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🧵4.1 THREAD—Why Did Jeffrey Epstein Get Such a Lenient Sentence?

*⃣ Part 4—Robert Maxwell & the KGB Coup

Since I posted the last part of this series, Jeffrey Epstein died on August 10, 2019, less than 3 wks after he reportedly told his lawyers that someone tried to kill him.
4.2 Robert Maxwell was the father of Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's longtime companion and alleged "madam."

It has been widely reported that Robert Maxwell was working for Mossad—Israel's equivalent of the CIA.
4.3 Robert Maxwell played an integral part in at least three major international events.

In August of 1991, a group of hard-line members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union tried to overthrow the government from Mikhail Gorbachev.
4.4 It was called the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt.

They failed.

However, it soon led to the fall of the Soviet Union.
4.5 The coup took place a little over 2 months before Robert Maxwell's lifeless body was found floating in the Atlantic Ocean.

Many of Maxwell's family members believe he was murdered, but the official ruling was a heart attack combined with accidental drowning.
4.6 In addition to being recruited and serving as a spy for Mossad, there is also a consensus that Ghislaine Maxwell’s father, Robert Maxwell, also spied for Great Britain and Russia.
4.7 It’s possible Maxwell was passing on all the information from Great Britain and Russia to Israel—but in any case, these three countries appear to have had complex espionage-related liaisons with him.
4.8 As discussed in Part 2, Robert Maxwell may have had espionage intelligence ties to the Soviet Union as early as 1953.
4.9 FBI files reveal that Maxwell and his partner Kurt Wallersteiner, an Austrian, in the firm Anglo-Continental Exchange Ltd. London, a scientific publishing and book selling company, both “ambitious and unscrupulous businessmen,” were investigated for suspicions...
4.10...that they were recruited by the Soviet Intelligence Service (SIS) for espionage purposes. All countries’ intelligence agencies covet information about the scientific discoveries and advances in other countries & Maxwell had his pulse on the scientific community...
4.11...with his scientific-related publishing companies and relationships with the world's top scientists.
4.12 In 1984, the FBI opened new files on Maxwell which contained evidence about a company he acquired, called Information on Demand (IOD) in San Francisco which provided information and research services for their clients, using over 250 computer databases.
4.13 Sue Rugge, President of IOD, provided evidence that she had given access to these databases to various Russian entities (also discussed in Part 2).
4.14 Rugge also told FBI agents in October of 1983 that none of the information was sensitive in nature, however, these Russian entities had access to numerous U.S. government databases, including the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS),...
4.15...the Congressional Record Abstracts, the Federal Index, the State Publications Index, etc.
4.16 Rugge also mentioned that the Lenin State Library had been a client for 10 years and upon further research, it was determined that many of the Lenin Library requests for information were technical and science related.
4.17 Maxwell was a perfect spy. He spoke at least nine languages, he traveled a lot, he met important people on a daily basis and he wielded a lot of power with his publishing empire.

Originally born in Ruthenia, Czechoslovakia, Maxwell’s real name was Jan Ludwig Hoch.
4.18 When he was a teenager, his parents sent him away to Budapest, Hungary because the Nazis were murdering Jewish people. His family was slaughtered by the Nazis. He fought for Britain in World War II, adapted his new name and won the Military Cross for bravery.
4.19 After the war, Maxwell officially worked in Berlin for the Foreign Office as head of the press section of the Allied Control Commission from 1945-57 (see Part 2).

4.20 During that time period, he married a French woman, Elisabeth Meynard. Eventually they had nine children, but two of them died.

He served in the House of Commons as a member of the Labor Party from 1969-1970.
4.21 Most importantly, Maxwell had acquired a media empire of newspapers and publishing companies of all kinds—which in addition to providing scientific discoveries around the world, could at a moment’s notice—act as a propaganda outlet for a particular country’s cause.
4.22 Many of Maxwell’s companies were shell companies or fronts for various government entities.

Maxwell also owned the well-known Berlitz Language schools which were also good cover.
4.23 Maxwell’s associations with Russia probably started soon after World War II, as he had a relationship with Nikita Kruschev (the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964).
4.24 For many years after World War II, Maxwell tried to go back to his birthplace in Slatinské Doly, Czechoslovakia which is now Solotvyno, in the Ukraine.

📕Via "Maxwell" by Joe Haines
4.25 However, Kruschev denied Maxwell's requests to visit his birthplace reportedly because an attempt on his life had occurred in Solotvyno.

📕Via "Maxwell" by Joe Haines
4.26 However, Maxwell's relationship with Russia crystallized when he met with the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in December 1978 in the Kremlin.

🖼️A photo of the two men together was published in the official party newspaper Pravda. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images
4.27 Maxwell was given access to Russian politicians as well as leaders in Eastern Bloc countries.

Whether he was passing on part or all of the information to Israel or Britain is in question.
4.28 Maxwell established good relations with many world leaders, whom he referred to as “my sources,” including George Bush, France’s Francois Mitterand, Germany’s Helmut Kohl and Margaret Thatcher, then later John Major.
4.29 Maxwell was known to call Thatcher in the mornings—at the height of her political power—to apprise her of the main story in his Daily Mirror newspaper.
4.30 Maxwell was also recruited by the KGB, 1st meeting in the 1970s with KGB chief Vladimir Kryuchkov. Maxwell was one of the first businessmen to network with the USSR after WWII. Kryuchkov understood that nothing could be done that Maxwell could construe as a threat to Israel.
4.31 After his first meeting with Kryuchkov, Maxwell was "fêted and granted his every wish" on all subsequent visits to the Soviet Union.

Then Kryuchkov arranged for him to visit his birthplace in September 1978, with his wife, Elisabeth.

📕Via "Robert Maxwell's Superspy"
4.32 As mentioned earlier, in World War II, Maxwell had fled at the urging of his family, when Czechoslovakia was reclaimed by Hungary.

Later, his family members were killed by Nazis at Auschwitz after Hungary was occupied in 1944 by Nazi Germany.
4.33 📕Via "Robert Maxwell's Superspy"

For hours he walked through the village streets saying little, the tears never far away. Crowds from all over the region had been marshalled to greet him.
4.34 📕Via "Robert Maxwell's Superspy" (cont'd)

For the most part they stared silently at this stranger in their midst, dressed expensively, smiling and waving at them as if he were running for office.
4.35 Maxwell wanted to store his money in Bulgaria.

Kryuchkov wanted to establish hundreds of front businesses so that the KGB and the Communist Party could transfer their assets to Western established businesses.
4.36 In dealing with the Russians, it appeared that his driving force was to help Soviet Jews emigrate to Israel, and his efforts were very successful as his “meetings with the KGB chief had eventually led to some 300,000 Soviet Jews being allowed to emigrate to Israel.”
4.37 In the early 1980s and 1990s, many Soviet Jews took the opportunity of liberalized emigration policies, with more than half of the population leaving, most for Israel.

