Category Archives: svetlichnaya

Svetlichanya’s Psycho Svengali Lashes Out at La Russophobe

James Heartfield (pictured, is that one scary-looking weirdo or what?) the shadowy communist (he writes for marxist.com) who has been serving as Julia Svetlichnaya’s svengali throughout her sordid involvement in the Litvinenko affair, has lashed out at La Russophobe on his blog regarding her recent post about Aftenposten‘s reponse to Svetlichanya’s complaints about its alleged inaccurate reporting about her.

You will notice, gentle reader, two amazing facts about Heartfield’s crazy rant. First, he doesn’t even give this blog credit for having published in full both the statements of the Sunday Times and of Aftenposten in response to Svetlichnaya’s lawyer’s threats against them, yet he claims WE are afraid of the truth. If we were, wouldn’t we have simply ignored those statements, rather than publishing them for our thousands of weekly visitors to see? If he WASN’T, wouldn’t he accurately state the facts? Second, he does not provide ONE SINGLE SHRED of factual information about Svetlichnaya, much less does he even try to specifically answer ANY of the questions we’ve asked. Svetlichnaya herself, of course, keeps totally silent. We’ve said FROM THE BEGINNING that it’s possible Svetlichnaya is the unwitting pawn of forces she herself does not even fully understand, which is why it’s so important for her to come clean about how she got tied up with Litvinenko and why she came forward to speak about him only after he was murdered. Yet, she remains silent.

Before dealing with the “substance” of Heartfield’s bizarre, childish rant (looks like we really touched a nerve!), let’s pause a moment to reflect upon the breathtaking nature of his hypocrisy. Here is a weirdo who has spent his entire life so far outside the mainstream of human discourse that he might as well be a space alien. Yet, in this post he dares to attack LR for failing to accept what he views as established dogma, that Svetlichanya is totally innocent of any wrongdoing and is as pure as the driven snow where Litvinenko is concerned (and nobody’s hapless pawn either, he apparently believes) — in other words THIS GUY is attacking LR for being a contrarian??? Only where Russia is concerned do we see this kind of blatant, breathtaking hypocrisy.

Here’s what one blog says about Heartfield:

James was a militant of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Great Britain, to be distinguished from the American sect by its love of DDT, nuclear power and genetically modified crops rather than Mao’s Little Red Book. Taking some of Marx’s early writings in an extreme direction, the RCP propagandized for what amounted to better living through chemistry in their magazine LM.

And just for the record, let’s be clear: While Heartfield brags on his crazy blog about his appearances in obscure media outlets, LR is a far more significant force in in the blogosphere than this communist rat bastard. Heartfield’s crazy blog has 11 Technorati links. La Russophobe has 147. Search “James Heartfield” on Google and you get less than 25,000 hits. Search “La Russophobe” and you get nearly 90,000.

Here is his post in full (in black), with LR’s running commentary (in red):

The grumpy, Russia-hating blogger Kim Zigfeld (going by the unattractive name, La Russophobe) has been nagging on at me and Julia Svetlichnaja ever since the Telegraph published our interview with the murdered spy Alexander Litvinenko. Needless to say, everything that La Russophobe says is wrong, as one would expect of someone whose starting point is a blanket fear of all Russians.

LR: “Grumpy and unattractive”? Personal abuse? “EVERYTHING” LR says is wrong? Is that the way competent, responsible scholar who is in the right defends himself? Only in the la-la land inhabited by this crazed communist scumbag. Seems he’s definitely not one to lead by example, now is he?

La Truthophobe has been particularly exercised by the fact that Julia Svetlichnaja disputed the coverage of the two newspapers that slandered her, the Sunday Times and the Norwegian Aftenposten. ‘What about Julia’s threatened lawsuit?’, blogged Zigfeld, sarcastically. When the Sunday Times withdrew its allegations against Ms Svetlichnaja, La Truthophobe was not chastened, but even more self-righteous, dismissing the climbdown on these grounds:

LR: “Truthophobe”? We’ve been after the truth from day 1. We asked Julia a bunch of questions on the obscure and now defunct ZheZhe blog where she, bizarrely, chose to respond to the allegations against her, and she refused to answer them. From day 1, it’s been Julia who has been obstructing the truth, failing to answer questions and choosing instead to try to scare her opponents into silence with the blunt trauma of lawsuits. We still challenge Julia to sit down and answer our questions face to face, one-on-one, in front of a rolling video camera. If she satisfies us we’ll be glad to apologize and clear her name. If she crumbles like a house of cards, then the truth will be laid bare. But she’s still in hiding, speaking through this commie pinko piece of dirt. Isn’t that special?

It wasn’t the Times which reported the issues about Svetlichnaya, it was the Norwegian daily Aftenposten. If the Times did anything, it repeated what Aftenposten reported. Not only has Aftenposten not issued a correction, Svetlichnaya’s threat to sue the paper has not materialized (in fact, it hasn’t even been reported that she’s obtained legal representation in Norway). Well, OK, if Zigfeld will not take the Sunday Times’ word for it, what will dislodge her idee fixe? La Truthophobe continued to hide behind the (Norwegian) libel laws, responding to one comment of mine with this non-sequiteur [sic]: ‘he says nothing about the status of Svetlichnaja’s alleged lawsuit against Aftenposten, which has seemingly not progressed’.

LR: Heartfield himself is admitting that what the Sunday Times did was totally meaningless in resolving the question of Svetlichnaya’s accuracy. So it seems that not EVERYTHING La Russophobe said was wrong after all, doesn’t it?

But when Aftenposten withdrew its original, defamatory statements against Julia Svetlichnaja, how does Zigfeld respond?

LR: A boldfaced lie. Aftenposten never used the word “withdraw” it used the word “clarification.” What can you expect from a Marxist other than cheap, pathetic propaganda. Aftenposten did not apologize to Svetlichnaya, nor did it pay her any damages, nor did it state that she is not an agent of the Kremlin. All it said was that it cannot conclusively prove she is, not at all surprising given the Kremlin’s ability to conceal evidence. After all, it’s run by a clan of proud KGB spies.

‘The situation between the Aftenposten newspaper and Julia Svetlichnaya (click here to read our numerous prior reports on Ms. S.) appears to have resolved itself in a draw.’ (Incidentally, you cannot read La Truthophobe’s numerous reports, because, like Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Zigfeld has rewritten history, taking down most of the posts quoted here.)

LR: Another boldfaced lie. All the posts are here, the same link which appeared in the original post. Moreover, at any time any reader can click the word “Svetlichnaya” in our sidebar and see all our posts about her, or put the word “svetlichnaya” into either of our two search engines. LR demands an apology from Heartfield for his slander of this blog. Hmmm . . . maybe we should hire an attorney . . .

More importantly, the “situation between Aftenposten and Julia Svetlichnaja” is nothing like a draw. The allegations that Aftenposten made against Julia Svetlichnaja have been withdrawn in full: Aftenposten clarifies that the newspaper has no basis for asserting that these claims are correct. Is there any ambiguity in those words? To a sane person, no. But Kim Zigfeld is not sane, writing.

LR: So now this ridiculous loser just starts repeating himself. EARTH TO COMMIE IDIOT: ALL AFTENPOSTEN HAS DONE IS SAY WHAT IT CAN’T PROVE. WE STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT THE ACTUAL FACTS ARE BECAUSE YOUR VICTIM SVETLICHNAYA WON’T ANSWER ANYBODY’S QUESTIONS.

It does not state that the central accusation made against Svetlichnaya was false. Rather, it merely states that it does not have the ability to independently verify that accusation Well, no, it says ‘has no basis for asserting that any of these claims are correct’. But in the Autocratic Republic of Truthophobia having no basis for saying something …only confirms that it must be true!

LR: We can’t prove God exists. Does that mean we’re not allowed to believe he does? Sure, in the eyes of this godless Marxist thug. OJ Simpson was acquitted by a jury. Does that mean nobody can believe he killed his ex-wife? If Svetlichnaya hired some goons to put a gun to the head of the Aftenposten editors or kidnap their children, would that mean we have to accept what they say? This kind of “you-can’t-disagree” attitude is exactly what inspired Stalin’s gulag archipelago. You can be sure that Heartfield would like nothing better than to chuck LR into one (and everyone else who doesn’t except his drumbeat of propaganda).

In the same way we have no basis for asserting that Kim Zigfeld abducted and murdered Madeleine McCann, so ‘the whole sordid business has been swept under the carpet’.

LR: Does anyone understand this gibberish?

Zigfeld goes on to complain that Svetlichnaja did not defend her claims in court, preferring to settle ‘behind the scenes’ – except that it was Aftenposten who asked to settle before the matter went to court, just as the Sunday Times did.

LR: Where’s the proof of this statement? How dare he make a claim of this kind without sourcing it? Is this what passes for “scholarship” in the world of Marxism today? Apparently so. Aftenposten did not say this in its press release. More important, EARTH TO MARXIST IDIOT: NO MATTER WHAT AFTENPOSTEN WANTED, SVETLICHNAYA COULD HAVE INSISTED ON A PUBLIC TRIAL. Why did she give them what they wanted? Could it be because she’s afraid of the truth? Why didn’t she force them to say what the Sunday Times said (without having any basis whatsoever to do so, because it had no facts and was merely republishing Aftenposten‘s story, an act for which is is virtually impossible to sue in the U.S., simply out of a fairly craven business desire to stop the lawsuit), that she was not in fact a Kremlin agent? Why didn’t she force them to apologize? AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, WHY DOESN’T SHE COME FORWARD WITH ACTUAL PROOF OF WHO SHE ACTUALLY IS?

So it is that at every turn, Zigfeld turns her face against the truth. When the Sunday Times withdraws, she turns to (that august institution) Aftenposten; and when they in turn withdraw, Zigfeld simply refuses to believe it. Anyway, there is no need to linger with the delusions of this congenital idiot. There could be no greater punishment for her sins than being La Russophobe.

LR: Note well that this piece of filth doesn’t even try to answer any of the questions LR asked in her post about Svetlichnaya, much less the others she’s asked previously — much less does he put her forward to answer them herself. He simply ignores all of them. He doesn’t even answer the one he himself knows about, how he hooked up with her and why she needs him.

Svetlichanya’s Psycho Svengali Lashes Out at La Russophobe

James Heartfield (pictured, is that one scary-looking weirdo or what?) the shadowy communist (he writes for marxist.com) who has been serving as Julia Svetlichnaya’s svengali throughout her sordid involvement in the Litvinenko affair, has lashed out at La Russophobe on his blog regarding her recent post about Aftenposten‘s reponse to Svetlichanya’s complaints about its alleged inaccurate reporting about her.

You will notice, gentle reader, two amazing facts about Heartfield’s crazy rant. First, he doesn’t even give this blog credit for having published in full both the statements of the Sunday Times and of Aftenposten in response to Svetlichnaya’s lawyer’s threats against them, yet he claims WE are afraid of the truth. If we were, wouldn’t we have simply ignored those statements, rather than publishing them for our thousands of weekly visitors to see? If he WASN’T, wouldn’t he accurately state the facts? Second, he does not provide ONE SINGLE SHRED of factual information about Svetlichnaya, much less does he even try to specifically answer ANY of the questions we’ve asked. Svetlichnaya herself, of course, keeps totally silent. We’ve said FROM THE BEGINNING that it’s possible Svetlichnaya is the unwitting pawn of forces she herself does not even fully understand, which is why it’s so important for her to come clean about how she got tied up with Litvinenko and why she came forward to speak about him only after he was murdered. Yet, she remains silent.

Before dealing with the “substance” of Heartfield’s bizarre, childish rant (looks like we really touched a nerve!), let’s pause a moment to reflect upon the breathtaking nature of his hypocrisy. Here is a weirdo who has spent his entire life so far outside the mainstream of human discourse that he might as well be a space alien. Yet, in this post he dares to attack LR for failing to accept what he views as established dogma, that Svetlichanya is totally innocent of any wrongdoing and is as pure as the driven snow where Litvinenko is concerned (and nobody’s hapless pawn either, he apparently believes) — in other words THIS GUY is attacking LR for being a contrarian??? Only where Russia is concerned do we see this kind of blatant, breathtaking hypocrisy.

Here’s what one blog says about Heartfield:

James was a militant of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Great Britain, to be distinguished from the American sect by its love of DDT, nuclear power and genetically modified crops rather than Mao’s Little Red Book. Taking some of Marx’s early writings in an extreme direction, the RCP propagandized for what amounted to better living through chemistry in their magazine LM.

And just for the record, let’s be clear: While Heartfield brags on his crazy blog about his appearances in obscure media outlets, LR is a far more significant force in in the blogosphere than this communist rat bastard. Heartfield’s crazy blog has 11 Technorati links. La Russophobe has 147. Search “James Heartfield” on Google and you get less than 25,000 hits. Search “La Russophobe” and you get nearly 90,000.

Here is his post in full (in black), with LR’s running commentary (in red):

The grumpy, Russia-hating blogger Kim Zigfeld (going by the unattractive name, La Russophobe) has been nagging on at me and Julia Svetlichnaja ever since the Telegraph published our interview with the murdered spy Alexander Litvinenko. Needless to say, everything that La Russophobe says is wrong, as one would expect of someone whose starting point is a blanket fear of all Russians.

LR: “Grumpy and unattractive”? Personal abuse? “EVERYTHING” LR says is wrong? Is that the way competent, responsible scholar who is in the right defends himself? Only in the la-la land inhabited by this crazed communist scumbag. Seems he’s definitely not one to lead by example, now is he?

La Truthophobe has been particularly exercised by the fact that Julia Svetlichnaja disputed the coverage of the two newspapers that slandered her, the Sunday Times and the Norwegian Aftenposten. ‘What about Julia’s threatened lawsuit?’, blogged Zigfeld, sarcastically. When the Sunday Times withdrew its allegations against Ms Svetlichnaja, La Truthophobe was not chastened, but even more self-righteous, dismissing the climbdown on these grounds:

LR: “Truthophobe”? We’ve been after the truth from day 1. We asked Julia a bunch of questions on the obscure and now defunct ZheZhe blog where she, bizarrely, chose to respond to the allegations against her, and she refused to answer them. From day 1, it’s been Julia who has been obstructing the truth, failing to answer questions and choosing instead to try to scare her opponents into silence with the blunt trauma of lawsuits. We still challenge Julia to sit down and answer our questions face to face, one-on-one, in front of a rolling video camera. If she satisfies us we’ll be glad to apologize and clear her name. If she crumbles like a house of cards, then the truth will be laid bare. But she’s still in hiding, speaking through this commie pinko piece of dirt. Isn’t that special?

It wasn’t the Times which reported the issues about Svetlichnaya, it was the Norwegian daily Aftenposten. If the Times did anything, it repeated what Aftenposten reported. Not only has Aftenposten not issued a correction, Svetlichnaya’s threat to sue the paper has not materialized (in fact, it hasn’t even been reported that she’s obtained legal representation in Norway). Well, OK, if Zigfeld will not take the Sunday Times’ word for it, what will dislodge her idee fixe? La Truthophobe continued to hide behind the (Norwegian) libel laws, responding to one comment of mine with this non-sequiteur [sic]: ‘he says nothing about the status of Svetlichnaja’s alleged lawsuit against Aftenposten, which has seemingly not progressed’.

LR: Heartfield himself is admitting that what the Sunday Times did was totally meaningless in resolving the question of Svetlichnaya’s accuracy. So it seems that not EVERYTHING La Russophobe said was wrong after all, doesn’t it?

But when Aftenposten withdrew its original, defamatory statements against Julia Svetlichnaja, how does Zigfeld respond?

