Home » Kremlin » Russians, S-300, and cash

Russians, S-300, and cash

I found this story at slon.ru, a Russian magazine. Its author – Valeriy Morozov – is sharing a mind-blowing story from the 90s.
Here is a link to the original:http://www.snob.ru/profile/23916/blog/70173

And here is rough translation that I did:

I met Valeriy Gorelov in 1994. He was deputy superintendent in Moscow’s Kremlin. Gorelov was in charge of technical maintenance of the Kremlin buildings. Gorelov took responsibility for the contract between Russia’s Major Security Agency (also known as the Federal Security Agency) and the York Russia company (the Russian branch of the American York International corporation). Back then I was director general of the York Russia and supervised the former Soviet countries. According to the contract, “York” was rebuilding the air-conditioning system in the Kremlin’s Grand Palace.

The following is a dialogue between the author of the article and Mr.Gorelov.

“I thought I would tell you one story,” said Gorelov, his face blushing. He bent his head in a bird-like manner and was looking past me. He appeared to be looking inward rather than elsewhere in the room.

“ What story?“ I asked. I can’t say I was particularly intrigued. Rather,  I was surprised at Gorelov’s unusual behavior.

“Have you met Varshavsky?”

“No, I haven’t. Who is he?”

“He is an emigrant. He used to be Russian. He emigrated to America during the Soviet regime.”

“No, I have never heard of him.”

Gorelov was silent for a moment. Then he looked at the corner of my desk as if something was written there, and started violently moving his finger over its polished surface, trying to erase what he would be seeing there.

“We sold the S-300 ballistic missile to Americans. The whole package. With missiles. One whole unit. For three million dollars. In cash.”

The room fell silent.

“You mean, the surface-to-air missile system?” I asked.
“ Yes,” he replied.
“With the “friend-or-foe” system?” I  asked.
“Yes,” he said, and stopped rubbing the desk, looking somewhere behind me.
“Who do you mean by ’we’?”
“Korzhakov, Barsoukov, and myself.”
“Korzhakov, Barsoukov. And I.”

Here, in front of me, was sitting, a former head of security for Loukianov, the Communist Party’s Politburo member,former deputy head of security of Yeltsin, former deputy superintendent of Moscow’s Kremlin. A man who had just said that he himself, together with the head of Russia’s President’s Security Agency, and the head of the Federal Security Agency (the successor to the KGB) who is now the head of the FSB’s main office (the Federal Security Service of Russia in charge of the security and safety of all underground communications and entities, including command and control centers). He and two military generals, two leaders of the major security agencies in the post-Soviet Russia, had sold Americans Russia’s the most advanced air-defense and anti-ballistic missile system, the S-300, via an intermediary  in early 90’s. They sold it together with the “friend-or-foe” identification system. In other words, he left Russia without the anti-ballistic missile defense system…for three million dollars…cash.

“Valeriy Pavlovich,” I asked, “do you realize what you are talking about?”

We were silent.

“ I, myself, brought a suitcase with three million dollars to the Kremlin,” he said. “I brought it to Korzhakov in his office. Korzhakov and Barsoukov were waiting for me. Korzhakov took the suitcase and said, ’you, Palych, go home now. You’ll come back tomorrow and get your share.’ So I left. – Gorelov smiled. – The following day I got back to Sashka Korzhakov in his office. He and Barsouk were hugging me and saying ’good job, Palych. We are very grateful to you‘… and handed me a gun made at a Izhevsk factory… A beautiful gun with manuals… ‘Here,’ they said, ‘this is for you – for your good job, Palych!’ And so they were giving this gun to me as a present. Solemnly.  ‘We know you are fond of guns.’ Then they were giving me a bunch of hugs again. ’Alright, they said, go now‘… I left the office with a gun. ’Oh, son of a bitch!’ I thought to myself. They made me do all that for a gun. Then I decided that I would neither forget nor forgive them.”

I cast a look at Valeriy Pavlovich again – he narrowed his face to the desk’s surface and started rubbing it with his finger again – as if in attempt to erase something written there.

“Palych, why did you tell me that?” I asked him.

“Just thought I would tell you. Just in case… I needed to tell it to someone. So, I figured I would tell you…”

Then he left the room.

I never saw Valeriy Gorelov again. He died in a car accident a few months later.


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