🖼️"Jewish refuseniks" protesting for the right to emigrate to Israel.
4.38 Perhaps as part of his relations with the Soviet Union, Maxwell also had longstanding relationships with the leaders of Eastern Bloc countries and countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
4.39 All of the countries in burgundy were officially part of the Soviet Union at the time and the countries in salmon were "Soviet-allied countries," mostly run by brutal dictators.

🗺️Map via @NPR before the Soviet Union collapse.
@NPR 4.40 In 1979, the 30th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic [East Germany], Maxwell’s Pergamon Press published Erich Honecker’s autobiography “From My Life” with a positive preface to the book written by Maxwell.

Honecker later stood trial for human rights abuses.
@NPR 4.41 About a year before Maxwell’s death in 1991 and a month before the fall of the Soviet Union, he traveled to East Germany to specifically support Honecker and the Communist regime there.
4.42 Erich Honecker, who was the dictator ruling East Germany, had rebuked Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbechev’s calls for perestroika, “We have done our perestroika; we have nothing to restructure.”

🖼️Photo: U.S. National Archives & Records Administration. Gorbachev, Reagan, Bush.
4.43 Gorbechev “grew to dislike Honecker, and by 1988 was lumping him in with Bulgaria’s Todor Zhivkov, Czechoslovaki’s Gustáv Husák and Romania’s Nicolae Ceaușescu as a “Gang of Four”—a group of inflexible hardliners unwilling to make necessary reforms.
4.44 Honecker had become quite ill, was forced to spend time away from the office—& there were rumors abound that his condition was terminal. People had started protesting “the rigging of local elections” in May of 1989 and “demanding the right to emigrate to the West.”

📕Via 👇
4.45 In October 1989, Maxwell was one of the first people to visit with Honecker in an attempt to squash his critics who saw him as weak.
4.46 “Erich Honecker is in very good nick,” Maxwell said in multiple interviews, adding Honecker had been “mentally and physically agile…sharp, witty and eager to talk.”
4.47 Two days after this article was published, “East Germany celebrated the official fortieth anniversary of its formation, and riots broke out in Berlin…

📕Via "Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin"
4.48 Two days later, hundreds of thousands came out across the country for another Monday-night demonstration, and their numbers more than doubled two weeks later.”

📕Via "Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin"
4.49 Despite Maxwell’s persistent efforts, Honecker was removed the following month. And three weeks after Honecker was ousted, the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, signaling the defection of many Eastern Bloc countries from Soviet Union control.

4.50 In October 1988, Maxwell purchased a stake in the Moscow News “to produce a monthly edition for all parts of the English-speaking world.” This was “Maxwell’s attempt to embrace the liberating policies of Mikhail Gorbachev…and a means to promote perestroika.”

🍎Via @NYMag
4.51 Maxwell did not get along with the editor, however, because he tried to control the editorial output.

Maxwell also invested in a printing plant in Mongolia and a scientific database project with the Soviet Academy of Sciences.

🍎Via @NYMag

🖼️Photo: Terry O'Neill/Sygma
@NYMag 4.52 Maxwell had many connections with the leaders of Eastern European totalitarian regimes.

🖼️Photo below: Romanian National History Museum
4.53 He also published supporting biographies of other Eastern European controversial Communist leaders such as Nicolae Ceaușescu of Romania, who was tried and convicted of illegal gathering of wealth and genocide, then executed with his wife by his side by firing squad in 1989.
4.54 He also published a biography of Todor Zhivkov, the Communist leader of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria. Zhivkov’s rule was dominated by unparalleled submission to Soviet direction.

🖼️Left: Official photo, Todor Zhivkov; Right: photo by Ulrich Kohls, Leonid Brezhnev
4.55 In addition, Pergamon Press printed speeches and biographies of Soviet Union Leader Leonid Brezhnev, Poland’s Head of State, Wojciech Jaruzelski, Hungarian Communist leader János Kádár.

🖼️Left: Wojciech Jaruzelski; Right: János Kádár.
4.56 After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Maxwell changed course quickly from aiding Honecker and bought German publishing company Berliner Verlag with the goal of turning the newspaper Berliner Zeitung into “Germany’s Washington Post.”…
4.57 Interestingly, as part of his 16-year KGB career, Vladimir Putin was stationed in Dresden, East Germany 1985-1990 and was there during the fall of the Berlin Wall.…
4.58 On December 5, 1989, “…chaos breaks out. Mobs ransack the Stasi headquarters. They surround the KGB offices. Panicked, Putin calls for military backup, but receives this answer, And I was told: ‘We cannot do anything without orders from Moscow. And Moscow is silent.’
4.59 “After a few hours our military people did finally get there. And the crowd dispersed. But that business of ‘Moscow is silent’—I got the feeling then that the country no longer existed.

Via "First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia’s Pres Vladimir Putin
4.60 Putin (cont'd):...That it had disappeared. It was clear that the Union was ailing. And it had a terminal disease without a cure a paralysis of power.”

📕Via "First Person: Putin"
4.61 Before the military arrived, Putin “spent the several hours…inside the besieged building, shoving papers into a wood-burning stove until the stove split from the excessive heat.
4.62 He destroyed everything he and his colleagues had worked to collect: all the contacts, personnel files, surveillance reports, and, probably, endless press clippings.”

📕Via "Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin"
4.63 About his work in East Germany, Putin said “we were interested in any information about the “main opponent, as we called them, and the main opponent was considered NATO.”

📕Via "First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia’s Pres Vladimir Putin
4.64 Putin described his activities there: “the usual intelligence activities: recruiting sources of information, obtaining information, analyzing it, and sending it to Moscow. I looked for information about political parties, the tendencies inside these parties, their leaders.”
4.65 Putin, who had been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the KGB, returned to Leningrad in early 1990.…
4.66 He started working in the International Affairs section of Leningrad State University where he worked for 3 months, looking for new KGB recruits and reacquainting himself with his old friend Anatoly Sobchak.

Photo: Международная Леонардо-премия 26.jpg: Georg Pik
4.67 Putin ended up working for Anatoly Sobchak when he became the Mayor of Leningrad, now St. Petersburg.
4.68 Putin claimed that he sent a letter of resignation to the KGB because he was being blackmailed while serving as an advisor to Sobchak. Putin said the letter “had gotten stalled somewhere...

📕Via "First Person: An Astonishing Frank Self-Portrait by Russia's Pres Putin
4.69 Putin (cont'd):...Somebody, somewhere, apparently just couldn’t make a decision.

🕵️‍♂️So when the coup happened, I was still an active KGB officer.”

🏝️During the coup, Putin said he was on vacation for the first two days, then returned to Leningrad on August 20, 1991.
4.70 Putin and his associates “camped out” at the city council office and “passed out pistols” in case of disruptions.

Putin on the coup plotters? “It was clear that they were destroying the country…

📕Via "First Person"
4.71 Putin (cont'd):...the means and methods they used only pushed the country further towards collapse. Once I saw the faces of the coup-plotters on TV, I knew right away that it was all over.”