LR: A boldfaced lie. Aftenposten never used the word “withdraw” it used the word “clarification.” What can you expect from a Marxist other than cheap, pathetic propaganda. Aftenposten did not apologize to Svetlichnaya, nor did it pay her any damages, nor did it state that she is not an agent of the Kremlin. All it said was that it cannot conclusively prove she is, not at all surprising given the Kremlin’s ability to conceal evidence. After all, it’s run by a clan of proud KGB spies.

‘The situation between the Aftenposten newspaper and Julia Svetlichnaya (click here to read our numerous prior reports on Ms. S.) appears to have resolved itself in a draw.’ (Incidentally, you cannot read La Truthophobe’s numerous reports, because, like Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Zigfeld has rewritten history, taking down most of the posts quoted here.)

LR: Another boldfaced lie. All the posts are here, the same link which appeared in the original post. Moreover, at any time any reader can click the word “Svetlichnaya” in our sidebar and see all our posts about her, or put the word “svetlichnaya” into either of our two search engines. LR demands an apology from Heartfield for his slander of this blog. Hmmm . . . maybe we should hire an attorney . . .

More importantly, the “situation between Aftenposten and Julia Svetlichnaja” is nothing like a draw. The allegations that Aftenposten made against Julia Svetlichnaja have been withdrawn in full: Aftenposten clarifies that the newspaper has no basis for asserting that these claims are correct. Is there any ambiguity in those words? To a sane person, no. But Kim Zigfeld is not sane, writing.

LR: So now this ridiculous loser just starts repeating himself. EARTH TO COMMIE IDIOT: ALL AFTENPOSTEN HAS DONE IS SAY WHAT IT CAN’T PROVE. WE STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT THE ACTUAL FACTS ARE BECAUSE YOUR VICTIM SVETLICHNAYA WON’T ANSWER ANYBODY’S QUESTIONS.

It does not state that the central accusation made against Svetlichnaya was false. Rather, it merely states that it does not have the ability to independently verify that accusation Well, no, it says ‘has no basis for asserting that any of these claims are correct’. But in the Autocratic Republic of Truthophobia having no basis for saying something …only confirms that it must be true!

LR: We can’t prove God exists. Does that mean we’re not allowed to believe he does? Sure, in the eyes of this godless Marxist thug. OJ Simpson was acquitted by a jury. Does that mean nobody can believe he killed his ex-wife? If Svetlichnaya hired some goons to put a gun to the head of the Aftenposten editors or kidnap their children, would that mean we have to accept what they say? This kind of “you-can’t-disagree” attitude is exactly what inspired Stalin’s gulag archipelago. You can be sure that Heartfield would like nothing better than to chuck LR into one (and everyone else who doesn’t except his drumbeat of propaganda).

In the same way we have no basis for asserting that Kim Zigfeld abducted and murdered Madeleine McCann, so ‘the whole sordid business has been swept under the carpet’.

LR: Does anyone understand this gibberish?

Zigfeld goes on to complain that Svetlichnaja did not defend her claims in court, preferring to settle ‘behind the scenes’ – except that it was Aftenposten who asked to settle before the matter went to court, just as the Sunday Times did.

LR: Where’s the proof of this statement? How dare he make a claim of this kind without sourcing it? Is this what passes for “scholarship” in the world of Marxism today? Apparently so. Aftenposten did not say this in its press release. More important, EARTH TO MARXIST IDIOT: NO MATTER WHAT AFTENPOSTEN WANTED, SVETLICHNAYA COULD HAVE INSISTED ON A PUBLIC TRIAL. Why did she give them what they wanted? Could it be because she’s afraid of the truth? Why didn’t she force them to say what the Sunday Times said (without having any basis whatsoever to do so, because it had no facts and was merely republishing Aftenposten‘s story, an act for which is is virtually impossible to sue in the U.S., simply out of a fairly craven business desire to stop the lawsuit), that she was not in fact a Kremlin agent? Why didn’t she force them to apologize? AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, WHY DOESN’T SHE COME FORWARD WITH ACTUAL PROOF OF WHO SHE ACTUALLY IS?

So it is that at every turn, Zigfeld turns her face against the truth. When the Sunday Times withdraws, she turns to (that august institution) Aftenposten; and when they in turn withdraw, Zigfeld simply refuses to believe it. Anyway, there is no need to linger with the delusions of this congenital idiot. There could be no greater punishment for her sins than being La Russophobe.

LR: Note well that this piece of filth doesn’t even try to answer any of the questions LR asked in her post about Svetlichnaya, much less the others she’s asked previously — much less does he put her forward to answer them herself. He simply ignores all of them. He doesn’t even answer the one he himself knows about, how he hooked up with her and why she needs him.

Svetlichanya’s Psycho Svengali Lashes Out at La Russophobe

James Heartfield (pictured, is that one scary-looking weirdo or what?) the shadowy communist (he writes for marxist.com) who has been serving as Julia Svetlichnaya’s svengali throughout her sordid involvement in the Litvinenko affair, has lashed out at La Russophobe on his blog regarding her recent post about Aftenposten‘s reponse to Svetlichanya’s complaints about its alleged inaccurate reporting about her.

You will notice, gentle reader, two amazing facts about Heartfield’s crazy rant. First, he doesn’t even give this blog credit for having published in full both the statements of the Sunday Times and of Aftenposten in response to Svetlichnaya’s lawyer’s threats against them, yet he claims WE are afraid of the truth. If we were, wouldn’t we have simply ignored those statements, rather than publishing them for our thousands of weekly visitors to see? If he WASN’T, wouldn’t he accurately state the facts? Second, he does not provide ONE SINGLE SHRED of factual information about Svetlichnaya, much less does he even try to specifically answer ANY of the questions we’ve asked. Svetlichnaya herself, of course, keeps totally silent. We’ve said FROM THE BEGINNING that it’s possible Svetlichnaya is the unwitting pawn of forces she herself does not even fully understand, which is why it’s so important for her to come clean about how she got tied up with Litvinenko and why she came forward to speak about him only after he was murdered. Yet, she remains silent.

Before dealing with the “substance” of Heartfield’s bizarre, childish rant (looks like we really touched a nerve!), let’s pause a moment to reflect upon the breathtaking nature of his hypocrisy. Here is a weirdo who has spent his entire life so far outside the mainstream of human discourse that he might as well be a space alien. Yet, in this post he dares to attack LR for failing to accept what he views as established dogma, that Svetlichanya is totally innocent of any wrongdoing and is as pure as the driven snow where Litvinenko is concerned (and nobody’s hapless pawn either, he apparently believes) — in other words THIS GUY is attacking LR for being a contrarian??? Only where Russia is concerned do we see this kind of blatant, breathtaking hypocrisy.

Here’s what one blog says about Heartfield:

James was a militant of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Great Britain, to be distinguished from the American sect by its love of DDT, nuclear power and genetically modified crops rather than Mao’s Little Red Book. Taking some of Marx’s early writings in an extreme direction, the RCP propagandized for what amounted to better living through chemistry in their magazine LM.

And just for the record, let’s be clear: While Heartfield brags on his crazy blog about his appearances in obscure media outlets, LR is a far more significant force in in the blogosphere than this communist rat bastard. Heartfield’s crazy blog has 11 Technorati links. La Russophobe has 147. Search “James Heartfield” on Google and you get less than 25,000 hits. Search “La Russophobe” and you get nearly 90,000.

Here is his post in full (in black), with LR’s running commentary (in red):

The grumpy, Russia-hating blogger Kim Zigfeld (going by the unattractive name, La Russophobe) has been nagging on at me and Julia Svetlichnaja ever since the Telegraph published our interview with the murdered spy Alexander Litvinenko. Needless to say, everything that La Russophobe says is wrong, as one would expect of someone whose starting point is a blanket fear of all Russians.

LR: “Grumpy and unattractive”? Personal abuse? “EVERYTHING” LR says is wrong? Is that the way competent, responsible scholar who is in the right defends himself? Only in the la-la land inhabited by this crazed communist scumbag. Seems he’s definitely not one to lead by example, now is he?

La Truthophobe has been particularly exercised by the fact that Julia Svetlichnaja disputed the coverage of the two newspapers that slandered her, the Sunday Times and the Norwegian Aftenposten. ‘What about Julia’s threatened lawsuit?’, blogged Zigfeld, sarcastically. When the Sunday Times withdrew its allegations against Ms Svetlichnaja, La Truthophobe was not chastened, but even more self-righteous, dismissing the climbdown on these grounds:

LR: “Truthophobe”? We’ve been after the truth from day 1. We asked Julia a bunch of questions on the obscure and now defunct ZheZhe blog where she, bizarrely, chose to respond to the allegations against her, and she refused to answer them. From day 1, it’s been Julia who has been obstructing the truth, failing to answer questions and choosing instead to try to scare her opponents into silence with the blunt trauma of lawsuits. We still challenge Julia to sit down and answer our questions face to face, one-on-one, in front of a rolling video camera. If she satisfies us we’ll be glad to apologize and clear her name. If she crumbles like a house of cards, then the truth will be laid bare. But she’s still in hiding, speaking through this commie pinko piece of dirt. Isn’t that special?

It wasn’t the Times which reported the issues about Svetlichnaya, it was the Norwegian daily Aftenposten. If the Times did anything, it repeated what Aftenposten reported. Not only has Aftenposten not issued a correction, Svetlichnaya’s threat to sue the paper has not materialized (in fact, it hasn’t even been reported that she’s obtained legal representation in Norway). Well, OK, if Zigfeld will not take the Sunday Times’ word for it, what will dislodge her idee fixe? La Truthophobe continued to hide behind the (Norwegian) libel laws, responding to one comment of mine with this non-sequiteur [sic]: ‘he says nothing about the status of Svetlichnaja’s alleged lawsuit against Aftenposten, which has seemingly not progressed’.

LR: Heartfield himself is admitting that what the Sunday Times did was totally meaningless in resolving the question of Svetlichnaya’s accuracy. So it seems that not EVERYTHING La Russophobe said was wrong after all, doesn’t it?

But when Aftenposten withdrew its original, defamatory statements against Julia Svetlichnaja, how does Zigfeld respond?

LR: A boldfaced lie. Aftenposten never used the word “withdraw” it used the word “clarification.” What can you expect from a Marxist other than cheap, pathetic propaganda. Aftenposten did not apologize to Svetlichnaya, nor did it pay her any damages, nor did it state that she is not an agent of the Kremlin. All it said was that it cannot conclusively prove she is, not at all surprising given the Kremlin’s ability to conceal evidence. After all, it’s run by a clan of proud KGB spies.

‘The situation between the Aftenposten newspaper and Julia Svetlichnaya (click here to read our numerous prior reports on Ms. S.) appears to have resolved itself in a draw.’ (Incidentally, you cannot read La Truthophobe’s numerous reports, because, like Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Zigfeld has rewritten history, taking down most of the posts quoted here.)

LR: Another boldfaced lie. All the posts are here, the same link which appeared in the original post. Moreover, at any time any reader can click the word “Svetlichnaya” in our sidebar and see all our posts about her, or put the word “svetlichnaya” into either of our two search engines. LR demands an apology from Heartfield for his slander of this blog. Hmmm . . . maybe we should hire an attorney . . .

More importantly, the “situation between Aftenposten and Julia Svetlichnaja” is nothing like a draw. The allegations that Aftenposten made against Julia Svetlichnaja have been withdrawn in full: Aftenposten clarifies that the newspaper has no basis for asserting that these claims are correct. Is there any ambiguity in those words? To a sane person, no. But Kim Zigfeld is not sane, writing.

LR: So now this ridiculous loser just starts repeating himself. EARTH TO COMMIE IDIOT: ALL AFTENPOSTEN HAS DONE IS SAY WHAT IT CAN’T PROVE. WE STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT THE ACTUAL FACTS ARE BECAUSE YOUR VICTIM SVETLICHNAYA WON’T ANSWER ANYBODY’S QUESTIONS.

It does not state that the central accusation made against Svetlichnaya was false. Rather, it merely states that it does not have the ability to independently verify that accusation Well, no, it says ‘has no basis for asserting that any of these claims are correct’. But in the Autocratic Republic of Truthophobia having no basis for saying something …only confirms that it must be true!

LR: We can’t prove God exists. Does that mean we’re not allowed to believe he does? Sure, in the eyes of this godless Marxist thug. OJ Simpson was acquitted by a jury. Does that mean nobody can believe he killed his ex-wife? If Svetlichnaya hired some goons to put a gun to the head of the Aftenposten editors or kidnap their children, would that mean we have to accept what they say? This kind of “you-can’t-disagree” attitude is exactly what inspired Stalin’s gulag archipelago. You can be sure that Heartfield would like nothing better than to chuck LR into one (and everyone else who doesn’t except his drumbeat of propaganda).

In the same way we have no basis for asserting that Kim Zigfeld abducted and murdered Madeleine McCann, so ‘the whole sordid business has been swept under the carpet’.

LR: Does anyone understand this gibberish?

Zigfeld goes on to complain that Svetlichnaja did not defend her claims in court, preferring to settle ‘behind the scenes’ – except that it was Aftenposten who asked to settle before the matter went to court, just as the Sunday Times did.

LR: Where’s the proof of this statement? How dare he make a claim of this kind without sourcing it? Is this what passes for “scholarship” in the world of Marxism today? Apparently so. Aftenposten did not say this in its press release. More important, EARTH TO MARXIST IDIOT: NO MATTER WHAT AFTENPOSTEN WANTED, SVETLICHNAYA COULD HAVE INSISTED ON A PUBLIC TRIAL. Why did she give them what they wanted? Could it be because she’s afraid of the truth? Why didn’t she force them to say what the Sunday Times said (without having any basis whatsoever to do so, because it had no facts and was merely republishing Aftenposten‘s story, an act for which is is virtually impossible to sue in the U.S., simply out of a fairly craven business desire to stop the lawsuit), that she was not in fact a Kremlin agent? Why didn’t she force them to apologize? AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, WHY DOESN’T SHE COME FORWARD WITH ACTUAL PROOF OF WHO SHE ACTUALLY IS?

So it is that at every turn, Zigfeld turns her face against the truth. When the Sunday Times withdraws, she turns to (that august institution) Aftenposten; and when they in turn withdraw, Zigfeld simply refuses to believe it. Anyway, there is no need to linger with the delusions of this congenital idiot. There could be no greater punishment for her sins than being La Russophobe.

LR: Note well that this piece of filth doesn’t even try to answer any of the questions LR asked in her post about Svetlichnaya, much less the others she’s asked previously — much less does he put her forward to answer them herself. He simply ignores all of them. He doesn’t even answer the one he himself knows about, how he hooked up with her and why she needs him.

Svetlichanya’s Psycho Svengali Lashes Out at La Russophobe

James Heartfield (pictured, is that one scary-looking weirdo or what?) the shadowy communist (he writes for marxist.com) who has been serving as Julia Svetlichnaya’s svengali throughout her sordid involvement in the Litvinenko affair, has lashed out at La Russophobe on his blog regarding her recent post about Aftenposten‘s reponse to Svetlichanya’s complaints about its alleged inaccurate reporting about her.

You will notice, gentle reader, two amazing facts about Heartfield’s crazy rant. First, he doesn’t even give this blog credit for having published in full both the statements of the Sunday Times and of Aftenposten in response to Svetlichnaya’s lawyer’s threats against them, yet he claims WE are afraid of the truth. If we were, wouldn’t we have simply ignored those statements, rather than publishing them for our thousands of weekly visitors to see? If he WASN’T, wouldn’t he accurately state the facts? Second, he does not provide ONE SINGLE SHRED of factual information about Svetlichnaya, much less does he even try to specifically answer ANY of the questions we’ve asked. Svetlichnaya herself, of course, keeps totally silent. We’ve said FROM THE BEGINNING that it’s possible Svetlichnaya is the unwitting pawn of forces she herself does not even fully understand, which is why it’s so important for her to come clean about how she got tied up with Litvinenko and why she came forward to speak about him only after he was murdered. Yet, she remains silent.

