Russia: “When you (Navalny) plot w/ foreign enemies (UK) against your country you deserve no mercy”
Moscow, Russia — Surveillance footage, recorded in the early 2010s, appears to show a close associate of Alexey Navalny seeking cash and intelligence from an alleged British spy and suggesting his anti-corruption work may benefit firms in London.
The tape, which was first reported by RT television on Monday, is said to have been filmed by the Federal Security Service (FSB) sometime in 2012 and allegedly shows a meeting between Vladimir Ashurkov and an employee of the British Embassy in Moscow. Ashurkov is the executive director of the FBK, Alexey Navalny’s anti-corruption organization.
***”Active work with the opposition”: the FSB has published a video of the meeting of Navalny’s ally with an employee of the British embassy***
At the disposal of RT were footage of a meeting between Navalny’s associate – FBK * executive director Vladimir Ashurkov – with an employee of the British embassy, whom the FSB considers an MI6 agent. As the FSB officer noted, “the MI6 embassy station continues to actively participate in work with the Russian opposition, support various NGOs by giving them grants.” With details – RT correspondent Murad Gazdiev.
“If we had more money, we would certainly expand our team. A person who spends here … I don’t know, 10, 20 million dollars a year for support will see a completely different picture. And for those with billions at stake, that’s not that much money. I try to convey this message in my fundraising campaign, to convey it to the leaders of the business community, ”Ashurkov says on the video.
Well, you understand. “Sponsor our coming to power, and we will repay you with billions,” the anti-corruption fighter hints.
The opposition even has a plan that is strikingly similar in content to what it accuses the government of. From bombarding voters with propaganda to behind-the-scenes deals with elites.
“We need to play on different chess fields. Mass protests, civil initiatives, propaganda. We need to establish contacts with the elite and inform them that we are reasonable people who will not ruin everything and deprive them of their assets”.
Part of Ashurkov’s pitch, recorded secretly by the security service, was dedicated to fundraising.
“If we had more money, we would expand our team, of course,” he said, adding that his goal of obtaining “a little money” like “10, 20 million dollars a year” would make a huge difference. “And this is not a big amount of money for people who have billions at stake. And that’s the message I am trying to project in my fundraising efforts and talking to people in the business community,” he said.
The FBK’s stated goal is to expose alleged cases of corruption in Russia. While it is essentially a type of journalistic organisation, its work is ultimately tied to Navalny’s aims gaining political power. Ashurkov outlined the organization’s activities as “mass protests, civil initiatives, propaganda, establishing contacts with the elite and explain to them that we are reasonable people and we are not going to demolish everything and take away their assets.”
At the time of the meeting, Vladimir Putin had just returned to the Kremlin, and was taking a tougher line on foreign meddling in Russia’s domestic affairs. His predecessor, Dmitry Medvedev, had been more liberal and Western-leaning and Putin’s comeback was greeted negatively in the US and Britain.
The year the tape was allegedly filmed is incidentally the same as when a British government official finally acknowledged that an infamous fake rock espionage incident in Russia was genuine. The scandal broke in 2006 and involved British diplomats using a WiFi device disguised as a rock to collect intelligence from sources in Russia.
On Tuesday February 2, Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny was sentenced to serve two-and-a-half years in prison after being found guilty of breaking the terms of a suspended sentence, handed down for a case regarding the above story in 2014.
Moscow City Court ruled that Navalny had failed to regularly report to the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN), and his excuse for non-appearance was deemed insufficient. Therefore, the judge decided that the suspended judgment should be converted into a real one.
The anti-corruption activist was originally sentenced in 2014 to three-and-a-half years, but has already served 12 months under house arrest.
Read more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DAQvYNgf0E