📕Via "First Person"
4.72 Later Putin said “as soon as the coup began, I immediately decided whose side I was on…That’s why, on August 20, [1991, the second day of the Russian coup d’état attempt] I wrote a second statement resigning from the KGB.”

📕Via "First Person"
4.73 Putin claims that the resignation memo was signed after his boss, Sobchak called [Vladimir] Kryuchkov and the head of his KGB division. “Kryuchkov was a true believer in Communism, who sided with the coup-plotters.

🖼️Photo: RIA Novosti archive, image #418053
4.74 But he [Kryuchkov] was also a very decent man. To this day I have the greatest respect for him.”

📕Via "First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin"
4.75 Putin’s job in Dresden was to “collect information about ‘the enemy,’ which was the West, meaning West Germany and, especially, United States military bases in West Germany,” technically he was assigned to...
4.76 (cont'd)...“Directorate S, the illegal intelligence-gathering unit” and used “assumed identities and falsified documents.”

📕Via "First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin"
4.77 After St. Petersburg, Putin started working for Yeltsin’s administration in 1996, first as the Deputy Chief of the Presidential Property Management Department.

🖼️Photo: Russian Presidential Press and Information Office
4.78 Putin was responsible for the foreign property of the state and organized the transfer of the former assets of the Soviet Union and Communist Party to the Russian Federation.
4.79 As a Yeltsin loyalist, Putin was promoted quickly and became head of the FSB (the successor to the KGB) in 1998, then in 1999 one of three First Deputy Prime Ministers, then Acting President.

🖼️Photo: STR/Getty
4.80 As soon as Putin gained control, he administered pardons for any crimes committed by Yeltsin and his family.
4.81 Meanwhile, a lot was going on in Maxwell’s life in 1991.

📕Seymour Hersh wrote a book called “The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy,” outing Maxwell and an editor of his newspaper, The Mirror, as Mossad spies.
4.82 Maxwell sued for libel but as news items trickled out, it became more and more evident that Hersh’s book was accurate. (More on this in Part 5).
4.83 And then there was Maxwell’s involvement in the 1991 Soviet coup d’état attempt or the August Coup: an attempt to wrest control of the country from Soviet President & General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev.
4.84 After Maxwell died in November 1991, Britain Prime Minister John Major told reporters that Maxwell had given him “valuable insights” into the coup.
4.85 The coup leaders were hard-line members of the Communist party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) who opposed Gorbachev’s reform plan, but the KGB orchestrated it.
4.86 Officially, the group was called the State Committee on the State of Emergency or the “Gang of Eight.” One of the eight was the head of the KGB, Vladimir Kryuchkov with whom Maxwell had numerous contacts.
4.87 Maxwell also had a close friendship with Gorbachev. In June of 1990 along with then Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich, they announced the establishment of the Gorbachev Maxwell Institute of Technology to honor Gorbachev’s contributions to world peace and friendship.
4.88 The pledge was also to commemorate Gorbachev's visit to Minnesota.

💰Maxwell promised to donate $50 million to start the institute, but never did.

🗞️Via Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 4, 1990
4.89 Because of Maxwell's productive working relationship with Kryuchkov, Maxwell was hoping to get a commission of 15% for helping Gorbachev pay off trillions of dollars of foreign debt at this time.

📕Via "Robert Maxwell, Superspy"
4.90 Kryuchkov suggested that they meet “soon” on Maxwell’s yacht, the Lady Ghislaine.

📕Via "Robert Maxwell, Superspy"

🖼️Photo: Frederick de Lafosse via @ObserverUK
4.91 In the summer of 1991, members of the Communist party in the Soviet Union were getting more and more impatient with Gorbachev’s preoccupation with “perestroika” (political and economic reforms) or “glasnost” (meaning “openness”).
4.92 KGB chief Kryuchkov encapsulated the Communist party’s feelings by saying “The implementation of fundamental reforms in this land are not as we envisioned, but as dreamed by others across the ocean. They were once our enemies. But are they our friends now?”

📕Via Superspy
4.93 Gorbachev intended to sign the New Union Treaty on August 20, 1991 which was intended to reorganize the Soviet republics into a new confederation which was an attempt to avert the end of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
4.94 Kryuchkov and his KGB Communist allies wanted to prevent this treaty from being signed on that date.

When Maxwell visited Moscow, Kryuchkov told him that he and others had started to meet in secret with others in Russia who felt the same way.
4.95 Maxwell did not pass on the information to his friend Gorbachev, but he did tell Mossad. For Mossad, this confirmed what they were hearing through PROMIS software. PROMIS software, and the company which designed the software, Inslaw, will be explored in detail in Part 6.
4.96 Very briefly, it was a software program that had the ability to track enemies through a variety of databases.

Maxwell was instrumental in selling the program to many countries, including Eastern Bloc countries and the Soviet Union.
4.97 But what the purchasers didn’t know was that Israel had designed the software with a “back door” so that when they used the software, Israel could track everything the countries were doing.

🇺🇸Meanwhile, the CIA was doing the same thing (again, more of this in Part 6).
4.98 Israel was afraid of Iran or Iraq getting a hold of Russia’s nuclear arsenal if they became weakened.

Since Maxwell published scientific publications, it gave him access to Russian scientists and he could assess who could be compromised by Israel’s enemies...
4.99...which was valuable to Mossad.

But even though this information was very valuable to Israel, Mossad saw Maxwell’s discussions with Russia’s KGB Chief as a threat so they were beginning to see him as a “loose cannon.”

📕Via "Robert Maxwell, Superspy"
4.100 Sometime in summer of 1991, Kryuchkov called Maxwell, wanting to know if he would be cruising on the Lady Ghislaine and said he wanted to join the boat.
4.101 Victor Ostrovsky later claimed that Maxwell arranged a meeting between Kryuchkov & a senior Mossad official to discuss the coup to overthrow Gorbachev.

🇷🇺This was the genesis of the 1991 Soviet coup d’état attempt.

📕Via Victor Ostrovsky, "The Other Side of Deception"
4.102 Robert Maxwell’s interest in Russia at the time was his attempt to negotiate a $20 billion British government loan to prop up the ailing Soviet Union as his newspaper empire was collapsing—presumably for a monetary reward.
4.103 According to Margaret Thatcher’s private secretary Charles Powell, Maxwell visited Margaret Thatcher in March 1990 in order to persuade her to make the loan.…
4.103 Powell recorded in a letter: “It was quite clear that perestroika was in far worse trouble than even we had imagined…The most urgent need was for short and medium-term credit of up to US $20 billion for the purchase of food, consumer goods, equipment and supplies...
4.104 The letter (cont'd)...Without this, there was no way that Mr Gorbachev could get through.”
4.105 In the letter, Maxwell said that in return the Soviet Union could supply chemicals, fertilizers and coal, and wide-bodied jets to the West, but Trade Secretary Nicholas Ridley dismissed the notion that British taxpayers would want to buy Soviet jets and chemicals.
4.106 Ridley’s private secretary also noted that Maxwell left out the Soviet reserves of gold, platinum and diamonds.”
4.107 So Thatcher refused and the differences between the coup members and Gorbachev broadened.