Before dealing with the “substance” of Heartfield’s bizarre, childish rant (looks like we really touched a nerve!), let’s pause a moment to reflect upon the breathtaking nature of his hypocrisy. Here is a weirdo who has spent his entire life so far outside the mainstream of human discourse that he might as well be a space alien. Yet, in this post he dares to attack LR for failing to accept what he views as established dogma, that Svetlichanya is totally innocent of any wrongdoing and is as pure as the driven snow where Litvinenko is concerned (and nobody’s hapless pawn either, he apparently believes) — in other words THIS GUY is attacking LR for being a contrarian??? Only where Russia is concerned do we see this kind of blatant, breathtaking hypocrisy.

Here’s what one blog says about Heartfield:

James was a militant of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Great Britain, to be distinguished from the American sect by its love of DDT, nuclear power and genetically modified crops rather than Mao’s Little Red Book. Taking some of Marx’s early writings in an extreme direction, the RCP propagandized for what amounted to better living through chemistry in their magazine LM.

And just for the record, let’s be clear: While Heartfield brags on his crazy blog about his appearances in obscure media outlets, LR is a far more significant force in in the blogosphere than this communist rat bastard. Heartfield’s crazy blog has 11 Technorati links. La Russophobe has 147. Search “James Heartfield” on Google and you get less than 25,000 hits. Search “La Russophobe” and you get nearly 90,000.

Here is his post in full (in black), with LR’s running commentary (in red):

The grumpy, Russia-hating blogger Kim Zigfeld (going by the unattractive name, La Russophobe) has been nagging on at me and Julia Svetlichnaja ever since the Telegraph published our interview with the murdered spy Alexander Litvinenko. Needless to say, everything that La Russophobe says is wrong, as one would expect of someone whose starting point is a blanket fear of all Russians.

LR: “Grumpy and unattractive”? Personal abuse? “EVERYTHING” LR says is wrong? Is that the way competent, responsible scholar who is in the right defends himself? Only in the la-la land inhabited by this crazed communist scumbag. Seems he’s definitely not one to lead by example, now is he?

La Truthophobe has been particularly exercised by the fact that Julia Svetlichnaja disputed the coverage of the two newspapers that slandered her, the Sunday Times and the Norwegian Aftenposten. ‘What about Julia’s threatened lawsuit?’, blogged Zigfeld, sarcastically. When the Sunday Times withdrew its allegations against Ms Svetlichnaja, La Truthophobe was not chastened, but even more self-righteous, dismissing the climbdown on these grounds:

LR: “Truthophobe”? We’ve been after the truth from day 1. We asked Julia a bunch of questions on the obscure and now defunct ZheZhe blog where she, bizarrely, chose to respond to the allegations against her, and she refused to answer them. From day 1, it’s been Julia who has been obstructing the truth, failing to answer questions and choosing instead to try to scare her opponents into silence with the blunt trauma of lawsuits. We still challenge Julia to sit down and answer our questions face to face, one-on-one, in front of a rolling video camera. If she satisfies us we’ll be glad to apologize and clear her name. If she crumbles like a house of cards, then the truth will be laid bare. But she’s still in hiding, speaking through this commie pinko piece of dirt. Isn’t that special?

It wasn’t the Times which reported the issues about Svetlichnaya, it was the Norwegian daily Aftenposten. If the Times did anything, it repeated what Aftenposten reported. Not only has Aftenposten not issued a correction, Svetlichnaya’s threat to sue the paper has not materialized (in fact, it hasn’t even been reported that she’s obtained legal representation in Norway). Well, OK, if Zigfeld will not take the Sunday Times’ word for it, what will dislodge her idee fixe? La Truthophobe continued to hide behind the (Norwegian) libel laws, responding to one comment of mine with this non-sequiteur [sic]: ‘he says nothing about the status of Svetlichnaja’s alleged lawsuit against Aftenposten, which has seemingly not progressed’.

LR: Heartfield himself is admitting that what the Sunday Times did was totally meaningless in resolving the question of Svetlichnaya’s accuracy. So it seems that not EVERYTHING La Russophobe said was wrong after all, doesn’t it?

But when Aftenposten withdrew its original, defamatory statements against Julia Svetlichnaja, how does Zigfeld respond?

LR: A boldfaced lie. Aftenposten never used the word “withdraw” it used the word “clarification.” What can you expect from a Marxist other than cheap, pathetic propaganda. Aftenposten did not apologize to Svetlichnaya, nor did it pay her any damages, nor did it state that she is not an agent of the Kremlin. All it said was that it cannot conclusively prove she is, not at all surprising given the Kremlin’s ability to conceal evidence. After all, it’s run by a clan of proud KGB spies.

‘The situation between the Aftenposten newspaper and Julia Svetlichnaya (click here to read our numerous prior reports on Ms. S.) appears to have resolved itself in a draw.’ (Incidentally, you cannot read La Truthophobe’s numerous reports, because, like Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Zigfeld has rewritten history, taking down most of the posts quoted here.)

LR: Another boldfaced lie. All the posts are here, the same link which appeared in the original post. Moreover, at any time any reader can click the word “Svetlichnaya” in our sidebar and see all our posts about her, or put the word “svetlichnaya” into either of our two search engines. LR demands an apology from Heartfield for his slander of this blog. Hmmm . . . maybe we should hire an attorney . . .

More importantly, the “situation between Aftenposten and Julia Svetlichnaja” is nothing like a draw. The allegations that Aftenposten made against Julia Svetlichnaja have been withdrawn in full: Aftenposten clarifies that the newspaper has no basis for asserting that these claims are correct. Is there any ambiguity in those words? To a sane person, no. But Kim Zigfeld is not sane, writing.

LR: So now this ridiculous loser just starts repeating himself. EARTH TO COMMIE IDIOT: ALL AFTENPOSTEN HAS DONE IS SAY WHAT IT CAN’T PROVE. WE STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT THE ACTUAL FACTS ARE BECAUSE YOUR VICTIM SVETLICHNAYA WON’T ANSWER ANYBODY’S QUESTIONS.

It does not state that the central accusation made against Svetlichnaya was false. Rather, it merely states that it does not have the ability to independently verify that accusation Well, no, it says ‘has no basis for asserting that any of these claims are correct’. But in the Autocratic Republic of Truthophobia having no basis for saying something …only confirms that it must be true!

LR: We can’t prove God exists. Does that mean we’re not allowed to believe he does? Sure, in the eyes of this godless Marxist thug. OJ Simpson was acquitted by a jury. Does that mean nobody can believe he killed his ex-wife? If Svetlichnaya hired some goons to put a gun to the head of the Aftenposten editors or kidnap their children, would that mean we have to accept what they say? This kind of “you-can’t-disagree” attitude is exactly what inspired Stalin’s gulag archipelago. You can be sure that Heartfield would like nothing better than to chuck LR into one (and everyone else who doesn’t except his drumbeat of propaganda).

In the same way we have no basis for asserting that Kim Zigfeld abducted and murdered Madeleine McCann, so ‘the whole sordid business has been swept under the carpet’.

LR: Does anyone understand this gibberish?

Zigfeld goes on to complain that Svetlichnaja did not defend her claims in court, preferring to settle ‘behind the scenes’ – except that it was Aftenposten who asked to settle before the matter went to court, just as the Sunday Times did.

LR: Where’s the proof of this statement? How dare he make a claim of this kind without sourcing it? Is this what passes for “scholarship” in the world of Marxism today? Apparently so. Aftenposten did not say this in its press release. More important, EARTH TO MARXIST IDIOT: NO MATTER WHAT AFTENPOSTEN WANTED, SVETLICHNAYA COULD HAVE INSISTED ON A PUBLIC TRIAL. Why did she give them what they wanted? Could it be because she’s afraid of the truth? Why didn’t she force them to say what the Sunday Times said (without having any basis whatsoever to do so, because it had no facts and was merely republishing Aftenposten‘s story, an act for which is is virtually impossible to sue in the U.S., simply out of a fairly craven business desire to stop the lawsuit), that she was not in fact a Kremlin agent? Why didn’t she force them to apologize? AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, WHY DOESN’T SHE COME FORWARD WITH ACTUAL PROOF OF WHO SHE ACTUALLY IS?

So it is that at every turn, Zigfeld turns her face against the truth. When the Sunday Times withdraws, she turns to (that august institution) Aftenposten; and when they in turn withdraw, Zigfeld simply refuses to believe it. Anyway, there is no need to linger with the delusions of this congenital idiot. There could be no greater punishment for her sins than being La Russophobe.

LR: Note well that this piece of filth doesn’t even try to answer any of the questions LR asked in her post about Svetlichnaya, much less the others she’s asked previously — much less does he put her forward to answer them herself. He simply ignores all of them. He doesn’t even answer the one he himself knows about, how he hooked up with her and why she needs him.

Svetlichanya’s Psycho Svengali Lashes Out at La Russophobe

James Heartfield (pictured, is that one scary-looking weirdo or what?) the shadowy communist (he writes for marxist.com) who has been serving as Julia Svetlichnaya’s svengali throughout her sordid involvement in the Litvinenko affair, has lashed out at La Russophobe on his blog regarding her recent post about Aftenposten‘s reponse to Svetlichanya’s complaints about its alleged inaccurate reporting about her.

You will notice, gentle reader, two amazing facts about Heartfield’s crazy rant. First, he doesn’t even give this blog credit for having published in full both the statements of the Sunday Times and of Aftenposten in response to Svetlichnaya’s lawyer’s threats against them, yet he claims WE are afraid of the truth. If we were, wouldn’t we have simply ignored those statements, rather than publishing them for our thousands of weekly visitors to see? If he WASN’T, wouldn’t he accurately state the facts? Second, he does not provide ONE SINGLE SHRED of factual information about Svetlichnaya, much less does he even try to specifically answer ANY of the questions we’ve asked. Svetlichnaya herself, of course, keeps totally silent. We’ve said FROM THE BEGINNING that it’s possible Svetlichnaya is the unwitting pawn of forces she herself does not even fully understand, which is why it’s so important for her to come clean about how she got tied up with Litvinenko and why she came forward to speak about him only after he was murdered. Yet, she remains silent.

Before dealing with the “substance” of Heartfield’s bizarre, childish rant (looks like we really touched a nerve!), let’s pause a moment to reflect upon the breathtaking nature of his hypocrisy. Here is a weirdo who has spent his entire life so far outside the mainstream of human discourse that he might as well be a space alien. Yet, in this post he dares to attack LR for failing to accept what he views as established dogma, that Svetlichanya is totally innocent of any wrongdoing and is as pure as the driven snow where Litvinenko is concerned (and nobody’s hapless pawn either, he apparently believes) — in other words THIS GUY is attacking LR for being a contrarian??? Only where Russia is concerned do we see this kind of blatant, breathtaking hypocrisy.

Here’s what one blog says about Heartfield:

James was a militant of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Great Britain, to be distinguished from the American sect by its love of DDT, nuclear power and genetically modified crops rather than Mao’s Little Red Book. Taking some of Marx’s early writings in an extreme direction, the RCP propagandized for what amounted to better living through chemistry in their magazine LM.

And just for the record, let’s be clear: While Heartfield brags on his crazy blog about his appearances in obscure media outlets, LR is a far more significant force in in the blogosphere than this communist rat bastard. Heartfield’s crazy blog has 11 Technorati links. La Russophobe has 147. Search “James Heartfield” on Google and you get less than 25,000 hits. Search “La Russophobe” and you get nearly 90,000.

Here is his post in full (in black), with LR’s running commentary (in red):

The grumpy, Russia-hating blogger Kim Zigfeld (going by the unattractive name, La Russophobe) has been nagging on at me and Julia Svetlichnaja ever since the Telegraph published our interview with the murdered spy Alexander Litvinenko. Needless to say, everything that La Russophobe says is wrong, as one would expect of someone whose starting point is a blanket fear of all Russians.

LR: “Grumpy and unattractive”? Personal abuse? “EVERYTHING” LR says is wrong? Is that the way competent, responsible scholar who is in the right defends himself? Only in the la-la land inhabited by this crazed communist scumbag. Seems he’s definitely not one to lead by example, now is he?

La Truthophobe has been particularly exercised by the fact that Julia Svetlichnaja disputed the coverage of the two newspapers that slandered her, the Sunday Times and the Norwegian Aftenposten. ‘What about Julia’s threatened lawsuit?’, blogged Zigfeld, sarcastically. When the Sunday Times withdrew its allegations against Ms Svetlichnaja, La Truthophobe was not chastened, but even more self-righteous, dismissing the climbdown on these grounds:

LR: “Truthophobe”? We’ve been after the truth from day 1. We asked Julia a bunch of questions on the obscure and now defunct ZheZhe blog where she, bizarrely, chose to respond to the allegations against her, and she refused to answer them. From day 1, it’s been Julia who has been obstructing the truth, failing to answer questions and choosing instead to try to scare her opponents into silence with the blunt trauma of lawsuits. We still challenge Julia to sit down and answer our questions face to face, one-on-one, in front of a rolling video camera. If she satisfies us we’ll be glad to apologize and clear her name. If she crumbles like a house of cards, then the truth will be laid bare. But she’s still in hiding, speaking through this commie pinko piece of dirt. Isn’t that special?

It wasn’t the Times which reported the issues about Svetlichnaya, it was the Norwegian daily Aftenposten. If the Times did anything, it repeated what Aftenposten reported. Not only has Aftenposten not issued a correction, Svetlichnaya’s threat to sue the paper has not materialized (in fact, it hasn’t even been reported that she’s obtained legal representation in Norway). Well, OK, if Zigfeld will not take the Sunday Times’ word for it, what will dislodge her idee fixe? La Truthophobe continued to hide behind the (Norwegian) libel laws, responding to one comment of mine with this non-sequiteur [sic]: ‘he says nothing about the status of Svetlichnaja’s alleged lawsuit against Aftenposten, which has seemingly not progressed’.

LR: Heartfield himself is admitting that what the Sunday Times did was totally meaningless in resolving the question of Svetlichnaya’s accuracy. So it seems that not EVERYTHING La Russophobe said was wrong after all, doesn’t it?

But when Aftenposten withdrew its original, defamatory statements against Julia Svetlichnaja, how does Zigfeld respond?

LR: A boldfaced lie. Aftenposten never used the word “withdraw” it used the word “clarification.” What can you expect from a Marxist other than cheap, pathetic propaganda. Aftenposten did not apologize to Svetlichnaya, nor did it pay her any damages, nor did it state that she is not an agent of the Kremlin. All it said was that it cannot conclusively prove she is, not at all surprising given the Kremlin’s ability to conceal evidence. After all, it’s run by a clan of proud KGB spies.

‘The situation between the Aftenposten newspaper and Julia Svetlichnaya (click here to read our numerous prior reports on Ms. S.) appears to have resolved itself in a draw.’ (Incidentally, you cannot read La Truthophobe’s numerous reports, because, like Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Zigfeld has rewritten history, taking down most of the posts quoted here.)

LR: Another boldfaced lie. All the posts are here, the same link which appeared in the original post. Moreover, at any time any reader can click the word “Svetlichnaya” in our sidebar and see all our posts about her, or put the word “svetlichnaya” into either of our two search engines. LR demands an apology from Heartfield for his slander of this blog. Hmmm . . . maybe we should hire an attorney . . .

More importantly, the “situation between Aftenposten and Julia Svetlichnaja” is nothing like a draw. The allegations that Aftenposten made against Julia Svetlichnaja have been withdrawn in full: Aftenposten clarifies that the newspaper has no basis for asserting that these claims are correct. Is there any ambiguity in those words? To a sane person, no. But Kim Zigfeld is not sane, writing.

