Ex-head of Berezovsky’s security starts cooperating with two intelligence agencies
Sergey Sokolov has launched a ‘terrorist underground’ throughout Russia to compromise the leadership of large companies.
Former Head of late Boris Berezovsky’s security and expert of the Analitika i Bezopanost Federal Information Center (‘Analytics and Security’) Sergey Sokolov, who was arrested in January 2018, has begun to cooperate with two intelligence agencies, Kommersant reports. The person accused of organizing underground bases for Ukrainian terrorists at strategic facilities, including the ToAZ plant, told the FSB that the bases were fake and were created by order of merchants who wanted to compromise the heads of enterprises and take their place. At the same time, to cover up his accomplice, who was arrested for high treason in Ukraine, he sent a letter to the Security Service of Ukraine, in which he swore that he had formed the ‘underground’ not on the instructions of the FSB, but only for the sake of profit. Allegedly, he had never cooperated with the Russian intelligence agencies and did not fulfill their orders; deploying a subversive network in Russia, he did not pursue any political goals.
Apart from Sokolov, Head of the Analitika i Bezopanost Federal Information Center and former MIA employee Ruslan Milchenko, ex-Head of Tolyattiazot OJSC (ToAZ) Security Service Oleg Antonshin, and his former deputy Aleksey Alekseev, have been detained in the arms case. They are suspected of Illegal Sale of Arms (Art. 222 of the Russian Criminal Code) and explosives (Art. 222.1). In December 2016, the police found extremist literature, weapons, and ammunition when searching one of the Tolyattiazot OJSC office buildings. At the same time, the arms cache was allegedly found by accident when officers of the MIA Department of Economic Security and Anti-Corruption (UEBiPK) in Tolyatti were examining the building rented by MSA Stroy LLC from TogliattiAzot as part of a check of the actions of the company's employees for illegal economic activities. That’s when the police was fortunate to discover a bag with RPG-18 grenade launcher (“The Fly”), a buttstock to the Kalashnikov machine gun, cartridges, Wahhabi literature, and letters to the owner of the office Magomed Shishkhanov behind the ceiling panels.
It turned out that Sergey Sokolov had allegedly received an order from businessman Valentin Gonastarev to change the leadership of ToAZ. It was for this purpose that Sokolov organized a fake warehouse with weapons and extremist literature in the office of MSA-Stroy, located on the territory of the plant. Gonastarev paid him $1 million for the implementation of the ‘terrorist’ plan, which, according to Sokolov, was to discredit the current management of the plant. He used this money to involve Director of Analitika i Bezopanost FIC Ruslan Milchenko, Head of ToAZ Security Service Oleg Antoshin, his deputy Aleksey Alekseev, and lawyer Ruslan Eminov, in the project. The political technologist spent part of the money on buying a house for Darya Mastikasheva, his girlfriend who lives in Ukraine, and a Lexus RX-400 for himself.
Later, a similar ‘terrorist’ plan was implemented in several more regions of Russia. In rented apartments, lawbreakers would arrange a base for allegedly planned terrorist attacks at Paveletsky Train Station, Domodedovo Airport, and Kursk NPP. At the same time, Mastikasheva hired several retired military from Ukraine as fake perpetrators of terrorist attacks on the instructions of Sokolov. By August 2017, Sergey Sokolov’s team created a ‘terrorist underground’ in Moscow, Ufa, Kurchatov, and Tolyatti. However, none of the plots have worked. FSB investigators looking into the ToAZ case got onto the person behind the arms cache. Hired military found suspicious items in the clandestine apartments and reported them to the police. As a result, all five criminal cases of illegal circulation of weapons were consolidated into one and referred to the FSB central office. As the investigation progresses, the defendants may be also charged with Art. 207 of the Russian Criminal Code (Knowingly Making a False Communication About an Act of Terrorism). The terrorist ‘subject’ is not presented in the charges in any other way; the investigation ultimately limited itself to the formulation that the arms were stored “for the needs of one of the Tolyatti organized crime groups.”
Oleg Zaytsev had wide connections within the criminal world and law enforcement agencies. This is being related to an organized crime group headed by Ruslan Kilievich that had allegedly been patronized by a former Federal Security Service Directorate officer Oleg Natalchenko. The crime group had also been a core driver for almost disbanding the criminal investigation department of the police.