The coup members were known as the State Committee on the State of Emergency or GKChP, later dubbed the Gang of Eight.
4.108 On August 4, 1991, Gorbachev left on vacation to Foros, Crimea.

🗺️Google Maps, Moscow to Foros, Crimea via automobile
4.109 On August 18, 1991—KGB officers cut Gorbachev’s phone lines to his dacha (a Russian vacation home) and KGB agents, including Yuri Plekhanov, and then entered the dacha, starting the Russian coup.…
4.110 The Gang of Eight wanted Gorbachev to sign documents declaring a state of emergency.

He would be replaced by the Vice President if he refused.

“I will commit suicide if I sign anything like that,” Gorbachev said.

📕Via "Robert Maxwell, Superspy"
4.111 The coup members put Gorbachev under house arrest and removed his briefcase with the nuclear codes.

Gorbachev was supposed to sign the New Union Treaty in Moscow in two days and the plotters wanted to prevent this.
4.112 Led by Kryuchkov, thousands of troops and tanks descended into downtown Moscow, but Boris Yeltsin, an opposition leader, along with other democratic reformers had been holed up in the White House Parliament building since the beginning trying to figure out their response.
4.113 The Gang of Eight had purchased 250,000 pairs of handcuffs and 300,000 arrest forms and emptied out Lefortovo prison in preparation for mass demonstrations.

They banned all newspapers in Moscow, except for nine Party-controlled newspapers.
4.114 The first night, the night of August 19, 1991, they declared a state of emergency and Gennady Yanayev claimed that Gorbachev was ill.
4.115 At one point, Yeltsin left the “White House” and climbed onto one of the tanks to address a cheering crowd of 30,000 people. This was inadvertently shown on Russian television.
4.116 Meanwhile, Yeltsin had access to telephones and immediately started calling foreign leaders, starting with George H.W. Bush.

Additionally, he also called one of the Gang of Eight and told him “We will never accept you and your gang of bandits.”
4.117 The following day, August 20, 1991, the Gang of Eight declared a curfew and were planning an attack on the White House, a Parliament building in Moscow.

But the Army generals were worried that there would be too much bloodshed.
4.118 🇪🇪While they were mulling this over, #Estonia’s Supreme Council declared their independence after 41 years of being controlled by the Soviet Union.
4.119 On the third day, August 21, 1991, trolleybuses and street cleaning machines barricaded a tunnel near the White House Parliament building, blocking military vehicles. A disturbance took place, resulting in the deaths of three people and many people were injured.
4.120 According to Sergey Parkhomenko, a journalist and democracy campaigner who was in the crowd defending the White House, “Those deaths played a crucial role: Both sides were so horrified that it brought a halt to everything.”

📕Via "Robert Maxwell, Superspy"
4.121 One of the Gang of Eight ordered the troops to withdraw. Five of them, plus the Communist Party General Secretary went to Gorbachev’s vacation house but he refused to meet them and declared everything they had done null and void.

Latvia then announced their sovereignty.
4.122 The following day, August 22, 1991, the coup leaders went into hiding and Yeltsin issued warrants for them while sending troops to retrieve Gorbachev from his vacation house.

Gorbachev flew to Moscow and put 3 of the Gang of Eight in jail.
4.123 A fourth member, Boris Pugo, committed suicide with his wife the next day.

The rest were in custody within 48 hours.

It turns out Pugo should have waited.

🖼️Photo by: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP
4.124 Similar to Putin’s strategy, once Maxwell knew the coup had failed, he spoke out against it.

Yeltsin ordered all the KGB files to be seized.
4.125 Maxwell and Mossad knew that he might be “outed” as a Mossad spy and had been involved with the “failed coup,” and that there had been a ‘Mossad liaison’ or Israel had been backing the coup attempt.

📕Via "Robert Maxwell, Superspy"
4.126 All these events weakened the Soviet Union and Gorbachev, while strengthening Boris Yeltsin.

They led to the the Soviet Union’s ultimate collapse on December 25, 1991—almost two months after Maxwell’s death.
4.127 By this time, 14 Eastern European countries had declared themselves independent from Russia.
4.128 In late August 1991, Kryuchkov was able to smuggle out a message and get it to Maxwell, pleading Maxwell to ask Gorbachev to set him free.

Maxwell said he would help him, but he never did.

Maxwell dumped him.

📕Via "Robert Maxwell, Superspy"
4.129 In 1994, the State Duma (one of the Russian governmental bodies) freed Kryuchkov in an amnesty agreement.

⚰️Kryuchkov died at the age of 83 in 2007.…
4.130 Two months after the failed coup, Israel & the Soviet Union resumed diplomatic relations—which had been cut off since 1967—but improved in 1987 when the two countries established consular ties & the political climate improved so...…
4.131...that Soviet Jews were free to emigrate to Israel after years of severe restrictions.
4.132 After the failed coup, Gorbachev immediately replaced Kryuchkov with Vadim Bakatin as the KGB Chief.

📕Via "Comrade J.: The Untold Secrets of Russia’s Master Spy in America after the End of the Cold War"
4.133 Bakatin immediately “fired the KGB ‘ideologues’—the ironfisted generals & Communist Party mbrs who he claimed had been responsible 4 expelling controversial writers, sending dissidents to mental insts., & destroying the lives of the intelligentsia opposed to the party.”
4.134 In addition, to usher in a new age of cooperation between Russia and the United States, Bakatin sent a set of top secret blueprints with the locations of all the electronic eavesdropping devices which were installed in the American embassy in Moscow...
4.135...and publicly declared an end to the covert warfare between the two countries.

📕Via "Comrade J.: The Untold Secrets of Russia’s Master Spy in America after the End of the Cold War"
4.136 Officially, Gorbachev abolished the KGB, but effectively reorganized the spy institution into separate entities: The Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), the Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information (FAPSI), the Federal Protection Service (FSO) and the...
4.137...Federal Security Service (FSB), absorbing much of the KGB and creating a new police force with new names.
4.138 Years later, Sergei Tretyakov, a career KGB/SVR agent, who allegedly became a double agent in 1997 while working in New York, said that KGB Chief Kryuchkov had secretly transferred $50 billion worth of funds to an unknown location before the coup in order to... the plan to return to Communism.
4.140 In a review of the Pete Earley’s book, Washington Post @washingtonpost writer David Wise describes Tretyakov’s account of the $50 billion transfer as an “oft-told tale in Russia,” and claims that Tretyakov provides no details.…
4.141 However, Tretyakov claimed that before the coup, a KGB memo titled “Emergency Measures to Organize Commercial and Foreign Economic Activity for the Party,” was written by the Communist party’s administrative director, Nikolai Kruchina.
4.142 The funds from the Communist party’s accounts was moved into private businesses (then illegal in Russia) or shell companies (did Kryuchkov learn from Maxwell & his financial advisors?), which transferred the money out of the Soviet Union.
4.143 ⚰️When Gorbachev’s investigators went to interview Kruchina less than a week after the end of the attempted coup, they found that he had jumped out of a window of a 7th floor apartment at 63 years old, allegedly leaving two suicide notes.…
4.144 Kruchina had not been linked with the coup plotters.