LR: So now this ridiculous loser just starts repeating himself. EARTH TO COMMIE IDIOT: ALL AFTENPOSTEN HAS DONE IS SAY WHAT IT CAN’T PROVE. WE STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT THE ACTUAL FACTS ARE BECAUSE YOUR VICTIM SVETLICHNAYA WON’T ANSWER ANYBODY’S QUESTIONS.

It does not state that the central accusation made against Svetlichnaya was false. Rather, it merely states that it does not have the ability to independently verify that accusation Well, no, it says ‘has no basis for asserting that any of these claims are correct’. But in the Autocratic Republic of Truthophobia having no basis for saying something …only confirms that it must be true!

LR: We can’t prove God exists. Does that mean we’re not allowed to believe he does? Sure, in the eyes of this godless Marxist thug. OJ Simpson was acquitted by a jury. Does that mean nobody can believe he killed his ex-wife? If Svetlichnaya hired some goons to put a gun to the head of the Aftenposten editors or kidnap their children, would that mean we have to accept what they say? This kind of “you-can’t-disagree” attitude is exactly what inspired Stalin’s gulag archipelago. You can be sure that Heartfield would like nothing better than to chuck LR into one (and everyone else who doesn’t except his drumbeat of propaganda).

In the same way we have no basis for asserting that Kim Zigfeld abducted and murdered Madeleine McCann, so ‘the whole sordid business has been swept under the carpet’.

LR: Does anyone understand this gibberish?

Zigfeld goes on to complain that Svetlichnaja did not defend her claims in court, preferring to settle ‘behind the scenes’ – except that it was Aftenposten who asked to settle before the matter went to court, just as the Sunday Times did.

LR: Where’s the proof of this statement? How dare he make a claim of this kind without sourcing it? Is this what passes for “scholarship” in the world of Marxism today? Apparently so. Aftenposten did not say this in its press release. More important, EARTH TO MARXIST IDIOT: NO MATTER WHAT AFTENPOSTEN WANTED, SVETLICHNAYA COULD HAVE INSISTED ON A PUBLIC TRIAL. Why did she give them what they wanted? Could it be because she’s afraid of the truth? Why didn’t she force them to say what the Sunday Times said (without having any basis whatsoever to do so, because it had no facts and was merely republishing Aftenposten‘s story, an act for which is is virtually impossible to sue in the U.S., simply out of a fairly craven business desire to stop the lawsuit), that she was not in fact a Kremlin agent? Why didn’t she force them to apologize? AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, WHY DOESN’T SHE COME FORWARD WITH ACTUAL PROOF OF WHO SHE ACTUALLY IS?

So it is that at every turn, Zigfeld turns her face against the truth. When the Sunday Times withdraws, she turns to (that august institution) Aftenposten; and when they in turn withdraw, Zigfeld simply refuses to believe it. Anyway, there is no need to linger with the delusions of this congenital idiot. There could be no greater punishment for her sins than being La Russophobe.

LR: Note well that this piece of filth doesn’t even try to answer any of the questions LR asked in her post about Svetlichnaya, much less the others she’s asked previously — much less does he put her forward to answer them herself. He simply ignores all of them. He doesn’t even answer the one he himself knows about, how he hooked up with her and why she needs him.

Annals of Svetlichnaya

The situation between the Aftenposten newspaper and Julia Svetlichnaya (click here to read our numerous prior reports on Ms. S.) appears to have resolved itself in a draw. On September 6th the paper published the following announcement:

Svetlichnaja and Litvinenko: Clarifications

In connection with the death of Alexander Litvinenko in London last year, Aftenposten reported on statements made by Russian-born doctoral student Julia Svetlichnaja of the University of Westminster in London. She had reported in the British media on her several meetings with Litvinenko including claims that he told her he planned to extort money from leading Russian businessmen. Aftenposten cited unnamed Russian experts who in turn claimed that Julia Svetlichnaja had been assigned by the Russian authorities to discredit Mr Litvinenko. Aftenposten clarifies that the newspaper has no basis for asserting that these claims are correct.

In reference to its front-page summary of the story on 9 December 2006 and an article published in Aftenposten’s online English-language news service on 11 December, Aftenposten also clarifies that it was not Julia Svetlichnaja who tried to prevent Aftenposten’s correspondent from asking questions at a press conference held in London. Aftenposten clarifies that their correspondent’s questions were answered in full by Julia Svetlichnaja at the press conference. Aftenposten also clarifies that the headline on their report of the conference “Litvinenko’s Accuser Turns Her Fury on Aftenposten” was incorrect.

Aftenposten’s online English-language news service also noted in its article that British media had linked the website of Russian Investors which featured Ms Svetlichnaja’s name to the Russian state. The company is registered as privately owned. Ms Svetlichnaja had in fact formerly worked for a British services company which had designed a website for Russian Investors in 2005.

In March of this year, a court in London granted Ms Svetlichnaja compensation from The Sunday Times for an article published 10 December last year. The newspaper had suggested that she may have taken part in a Kremlin effort to discredit Litvinenko. The Sunday Times was also ordered to withdraw its report, and apologize in open court and pay to Ms Svetlichnaja substantial undisclosed damages.

So Aftenposten does not apologize to Svetlichnaya, much less pay her any damages, nor does it even issue a “correction” much less a “retraction.” All it does is “clarify” certain points of the story. It does not state that the central accusation made against Svetlichnaya (that she was acting in the interests of the Kremlin, and for political reasons, to discredit Alexander Litvinenko when she spoke to the British press to him after his demise) was false. Rather, it merely states that it does not have the ability to independently verify that accusation (hardly surprising, given that the Kremlin is ruled by a proud KGB spy trained to hide such evidence, a spy who could easily have intimidated the witnesses into silence), and admits that it too-aggressively characterized Svetlichnaya’s personal efforts to obstruct their investigation (the efforts, it seems, came mostly from her entourage, which includes an avowed Marxist who uses a pseudonym). It says that the Russian firm Svetlichnaya previously worked for “is registered as privately owned” — but anyone with half a brain knows that the Kremlin controls plenty of businesses that are so registered, so this says nothing about the extent of her connections to the Russian government or the murky figure Alexei Golubovich.

To date, as far as we know, Svetlichnaya has still not sat down for an aggressive interview with any significant journalist to defend herself on the merits against the charges that have been made against her (for instance, [1] the fact that her name was suddenly removed from the Russian firm’s website, as reported by the Komisar Scoop (which also reported that Litvinenko was investigating Golubovich, Svetlichnaya’s employer) or [2] the fact that, whilst claiming not to be a supporter of the Kremlin, no record of Kremlin-critical statements has been produced, or the fact that [3] no explanation has yet been given for how Svetlichnaya contacted Litvinenko or began to work with him when such work has no apparent relations whatsoever to her doctoral research). There has been much discussion about what Aftenposten can and cannot prove, but virtually none about what Svetlichnaya can and cannot prove concerning her accusations smearing Alexander Litvinenko — allegations which she oh-so conveniently waited until he was dead to make, hence unable to defend himself, allegations which Litvinenko’s wife has repudiated. We challenge Svetlichnaya to come out from behind her lawyers and face the music in the court of public opinion, as she should have done long ago.

More important, Svetlichnaya could have gone to a court of law. She could have insisted on it. Once there, she could have laid out all her evidence before a jury, and allowed the newspapers to do likewise, and allowed the court to make a formal finding as to exactly who she is and what she was up to when she spoke about Litvinenko. Instead, she apparently opted for murky settlements behind closed doors. Granted, the newspapers involved could have insisted on a court battle as well, but corporate businesses very rarely take stands based on principle when they can avoid it, it’s just good business. The Sunday Times settled with Svetlichnaya simply because it wasn’t their story and they could not treat it as if it were, and because Britain has rather draconian libel laws that err on the side of the subject rather than on the side of the press, as American law does. It was Aftenposten‘s story, and as shown above the paper is largely standing behind it, with the very limited “clarification” stated, which Svetlichnaya has apparently accepted as an end to the matter rather than proceeding in a Norwegian court. The net result is that the whole sordid business has now been swept under the carpet, and we may never get the full story from Svetlichnaya.

Interestingly, that’s exactly how the Kremlin would have wanted it.

Update on Svetlichnaya

The Times of London has issued the following statement on their reporting about Julia Svetlichnaya:

Correction: Julia Svetlichnaja Our report on the investigation into the death of Alexander Litvinenko (“Kremlin wants to quiz exiles”, December 10) referred to reports that Julia Svetlichnaja, a researcher at the centre for the Study of Democracy at Westminster University, may have been part of a Kremlin-orchestrated campaign to discredit Mr Litvinenko and said it was believed that she had previously worked for a state-owned Russian company. We are happy to make it clear that Ms Svetlichnaja has never worked for a state-owned Russian company and we accept that she was not part of any Kremlin-inspired campaign to discredit Mr Litvinenko.

This does far more to muddy the waters than to clear them. Here are the four reasons why:

First of all, the article cited by the Times makes no reference to Svetlichnaya as it currently appears on the Times website. So what was actually said about her by the Times remains unclear.

Second, it wasn’t the Times which reported the issues about Svetlichnaya, it was the Norwegian daily Aftenposten. If the Times did anything, it repeated what Aftenposten reported. Not only has Aftenposten not issued a correction, Svetlichnaya’s threat to sue the paper has not materialized (in fact, it hasn’t even been reported that she’s obtained legal representation in Norway).

Third, the Times is just saying that it can’t prove her denials of Kremlin affiliation are false, so it “accepts” her word that there are none. There’s a big, big difference between that and the Times concluding she has no such affiliations. To begin with, the issue isn’t whether Svetlichnaya ever worked for a “state-owned” Russian firm, it’s whether she ever worked for a firm that was controlled by the Kremlin or one of its sycophant oligarchs. Svetlichnaya has done nothing to establish who owned the companies she worked for. Moreover, it’s perfectly possible that Svetlichnaya was nothing more than a patsy, an unknowing pawn being manipulated by a Kremlin-connected Svengali. In that case, it could be perfectly true that she herself is unaware of her own connections to the Kremlin. That wouldn’t mean she’s not their agent.

Fourth, Svetlichnaya has still not come forward to publish the e-mails and tape recordings of Litvinenko that she claims she has. She still has not explained how she got in touch with him or why (it has nothing to do with her dissertation work), nor has she explained why she needs to work with the Marxist extremist James Heartfield or what her relationship is with him. She’s claimed to have been no friend of the Kremlin in the past, but hasn’t documented any published statements critical of it, and she hasn’t explained who is paying for her education and her lawyer (these are just some of the critical questions she has left hanging, her story is chock-a-block with inconsistencies that need attention).

Now let’s be clear: Nobody in the world would be better pleased than LR to learn that Svetlichnaya can’t be counted among the Kremlin’s henchmen. They’ve got more than enough as it is. If she’s simply a ham-handed young lady who’s ended up unintentionally giving aid and comfort to the Kremlin’s anti-democratic forces in their hour of need, that’s the best-case scenario we can imagine. But she’s done virtually nothing to help clear up the confusion, and that can only cast the shadow of doubt upon her.

Litvinenko’s Widow on Julia Svetlichnaya

When last we heard, Julia Svetlichnaya was threatening to sue the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten and the British newspaper Times of London for reporting that she had undisclosed connnections to the Kremlin which could draw her credibility into question when she claimed that Alexander Litvinenko was a blackmailer and a crazy person.

Has anybody heard of Julia actually filing suit, or taking any further action against either paper? Has she made any further public comment of any kind? It seems this has not occurred. For sure, she’s ignored all the questions that La Russophobe asked her on the ZheZhe blog.

First we learned that Julia’s associate James Heartfield was a communist extremist, then the BBC aired two different documentaries showing Litvinenko for who he really was, images totally at odds with what Julia wrote, and now blogger David McDuff offers the following comments from Litvinenko’s widow about Ms. Svetlichnaya and her story:

What theory are you inclined to believe? Was it revenge for something in the past, or was it related to something he’d got mixed up in more recently? There was even a story in the press that he’d helped to make a “dirty bomb”, either for the Chechens or for Al Qaeda.

‘Well, it was dreadful when those insinuations began, when Yulia Svetlichnaya made those statements – I saw her at our house. Sasha invited her once, because she was writing a book. When she began to say that Sasha bombarded her with email messages – I mean, Sasha distributed messages to all his friends, sent them to hundreds of addresses. He believed that if you possessed information, you should share it, especially if it was something someone had written about Russia. And if you didn’t like it, then you could simply delete it, or start blocking it. But that statement, that interview about how he might have sold information and blackmailed businessmen, the FSB – that was totally absurd, it went against everything Sasha had ever done. Perhaps that was the real trouble – he was always open and frank. At the press conference he sat with his face uncovered, he didn’t wear dark glasses or a mask. If he wrote articles, he signed them with his own name, even if he didn’t need to. It was all on public record. As they once said, the system doesn’t forgive – and they will reach and punish anyone, in order to teach a lesson to others who might take it into their heads to speak openly. Anya Politkovskaya…. that was also a lesson, that it’s forbidden to write like that. Sasha was never a spy, he never sold out any interests. He was a regular employee of the FSB, with secrets of a completely different kind.”

Litvinenko’s Widow on Julia Svetlichnaya

When last we heard, Julia Svetlichnaya was threatening to sue the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten and the British newspaper Times of London for reporting that she had undisclosed connnections to the Kremlin which could draw her credibility into question when she claimed that Alexander Litvinenko was a blackmailer and a crazy person.

Has anybody heard of Julia actually filing suit, or taking any further action against either paper? Has she made any further public comment of any kind? It seems this has not occurred. For sure, she’s ignored all the questions that La Russophobe asked her on the ZheZhe blog.

First we learned that Julia’s associate James Heartfield was a communist extremist, then the BBC aired two different documentaries showing Litvinenko for who he really was, images totally at odds with what Julia wrote, and now blogger David McDuff offers the following comments from Litvinenko’s widow about Ms. Svetlichnaya and her story:

What theory are you inclined to believe? Was it revenge for something in the past, or was it related to something he’d got mixed up in more recently? There was even a story in the press that he’d helped to make a “dirty bomb”, either for the Chechens or for Al Qaeda.

‘Well, it was dreadful when those insinuations began, when Yulia Svetlichnaya made those statements – I saw her at our house. Sasha invited her once, because she was writing a book. When she began to say that Sasha bombarded her with email messages – I mean, Sasha distributed messages to all his friends, sent them to hundreds of addresses. He believed that if you possessed information, you should share it, especially if it was something someone had written about Russia. And if you didn’t like it, then you could simply delete it, or start blocking it. But that statement, that interview about how he might have sold information and blackmailed businessmen, the FSB – that was totally absurd, it went against everything Sasha had ever done. Perhaps that was the real trouble – he was always open and frank. At the press conference he sat with his face uncovered, he didn’t wear dark glasses or a mask. If he wrote articles, he signed them with his own name, even if he didn’t need to. It was all on public record. As they once said, the system doesn’t forgive – and they will reach and punish anyone, in order to teach a lesson to others who might take it into their heads to speak openly. Anya Politkovskaya…. that was also a lesson, that it’s forbidden to write like that. Sasha was never a spy, he never sold out any interests. He was a regular employee of the FSB, with secrets of a completely different kind.”

Litvinenko’s Widow on Julia Svetlichnaya

When last we heard, Julia Svetlichnaya was threatening to sue the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten and the British newspaper Times of London for reporting that she had undisclosed connnections to the Kremlin which could draw her credibility into question when she claimed that Alexander Litvinenko was a blackmailer and a crazy person.

