federal courthouse, the Russian agents were obliged to strip away their false US identities, rising in turn to spell out their true names.

      They gave almost identical statements that they had been “acting as agents of a foreign government, namely the Russian Federation, without providing prior notification to the US attorney-general”. Convicted of a single count of espionage, they were each sentenced to expulsion following 10 days’ imprisonment – time they have already served on remand.

      The US government confirmed that the spies would be exchanged under a tit-for-tat deal. Attorney general Eric Holder described the case as “extraordinary” and said: “The agreement we reached today provides a successful resolution for the United States and its interests.”

      There was a hint of Moscow’s behind-the-scenes desperation to move its agents back to Russia, as a lawyer for one of the defendants, Peruvian-born Vicky Pelaez, said that Russian officials had made offers including free housing for life, an indefinite living allowance of $2,000 a month, visas and free passage for her children, and the right to travel beyond Russia to any country she wished, in return for her co-operation.

      Pelaez, a 56-year-old journalist for a Spanish-language newspaper in the US, had been unwilling to go to Russia, and told the court, through an interpreter, that her work for the Russian government had been under the instruction of her husband, fellow defendant Juan Lazaro – who revealed his true name to be Mikhail Vasemkov.

      “Under my husband’s instructions, I travelled to Peru and met with a man. I knowingly brought a package of money into the US,” said Pelaez. “I carried letters written in invisible ink to this person.”

      Other defendants, speaking in clear, straightforward voices, revealed their true identities – Richard and Cynthia Murphy, a purportedly wholesome couple from New Jersey, told judge Kimba Wood their real names were Vladimir and Lydia Guryev.

      Another spy, Donald Heathfield, who assumed the identity of a deceased Canadian child, revealed he was Andrey Bezrukov, while his wife Tracey Foley, an estate agent from Boston, gave her genuine name as Elena Vavilova.

      Anna Chapman, a former Barclays Bank employee who spent several years working in London, told the judge that her name was genuine but, admitting she knew her activities were illegal, she said that under instructions from the Russian government, she had “agreed to communicate via laptop with another person”. Several of the defendants said their work for Russia dated back to the 1990s.

      Machinations had begun earlier in the day in Russia in preparation for the “tit-for-tat” release of four prisoners which directly involves Britain. Igor Sutyagin, a Russian scientist convicted in 2004 of passing military secrets to a British company, was reportedly plucked from a former KGB jail in Moscow and flown to Vienna, as a first step towards his expulsion to London.

      Sutyagin’s father, Vyacheslav, said he had received no official confirmation of his son leaving Moscow or arriving in Vienna: “There have been some unconfirmed reports that Igor flew in to Austria earlier this afternoon, but so far it seems to be wishful thinking.

      “We are waiting for Igor to call us himself. We had expected it to be today, but it looks like it could be tomorrow.”

      Moscow was preparing to release several other Russians convicted of working for the CIA or MI6. Sutyagin, who is married with two daughters, told his mother he had learned of one other name on the list to be exchanged: Sergei Skripal, a military intelligence officer jailed in Russia in 2006 for giving information to MI6.

      A Russian intelligence source told the Kommersant newspaper of two other proposed individuals: Alexander Zaporozhsky, an SVR operative sentenced to 18 years for espionage in 2003; and Alexander Sypachev, jailed for eight years in 2002 for working for the CIA. But Sypachev’s lawyer said that he would not agree to such a deal.

      Today, riot police secured the perimeter of Lefortovo, the former KGB jail in Moscow where Sutyagin was being held, as a convoy of armoured vehicles arrived. A few hours later the Russian media reported that he was seen leaving a plane in Vienna, but his family said it was “speculation”.

      While theUS-Russian swap may avoid any potential embarrassment to either government that a trial might pose, the exposure of Russia’s spies on US soil leaves behind considerable disagreement over how seriously to take their espionage ring. While the FBI has portrayed the deep-cover “sleeper” agents as a threat to American security, their at times bumbling attempts to infiltrate high policy-making circles has made them figures of fun to many Americans.

      Chapman, a red-headed 28-year-old whose British former husband has sold compromising photos to tabloids, has become such a celebrity that a New York newspaper lamented her departure and asked if the city could keep her.

      Yet there is evidence that the Russian intelligence service, the SVR, put considerable effort in to the operation, obtaining false identities and sending hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds.

      All 10 of the Russians told the judge they knew, throughout, that their activities were illegal, and that they had not been coerced into a plea agreement. The FBI’s director, Robert Mueller, said that blocking counter-intelligence was a “top investigative priority” and described the 10 convictions as a tribute to officers working “tirelessly behind the scenes to counter the efforts of those who would steal our nation’s secrets”.

    • Oh and by the way Ostap the retarded bender, Moscow has admitted that they were Russians.

      So, using false documentation, contacting the SVR, receiving payments and equipment, receiving instructions from the SVR etc, how exactly do you describe them as “innocent”?

      After U.S. authorities announced on Monday that they had unmasked an intricate network of alleged Russian spies, most of whom were operating under false identities, Moscow conspicuously distanced itself from the suspects. The accused — with vanilla names like “Richard Murphy” and “Cynthia Mills” — “were not Russian diplomats or even Russian citizens,” pro-Kremlin lawmaker Nikolai Kovalyov told the Interfax news agency on Tuesday. According to news agency RIA-Novosti, Russian Senator Alexander Torshin said the suspects were U.S. citizens, ergo the case should not affect bilateral relations. But just hours after the officials’ comments were published on Tuesday, Moscow took an unusual step: it claimed the accused sleeper agents as Russian citizens.
      In a curt statement released on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry admitted that the 11 suspected spies were in fact “Russian citizens who ended up on U.S. territory at different times.” The suspects, the ministry said, “did not commit any acts aimed against the interests of the United States. We assume that they will be treated normally in their detention facilities, and that U.S. authorities will guarantee them access to Russian consular officials and lawyers.” The statement gave no further details about the suspects, but it was enough to blow any cover the suspects had hoped to maintain. The family of one of the accused, Spanish-language journalist Vicky Pelaez, has insisted in media interviews that Pelaez’s only connection to Russia is her love of Tchaikovsky. But when asked by TIME whether all the alleged operatives were Russian citizens, a duty officer at the ministry’s press office replied, “All of them.”,8599,2000842,00.html

      • Wow, Andrew, everything I post these days drives you insane. It is a great feeling for me to see a scumbag like you lose your nerves and your breakfast after every word I write. I can jerk and rattle your chain any time I want.