4.145 ⚰️Tretyakov biography author Pete Earley also reported that Gorbachev’s investigators found Kruchina’s (he spelled it as “Kruchinin”) top aide dead at the same time.

🖼️Photo by: Chip East, Reuters, National Post, Sergei Tretyakov
4.146 ⚰️Of course they were dubbed as “suspicious suicides” and the suspicions were that the KGB killed them, but it seems more likely that they were killed by whomever found what had happened to the money.
4.147 In 1992, The Supreme Soviet investigated the missing money and Lev Ponomarev, a Moscow politician estimated that between $15 and $50 billion, including sixty metric tons of gold and eight metric tons of platinum, had been transported out of the country by Kryuchkov.
4.148 But the SVR acted as a roadblock to the investigation and when Ponomarev hired a U.S. firm to help them, he was pressured—indirectly by the SVR—to stop the investigation.

📕Via Comrade J.: The Untold Secrets of Russia’s Master Spy in America after the End of the Cold War
4.149 Tretyakov also had evidence that Consul General Ivan Kuznetsov, one of the highest Russian diplomats in Manhattan at the time, was embezzling funds as did others.
4.150 But Kuznetsov was a close friend of Yeltsin’s Deputy Prime Minister, Viktor Chernomyrdin, who was also the founder of the state-run Gazprom, and no one wanted to challenge him.
4.151 Meanwhile, after a short period of unemployment, Putin was hired by Chernomyrdin’s deputy prime minister, Aleksei Bolshakov, who remembered Putin because he never forced him to wait in the reception area in St. Petersburg.

The New Tsar, The Rise & Reign of Vladimir Putin
4.152 Yeltsin eventually did fire his prime minister, and then two investigations were opened up on Kuznetsov.

💎But the charges were dropped and Kuznetsov was appointed by Yeltsin to a government panel that oversaw the import and export of Russian diamonds.
4.153 Tretyakov concluded, “The more corrupt and ignorant you were in Moscow under Yeltsin, the more you were admired. In such an environment, only fools dared to be honest."

📕Via Comrade J.: The Untold Secrets of Russia’s Master Spy in America after the End of the Cold War
4.154 However, many years later, in March 2007, Kuznetsov, who at one time served on the United National Committee for Admin & Budgetary Issues, was convicted in NYC of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, then sentenced to 51 months in prison & a fine of $73,000.
4.155 But under the Trump administration, Kuznetsov—who apparently also goes by Vladimir—left his prison stint off of his CV enabling him to serve on 3 major international organizations:…
4.156 (cont'd) Vladimir Kuznetsov, convicted criminal is serving on:
▶️the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
▶️the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization
▶️the United Nations Food & Agricultural Organization
4.157 Via Josh Rogin @joshrogin @washingtonpost 1/31/19:
Kuznetsov is back overseeing budgets of the U.N. organization that governs food aid as well as the body charged with protecting Syrian civilians from chemical attacks.
4.158 The Trump administration & members of Congress apparently protested, but Vladimir Kuznetsov is still serving on the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, for one.
4.159 Tretyakov recounted that Major General V. Lysenkov made a special visit to NY to reiterate the importance of a visit from Deputy Y. Volkov, a Russian finance minister, & told Tretyakov in a hushed voice that Deputy Volkov had access to SVR’s so-called “invisible budget.”
4.160 He did not tell Tretyakov what role Volkov played in the missing money, but he told him that Volkov had access to some of the party funds and the Center [SVR’s headquarters] was intent on keeping Volkov and his assistant Svetlana, with whom he was having an affair, happy.
4.161 So the evidence points to SVR being in control of the $50 billion that went missing from the Communist Party funds.
4.162 Interestingly, Vladimir Putin helped carve out a gated community and owned a dacha on the shore of Lake Komsomolskoye, located in an area that used to belong to Finland before the Patriotic War.

📕Via The New Tsar, The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin
4.163 The businessmen included Vladimir Yankunin and Yuri Kovalchuk, who also joined Putin in becoming shareholders in Rossiya Bank—also known by some as "Putin's bank—which had been created in 1990 to handle the accounts of the Communist Party and, it was rumored also the KGB.
4.164 After the coup attempt in late August 1991, Rossiya Bank's assets were frozen as part of an investigation.
4.165 By December 1991, Rossiya Bank's activity was resumed.
4.166 Rossiya Bank, (shares of which at certain times were held by organized crime gang members as well as by a grandson of Vladimir Putin’s uncle), had more than one-third of Rossiya Bank’s assets frozen again during the 2012-13 financial crisis in Cyprus.
4.167 In 2014, the U.S. added Rossiya Bank on a sanctions list, restricting U.S. trade with the bank.

💳Visa and Mastercard stopped processing the bank's payment as a result.…
4.168 In response, Vladimir Putin announced that he would open a ruble-only account with Rossiya Bank and would make it the primary bank in the newly annexed Crimea as well as giving the right to service payments on Russia's $36 billion wholesale...…
4.169...electricity market—which gave Rossiya Bank $112 million annually from commission charges alone.

Bank Rossiya also announced plans to expand into the Crimean market, becoming the first major Russian bank to do so.
4.170 What happened to the other members of the “Gang of Eight?” Except for Boris Pugo who committed suicide with his wife right after the failed coup, the remaining seven were granted amnesty in 1994 and most went on to have flourishing careers.
4.171 Dmitri Yazov even worked in Putin’s administration and Putin himself presented him with Russia’s Order of Honor medal in 2014.

🎖️When Lithuania convicted him of war crimes in absentia, Russia denounced the trial.

4.172 This is significant because Putin has been infamous for eliminating his enemies.

Did Putin owe them? Did they help the Yeltsin administration track down the $50 billion and say nothing when the SVG took control of the money?…
4.173 Sergei Tretyakov, his wife and daughter all defected from Russia in 2000—leaving behind almost all of their possessions in New York and Russia—and moved to Florida.

🖼️The back cover of Pete Earley's book, "Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia's Master Spy in America...
4.174 Tretyakov delivered more than 5,000 top-secret SVR cables to the FBI in New York; supplied his handlers with more than 100 classified SVR intelligence reports; accordingly, the U.S. prepared more than 400 classified intelligence reports for U.S. intelligence sources...
4.175...the White House and the State Department.

Tretyakov identified SVR officers in the U.S. and provided all their code names.

A high-ranking intelligence official said “the scope of this case is breathtaking. It is one of our biggest success stories.”