Has anybody heard of Julia actually filing suit, or taking any further action against either paper? Has she made any further public comment of any kind? It seems this has not occurred. For sure, she’s ignored all the questions that La Russophobe asked her on the ZheZhe blog.

First we learned that Julia’s associate James Heartfield was a communist extremist, then the BBC aired two different documentaries showing Litvinenko for who he really was, images totally at odds with what Julia wrote, and now blogger David McDuff offers the following comments from Litvinenko’s widow about Ms. Svetlichnaya and her story:

What theory are you inclined to believe? Was it revenge for something in the past, or was it related to something he’d got mixed up in more recently? There was even a story in the press that he’d helped to make a “dirty bomb”, either for the Chechens or for Al Qaeda.

‘Well, it was dreadful when those insinuations began, when Yulia Svetlichnaya made those statements – I saw her at our house. Sasha invited her once, because she was writing a book. When she began to say that Sasha bombarded her with email messages – I mean, Sasha distributed messages to all his friends, sent them to hundreds of addresses. He believed that if you possessed information, you should share it, especially if it was something someone had written about Russia. And if you didn’t like it, then you could simply delete it, or start blocking it. But that statement, that interview about how he might have sold information and blackmailed businessmen, the FSB – that was totally absurd, it went against everything Sasha had ever done. Perhaps that was the real trouble – he was always open and frank. At the press conference he sat with his face uncovered, he didn’t wear dark glasses or a mask. If he wrote articles, he signed them with his own name, even if he didn’t need to. It was all on public record. As they once said, the system doesn’t forgive – and they will reach and punish anyone, in order to teach a lesson to others who might take it into their heads to speak openly. Anya Politkovskaya…. that was also a lesson, that it’s forbidden to write like that. Sasha was never a spy, he never sold out any interests. He was a regular employee of the FSB, with secrets of a completely different kind.”

Litvinenko’s Widow on Julia Svetlichnaya

When last we heard, Julia Svetlichnaya was threatening to sue the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten and the British newspaper Times of London for reporting that she had undisclosed connnections to the Kremlin which could draw her credibility into question when she claimed that Alexander Litvinenko was a blackmailer and a crazy person.

Has anybody heard of Julia actually filing suit, or taking any further action against either paper? Has she made any further public comment of any kind? It seems this has not occurred. For sure, she’s ignored all the questions that La Russophobe asked her on the ZheZhe blog.

First we learned that Julia’s associate James Heartfield was a communist extremist, then the BBC aired two different documentaries showing Litvinenko for who he really was, images totally at odds with what Julia wrote, and now blogger David McDuff offers the following comments from Litvinenko’s widow about Ms. Svetlichnaya and her story:

What theory are you inclined to believe? Was it revenge for something in the past, or was it related to something he’d got mixed up in more recently? There was even a story in the press that he’d helped to make a “dirty bomb”, either for the Chechens or for Al Qaeda.

‘Well, it was dreadful when those insinuations began, when Yulia Svetlichnaya made those statements – I saw her at our house. Sasha invited her once, because she was writing a book. When she began to say that Sasha bombarded her with email messages – I mean, Sasha distributed messages to all his friends, sent them to hundreds of addresses. He believed that if you possessed information, you should share it, especially if it was something someone had written about Russia. And if you didn’t like it, then you could simply delete it, or start blocking it. But that statement, that interview about how he might have sold information and blackmailed businessmen, the FSB – that was totally absurd, it went against everything Sasha had ever done. Perhaps that was the real trouble – he was always open and frank. At the press conference he sat with his face uncovered, he didn’t wear dark glasses or a mask. If he wrote articles, he signed them with his own name, even if he didn’t need to. It was all on public record. As they once said, the system doesn’t forgive – and they will reach and punish anyone, in order to teach a lesson to others who might take it into their heads to speak openly. Anya Politkovskaya…. that was also a lesson, that it’s forbidden to write like that. Sasha was never a spy, he never sold out any interests. He was a regular employee of the FSB, with secrets of a completely different kind.”

Litvinenko’s Widow on Julia Svetlichnaya

When last we heard, Julia Svetlichnaya was threatening to sue the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten and the British newspaper Times of London for reporting that she had undisclosed connnections to the Kremlin which could draw her credibility into question when she claimed that Alexander Litvinenko was a blackmailer and a crazy person.

Has anybody heard of Julia actually filing suit, or taking any further action against either paper? Has she made any further public comment of any kind? It seems this has not occurred. For sure, she’s ignored all the questions that La Russophobe asked her on the ZheZhe blog.

First we learned that Julia’s associate James Heartfield was a communist extremist, then the BBC aired two different documentaries showing Litvinenko for who he really was, images totally at odds with what Julia wrote, and now blogger David McDuff offers the following comments from Litvinenko’s widow about Ms. Svetlichnaya and her story:

What theory are you inclined to believe? Was it revenge for something in the past, or was it related to something he’d got mixed up in more recently? There was even a story in the press that he’d helped to make a “dirty bomb”, either for the Chechens or for Al Qaeda.

‘Well, it was dreadful when those insinuations began, when Yulia Svetlichnaya made those statements – I saw her at our house. Sasha invited her once, because she was writing a book. When she began to say that Sasha bombarded her with email messages – I mean, Sasha distributed messages to all his friends, sent them to hundreds of addresses. He believed that if you possessed information, you should share it, especially if it was something someone had written about Russia. And if you didn’t like it, then you could simply delete it, or start blocking it. But that statement, that interview about how he might have sold information and blackmailed businessmen, the FSB – that was totally absurd, it went against everything Sasha had ever done. Perhaps that was the real trouble – he was always open and frank. At the press conference he sat with his face uncovered, he didn’t wear dark glasses or a mask. If he wrote articles, he signed them with his own name, even if he didn’t need to. It was all on public record. As they once said, the system doesn’t forgive – and they will reach and punish anyone, in order to teach a lesson to others who might take it into their heads to speak openly. Anya Politkovskaya…. that was also a lesson, that it’s forbidden to write like that. Sasha was never a spy, he never sold out any interests. He was a regular employee of the FSB, with secrets of a completely different kind.”

Update on Svetlichnaya-Heartfield

Letters, we get letters, we get lots of cards and letters every day!

When last we heard, little miss Julia Svetlichnaya was planning to sue Aftenposten and the Sunday Times for reporting that she had connections to the Kremlin which might have caused her to shade the truth when she reported that Alexander Litvinenko was a corrupt wacko (only after his demise, when he couldn’t defend himself) in the British paper The Observer. As you may recall, her collaborator in the nasty business of smearing Litvinenko was one James Heartfield, whom we had identified as a wacky Marxist with a shadowy past. Turns out, the fellow is even more far out then we imagined. A reader writes with some additional details:

On the subject of James Heartfield, I looked at the sourcewatch link, and what caught my eye was the Living Marxism reference. But first I looked at his membership of the (British) Revolutionary Communist Party and saw the claim that he actually co-authored their manifesto! Well, to see what kind of Party they were, you can look at the quote below from the website of an ordinary regular leftie who was once a member of them:

……I attended a London-wide planning meeting at which the RCP’s attitude towards the crisis in the Middle East was worked out on the basis of a thirty minute presentation, ‘what is the rest of the left not saying?’ It’s hard now to convey the oddity of that experience. For the RCP then claimed some 500 members (and would peak two years later at over 1000). To calculate the errors of the entire British left meant taking into consideration not just Labour, and the larger Marxist parties (Militant and the SWP), but even the smallest of the sects (Socialist Organiser, Workers Vanguard, Workers Hammer): the views of each of these group had to be considered before an RCP line could be drawn…..

It really makes me wonder how he became the almost mainstream journalist and writer that he now is. Anyway, on the subject of the Living Marxism magazine, I happen to remember the fact that they went bankrupt after losing a libel case brought against them by British news agency ITN. This was because the magazine falsely claimed that ITN had fabricated evidence to make a television programme about concentration camps in Bosnia in 1992. I understand that the programme was instrumental in pursuading NATO to attack Serbia in 1995.

The reader suggests the Guardian’s March 15, 2000 report “Poison in the Well of History” for further fascinating details.

Meanwhile, what about Julia’s threatened lawsuit? Suddenly, she seems to have gotten very quiet. Hmmm, wonder what that means . . . it’s either the calm before the storm or the hiding after the fraud.

Pasko on Golubovich

Writing on Robert Amsterdam’s blog, Russian hero journalist Grigory Pasko discusses the Kremlin’s attempt to pin the blame for the Litvinenko killing on YUKOS and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Apropos of Julia Svetlichnaya, recall her connection to Alexey Golubovich via the Russian Investors firm. Khodorkovsky went to jail while Golubovich didn’t, then suddenly he’s the employer of the young lady who attacks Litvinenko as a fraud, and the next thing you know he’s implicating Khodorkovsky in Litvinenko’s killing. Granted, it’s a small contradiction to one minute say that Litvinenko is a rat who deserved killing and the next that the Kremlin must prosecute his evil killer, but small contradictions rarely intimidate the mighty Kremlin.

It seems that Russia’s procuracy has decided to start the New Year off with a bang, a flurry of hyperactivity to demonstrate its loyalty to “tsar and country” in the matter of destroying whatever is still left of YUKOS. Nearly every day sees a torrent of news flashes from the frontlines in the battle with the remnants of the oil company and personally with its former managers. And the news keeps getting more and more ridiculous.

The first news: Antonio Valdes-Garcia, one of the “figurants” in the “YUKOS case”, has escaped from an apartment where he was being kept under guard. He was promptly placed on a wanted list. And it was hinted that certain accomplices of Khodorkovsky’s may have had something to do with his escape. Any sane and sensible person understands that it’s practically impossible to escape from an apartment that’s under guard just like that, simply by lulling the guards into lowering their vigilance. Surely it was the law-enforcement workers themselves who set up the escape, in order to find at least some grounds for the latest accusation against “Khodorkovsky’s confederates” who supposedly remain at large and in hiding from the punishment they so richly deserve.

The second news also concerns “confederates”. Indeed, here we even hear the name of a confederate – Nevzlin.

And so, four citizens of Israel who have unexpectedly found themselves in the role of hostages in a Moscow jail and whom Russia refuses to send back to Israel to serve out the remainder of their sentences were recently informed that instead of Israel, the plan is now to transfer them to a prison located 12 hours by car from Moscow. It is noteworthy that after the four Israelis were convicted, the article of the charges under which they had ended up in jail was struck out of the Criminal Code of the RF.

The families of the convicts have every reason to believe that their relatives have become the victims of Putin’s vengeance, provoked by Israel’s refusal to extradite the oligarch Leonid Nevzlin – yet another sworn enemy of Vladimir Putin.

golubovich.jpg
Alexei Golubovich / Photo from http://www.newsru.com

Here’s some more news: The first interrogations have begun of former YUKOS Director for Strategic Planning and Corporate Finances Alexey Golubovich. It is known that Golubovich, who returned to Russia, is “voluntarily and actively” cooperating with the investigation in the YUKOS case. (I personally have my doubts about just how voluntary the actions of the returnee can be: most likely what took place was ordinary blackmail – you give us dirt and we’ll give you freedom. We might even let you live.)

We also know the reaction of Platon Lebedev’s lawyer Vladimir Krasnov to Golubovich’s “voluntary” testimony: “In his public appearance, Mr. Golubovich, in part, declared that there was no way Khodorkovsky could not have known what Leonid Nevzlin was ‘up to’. It would seem that his testimony to the investigation will be in that same tone.”

What is most interesting – and I’m sure the lawyers in the YUKOS case understand this – is that even such a low quality of testimony and evidence (or rather, the total absence of either, to be more precise) will be just fine for the court in the next trial of the oil company executives.

Need we mention that the returnee Golubovich, as the newspapers are writing, has promised to declare for the record to the investigation that a threat to his life is emanating from YUKOS shareholder Leonid Nevzlin?

Time to sum up. The new burst of activity by the procuracy in the “YUKOS case” is aimed not only at Khodorkovsky – who, legally speaking, has the right to count on early release on parole as early as next year – but also at Nevzlin. As we know, the procuracy also connected the poisoning of former FSB officer Litvinenko in London to Nevzlin.

The procuracy’s moves may not be very sophisticated, but they’re good enough for Russian-style justice.

TiVO Moment #1: Svetlichnaya on 60 Minutes last Sunday

The Moscow News reported that Julia Svetlichnaya appeared briefly on 60 Minutes last Sunday as part of an investigation into the Litvinenko killing:

An acquaintance of a former Russian agent killed by radiation poisoning in London has said that Alexander Litvinenko, who accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his murder, had planned to blackmail a wealthy Russian businessman, the Reuters news agency reports. Russian Julia Svetlichnaya said in a television interview she was a graduate student in London when she spoke to Litvinenko — a former Russian state security officer who died on November 23 in London after ingesting polonium 210 — about a book she was writing. “He told me … he’s doing a project for blackmailing one of the Russian oligarchs (exiled Russian businessmen) … in U.K.,” Svetlichnaya told CBS television’s “60 Minutes” in a program to be aired on Sunday. “He thought that it was actually an OK thing to do because this particular person, as Litvinenko claimed, had a connection with … Putin,” she said. The Kremlin has dismissed Litvinenko’s deathbed accusation that Putin was behind his poisoning. British police, who say Litvinenko was murdered, have since been to Moscow to question witnesses. “I can’t say it’s (Putin’s) order, but without his knowledge, it couldn’t happen,” Litvinenko’s widow, Marina, told “60 Minutes” when asked about her husband’s death. She also dismissed the claims that her husband had been planning to blackmail someone, saying that while she didn’t know what work he did, he “wasn’t a person (who would do that).” Svetlichnaya would not say who she claimed Litvinenko was planning to blackmail, but said it wasn’t exiled Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky, who has become the Kremlin’s number one enemy. Berezovsky told “60 Minutes” that Litvinenko had given him information for the tycoon’s campaign against Putin and his regime. Berezovsky said he believed his relationship with Litvinenko had been a factor in the former agent’s death. “Unfortunately, I should say yes,” Berezovsky said. Since Litvinenko’s death traces of radiation have been found at several sites in London, including a sushi bar where Litvinenko met contacts, a hotel he visited and the offices Berezovsky.

The 60 Minutes report buried reference to Julia on the third page, and failed to make any reference to the controversy swirling around her, a clear lapse on the part of the program, adding nothing to our understanding of the basis for her involvement with Litvinenko. It addressed Berezovsky’s allegations before it dealt with Julia’s, and likewise treated him as a credible witness, and it lead with Litvinenko’s wife speaking in detail, a clear indication that it knew Julia lacks credibility.

(CBS) The story would be fit for a spy novel if it weren’t so implausible. A Russian ex- KGB agent turns against the Kremlin and flees Moscow. He continues his attacks from exile in London, until he is poisoned with a rare radioactive isotope and dies a slow painful death.

As correspondent Bob Simon reports, this is the real life story of Alexander Litvinenko, the first-ever victim nuclear terrorism.


Two weeks after he was poisoned, Litvinenko no longer looked like the healthy man he once was – he looked like an ordinary man in his death throes.

Friends of Litvinenko paint him as a martyr, murdered to silence his criticism of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. But a darker picture emerged from interviews 60 Minutes did with people who knew him, a portrait of a desperate man fighting for attention and for money, by dealing in the only commodity he knew: information, secrets.

Marina Litvinenko, his widow, was with him the evening he first felt ill. They were preparing to celebrate their anniversary and the fact that they had just become British citizens.

Asked what the first sign was that something was wrong, Marina Litvinenko tells Simon, “Just noticed it just before midnight, after eleven. It started just like a simple sickness. He told me ‘Marina, I feel like, quite, not good.'”

She thought he was just sick but says this was unusual, since her husband never got sick.

