Russian Prosecutor General Denies Spying Charges
Allegations that Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika cooperated with the US intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting Inc (Stratfor) are an “outright provocation,” a spokeswoman for his office told Interfax news on Monday. Chaika himself told reporters such allegations were “delirious.”
He was responding to e-mails written by employees of the American think thank Stratfor that was linked by Wikileaks.
In a statement on Stratfor’s website, the company’s founder and CEO George Friedman called WikiLeaks’ publishing of the Stratfor emails “a deplorable, unfortunate -- and illegal -- breach of privacy.” Friedman explained that “a large number of company emails, as well as private information of Stratfor subscribers and friends” was stolen by hackers. He also added that some of the emails may have been altered to include inaccuracies.
However, Friedman refused to discuss the content of the emails, saying that “Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimized twice by submitting to questions about them.”
An email, one of millions released by the hacking organization, says that the prosecutor provided Stratfor with information about the Kremlin’s investigations into high-level organized crime in Russia, and the power struggles between political figures and the mafia.
According to the WikiLeaks report, the person identified as “RU101” in several other Stratfor emails regarding Russia may be none other than Yuri Chaika.
“Pls keep the fact that he gave us this info under wraps, but we can use the info other than that,” employee Lauren Goodrich supposedly wrote in in September 2007. The memo was addressed to lists called “Secret List” and “EurAsia Team."
Another memo from 2009 links Chaika to Vladislav Surkov, a former clan leader known to his critics as the “Kremlin's grey cardinal.”
The source, RU101 complains about a group of rivals led by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin and Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev.
“The problem is that Sechin/Patrushev want to come after me (Chaika), but Surkov will not allow such a move,” the source is quoted as saying, with the prosecutor general’s name in brackets.
“This is complete nonsense,” Gridneva told Russian newspaper Vedomosti, saying that an official as high up as Chaika was under constant surveillance and therefore it would be impossible for him to have unsanctioned contact with a foreign organization.
She said it was proof that Chaika, who has been General Prosecutor since 2006, is independent of Russia’s security services.
"It testifies to the fact that the Attorney General is a thorn in the side of foreign intelligence services, which have long been protecting fugitive oligarchs that appear on our wanted list."
Chaika’s name also surfaces in discussions of the Tambov Clan, a gang from the central Russian city of Tambov. The group is regarded as one of the most powerful organized crime networks in Russia during the past twenty years. The leader of the Tambov clan, Vladimir “Kumarin” Barsukov, was arrested in August 2007 through the efforts of Prosecutor General's Office and the Federal Security Service.
“He has many old friends within the inner circle, especially Alexei Mordashov (Severstal) and Vladimir Yakunin (railways minister)” Goodrich’s email reads.
“Barsurkov was a person that many in Russia tolerated because of his connections and the fact that he was in charge of the highly powerful Tambov gang. But Putin... was eager to get rid of him, though he was instrumental during Putin's earlier years.”
The Russian media is focusing on the private company’s alleged links to the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), calling it the “Shadow CIA.”yu