This article was written not by me but by Russian journalist Alexei Sharopaev. It appears today in the online magazine Kasparov.ru., which is blocked in its country of origin, can’t imagine why.
Rather than using the research cited in this article and passing it for my own, I thought it would be more appropriate (and also less taxing in my currently enfeebled state) just to translate it as is. I’ve only taken the liberty to decode in footnotes some of the less known acronyms.
Note that the author shares many Russians’ exaggerated faith in the West’s knowledge of Russia and appetite for resisting it.
The West accusing Moscow of poisoning the former GRU Col. Sergei Skripal and his daughter is the most natural response possible under the circumstances. It’s based on facts along with the reputation of the VCheKa-FSB and, more generally, Putin’s Russia as successor to the USSR.
Today’s officers in Russian security services call themselves Chekists and are openly proud of their pedigree. Yet everyone knows that, from the very beginning, the whole history of Lubianka is marked not just by mass terror but also by clandestine ‘special operations’ aimed at eliminating dissidents both at home and abroad. Let’s cast a broad look at this.
In 1926 Simon Petlyura was killed in Paris. Though the actual assassin was Samuel Schwartzbard, supposedly taking personal revenge on the Supreme Ataman for his alleged ‘anti-Semitism’, strong evidence suggests the GPU’s responsibility for the murder.
In 1930, also in Paris, OGPU agents led by Yakov Serebriansky kidnapped the ROVS leader Gen. Kutepov and, in 1937 in the same place, his successor Gen. Miller.
In 1938, in Rotterdam, the Chekist saboteur Sudoplatov killed the famous Ukrainian nationalist Yevgeniy Konovalets.
In 1940 the Chekist Mercader murdered Leon Trotsky in Mexico (the operation was masterminded by the aforementioned Sudoplatov and spy-saboteur Naum Eitingon, also complicit in the kidnappings of Kutepov and Miller).
In 1946 Sudoplatov and Eitingon arranged the murder of the Ukrainian politician Shumsky in Saratov, where he lived in exile.
In 1948 the same duo organised the poisoning of Theodore Romzha, bishop of the Trans-Carpathian Greek Catholic Church.
In the same 1948, in Minsk, MGB agents murdered the actor Solomon Mikhoels by staging a fake accident.
In 1954, in West Berlin, Soviet agents kidnapped one of NTS leaders Alexander Trushnovich (he was killed during the kidnapping).
In the same 1954, in West Germany, Lubianka tried to murder another NTS leader Georgiy Okolovich. However, the operation didn’t succeed: the agent-assassin Khokhlov told Okolovich everything and stayed in the West (later Khokhlov survived a thallium poisoning).
In 1959, in Munich, a KGB agent poisoned the prominent leader of the Ukrainian liberation movement Stepan Bandera.
In 1971, in Novocherkassk, the KGB tried to poison Alexander Solzhenitsyn by an undetectable ricin injection.
In 1978, in London, Bulgarian dissident Georgyi Markov was killed with a poisoned umbrella tip (joint operation of Soviet and Bulgarian State Security).
In 2006, also in London, a Moscow agent poisoned former FSB Colonel and dissident Alexander Litvinenko – as established by the British court.
This list can certainly be extended – for example with the news of Berezovsky’s associate Nikolai Glushkov, strangled in London. (London has become as unsafe for today’s Russian émigrés, as Paris used to be for their White precursors.)
Or else with the list of defecting Chekists liquidated by the vengeful Lubianka: Vladimir Nesterovich (poisoned in a German café, mid-‘20s), Georgiy Agabekov (stabbed in Paris, 1937), Ignatius Reuss (shot in Switzerland, 1937), Walter Krivitsky (shot in Washington, DC, 1941)…
Since the subject of poisons is understandably in the news at present, it’s worth remembering a few facts.
In the late ‘30s-early ‘40s, active in the centre of Moscow was a special laboratory run by Mairanovsky that, for maximum effect, conducted experiments on people, mainly political prisoners. It’s probably worth mentioning that Nazi ‘achievements’ in this area are less impressive.
The laboratory operated under the auspices of Sudoplatov and Eitingon, and the latter is known to have taken personal part in the diabolical experiments. It was Mairanovsky’s laboratory that provided poisons for the liquidation of, inter alia, Shumsky, Bishop Romzha, and also Raul Wallenberg (supposedly dead of a heart attack).
What am I driving at? After Stalin’s death, Sudoplatov was arrested and convicted. He came out of prison only in 1968. However, in 1992, in already democratic times, he was rehabilitated in ‘new Russia’ while still alive. And in 1998 all his decorations were reinstated posthumously. After that is it any wonder that a spawn of the KGB became Yeltsyn’s successor?
Eitingon’s fate was similar. First, in the twilight of the Stalin epoch, he was charged with participating in the ‘Zionist conspiracy’. Then he was convicted as a Beria man and came out of gaol only in 1964, naturally without his rank or decorations.
But this is what’s interesting: just like Sudoplatov, Eitingon was rehabilitated (posthumously) in the same democratic year of 1992. And on 9 May, 2000, his decorations were returned to his family.
That was a powerful, eloquent and, as we can now see, promising gesture. The government made it clear that it didn’t regard as criminal the actions of executioners and murderers, terrorists and saboteurs. On the contrary, it remembers and honours them.
And Litvinenko was poisoned in London a mere six years later.
Polonium is very dangerous. But ‘novichok’ is already a weapon of mass destruction. The British, who are familiar with the ‘glorious’ history of VCheka-FSB, have every reason to react robustly.
 VCheka (Vserossiyskaia chrezvychainaia komissiya), the original name of the Soviet secret police. Throughout the article the author uses several subsequent names of that sinister organisation (GPU, OGPU, MGB, KGB and FSB) as historically appropriate.
 Members of the VCheka and its successors.
 Rossiyskiy obshchevoiskovoi souyz, émigré organisation of Imperial and White soldiers.
 Narodnyi trudovoi soyuz, non-military émigré organization.