Monday, May 6, 2024

No Real Evidence for Notion that a KGB Conspiracy Brought Putin to Power, Mitrokhin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 3 – The idea that some kind of KGB conspiracy was behind Vladimir Putin’s rise to power is almost two decades old and has gained new followers in recent times, Nikolay Mitrokhin says; “but in reality, we have no evidence for the existence of such a conspiracy” – beyond the insistence that the fact that we don’t shows that it does.

            Moreover, the Russian scholar at Bremen University says, those who promote this idea can’s explain why their supposedly grand conspiracy advanced to the presidency “an insignificant representative of one of its regional departments rather than ‘a heavyweight’ like [Yevgeny] Primakov (

            “In fact,” Mitrokhin continues, “Putin at the time of the rapid advancement of his career represented not ‘the clan of the Leningrad KGB’ but first of all and no matter how trite it may seem, Sobchak and his team as well as his own mafia clan, represented by ‘the Ozero cooperative,’ one of the numerous such groups in the Russian political elite of that time.”

            According to the Russian scholar, “were it not for Yeltsin’s naïve belief … that his ‘successor’ should be ‘young,’ then the leader of Russia’s largest and richest clan, the gas clan, Chernomyrdin, would have become president – or the mayor of Moscow and leader of his own clan, the Luzhkov clan, or the real political head of the special services community, Primakov.”

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