Litvinenko kept himself in good shape. But just days after those first signs of illness, he was hospitalized. At first, doctors thought he had an intestinal problem, a virus. But by the second week in the hospital, Marina Litvinenko knew something very strange was going on with her husband, who she calls “Sasha.”

“Sasha started to feel very bad,” she remembers. “His skin became very yellow. When I arrived on Monday, he couldn’t open his mouth at all. It was so scary.”

And it got worse. Litvinenko’s hair fell out in clumps. Doctors realized he had been poisoned, but weren’t sure by what. They didn’t have a clue. All Scotland Yard could do was seal off his room and try to protect him.

But it was too late. The poison was eating him away from the inside. Police believe it had been administered sometime during the day of Nov. 1, a day on which when he met at least four people.

One was Mario Scaramella, a self-styled Italian investigator who he met at a sushi bar in central London. Scaramella told 60 Minutes he warned Litvinenko that both of them were on a Kremlin hit-list. Litvinenko had sushi, Scaramella ate nothing. Scaramella is now in jail in Italy on unrelated charges.

After lunch, Litvinenko came to a hotel in London’s posh Mayfair district, where he met three Russians, all former security agents, to discuss what Litvinenko described as “a business proposition.”

One source told 60 Minutes they talked about gathering information on prominent Russians, information they would sell to western investors considering doing business in Russia. They met in the hotel bar but Litvinenko didn’t drink; he only had a cup of tea. But authorities say that was one cup too many. They believe the fatal dose of poison was slipped into his teacup.

That was November 1. In the evening, three weeks later, Marina prepared to leave the hospital.

“Then I told him, ‘Sasha, I have to go home. And he told me, ‘Marina, I love you so much.’ And I just say, ‘Oh, Sasha. I didn’t hear it so long time. I’m very happy you tell me again.’ It was his last word to me,” she remembers. “It was like saying goodbye to me.”

Litvinenko died the next night. It was only then that doctors determined what precisely had killed him: a little known radioactive isotope called polonium 210. Tasteless, odorless and lethal, a tiny speck is all it takes to kill. Traces of the polonium were found at the sushi bar, the hotel, and a trail of other places and people – from jetliners to a soccer stadium, from barmen to cops to Marina Litvenenko. So far, 14 people have shown signs of contamination.

Grief-stricken and enraged, Litvinenko’s father, Walter, spoke to reporters through a translator. “My son died yesterday and he was killed by a little tiny nuclear bomb. It is so little, so small you couldn’t see it,” he said.

In a statement Litvinenko dictated to a friend a few days before his death, he left no doubt about who he thought had planted the bomb.

“You may succeed in silencing one man, but the howl of protest will reverberate, Mr. Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life,” the statement read.

Marina Litvinenko didn’t care about any howl of protest. She was just interested in who had killed her husband, and she believes the president of Russia was involved.

In one way or another, Marina Litvinenko says the Putin government is “absolutely” responsible for her husbands death. “And everything that happened now is dependent of president. And I believe it couldn’t happen without his notice.”

“Couldn’t happen without his knowledge?” Simon asks.

“Yes, Knowledge. Yes, I can’t say it’s his order, but without his knowledge, it couldn’t happen,” she claims.

Putin has denied these allegations, but Litvinenko has been on Putin’s radar since 1998. Putin ran what is now known as the FSB, formerly the KGB. Litvinenko was a loyal agent who investigated organized crime and corruption in Russia.

But then Litvinenko and several colleagues denounced the intelligence agency for corruption.

At a press conference in Moscow, the dissident agents all disguised themselves – that is, aside from Litvinenko. But Litvinenko’s daring landed him in jail. When he was released in 2000, he fled from Moscow with Marina and their son Anatoly. Once in London, Litvinenko became a vocal critic of the intelligence agency and its infamous ruthless methods.

“When he got to England, did you expect him to continue his political activities here?” Simon asks billionaire Boris Berezovsky, Litvinenko’s backer

“Yes, from the beginning,” Berezovsky says.

Berezovsky supported Litvinenko in London with money, a house, and an appetite for negative information on the Putin regime. Over the years, Litvinenko publicly accused Putin and his intelligence agency of several acts of terrorism; most recently the assassination of a prominent investigative reporter in Moscow, this just weeks before he was poisoned.

“It was absolutely clear for me that he is strong fighter against of regime. He has his clear understanding that regime is criminal and he want to present his understanding to Britain, to west in general and no one is able to stop him,” Berezovsky says.

Asked if Litvinenko was working for him, Berezovsky says, “Yeah, initially he worked just for me.”

Berezovsky, one of the ultra-rich and powerful Russians known as oligarchs, knew what it was to have enemies in Russia. In 1994, a car bombing in Moscow nearly killed him and decapitated his driver. This was followed by other attempts.

Once, Berezovsky says, Litvinenko, the loyal intelligence operative, was ordered to kill him. “He got an order to kill me and he came to me and informed me about it,” he recalls.

Berezovsky fled to London in 2001, and set up housekeeping in a heavily guarded estate near Windsor castle. By his own estimate, he has spent more than $100 million to attack the Russian government, its intelligence agency, and President Putin himself.

“Do you think that Litvinenko’s relation to you further endangered his life?,” Simon asks.

Yes. Unfortunately, I should say yes,” Berezovsky acknowledges.

And Berezovsky says Litvinenko saved his life once again in London. If Litvinenko hadn’t been targeted, Berezovsky is convinced, he would have been.

As long as Scotland Yard is continuing its investigation, Berezovsky told 60 Minutes he doesn’t want to talk about who ordered the murder.

But this is what he said about the Russian intelligence agency and Putin.

“He’s absolutely, absolutely bandit, from my point of view, yeah, and they, they, they decide to kill him,” Berezovsky says.

Asked who is “they,” Berezovsky tells Simon, “I don’t want to create any problem for those who investigate this story. If you want, I might just use the, the English joke ‘If it looks like duck and quack like duck, it means duck.’ That’s it, what I may tell you now.”

Berezovsky told 60 Minutes something else as well: that he had recently reduced his financial support of Litvinenko.

In the months before his death, Litvinenko needed money; he needed a job and spoke of having found one. What was that job? Litvinenko spoke to Julia Svetlichnaya, a Russian graduate student, who sought out his help on a book she was writing. But what he wanted to talk about were his plans concerning those rich and powerful Russian oligarchs.

“He told me that, at that moment, he’s doing a project for blackmailing one of the Russian oligarchs which resides in UK,” Svetlichnaya tells Simon. “He thought that it was actually an o.k. thing to do because this particular person, as Litvinenko claimed, had a connection with the Kremlin, had a connection with Putin. And so in his view it, was o.k. to blackmail him.”

Julia said the blackmail scheme didn’t surprise her, given what she knew of Litvinenko’s past. “That’s what he did: gather information on people. So it didn’t sound out of place completely to me, the blackmail story. He mentioned blackmail in a very casual, casual manner. Every time I met him, he somehow told me he needs money. He needs to make a living. He’s got children to feed,” she explains.

Marina Litvinenko says she didn’t know what her husband was doing, but that she knew her husband. He was not a blackmailer. “Never, never. Sasha wasn’t a person in this way,” she tells Simon.

Julia and Litvinenko met several times last spring. One meeting was in London’s Hyde Park. The two walked around for hours, Julia said, because Litvinenko insisted that professionals keep moving so no one can eavesdrop on their conversations.

“I would say that he was interested in talking to anyone who would listen to him,” she remembers.

“You describe him as a man who is something of a blowhard,” Simon remarks.

“I believe that’s what he was,” she says.

She also thinks he was exaggerating his own importance and that he wanted everybody to take him seriously.

“The bottom line is that it’s hard to see any reason for Litvinenko to be killed for his own sake. Litvinenko was not a big player,” says Mark Galeotti, who knows the players.

He met Litvenenko and knows many other Russians in that shadowy world. A former advisor to the British Foreign Office, NATO and American intelligence agencies, Galeotti now studies Russian intelligence and organized crime at Keele University.

“There are many ways to kill a man. Using an obscure radioactive isotope is a rather uncommon way. Why do you think this way was chosen?” Simon asks.

“Essentially it’s because of the theater of assassination. If all you want to do is silence someone, then you push them under a bus, you arrange an apparent mugging that’s gone wrong, or something like that,” Galeotti says. “If you’re going to carry out a killing using a radioactive isotope like this, you want it to be a big story.”

Galeotti believes there was a message in the method of the murder. “It’s clearly a warning to the exiled who clearly have aligned themselves against the current regime in Russia, in many cases,” he explains.

The warning carried a lot of weight: a radioactive corpse in a lead-lined coffin. The man inside may have been just a pawn caught up in a struggle between larger forces. And that could be the ultimate tragedy of Alexander Litvinenko: that he had to die to get the attention and the dignity which had always escaped him when he was alive.

A commenter on the 60 Minutes website wrote:

Too much attention is paid to Miss Svetlichnaja, who is basically a liar. For instance she told to the Observer that once Litvinenko drove her to the the station and showed her how to “get rid of the tail”. In fact it is a thing well known that Litvinenko didn’t have a driving licence and was himself driven either by his wife or by Akhmed Zakaev’s son or employee. See the testimony of Litvinenko neighbours: Nimia Toserkani, 17, said: “He was cheerful, happy, lively. He minded his own business. He would play with the kids round there. He would always get driven round by a guy with a Mercedes who lives over there.”

Update on the Svetlichnaya Fraud

On December 12th, La Russophobe reported on an article in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten which revealed that one of the shadowy figures attacking Alexander Litvinenko, in the manner of a Kremlin shill, did in fact have undisclosed connections to the Kremlin. Two weeks later, we updated the story by exposing the attempt by that person, Julia Svetlichnaya, to cover her tracks on an obscure Russia blog called ZheZhe. Now there are futher developments to report, unearthed by some wonderful investigation in the blogosphere, including photographic evidence of the attempt to whitewash the Kremlin-controled website that mentioned Svetlichnaya by name.

The Komisar Scoop reports:

Poisoned Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko appears to have been involved in collecting information about Alexei Golubovich, a longtime associate of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former head of the Russian oil company, Yukos. Khodorkovsky is in jail in Russia for tax evasion. Golubovich was a top official of Yukos from 1992 to 2000 and is under house arrest in Italy at the request of Russia which has charged him with fraud and embezzlement.

A woman living in London told the press that she sought out Litvinenko for “book research” and that he told her that he was planning to blackmail some Russian oligarchs who had been targeted by the Russian Federal Security Service because they had looted the country. She did not tell the press that she worked for Golubovich, who fit that description.

The story about the investigation of Golubovich has not been published before. Litvinenko died in London Nov. 23 from a lethal dose of radioactive polonium-210. He had reportedly been building dossiers on corrupt Russian businessmen.

Yevgeny Limarev, a Russian former intelligence officer who collaborated with Litvinenko, last year visited a couple in Paris — Elena Collongues-Popova, (shown here), who once worked for Golubovich,Elena Collongues-Popova and Roger Kinsbourg, who also had dealings with him — trying to obtain information about Golubovich, particularly about bribes that he might have paid to Lithuanian officials to get control of the state-owned Maziekiu Nafta oil refinery.

A majority share of the refinery was bought by Yukos and lodged in its Netherland subsidiary, Yukos International Ltd. The refinery is managed by Williams International, a US company.

Limarev, reached on his mobile phone, acknowledged meeting with the two. He declined to say anything more and sent an email referring a reporter to his press agent in Lithuania.

“Limarev wanted to know if we had any evidence of bribes being paid by the Golubovich gang or companies to high-ranking civil servants,” Collongues-Popova said by phone from Paris. “He wanted to know about Golubovich’s payments in the Baltic countries.”

Limarev’s name surfaced after the death of Litvinenko, because he reportedly provided to Mario Scaramella, a controversial consultant to an Italian parliamentary commission investigating Russian intelligence connections in Italy, a memo from Russian sources warning that the three men were on a death list organized by Russian secret service agents and ex-military. Scaramella says he informed Litvinenko three weeks before his death. Scaramella was arrested in Naples on Sunday on charges of international arms trafficking.

Limarev says he is an independent consultant, specializing in Russian politics and security issues. He lives in Cluses, France, just across the border from Geneva. Limarev told “Paris Match” this week that after he met Litvinenko in 2001, the two decided to exchange information about the activities of the Russian Mafia and former intelligence agents.

Limarev would have thought Collongues-Popova might know of bribes paid by Golubovich, because when she worked for Golubovich from 1996 to 2000, her job was moving money in and out of secret offshore bank accounts. The transfers, she says, involved insider trading of Russian stocks such as Yukos and also transfers for which she didn’t know the purpose.

The Limarev investigation of Golubovich leads in an unusual triangle back to Litvinenko. Julia Svetlichnaya, a Russian who identified herself as a student, told The (London) Observer this month that she had sought out Litvinenko while doing research for a book on Chechnya. She said that he had documents he planned to use to blackmail Russian businessmen and politicians and that she had emails in which he had tried to involve her in his plots.

However, Svetlichnaya’s interest in Litvinenko might have been more than coincidental. She was communication manager for Golubovich’s company, Russian Investors. Journalist Hilde Harbo wrote Dec. 6th in Aftenposten (Norway) that Svetlichnaya was listed on the Russian Investors website as a contact for its philanthropic equestrian project. Immediately after the article appeared, Svetlichnaya’s name disappeared from the website. However, Golubovich’s webmaster appears ignorant of the fact that nothing ever really gets erased from the internet, and one can find both the earlier and expurgated versions.

Kinsbourg said Limarev contacted him through a Geneva journalist who knew about Collongues-Popova’s conflict with Golubovich. French tax police had discovered large money transfers she was moving to and from offshore accounts owned by Golubovich, and authorities had ordered her to pay back taxes and penalties that now amount to $15 million. That includes $1 million from a criminal trial in Paris where she was sentenced to a year in prison, suspended provided she paid the taxes and penalties.

When Golubovich refused to take responsibility for the taxes in deals detailed in cartons of documents police seized from her home, she sought to take control of a Swiss account she had run for him but which was listed in her name. That has led to legal battles with her former boss and his wife.

Limarev’s main interest was to find out if we had proof of Roger Kinsbourg corruption by people in the Russian government,” said Kinsbourg, (shown here). “Golubovich had been involved with Lithuanian Prime Minister [Algirdas] Brazauskas, and Limarev was [also] interested in bribes he might have paid to officials there.” Brazauskas is no longer prime minister.

Kinsbourg explained, “I went to the Baltic countries with Golubovich when we were friends, and we dealt with banks. There were lots of transfers from his offshore companies to the banks in the Baltics.” He added, “Kristina, the wife of the prime minister of Lithuania, was a good friend of Olga Mirimskaya, the wife of Golubovich. Mirimskaya was doing some kind of ‘private banking’ for them.”

According to a report about Golubovich that Limarev gave Collongues-Popova and Kinsbourg, Golubovich gave Kristina Brazauskas “the possibility to use his different offshore accounts for transactions without the setting up of a legal entity and bookkeeping.” The report, in an English translation obtained by Kinsbourg, says, “The SVR [Russian Special Secret Service] is aware of the relationship of Brazauskas and his spouse with Golubovich and Mirimskaya. Possibly, this information could be used as pressure means against Brazauskas.”

“The information he had seemed to be from Lithuanian intelligence dealing with Russian intelligence,” Kinsbourg commented. “He came and brought this information. He was expecting we would give him some information he could negotiate or leverage somewhere else. He was very shady, moody, not a guy you would trust.”