📕Via "Comrade J"
4.176 Another senior FBI officer said he was the highest-ranking Russian intelligence officer ever to defect while stationed in the U.S.: “this man literally held the keys to a Russian intelligence gold mine...
4.177...What makes his story even more incredible is that he used those keys to unlock its doors and go into the mine every day to bring us nuggets.”

📕Via "Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia's Master Spy in America after the End of the Cold War"
4.178 Tretyakov helped the U.S. uncover a plot from Russia’s SVR to steal a half a million dollars from the United Nations Oil-for-Food program—part of the sanctions on Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime.
4.179 He said a U.N. employee had been planted by the SVR, setting up artificially low oil prices in 1998, allowing Saddam to use the oil vouchers as lucrative bribes to top officials from Russia, France, and China.
4.180 Tretyakov said this was done “to line the pockets of top Russian government leaders in both the Yeltsin and Putin presidencies.”

📕Via "Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia's Master Spy in America after the End of the Cold War"
4.181 In return, Tretyakov never asked the U.S. for money, but received a record high financial package—over $2 million.…
4.182 In Tretyakov’s words “I want it known that I never asked even for a penny from the U.S. government…What has been given to me—this has all been done by the U.S. government by its own choosing. It was not something I demanded or negotiated.”
4.183 In 2007, he and his family were granted U.S. citizenship.

Tretyakov's reason for defecting?

Rampant corruption in Russia. “I believed that Gorbachev would start a new era of democratization in the Soviet Union. But instead, the Soviet Union ceased to exist, civil war...
4.184 Tretyakov (cont'd)...started in different parts of Russia & in the Soviet Republics.

The economy collapsed, & people became desperate & miserable. Since then Russia has been repeatedly raped and looted by its leadership.
4.185 Tretyakov (cont'd): I call this process GENOCIDE of the Russian people performed by a group of immoral criminals.”

📕Via "Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia's Master Spy in America after the End of the Cold War"
4.186 Tretyakov was killed under very suspicious circumstances.

⚰️He apparently died on June 13, 2010 at his Osprey, Florida home but it was not announced until July 9, 2010.

Author Pete Early told newspapers that Tretyakov’s wife claimed he had a cardiac arrest at home.
4.187 Tretyakov was 53.

After an autopsy, the Florida medical examiner said that Tretyakov died after choking to death on a piece of meat and also had a cancerous tumor in his colon.
4.188 A little more than a month after Tretyakov’s death in July of 2010, Putin was quoted as saying to reporters: “It always ends badly for traitors: as a rule, their end comes from drink or drugs, lying in a ditch. And for what?”…
4.189 And later in 2018 after Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in Britain, Putin said: “Traitors will kick the bucket. Trust me. These people betrayed their friends, their brothers in arms...…
4.190 Putin (cont'd): Whatever they got in exchange for it, those thirty pieces silver they were given, they will choke on them.”
4.191 Meanwhile, the KGB in the late 1980s and early 1990s—then led by Vladimir Kryuchkov—had provided Maxwell with a place to hide his money in Bulgarian and Hungarian banks.

Why did he want to meet with Maxwell on his yacht shortly before his death?
4.192 Maxwell knew quite a bit about the Russian attempted coup.

Did he know too much?

Did he know where the $50 billion was hidden?

Did he help Kryuchkov hide it?

Would this be a reason why the Russians would have wanted Maxwell dead?
4.193 What about the fact that Maxwell didn’t help Kryuchkov get out of prison after the coup failed?

Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad case officer & author, says that Maxwell made a very ill-timed call on October 31, 1991 to a senior Mossad official.

📕Via "The Other Side"
4.194 Ostrovsky said Maxwell told the official it was "imperative" that they meet and Maxwell was willing to come to Madrid.

📕Via "The Other Side of Deception"
4.195 After being rebuffed, Maxwell issued a "veiled threat:" if he wasn't able to straighten out his financial affairs, he wasn't sure he could keep a Mossad/Kryuchkov meeting—that Ostrovsky says happened before the Russian coup on Maxwell's yacht— a secret.
4.196 Ostrovsky gives some background on this: before 1991, Mossad would help Maxwell purchase newspapers by lending him money, causing labor disputes and other problems, making the future purchases more vulnerable.
4.197 Later, Mossad & Maxwell conspired to target newspapers Maxwell wanted to buy in advance: with workforce agitation, pulling back pro-Israel advertisers, etc.

🗞️The targeted newspaper would be heading towards bankruptcy and then they'd send "Maxwell in for the kill."
4.198 Since these were joint projects between Maxwell and Mossad, Maxwell felt he was owed money for which in the past Ostrovsky said Maxwell sometimes had to wait.

Also, Israel benefited from strategically placed propaganda when necessary.

📕Via "The Other Side of Deception"
4.199 Ostrovsky said the call was ill-timed because 1. Israel felt like they made a mistake getting Maxwell involved with the Vanunu affair—See Part 5—as he was "outed" as a spy, there was a libel lawsuit and he was being investigated by the British government.
4.200 And 2. Israel was participating in a peace negotiation & Mossad was involved in a scandal with Germany. A Mossad field intelligence officer had called the German police to notify them that a shipment of Soviet arms was about to be loaded onto an Israeli ship
4.201 According to Ostrovsky, the war matériel was concealed as agricultural equipment and it had been arranged through German intelligence (BND), bypassing Russia's Ministry of Defense and the German government because it would have defied German law.
4.202 In any case, Maxwell had arranged the meeting he was threatening to expose, and it had taken place at anchor in "Yugoslav waters" on his yacht.

The meeting was between a Mossad liaison and then KGB Chief Vladimir Kryuchkov.

📕Via "The Other Side of Deception"
4.203 In the meeting, Ostrovsky says, Mossad agreed to support the Russian coup with early recognition of the new regime and other logical assistance.

In return, all Soviet Jews would be released or expelled, creating a massive exodus of people forced to go to Israel.
4.204 Israel obviously did not want this information to be released because "it would be perceived as treason against the West."

After Maxwell's threat, a small meeting of right-wingers at Mossad headquarters agreed to terminate Maxwell.

📕Via "The Other Side of Deception"
4.205 A Mossad contact asked the "Little Czech"—Maxwell's code name—to come to Madeira, Spain and wait for a message. The contact told him that things would be worked out; no need to panic.

Maxwell flew to Gilbratar, Spain arriving October 31, 1991 and set sail for Madeira.
4.206 The following day, a Mossad team flew to Morocco where they "were met by a confederate who'd already taken care of all the necessary equipment and other arrangements."

Maxwell was assured that he would receive as much money as needed to calm the situation.
4.207 On November 2, 1991, Maxwell called his son in England and scheduled a meeting with him on the island.

Maxwell was told to cancel this meeting.

Maxwell was also told that the meeting with the money people would take place on the island of Tenerife.
4.208 According to Ostrovsky, Maxwell reached Santa Cruz on the island of Tenerife, headed for the Hotel Mency [sic] for a meeting.

