Before I move on to Nikita Belykh’s Latvia connections, I have a new tidbit of breaking news from yesterday, namely, that Nikita’s older brother Alexander, has been fired from his job. Yes, Dear Readers, ’tis a virtual 1937 out there, and one can only wonder, which important official or politician will be next? Or, as Russian commenters say, “It’s a nice start.”
Now, Nikita’s brother, who seems to be the better-looking of the two siblings (more clean-cut, less dissolute in appearance), has been working for the past year as a Deputy Prosecutor in the Privolzhie Federal District (Okrug). Located in the beautiful Ural Mountains, this Okrug encompasses 14 subjects of the Russian Federation, has a population of almost 30 million souls, and its capital is the city of Nizhniy Novgorod. The okrug neighbors Kirov Oblast and is just two oblasts over from Perm.
Now, here is an interesting slant: In Privolzhie Alexander Belykh works (worked) directly under Federal Prosecutor Yury Chaika. Loyal (or stupefied) readers may recall that I wrote a 4-part series on Yury Chaika, starting here, and that I punned furiously on the fact that “Chaika” is Russian for “Seagull”. But even more importantly than that, there was, and is, a blood feud going on between the two men Chaika and Alexei Navalny. Hence, one can only speculate if Chaika is having his revenge by sacking the blood brother of the ex-friend of his blood enemy? Alternatively, one can speculate that “where there is smoke there is fire”, maybe Navalny was onto something when he flung accusations at Chaika; and maybe the feds are just climbing the ladder: Belykh today, Chaika tomorrow? All of this is raw speculation. The third possibility is that a cigar is just a cigar.
The Brothers Belykh
Alexander Belykh was born in 1971 in Perm, into a respectable Soviet “intelligentsia” family. The head of the household, Yury Belykh was a doctoral candidate in technological sciences and worked as a metallurgist.
Yury’s wife Zinaida was an instructor at Perm State University, and was also a doctoral candidate in chemistry. Their elder son Alexander took a different career path — in law enforcement. Starting in 1988, at the age of 17, he began to move up the ladder and eventually, by 2009, worked his way into the job of Deputy Prosecutor in Perm. Along the way he also acquired a wife and several children.
And then something unusual happened: Just last year, in 2015, Alexander, along with his family, was relocated to Nizhniy Novgorod, where he basically switched places with a man named Vadim Antipov. Antipov had been serving in Nizhniy Novgorod for almost 12 years. In the switcheroo, Antipov was relocated to Perm, where he was promoted to General Prosecutor, and Belykh then took Antipov’s place in Privolzhie as Yury Chaika’s right-hand man.
And so this past year, Alexander Yurievich Belykh has been serving in Nizhniy Novgorod. And then, after younger brother Nikita’s arrest, rumors started to fly that Alexander had been fired. The newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda had their Nizhniy Novgorod correspondent phone in to Prosecutor Chaika’s office to verify or deny the story. People in the office abruptly told the reporter to submit his questions by postal mail, would not say anything more, and hung up the phone. Due to their rudeness, KP was forced to print the story as just an unconfirmed rumor. However, it seems to have been confirmed that, yes, maybe, Alexander was forced to sign a letter of resignation. No doubt saying that he needed more time to spend with his family.
And now, finally, moving right along to younger brother Nikita’s alleged Latvian ties. The Russian weekly paper “Rossiyskie Vesti” (RV) scooped this story. According to RV, Nikita kept a goodly portion of his cash in Latvian banks. I quote and translate:
“Taking into account that Belykh constantly was fulfilling various, sometimes delicate, assignments put to him by the Latvian embassy in Moscow, the Latvian government never disclosed to Russian state organs about this ‘dirty money’ of the Russian politician. Representatives of the Latvian government were constantly reassuring Belykh that in an emergency situation, all he needed to do was ‘hie himself to the Latvian border’ and he would be given asylum in Latvia. They repeated this promise to him at the time of his visit to Jelgava and Riga on 23-24 April of this year. Belykh’s official reason for visiting Latvia on this occasion was to celebrate a book, recently published in Kirov, about the famous Latvian poet Jānis Pliekšāns (Rainis) and the time that (the poet) spent in internal exile in Vyatka. However, Belykh had other engagements too during this visit. Among others, he met with Edgars Skuja, the former Ambassador of Latvia in Moscow. It is not known what Belykh discussed with Skuja, other than Latvian guarantees of political asylum. Perhaps [yalensis: here is where the RV piece starts getting really sarcastic] they reminisced about their conjugal alcoholic excesses togetherin the Latvian consulate in Moscow. Perhaps they discussed Belykh’s assistance to Skuja in organizing the work of the Russia-Latvia historical commission. Or perhaps they planned to erect in Kirov a memorial to those [politically repressed] Latvian residents who perished while in detention in Vyatka, among them members of the Waffen SS.”
If RV is to be believed, Belykh practically lived in the Latvian consulate in Moscow. He was there all the time and probably even had his own room. Some of the various Latvian diplomats with whom he hung out, were quite obviously Latvian secret agents and spies. For example, such characters as Atis Lots and Elita Gavele, who is also a CIA agent besides being a Latvian spy. If all of this is true, then one of the aforementioned Latvians is probably Nikita Belykh’s personal handler.
One can only wonder what the poet Rainis himself would have thought of all of this. He who dreamed of (true) Latvian independence.
Visu cauru nakti
Ar vien daiļu meitiņ’.