Kinsbourg recalled, “I said to Limarev, ‘Listen, money was transferred to offshore companies, but we didn’t know who were the beneficial owners.’ We gave him the names of the banks in the Baltics where money was sent. They were Saules Banka in Riga, Latvia (corresponding bank: Bankers Trust, New York), Estonia Forex Bank in Tallin, Estonia (Bankers Trust, New York) and Optiva Bank in Tallin, Estonia (Bankers Trust, New York). We have a lot of information about transfers to banks when Golubovich was signing in lieu of Elena because of Elena’s [tax] problem here.” Corresponding banks run accounts for foreign banks, allowing them to move clients’ money into the corresponding bank’s country.

More connections to the Russian government appear in the report Limarev provided. It says, “It is very important to note that within the framework of Yukos suits, Golubovich was taken to court neither [as] the accused nor [as] the witness. But he became the important confidential adviser to the FSB [Russian intelligence].”

Golubovich needed Russian friends because he was in conflict with former Yukos associates, Leonid Nevzlin and Mikhail Brudno, over control of the Maziekiu Nafta (MN) oil refinery as well as over his share of Yukos assets in Holland, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. The report says, “Golubovich is negotiating with [the] Kremlin represented by Igor Sechin and the siloviki [former KGB agents]. He is trying to get support from them to take Nevzlin[‘s] share away from Yukos (including MN),with the following transfer of these assets to RussNeft/Setchin.”

The report continued, “The problem is the Kremlin doesn’t trust Golubovich and is suspicious that he is playing a double game (on behalf of Nevzlin) or he is trying to get Yukos’s remaining assets.”

Russian companies had wanted the plant, which was built to run on Russian crude oil. However, when Lithuania privatized the refinery in 1999, it looked for a non-Russian buyer in order to reduce Moscow’s influence in Lithuania. It sold a strategic stake to the American firm, Williams. That company had financial difficulties and sold control to Yukos.

Kinsbourg added, “Limarev was also trying to find out information about Stephen Curtis.” Curtis was the London-based Yukos official who was killed in a suspicious helicopter crash in 2004. He had been involved in organizing offshore shell companies and bank accounts through which Yukos and other Menatep companies cheated minority investors and tax authorities.

A third Yukos connection comes in the media reports from Spain that Litvinenko had provided information that contributed to the arrest in May of nine members of the Russian mafia, including Alexander Gofstein, a lawyer for Yukos.

Golubovich indicated in an interview with the Russian daily, Moskovsky Komsomolets, in December 2005, that he was being pushed out and prevented from having his share of Menatep assets and that he had been threatened by some Menatep shareholders. He noted, “I prefer to go to court rather than wait for an explosion or poisoning.” However, this year Golubovich was forced to sell his shares in Group Menatep.

At the same time, Golubovich’s good relationship with the Russian authorities appears to have collapsed. In May after he flew into Pisa, Italy, he was detained at the request of Russian authorities who accused him of fraud and embezzlement of $283 million, the amount that Menatep, the Khodorkovsky holding company which also owns Yukos, reneged on investing when it bought Apatit, Russia’s largest fertilizer company. Platon Lebedev, one of Yukos’s major shareholders, was charged with the same offense and is now in prison.

If Limarev and Litvinenko were investigating Golubovich, they had more than one likely client.

Annals of the Blogosphere: The Svetlichnaya Saga Continues

On December 12th, La Russophobe reported on a story from the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten exposing information indicating that one of the people attacking Alexander Litvinenko in Britain in the wake of his killing — namely one Julia Svetlichnaya (together with her colleague James Heartfield) and specifically in a story in the Observer — had been discovered to have surreptitious, undisclosed links to the Kremlin (namely having held a significant position at a state-owned firm), thus discrediting her negative comments about Litvinenko and giving rise to suspicion that she was working as Kremlin shill, helping to deflect blame.

Now, Svetlichnaya has attempted to answer her critics with a post on, of all places, the obscure ZheZhe blog. Far from re-establishing her credibility, Svetlichnaya’s statement appears to confirm that Aftenposten‘s report was largely correct in raising suspicions about her and raises new questions about just who she is and what’s she’s up to; either that, or it confirms that she’s utterly clueless and created an opportunity to justify Kremlin dictatorship out of sheer incompetence. Either way, she’s hardly any basis at all for a defense of the Kremlin in the Litvinenko matter, that’s quite clear. Here’s her statement:

Still, the Kremlin’s expatriate critics were enraged that their cause célèbre had been questioned. Allegations that we were Kremlin agents were first floated in far-off Norway, in an article by Hilde Harbo in the daily Aftenposten (a paper whose claim to fame is that it published Knut Hamsen’s eulogy to Hitler on his death in 1945). Harbo cited a ‘British professor of Russian, who insisted on remaining nameless’ saying that he had information that Julia had been instructed by the Russian Security Services to go to London to spy on Akhmed Zakhayev – which is not true: Julia came to London five years before Zakhayev, in 1994. Julia’s eleven months’ employment with the company Diamond Bridge Advisory Services was somehow twisted to mean that she was in the pay of the Kremlin, though actually it was just agency work. The nameless professor is the veteran Cold War propagandist Martin Dewhirst.

This statement is entirely without substance, and reads like it was written by a Kremlin spin doctor. Svetlichnaya doesn’t actually deny that she was given instructions to spy on Zakhayev, she just says she didn’t go to Britain for the first time for that purpose. She doesn’t say one single word about the links between her previous employer “Diamond Bridge Advisory Services” and the Kremlin, but instead attempts to raise a smokescreen by claiming her she was only doing “agency work” (apparently this means she was a temp) without giving any explanation of what her duties were or which agency placed her (this kind of murky trail is exactly the type the KGB would like to have her leave). She doesn’t indicate whether she told the Observer about her work for the Kremlin-connected company in the course of being interviewed for their story. She makes no attempt to clarify what other Kremlin-connected entities she may have been employed by, if any, or to flesh out her resume in any way. Instead of establishing the facts of her own case, she launches a personal attack on both Aftenposten and its source, an unmistakeable sign of propaganda especially in the context of such a vacuous discussion of the actual allegations.

And then it gets much worse. Svetlichnaya is next permitted by ZheZhe (which did not disclose its own connections to Svetlichnaya, if any, or explain why she chose to publish her views on their obscure forum) to engage in what amounts to propaganda of a recognizably Soviet character. She closes her statement, for example, by writing:

Talking about the Litvinenko case on Question Time, author Martin Amis glumly intoned that here we were seeing the ‘Asiatic side of Russia’. (Who is that more rude to – Asians who are made into a by-word for cruelty, or Russians, who are racially stereotyped?).

In other words, she feebly tries to change the subject from the Kremlin’s complicity in the murder of Litvinenko and her own connections to that Kremlin to Western racism against Russians. La Russophobe thinks she doth protest too much; this is not something a person who was simply interested in getting out the truth about herself would stoop to. She refers to “Cold War hysteria in Britain” and launches an ad hominem attack on exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky, stating:

Berezovsky is just one of many expatriate Russians who enriched themselvesin the privatisation of ’s state-owned businesses. Today he presents himself as a political exile, seeking to overthrow Putin. But do not be deceived. Only six years ago Berezovsky financed Putin’s campaign in the presidential elections as he did Boris Yeltsin’s before him. Berezovsky and Putin are fruit from the same tree. Any differences they have are just a turf war, not over principle.

None of this has anything to do with whether her comments in the observer about Litvinenk were (a) accuate or (b) made to assist the Kremlin. Notice the subtle attack on Putin, perhaps designed to throw the unwary reader of her scent like a prisoner running through creek when pursued by bloodhounds. Where were these attacks in the Observer piece, or at any time previously? Is she implying that Aftenposten is a Berezovsky shill, that he planted the story about her there? If not, why even bring up the subject? We have no idea, and she certainly offer no evidence of any kind to that effect. What we do know is that she has no hesitation in making accusations against Berezovsky and Aftenposten which are essentially the same as those she complains about being made concerning herself.

Most bizarre of all, though, is Svetlichnaya’s statement that

Unfortunately for us many Russians leapt upon our interview as evidence that Litvinenko’s deathbed accusation that he had been killed on the orders of president Vladimir Putin could be discounted. Our accounts of our interviews with Litvinenko were widely reproduced in patriotic Russian websites, newspapers and on television. Neither of us, though, would ever vote for, nor support Vladimir Putin, whose government is illiberal and autocratic.

This language is so opaque that it gives the unmistakeable flavor of the intelligence services. First of all, plenty of non-Russian Russophiles also “leapt on the evidence.” Would it constitute “support” for Vladmir Putin to discredit those who attack his regime in the West? Well, Svetlichnaya’s statements to the Observer sure did that all right, so if that’s what it means then she’s lying. Is it “supporting” Putin to take any job connected to the Russian government? It seems not, since apparently Svetlichnaya has done that at least once too. She makes no attempt to clarify what she would and would not do on behalf of the Russian government (would she assist the security services in getting information about those who, they believe, threaten Russians security? would she help get the story out concerning such enemies of the state and struggle to improve Russia’ s image in the West? she won’t say). The first sentence almost seems to imply that Putin’s involvement in killing Litvinenko cannot be discounted, yet she doesn’t clearly say so, nor does she comment on the Observer article, which was taken up not only by “Russians” but by non-Russian Russophiles as evidence of an anti-Russian conspiracy. One could perhaps pass off all this ambiguity as merely incompetent writing if it were not for the naked Russophile propaganda that the post also contains.

Another question which remains unanswered, and indeed perhaps the most important one, is what business Svetlichnaya had talking to Litvinenko in the first place. The abstract for her dissertation does not indicate a subject that has anything to do with Litvinenko and she has not explained why she was speaking to him, what she hoped to accomplish and why, or how she got access to him — a major cause of the suspicion regarding her, and her post on ZheZhe does nothing to dispel it. One also must ask how she hooked up with her collaborator James Heartfield, an avowed Marxist who uses a pseudonym (he was born James Hughes), and why he was necessary for the Litvinenko interview. But she doesn’t care to explain that either.

It’s also quite disturbing that Svetlichnaya’s comments are totally devoid of links to source material documenting her claims.

La Russophobe feels that ZheZhe owed it to readers to disclose its connections to Svetlichnaya, if any, and to explain why she chose their blog to tell her story (was she rejected at more prominent outlets?) and to explain why it didn’t feel it was necessary to require her to make a clear statement answering the specific charges concerning her Kremlin connections before agreeing to print what amounts to propaganda. Aftenposten says that Svetlichnaya refused to speak to them in connection with the preparation of their story. Svetlichnaya ignores this claim. Svetlichnaya states that a columnist for the Sunday Times wrote about the Aftenposten allegations knowing they were false, but she totally fails to provide the slightest shred of evidence to support this libelous claim. In fact, she doesn’t even give a link to the allegedly offending Times article, and the only link provided by ZheZhe itself, as ZheZhe itself states, contains no reference to Svetlichnaya.

Without this information, there is an unfortunate appearance of impropriety and/or complicity on the part of ZheZhe which may not even be warranted, since ZheZhe has reported fairly on the Litvinenko matter up to now, correctly predicting that the Kremlin might use the incident as leverage to extradite Berezovsky and Zakhayev (as La Russophobe has previously reported). At the very least, however, ZheZhe has been unacceptably reckless in the manner they presented this story, betraying their readers and the blogosphere (indeed, they may well have been played for fools by Svetlichnaya). Its actions tend to confirm stereotypes about the blogosphere in the mainstream media, that we will go to print with material they would properly spurn. The blogosphere’s power rests in our willingness to print what the mainstream media would improperly reject, and we are undermined by giving the converse impression. La Russophobe is disturbed by the nature of ZheZhe’s post, however, and will be watching the blog closely to decide whether she needs to reconsider the wisdom of linking to its material.

These concerns may have no meaning to ZheZhe’s editors, however, since it may well be the case that they (like the editors of the eXile) have no wish to be taken seriously: The blog proclaims at the top of its sidebar, as if they’re proud of it: “Because we strive for impartial objectivity we make no claim to the validity of information provided on this site or in the content that we provide links for.” In other words, they print stuff and random, couldn’t care less whether its reliable or not, and say right at the beginning that their content is unreliable and they don’t stand behind it. Well, you’ve got to give them points for honesty on one point, anyway. La Russophobe had originally blogrolled ZheZhe because they represented that they would focus on opening an English-language window to the Russian blogosphere, and this is necessary work. However, it seems she was misled not only by ZheZhe’s intentions in this regard but as to their committment to accuracy. Hence, she’s delisted them and apologizes to any reader she may have misled. In the future, she will avoid recommending blogs with so little track record.

Her advice now regarding ZheZhe is: steer clear or caveat emptor.

The Kremlin’s Litvinenko Disinformation Campaign EXPOSED


The Norwegian Newspaper Aftenposten reports that a major source of Russophile smears against Alexander Litvinenko in the British press suddenly turns out to have Russia connections that could lead to Vladmir Putin:

The prominent English Sunday newspaper The Observer published an article where Julia Svetlichnaya [pictured above with her attorney at a London press conference] accused Litvinenko of possessing secret documents that he intended to use to blackmail prominent Russian politicians and businessmen.

Svetlichnaya, 33, told The Observer that she had made contact with Litvinenko in connection with a book she was allegedly writing about the breakaway republic of Chechnya.

Svetlichnaya characterized Litvinenko as a paranoid and pathetic figure fighting a private war with the Kremlin, trying to relieve his penniless existence via blackmail, and said he invited her to take part in his plots.

Aftenposten has seen an email from a British human rights activist and Professor of Russian, and member of Litvinenko’s network, who claims to have information that Svetlichnaya was acting on instructions from “a special bureau” – a reference to the secret service FSB – to study in London in order to have easier access to exiled Chechen leader Akhmed Zakayev.

Russian Investors
The Observer followed her lead and described her as a student at the University of Westminster in London, but there is no mention made in the articles of her background as information chief for a Russian investment firm.

On Monday Aftenposten discovered her name on a web site for the Russian investment company “Russian Investors”. Hidden on a page listing the company’s “philanthropic” activities in equestrianism, she stands listed by name and with a company email address.

Aftenposten’s London correspondent phoned the investment company’s managing director Alexei Yashechkin to learn more about Svetlichnaya and her relationship to the company.

The conversation with Yashechkin was hesitant and occasionally self-contradictory. The director both denied and admitted that Svetlichnaya had connections to the company.

He also said it must be a case of a “another girl with the same name”, without any mention that the call had anything to do with the Svetlichnaya in the news who claimed to be a student. After many much stammering and several pauses the obviously nervous director finally ended the conversation and hung up.

Skeptics
The British professor of Russian, who insisted on remaining nameless on this matter, accuses Svetlichnaya of being part of a “massive disinformation campaign” about the Litvinenko affair.

Human rights activist Maria Fuglevaag Warsinski called the accusations of secrecy and blackmail into question, citing Litvinenko’s efforts to publicize information he gained.

“He wanted to spread this information to as many as possible and was pleased by the help he got to disseminate this to human rights activists and advocates of democracy,” Warsinski said.

Svetlitsjnaja Scorned

Svetlitsjnaja has identified herself as a student in London who had contact with Litvinenko before he died. She told British newspapers that Litvinenko, who was a harsh critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had aimed to extort money from Russian politicians and businessmen.

Aftenposten, however, found Svetlitsjnaja listed as information chief on the web site for a company called “Russian Investors.” The ownership of Russian Investors is unclear, but it’s been linked to the Russian state in British media. Its chairman Aleksej Golubovitsj, a former strategic planner for the Russian oil firm Yukos that was taken over by the state, was arrested in May by Interpol and Italian police in Pisa.

When Aftenposten correspondent Hilde Harbo called Russian Investors to inquire about Svetlitsjnaja’s connections to the company, her questions went unanswered and Svetlitsjnaja’s name was quickly removed from the web site.

Svetlitsjnaja also refused to respond to repeated queries from Aftenposten, but she reappeared late last week at a press conference in London. When Harbo attempted to ask questions about her role at Russian Investors, she was cut off and verbally attacked. A man appearing with Svetlitsjnaja, identified as a fellow student, James Heartfield, called Harbo a “liar” and attempted to block further questioning.

