This is the second part of my series on the Trump Kompromat, using two sources from the Russian-language media. Currently we continue to work our way through this first piece, from an Oppositionist website beamed out from a server in San Francisco. After we finish working through that, then we will turn back to the Evgeny Krutikov analysis from the Russian VZGLIAD newspaper. Krutikov is actually a reputable journalist, as well as a former spy. But we might not get to him for a couple of days, because the Insider piece is fairly long.
First, a few terms for those who are new to Russian politics: By “Opposition”, aka “Opps”, I am referring to the non-systemic Russian Opposition. These people exist on a scale ranging from chess-player Garry Kasparov to fake-girl-group Pussy Riot.
By “non-systemic”, I mean that these political factions, despite numerous attempts to form a liberal political party, have not been able to garner enough votes to win any seats in the Russian Parliament. They are generally unpopular within their own country, yet compensate for that by being popular in the West. In fact, they are funded, on the whole, by Western governments, Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s), and various other political meddlers from the Deep State. I am speaking very broadly, of course. Not every single individual in the Opps is like that. Yet it is a fair generalization. In the past, the Opps received much funding and political support from the Obama Administration. Hence, in the American election cycle Russian Opps were overwhelmingly pro-Hillary. When their candidate lost, they were fearful of losing their foreign funding. Plus, they honestly believe that Trump is a Kremlin puppet, and since they hate the Kremlin, they hate Trump as well. Their job now is to assist the anti-Trump American establishment in attempting to discredit and de-legitimize Trump. Just as, for many years, these same people have been attempting to discredit and de-legitimize the fairly-elected Russian President Putin. Opps are masters of this game (of discrediting and de-legitimizing), using a combination of fact and fiction. So, what is fact, and what is fiction? That, my friends, is your job, as discerning readers, to try to figure out!
The piece I am working through, by an unnamed author, claims his story is based on an “inside source” within the Russian intelligence services and hotel industry. I can tell you right now (Spoiler Alert!) that the piece doesn’t prove anything, one way or the other. Its sole ideological function is to add some corroborative background information to the sensationalistic Opps accusation that Donald Trump was blackmailed by the Russian FSB based on a sex tape. To do this, the Insider piece provides details about the hotel scene in Russia, about the way bugging devices are placed, about some scandalous events, etc. If this were a trial, then this piece would be the “background witness” who gets on the stand and swears, “Yes, Your Honor, it was common practice back in those days to make sex tapes and blackmail foreign businessmen.” Keep in mind that Kremlin spokespersons, in poo-poo-ing the anti-Trump accusations, have insisted that, “No, Trump was just an ordinary businessman back in those days, and we never blackmail businessmen.” So, this piece is countering, “Yes, you do too, and we can cite a few examples…” That is its ideological function.
Insider describes how the spies working out of hotels always have their own video camera setup. In a pinch they can shoot their own sex tapes, but for more complicated scenarios, they prefer to use the professional services of the FSB’s technical-film division. Those guys can film anything they want, with Hollywood-like production values, and they never even have to get a judge’s warrant! Insider mentions the name of one of these former operatives: Alexei Smirnov. Smirnov used to command an entire army of bugging devices, including tiny video cameras which could clip on to a tie, or fit in a button. This is extraordinary stuff — who could believe that such technology exists! In 2013 Smirnov got in trouble when he attempted to blackmail a high-ranking official. As a result – kaput! — Smirnov ended up dead in his own automobile. When his flat was searched, his colleagues found a mountain of kompromat against government officials, businessmen, and his own fellow employees.
At this point in the story, we are all supposed to gasp and go, “Wow! Who knew??!”
What Happens in the Ritz Never Stays In the Ritz
So, there is a Five-Star luxury hotel on Tverskaya Street in Moscow, called the Ritz-Carlton. The owner of the Ritz is the former Head of Administration of the President of Kazakhstan. His name is Bulat Utemuratov, and he is known as the richest man in all of Kazakhstan. In 2011 Bulat bought the hotel for $700 million dollars. The hotel has a fairly clean reputation, only a couple of tainting scandals, namely (1) Every now and then there is an incident where a guest’s cellphone has been stolen; and (2) the biggest scandal touching the reputation of the hotel, occurred on 25 November 2012 when a 25-year-old girl fell (or was pushed) to her death out of a window. Evil tongues claimed that the girl, Natalia, a Russian native from the Krasnoyarsk Krai, had been working the hotel as a prostitute and got into a bad scene with a drunken businessman from St. Petersburg.
Technically, the Ritz does not have a “Presidential” suite. It has five “luxury” suites, ranging from the smallest (64 square meters) to the largest — a whopping 237 square meters and containing a library, a grand piano, and a conference room. The windows open onto a stunning view of the Kremlin and Red Square. Price is $18,000 dollars per night.
Like all major hotels in Russian which host foreign visitors, the Ritz has its own “curator” from the spy services — actually they work for the Foreign Ministry, in a section called “Operative-Tracking Unit”, abbreviated in Russian as ОПУ (OPU), and they are called “Opushniki“, so that’s what I will call them too. So, anyhow, the chief Opushnik for a given hotel gets his own suite to hang out in all day long, along with his posse of cooks, maids, prostitutes, and other employees. Their job is to watch over important foreign visitors and possibly trap them in a sex scandal.
When President Barack Obama flew to Russia in 2009, on an official state visit, they be puttin’ him up in the Ritz-Carlton. Obama’s personal curator-Opushnik was a man known as Roman L. In the course of performing his duties, Roman was forced to detain some shady character, a Nigerian citizen named Obasa Prince Henry, who had tried to bluff his way into the Presidential suite, claiming to be part of President Obama’s security entourage. Upon frisking the interloper, hotel security found that he was carrying a diplomatic ID, #14265, issued by the Nigerian Foreign Service office; and indeed he claimed to be an official within the Nigerian consulate. Yet, when questioned, members of the Nigerian consulate denied that this man had any official business within the hotel, and had no idea why he wanted to meet with the American President.
Aside from that odd incident (a story which actually leads nowhere), President Obama’s visit to Moscow was apparently non-eventful. He and First Lady Michelle stayed in the above-mentioned $18-K suite with the piano. They came, they tinkled the ivories (google it, you filthy minds!), they left. If they had sex, I reckon it was only with each other, and that’s legal, ’cause they’re married.
The story continues in the year 2013, when Donald Trump arrives in Moscow and stays in that very same suite! And this is where the story gets sleazy, as I think you already know…
[to be continued]