        Your hysteria is the most sincere form of flattery, Andrew. Thank you. Keep it up.

        • No Ostap the ReTaRd bender, I just enjoy demolishing your inane drivel with actual facts.

          Of course, you are incapable of providing any evidence to back up your claims, fairly typical for a chekist like you (and your grandparents…)

  2. Before writing about Russian politics, Dave Essel should learn how not to blame Russian food manufacturers for his own stupidity and greed:

    • Yes, I now realise that I made a mistake in binning the 70gram pack of greasy soft-grain white wheat Russian aerated crispbread and only keeping for myself the 230gram pack of wholegrain rye aerated Wasa crispbread at double the price for 3 times as much food.

      I’m afraid I stupidly failed to understand that the Russian product was food for trolls.

      I shall pray for forgiveness.

      • What do you mean by “binning”, Dave? Do you mean that you put it back in the bin and didn’t buy it? Then how would you know that it tastes bad?

        • Really ReTaRd, are you so stupid you need everything explained to you?

          Oh, thats right, you are.

          Binning = to throw in the rubbish.

          One day soon Ostap, you may graduate from writing in crayon to using a pencil, but only if you work hard in your remedial reading and writing classes.


          • Hi Andrew — Do you think the logic lesson for Retard will help?

            Sad to say, I think he’s so dumb that there’s no fun in playing with him.

            Poor Cheka — they have to do what they can despite a dearth of potential quality recruits. The clever guys left long ago.

            Do you suppose they reduce his bonus if his activities produce mirth rather than anger?

            I don’t suppose they do as I don’t believe they have the analytic capacity to tell the difference. Just look at the the quality of the spies they are sending to America these days! Can’t tell a good crispbread from a crap one, can’t tell a good spy from…

            (As you know, my view is that this recent do wasn’t a spying operation, just the US division of the SVR using the group to steal money from the allocated budget to fund their holidays abroad etc. and of course not even doing that competently. This would be in keeping with the ethos of neo-Nazi Russia today.)

            • Hi Dave, alas you are most probably correct.

              Poor old Ostap/Phobodunce/ReTaRd/Whatever is too moronic for logic lessons to be of any assistance.

              As for the spy business, I am sure you are correct.

              Most likely another example of Russians stealing from the kitty.

              Thanks for all the great translation work by the way!

    • It’s pretty impressive that with a mere COMMENT on this blog Dave has inspired someone to create an entire blog to write about him. Just imagine the impact of Dave’s actual posts on this blog . . . New York Review of Books, for instance.

      Think you’ll ever achieve something like that, Ostap? Does ANYONE publish your writing as actual blog posts?

      Meanwhile Ostap, you baboon-like ignoramus, you have not pointed out ONE SINGLE ERROR in either Dave’s analysis or his translation. So mabye it’s you you needs to shut up instead of pathetically (and rudely) changing the subject?

      • Well, considering that this Russian moron can’t even get his own name right, posting under Ostap Bender, Phobophobe, Michael Tal, Arthur, RTR, and Voice of Retardation (also in an Italian version), and has now gone full circle to Ostap the Bender again, well one must come to the conclusion he is far too pathetic to bother with facts….

      • LR,

        I created 2 blogs when you kept on deleting my comments here, in order for the readers to be able to see my replies to YOU.


        Thanks for the compliment!

        Think your blogs will ever be so great that they’ll inspire folks (you’re very far from being the first) to create whole new blogs just to respond to them?

        Damn, we’re awesome, aren’t we?

  3. Dave Essel’s efforts at translating from Russian seem to have been noticed by some corporations. For example, the R&F Agency Inc. writes about his translation:

    Thanks Dave Essel for Translation

    We understand that this text has not been translated as well as it could have been.

    And so, if you have found this article to be interesting, and you think you could make a better translation, we would welkome your effort.

    We understand that this text has not been translated as well as it could have been” – you are developing quite a reputation, Dave!

    • Thanks for the heads up, Ozzy

      Truth to tell, I first thought someone was saying I translated badly (and I could surely do better or at least include fewer typos), then I realised this was a compliment.

      So thank you, rf-agency. You seem like nice folk. I’ve visited your site previously and thought it good. Also, your texts are perfectly comprehensible (and better than many) and to that extent do not require modification.

      As for me, my soul has been sold to the devil (aka La Russophobe) and any time I have to spare must go to him/her/or whatever.

      Next year in free Russia!

  4. Andrei Lugovoi: I will never stand trial in Britain for Litvinenko poisoningExclusive: As William Hague visits Moscow, former KGB officer says the UK should stop trying to extradite him and focus on improving relations with Russia.

    and dismissed Litvinenko as an “adventurist” on MI6’s payroll who had most probably poisoned himself by accident. “He was planning some kind of provocation against Putin and Russia and got careless with the polonium,” he said.

    • Russian constitution directly forbids to extradite Russian nationals.

      Britain, of course, thinks it’s wishes are supreme to any barbarian “constitutions”.

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