He dined alone at the restaurant and someone gave him a message.
4.209 The message said that Maxwell should be in Los Cristos [sic] on the other side of the island the next morning and that he should travel there via his yacht, sailing around the island of Grand Canary.

📕Via "The Other Side of Deception"
4.210 Victor Ostrovsky: "I learned all this in a phone conversation with Ephraim [a Mossad officer]. He had no idea how the Kidon team [Mossad's assassination team] had managed to get to Maxwell at sea while the yacht was cruising at 15 knots,...
4.211 Ostrovsky (cont'd): ...but making it look impossible was part of the Kidon magic. Some time during the night of November 4-5, the Mossad's problem was laid to rest in the salty waters of the Atlantic."
4.212 Ostrovsky notes that the first autopsy raised more questions than it answered.

A second autopsy "was held in Israel under the watchful eye of the security apparatus.
4.213 Ostrovsky (cont'd): Whatever was not detected then, was buried forever on Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the resting place for the nation's most revered heroes."

📕Via "The Other Side of Deception"
4.214 Enhanced PROMIS software was a tracking program created by a company called INSLAW (more details in Part 6), but in 1983 Israel was able to get a copy of the software from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).
4.215 Israel’s computer experts were able to break down the software and adapt it for their purposes, then install a “back door” to it so that they could sell it to foreign countries through an intermediary and then...
4.216...that “back door” would enable Mossad to track what each of these countries were doing when they used the software. The person they selected to sell the software was Robert Maxwell, who gave Israel a link to Eastern Bloc countries. Maxwell was good at selling the software.
4.217 Very good.
4.218 In addition to providing a link to Eastern Europe, Maxwell also helped Israel with laundering money, setting up front businesses and providing disinformation/propaganda articles, mainly about what they called “the Second Market,”...
4.219...countries that were part of the USSR that Russia wanted to keep under their control.

📕Via "Robert Maxwell, Superspy"
4.220 In 1987, Maxwell was selling the Israeli “back door” version of PROMIS software to every country he could. The main company he used was called Degem.
4.221 On a trip to Sofia, Bulgaria, Maxwell made what he thought would be a $1 billion deal. Andrei Lukanov, then Minster of Foreign Economic Affairs in Bulgaria and Ognian Doinov, who held key posts in Bulgarian Communist dictator Todor Zhivkov’s regime, met with Maxwell.
4.222 Lukanov gave Maxwell an official document, saying that he could operate freely in Bulgaria and he would have the exclusive right to market PROMIS software in Eastern Bloc countries.
4.223 Maxwell brought a cashier’s check for $250,000 from Liechtenstein and gift wrapped it for Lukanov; and a smaller check for Bulgaria's then leader Todor Zhivkov, presumably bribe money.
4.224 In return, Maxwell was granted the ability to operate “freely” in Bulgaria with no restrictions—and the opportunity to sell in the “Second Market”—countries that were still part of USSR and closed off to most outsiders.

📕Via "Robert Maxwell, Superspy"
4.225 Lukanov and Doinov (pic below) also gave Maxwell full support from the now defunct organization Darzhavna Sigurnost—in charge of Bulgaria secret police and one of Cold War’s most notorious spy networks.
4.226 Lukanov and Doinov wanted Maxwell to have a role in Darzhavna Sigurnost’s most secret project called Neva—a plan for mass-scale theft of U.S. technology.

📕Via "Robert Maxwell, Superspy"
4.227 Maxwell’s company would provide the equipment for the stolen U.S. technology, then Bulgaria would sell it to other Eastern Bloc nations. They agreed to give 25% of the profits off the top and Maxwell agreed to open shell companies in Liechtenstein.
4.228 A mysterious financial advisor of Maxwell’s, someone who “the most important keeper of Robert Maxwell’s innermost financial secrets,” only referred to as “Dr. R” had chosen Bulgaria as the “core” of his Eastern European dealings.
4.229 KGB Chief Kryuchkov promoted Lukanov and made him more powerful, making him an officer in MIR, Main Investigation Unit, because of the way he handled Robert Maxwell.

📕Via "Robert Maxwell, Superspy"
4.230 Did Kryuchkov learn Maxwell’s method for creating shell companies in Liechtenstein and use it to hide the Communist Party’s billions in 1991?
4.231 Lukanov was spooked at Robert Maxwell’s funeral in November 1991 when he saw Doinov there as they both poured soil onto his grave.
4.232 ⚰️Then in 1994, Miho Mihov, director of a branch of the Bulgarian Credit Bank, owned by Multigroup (a business conglomerate in Bulgaria), mysteriously shot himself in the head in the town of Lovech.
4.233 On October 3, 1995, there was an attempt to assassinate the Macedonian president, Kiro Gligorov, who had worked to reduce the power of syndicates like Multigroup.…
4.234 Gligorov was severely injured in the October 1995 bombing, which killed his driver & a bystander.

The assassination attempt was blamed on Multigroup but it was never proven.

🖼️Photo: Boris Grdanoski
4.235 Ivo Janchev was mentioned in Macedonia secret service files as a possible suspect.

Ivo Janchev was an officer in the Bulgarian secret service who linked Maxwell to Semion Mogilevich.
4.236 ⚰️On April 12, 1996, Janchev was found hanging in the toilet in the Bistrica International Management Center, which Maxwell had first bought for a paltry sum.

Janchev had started developing projects for Multi-Group in Macedonia.
4.237 The media was not informed about Janchev's death until several days afterwards for unknown reasons and the investigation ruled it a suicide “but the possibility for a murder had not been excluded.”
4.238 It was reported that Janchev left a letter for Pavlov, but the contents of the letter were not revealed.

⚰️⚰️There were also two other “suicides” both with ties to Robert Maxwell and organized crime: Sasho Danchev and Peter Boychev.

📕Via "Robert Maxwell, Superspy"
4.239 ⚰️Lukanov was assassinated in front of his Sofia home on October 2, 1996 by a lone gunman with a Russian-made Makorov 9mm pistol.

📕Via "Robert Maxwell, Superspy"
4.240 When Bulgarian billionaire Iliya Pavlov testified at the trial of the five men who allegedly conspired to kill Lukanov, he was fatally shot by a sniper in Sofia.

In 2001, Pavlov had previously survived an assassination attempt when a bomb exploded on the road to his house.
4.241⚰️🔗Link to source:…
4.242 ⚰️Ognian Doinov died February 13, 2000 of cancer at age 64, according to his family.
4.243 In 1992, Doinov was indicted along with other former top communist officials on charges of impoverishing Bulgaria by giving millions of dollars to communist movements in the developing world, but he was living in Austria & the Austrian authorities refused to extradite him.
4.244 ⚰️🔗Link to source:…
4.245 Maxwell also had ties to Semion Mogilevich, a Ukrainian-born Russian organized crime boss whom the FBI agency recognizes as the boss of most Russian Mafia syndicates in the world.
4.246 At one time, Mogilevich was on the FBI's “Ten Most Wanted” list, only taken off because the U.S. has no extradition treaty with Russia. The UK has banned him, calling him “one of the most dangerous men in the world.”…
4.247 The UK has banned Mogilevich, calling him “one of the most dangerous men in the world.”
4.248 Maxwell arranged for Mogilevich to enter the Western financial world, specifically introducing him to the Bank of New York which had begun aggressively to step into the post-Communist world.