Some Russian experts have suggested that Svetlitsjnaja may have been set up by Russian officials to discredit Litvinenko. She admitted she had no taped interviews or documentation to prove that Litvinenko was engaged in extortion, and said she failed to alert police about Litvinenko’s alleged extortion plans because she was too busy with research work.

The Kremlin’s Litvinenko Disinformation Campaign EXPOSED


The Norwegian Newspaper Aftenposten reports that a major source of Russophile smears against Alexander Litvinenko in the British press suddenly turns out to have Russia connections that could lead to Vladmir Putin:

The prominent English Sunday newspaper The Observer published an article where Julia Svetlichnaya [pictured above with her attorney at a London press conference] accused Litvinenko of possessing secret documents that he intended to use to blackmail prominent Russian politicians and businessmen.

Svetlichnaya, 33, told The Observer that she had made contact with Litvinenko in connection with a book she was allegedly writing about the breakaway republic of Chechnya.

Svetlichnaya characterized Litvinenko as a paranoid and pathetic figure fighting a private war with the Kremlin, trying to relieve his penniless existence via blackmail, and said he invited her to take part in his plots.

Aftenposten has seen an email from a British human rights activist and Professor of Russian, and member of Litvinenko’s network, who claims to have information that Svetlichnaya was acting on instructions from “a special bureau” – a reference to the secret service FSB – to study in London in order to have easier access to exiled Chechen leader Akhmed Zakayev.

Russian Investors
The Observer followed her lead and described her as a student at the University of Westminster in London, but there is no mention made in the articles of her background as information chief for a Russian investment firm.

On Monday Aftenposten discovered her name on a web site for the Russian investment company “Russian Investors”. Hidden on a page listing the company’s “philanthropic” activities in equestrianism, she stands listed by name and with a company email address.

Aftenposten’s London correspondent phoned the investment company’s managing director Alexei Yashechkin to learn more about Svetlichnaya and her relationship to the company.

The conversation with Yashechkin was hesitant and occasionally self-contradictory. The director both denied and admitted that Svetlichnaya had connections to the company.

He also said it must be a case of a “another girl with the same name”, without any mention that the call had anything to do with the Svetlichnaya in the news who claimed to be a student. After many much stammering and several pauses the obviously nervous director finally ended the conversation and hung up.

Skeptics
The British professor of Russian, who insisted on remaining nameless on this matter, accuses Svetlichnaya of being part of a “massive disinformation campaign” about the Litvinenko affair.

Human rights activist Maria Fuglevaag Warsinski called the accusations of secrecy and blackmail into question, citing Litvinenko’s efforts to publicize information he gained.

“He wanted to spread this information to as many as possible and was pleased by the help he got to disseminate this to human rights activists and advocates of democracy,” Warsinski said.

Svetlitsjnaja Scorned

Svetlitsjnaja has identified herself as a student in London who had contact with Litvinenko before he died. She told British newspapers that Litvinenko, who was a harsh critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had aimed to extort money from Russian politicians and businessmen.

Aftenposten, however, found Svetlitsjnaja listed as information chief on the web site for a company called “Russian Investors.” The ownership of Russian Investors is unclear, but it’s been linked to the Russian state in British media. Its chairman Aleksej Golubovitsj, a former strategic planner for the Russian oil firm Yukos that was taken over by the state, was arrested in May by Interpol and Italian police in Pisa.

When Aftenposten correspondent Hilde Harbo called Russian Investors to inquire about Svetlitsjnaja’s connections to the company, her questions went unanswered and Svetlitsjnaja’s name was quickly removed from the web site.

Svetlitsjnaja also refused to respond to repeated queries from Aftenposten, but she reappeared late last week at a press conference in London. When Harbo attempted to ask questions about her role at Russian Investors, she was cut off and verbally attacked. A man appearing with Svetlitsjnaja, identified as a fellow student, James Heartfield, called Harbo a “liar” and attempted to block further questioning.

Some Russian experts have suggested that Svetlitsjnaja may have been set up by Russian officials to discredit Litvinenko. She admitted she had no taped interviews or documentation to prove that Litvinenko was engaged in extortion, and said she failed to alert police about Litvinenko’s alleged extortion plans because she was too busy with research work.

The Kremlin’s Litvinenko Disinformation Campaign EXPOSED


The Norwegian Newspaper Aftenposten reports that a major source of Russophile smears against Alexander Litvinenko in the British press suddenly turns out to have Russia connections that could lead to Vladmir Putin:

The prominent English Sunday newspaper The Observer published an article where Julia Svetlichnaya [pictured above with her attorney at a London press conference] accused Litvinenko of possessing secret documents that he intended to use to blackmail prominent Russian politicians and businessmen.

Svetlichnaya, 33, told The Observer that she had made contact with Litvinenko in connection with a book she was allegedly writing about the breakaway republic of Chechnya.

Svetlichnaya characterized Litvinenko as a paranoid and pathetic figure fighting a private war with the Kremlin, trying to relieve his penniless existence via blackmail, and said he invited her to take part in his plots.

Aftenposten has seen an email from a British human rights activist and Professor of Russian, and member of Litvinenko’s network, who claims to have information that Svetlichnaya was acting on instructions from “a special bureau” – a reference to the secret service FSB – to study in London in order to have easier access to exiled Chechen leader Akhmed Zakayev.

Russian Investors
The Observer followed her lead and described her as a student at the University of Westminster in London, but there is no mention made in the articles of her background as information chief for a Russian investment firm.

On Monday Aftenposten discovered her name on a web site for the Russian investment company “Russian Investors”. Hidden on a page listing the company’s “philanthropic” activities in equestrianism, she stands listed by name and with a company email address.

Aftenposten’s London correspondent phoned the investment company’s managing director Alexei Yashechkin to learn more about Svetlichnaya and her relationship to the company.

The conversation with Yashechkin was hesitant and occasionally self-contradictory. The director both denied and admitted that Svetlichnaya had connections to the company.

He also said it must be a case of a “another girl with the same name”, without any mention that the call had anything to do with the Svetlichnaya in the news who claimed to be a student. After many much stammering and several pauses the obviously nervous director finally ended the conversation and hung up.

Skeptics
The British professor of Russian, who insisted on remaining nameless on this matter, accuses Svetlichnaya of being part of a “massive disinformation campaign” about the Litvinenko affair.

Human rights activist Maria Fuglevaag Warsinski called the accusations of secrecy and blackmail into question, citing Litvinenko’s efforts to publicize information he gained.

“He wanted to spread this information to as many as possible and was pleased by the help he got to disseminate this to human rights activists and advocates of democracy,” Warsinski said.

Svetlitsjnaja Scorned

Svetlitsjnaja has identified herself as a student in London who had contact with Litvinenko before he died. She told British newspapers that Litvinenko, who was a harsh critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had aimed to extort money from Russian politicians and businessmen.

Aftenposten, however, found Svetlitsjnaja listed as information chief on the web site for a company called “Russian Investors.” The ownership of Russian Investors is unclear, but it’s been linked to the Russian state in British media. Its chairman Aleksej Golubovitsj, a former strategic planner for the Russian oil firm Yukos that was taken over by the state, was arrested in May by Interpol and Italian police in Pisa.

When Aftenposten correspondent Hilde Harbo called Russian Investors to inquire about Svetlitsjnaja’s connections to the company, her questions went unanswered and Svetlitsjnaja’s name was quickly removed from the web site.

Svetlitsjnaja also refused to respond to repeated queries from Aftenposten, but she reappeared late last week at a press conference in London. When Harbo attempted to ask questions about her role at Russian Investors, she was cut off and verbally attacked. A man appearing with Svetlitsjnaja, identified as a fellow student, James Heartfield, called Harbo a “liar” and attempted to block further questioning.

Some Russian experts have suggested that Svetlitsjnaja may have been set up by Russian officials to discredit Litvinenko. She admitted she had no taped interviews or documentation to prove that Litvinenko was engaged in extortion, and said she failed to alert police about Litvinenko’s alleged extortion plans because she was too busy with research work.

The Kremlin’s Litvinenko Disinformation Campaign EXPOSED


The Norwegian Newspaper Aftenposten reports that a major source of Russophile smears against Alexander Litvinenko in the British press suddenly turns out to have Russia connections that could lead to Vladmir Putin:

The prominent English Sunday newspaper The Observer published an article where Julia Svetlichnaya [pictured above with her attorney at a London press conference] accused Litvinenko of possessing secret documents that he intended to use to blackmail prominent Russian politicians and businessmen.

Svetlichnaya, 33, told The Observer that she had made contact with Litvinenko in connection with a book she was allegedly writing about the breakaway republic of Chechnya.

Svetlichnaya characterized Litvinenko as a paranoid and pathetic figure fighting a private war with the Kremlin, trying to relieve his penniless existence via blackmail, and said he invited her to take part in his plots.

Aftenposten has seen an email from a British human rights activist and Professor of Russian, and member of Litvinenko’s network, who claims to have information that Svetlichnaya was acting on instructions from “a special bureau” – a reference to the secret service FSB – to study in London in order to have easier access to exiled Chechen leader Akhmed Zakayev.

Russian Investors
The Observer followed her lead and described her as a student at the University of Westminster in London, but there is no mention made in the articles of her background as information chief for a Russian investment firm.

On Monday Aftenposten discovered her name on a web site for the Russian investment company “Russian Investors”. Hidden on a page listing the company’s “philanthropic” activities in equestrianism, she stands listed by name and with a company email address.

Aftenposten’s London correspondent phoned the investment company’s managing director Alexei Yashechkin to learn more about Svetlichnaya and her relationship to the company.

The conversation with Yashechkin was hesitant and occasionally self-contradictory. The director both denied and admitted that Svetlichnaya had connections to the company.

He also said it must be a case of a “another girl with the same name”, without any mention that the call had anything to do with the Svetlichnaya in the news who claimed to be a student. After many much stammering and several pauses the obviously nervous director finally ended the conversation and hung up.

Skeptics
The British professor of Russian, who insisted on remaining nameless on this matter, accuses Svetlichnaya of being part of a “massive disinformation campaign” about the Litvinenko affair.

Human rights activist Maria Fuglevaag Warsinski called the accusations of secrecy and blackmail into question, citing Litvinenko’s efforts to publicize information he gained.

“He wanted to spread this information to as many as possible and was pleased by the help he got to disseminate this to human rights activists and advocates of democracy,” Warsinski said.

Svetlitsjnaja Scorned

Svetlitsjnaja has identified herself as a student in London who had contact with Litvinenko before he died. She told British newspapers that Litvinenko, who was a harsh critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had aimed to extort money from Russian politicians and businessmen.

Aftenposten, however, found Svetlitsjnaja listed as information chief on the web site for a company called “Russian Investors.” The ownership of Russian Investors is unclear, but it’s been linked to the Russian state in British media. Its chairman Aleksej Golubovitsj, a former strategic planner for the Russian oil firm Yukos that was taken over by the state, was arrested in May by Interpol and Italian police in Pisa.

When Aftenposten correspondent Hilde Harbo called Russian Investors to inquire about Svetlitsjnaja’s connections to the company, her questions went unanswered and Svetlitsjnaja’s name was quickly removed from the web site.

Svetlitsjnaja also refused to respond to repeated queries from Aftenposten, but she reappeared late last week at a press conference in London. When Harbo attempted to ask questions about her role at Russian Investors, she was cut off and verbally attacked. A man appearing with Svetlitsjnaja, identified as a fellow student, James Heartfield, called Harbo a “liar” and attempted to block further questioning.

Some Russian experts have suggested that Svetlitsjnaja may have been set up by Russian officials to discredit Litvinenko. She admitted she had no taped interviews or documentation to prove that Litvinenko was engaged in extortion, and said she failed to alert police about Litvinenko’s alleged extortion plans because she was too busy with research work.

The Kremlin’s Litvinenko Disinformation Campaign EXPOSED


The Norwegian Newspaper Aftenposten reports that a major source of Russophile smears against Alexander Litvinenko in the British press suddenly turns out to have Russia connections that could lead to Vladmir Putin:

The prominent English Sunday newspaper The Observer published an article where Julia Svetlichnaya [pictured above with her attorney at a London press conference] accused Litvinenko of possessing secret documents that he intended to use to blackmail prominent Russian politicians and businessmen.

Svetlichnaya, 33, told The Observer that she had made contact with Litvinenko in connection with a book she was allegedly writing about the breakaway republic of Chechnya.

Svetlichnaya characterized Litvinenko as a paranoid and pathetic figure fighting a private war with the Kremlin, trying to relieve his penniless existence via blackmail, and said he invited her to take part in his plots.

Aftenposten has seen an email from a British human rights activist and Professor of Russian, and member of Litvinenko’s network, who claims to have information that Svetlichnaya was acting on instructions from “a special bureau” – a reference to the secret service FSB – to study in London in order to have easier access to exiled Chechen leader Akhmed Zakayev.

Russian Investors
The Observer followed her lead and described her as a student at the University of Westminster in London, but there is no mention made in the articles of her background as information chief for a Russian investment firm.

On Monday Aftenposten discovered her name on a web site for the Russian investment company “Russian Investors”. Hidden on a page listing the company’s “philanthropic” activities in equestrianism, she stands listed by name and with a company email address.

Aftenposten’s London correspondent phoned the investment company’s managing director Alexei Yashechkin to learn more about Svetlichnaya and her relationship to the company.

The conversation with Yashechkin was hesitant and occasionally self-contradictory. The director both denied and admitted that Svetlichnaya had connections to the company.

He also said it must be a case of a “another girl with the same name”, without any mention that the call had anything to do with the Svetlichnaya in the news who claimed to be a student. After many much stammering and several pauses the obviously nervous director finally ended the conversation and hung up.

Skeptics
The British professor of Russian, who insisted on remaining nameless on this matter, accuses Svetlichnaya of being part of a “massive disinformation campaign” about the Litvinenko affair.

Human rights activist Maria Fuglevaag Warsinski called the accusations of secrecy and blackmail into question, citing Litvinenko’s efforts to publicize information he gained.

“He wanted to spread this information to as many as possible and was pleased by the help he got to disseminate this to human rights activists and advocates of democracy,” Warsinski said.

Svetlitsjnaja Scorned

Svetlitsjnaja has identified herself as a student in London who had contact with Litvinenko before he died. She told British newspapers that Litvinenko, who was a harsh critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had aimed to extort money from Russian politicians and businessmen.

Aftenposten, however, found Svetlitsjnaja listed as information chief on the web site for a company called “Russian Investors.” The ownership of Russian Investors is unclear, but it’s been linked to the Russian state in British media. Its chairman Aleksej Golubovitsj, a former strategic planner for the Russian oil firm Yukos that was taken over by the state, was arrested in May by Interpol and Italian police in Pisa.

When Aftenposten correspondent Hilde Harbo called Russian Investors to inquire about Svetlitsjnaja’s connections to the company, her questions went unanswered and Svetlitsjnaja’s name was quickly removed from the web site.

Svetlitsjnaja also refused to respond to repeated queries from Aftenposten, but she reappeared late last week at a press conference in London. When Harbo attempted to ask questions about her role at Russian Investors, she was cut off and verbally attacked. A man appearing with Svetlitsjnaja, identified as a fellow student, James Heartfield, called Harbo a “liar” and attempted to block further questioning.

Some Russian experts have suggested that Svetlitsjnaja may have been set up by Russian officials to discredit Litvinenko. She admitted she had no taped interviews or documentation to prove that Litvinenko was engaged in extortion, and said she failed to alert police about Litvinenko’s alleged extortion plans because she was too busy with research work.