Eastern Europe

The Real Winner of Russia’s War? The FSB

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By Andrei Kalitin

Exactly 25 years ago, the man widely regarded as President Vladimir Putin’s political instructor was hiding in Paris from the Russian police. Anatoly Sobchak, the former mayor of St. Petersburg, was suspected of corruption and was helped to leave Russia on a Finnish private jet by KGB lieutenant colonel Vladimir Putin, who had just been appointed director of Russia’s FSB.

When I interviewed him on my program “Top Secret”, Sobchak seemed a bit confused and unable to imagine the future. But that evening in the lobby of the Hôtel Ambassadeur we talked about the future. As we were leaving, Sobchak said to me, “I understand why Yeltsin chose Putin as his successor — he would never betray you. But I also understand that once he has power, Putin will never give it back to anyone.”

The meaning of these words was then understood by very few people, but Sobchak did not hope to be heard.

To read more visit The Moscow Times.

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1 comment

Eli Dumitru June 10, 2024 at 10:05 pm

Again, you write as if you are writing to yourself. For those of us who aren’t you, please tell us what you are talking about. This time it’s: who or what is the FSB?


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