In return, Mogilevich helped Jews emigrate from the Soviet Union to Israel.
4.249 However, the truth was that Mogilevich robbed these Soviet Jews of their last valuables in return for a promise to smuggle them to Israel.

📕Via "Robert Maxwell, Superspy"
4.250 Maxwell also introduced Mogilevich to a Swiss banker in Geneva—whose investment brokerage had branches in the Middle East, West Africa and the Cayman Islands—just what Mogilevich needed to launder his money.
4.251 Robert Maxwell also got Mogilevich—and 23 of his gang members—passports from Israel.

📕Via "Robert Maxwell, Superspy"
4.252 Mogilevich, who among other offenses, had an uncommon method of corporate raiding: he would storm companies with private armies of former Soviet Spetznaz (special forces) and threaten to take apart the building unless the offer they made was accepted.

📕Via "Superspy"
4.253 Mogilevich reportedly got a version of PROMIS via the Russian “handlers” of the FBI-agent-turned-spy Robert Hanssen. Mogilevich, in turn, copied the software and sold a bootleg copy to Osama bin Laden.
4.254 It’s quite possible that bin Laden used the PROMIS software program to track Americans and it could have enabled his plans for 9/11 attacks on the United States.

More on this in Part 6.
4.255 So did Russians have anything to do with Maxwell’s demise?

💰There was the $50 billion that he must have known about, plus a plethora of information that he must have acquired over the decades since World War II.
4.256 Expanded on former Mossad case officer Victor Ostrovsky's quote: “It was Maxwell who’d helped create the ties with the now-defunct KGB.
4.257 Ostrovsky (cont'd): The right-wingers realized it would be a devastating blow to Israel’s standing in the West if the world were to learn that the Mossad had participated in any way, as minute as that participation might be, in the attempted coup...
4.258 Ostrovsky (cont'd): to stop the democratization of the Soviet Union. It would be perceived as treason against the West. Maxwell was now using the Mossad’s participation as a threat, however, veiled, to force an immediate burst of aid to his ailing empire.”
4.259 Ari Ben-Menashe would provide more details to the authors of "Robert Maxwell, Superspy." SPOILER ALERT

"Maxwell received the call he was waiting for. It originated from one of the yahalomin [a Mossad unit that handles communications to agents in targeted countries] team.
4.260 Ari Ben-Menashe (cont'd): His caller told him that the packet he was expecting would be delivered to him between the hour of 4AM and 5AM. He was to go on deck in that period and stand on the starboard side. The first time he went up, he encountered the ship's engineer.
4.261 Ari Ben-Menashe (cont'd): He sent him back down below. To make sure the engineer would not return on deck, Maxwell then called the bridge and had his cabin heating system adjusted.

He knew he could not be observed from the bridge where he stood.
4.262 Ari Ben-Menashe (cont'd): He knew there was no deck watch. He knew no one would leave the bridge.

Because of the surge of the sea against the hull and the noise of the engine, he did not hear the dinghy from the kidon yacht come alongside on the port side.
4.263 Ari Ben-Menashe (cont'd): There were 3 men in the dinghy. The fourth had remained on board the yacht to navigate it. The three men in the dinghy all wore frog suits; their faces were painted with a black water-resistant camouflage.
4.264 Ari Ben-Menashe (cont'd): Two of the men used rubberized grappling hooks to come on board the Lady Ghislaine. The man in the dinghy dropped astern, having removed the grappling hooks. Because they were made of rubber they left no markings on the deck rail or hull.
4.265 Ari Ben-Menashe (cont'd): The two frogmen came on deck. One carried a waterproof pouch. From it he removed an already loaded syringe. Both men wore rubber-soled shoes. They reached Maxwell in a few strides.
4.266 Ari Ben-Menashe (cont'd): The kidon with the syringe plunged the needle into Maxwell's neck, just behind his right ear. The substance was a lethal nerve agent. It had been developed at the Institute for Biological Research in Tel Aviv.
4.267 Ari Ben-Menashe (cont'd): The two men gripped the body and lowered it over the side into the sea. They then followed into water and were soon back on board the dinghy."

📕All via "Robert Maxwell, Superspy"
4.268 So the prevailing thought (Victor Ostrovsky, Ari Ben-Menashe, Gordon Thomas, Martin Dillon, etc.) is that Mossad, not Russia was responsible for Robert Maxwell’s death. But could it have been a joint project? Or at least something they both had knowledge about beforehand?
4.269 None other than Epstein's former lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, took an opposing view of Maxwell's death in a book review calling it "consumer fraud." Via @Independent

Dershowitz attacked narrator Ari Ben-Menashe's credibility.
4.270 Dershowitz also complained that the authors didn't get an incredibly insignificant detail correct: in a meeting between Henry Kissinger & Robert Maxwell at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York, they describe a 1919 Picasso stage curtain called "Le Tricorne"... "Guernica" (located in Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid).

🖼️Above: "Le Tricorne" was restored before relocating to the NY Historical Society from the hallway of the Four Seasons restaurant, in the Seagram building in NY, where it was since 1959.…
4.272 Dershowitz also notes that "masked intruders" did not cause the death of banker Edmond Safra in December 1999, but all early reports included this detail until it was pinned on Safra's nurse.…
4.273 Why is Alan Dershowitz doing a book review?

What exactly is his expertise here?

It is a little suspicious. Could Dershowitz be a "sayan" for the Mossad?
4.274 As authors Gordon Thomas & Martin Dillon explain in "Superspy," a "sayan" has an allegiance to Israel & a "need when called upon to help to protect it from its enemies." They use an example if you were a doctor, you'd be expected to provide medical assistance.
4.275 A couple of weeks before Robert Maxwell died, October 18, 1991, Russia and Israel resumed diplomatic relations. The first Soviet ambassador in 24 years to Israel was Alexander Bovin and he remained in place when the Soviet Union collapsed at the end of the year.
4.276 The fall of the Soviet Union was the catalyst for a large immigration wave of Jewish people to come to Israel from Russia. The election of Vladimir Putin in 2000 and Ariel Sharon in 2001 helped the two countries improve relations significantly.
4.277 But as for the United States, our country might do well to heed the advice Sergei Tretyakov gave before he died in 2010.

📕Via "Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia's Master Spy in America after the End of the Cold War"
4.278 Tretyakov (cont'd): "Russia is doing everything it can today to embarrass the U.S. Let me repeat this. Russia is doing everything it can today to undermine and embarrass the U.S.
4.279 Tretyakov (cont'd): The SVR rezidenturas [stations for Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation] in the U.S. are not less, but in some aspects even more active today than during the Cold War.

What should that tell you?…
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