One of the most compelling stories which got me interested in the idea of Russian conspiracies was the Andrei Nekrasov film ‘Poisoned by Polonium: The Litvinenko File’ (2008) (released internationally as ‘Rebellion: The Litvinenko Case’ (2007)); and to a lesser extent, Nekrasov’s prior film ‘Disbelief’ (2004). The documentaries stand out as poignant critiques of the Putin regime. As the title suggests, in the case of Poisoned by Polonium the emphasis is on the agonizing poisoning death of Alexander Litvinenko at the hands of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). In the case of Disbelief, the film focuses heavily on the idea that the 1999 Moscow Bombings which brought Putin to power were some kind of an FSB provocation.
Since those films released, there has been considerable speculation about Nekrasov’s film : ‘The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes’ (2016). The film has been roundly criticized in the West because it has called into question the idea that Sergei Magnitsky was a victim of the Russian state and instead posits some kind of Western conspiracy to discredit Russia. To this point, the release of the 2016 film caused The Daily Beast to publish an article: ‘How an Anti-Putin Filmmaker Became a Kremlin Stooge’.
Today I would like to explore the idea that Nekrasov has never been a Kremlin stooge, and perhaps he has been a willful agent of the Russian secret services all along, despite the clearly anti-Putin content of his earlier films. I will also present the idea that Russia has set out to discredit itself in order to achieve a strategic objective. Counterintuitively, Nekrasov’s 2004-2008 films seem to have aided and abetted a strategy of ‘Russophobia as a strategic narrative’. Hiding in plain sight is an idea which I have observed in the past regarding other plausible Kremlin assets. If I am correct, this seems to be one of Nekrasov’s favored approaches to filmmaking as an apparent clandestine officer of Russia.
To me, it seems increasingly plausible based on strong Russian communication efforts to apparently ‘start a New Cold War’ – narratives which seemingly emerged before the death of Alexander Litvinenko – but that his death also strongly supported – that the cultivation of such fears of the Russian boogeyman in the West may be part of a Kremlin strategy to reestablish Russia’s greatness through the justification of massive military spending. On the other hand, it also raises questions about how Russian oligarchic plutocracy may be part of a resurgent communist strategy to insidiously undermine world capitalism through a similar process of self-incrimination and cultivation of global Russophobia – as the Magnitsky case may represent or as the Russian active measures related to Donald Trump may represent. In this sense, there is plausible strategic consistency in the content of Nekrasov’s repertoire which did not begin in 2016, but likely began with his 2004 films and earlier.
For starters, other figures who popularized the idea of the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings but have come to be apparent ‘Kremlin stooges’ exist. Take for example Giulietto Chiesa, an Italian correspondent in Moscow for the publication La Stampa. On June 16, 1999, Chiesa published an article in Russian press which foretold coming terror attacks in Russia as well as linked the theory to the prior March 1999 Vladikavkaz bombing in North Ossetia which had been investigated by then-FSB Director Vladimir Putin prior to his appointment as Prime Minister and later Russian President (see my work on the subject here that links this idea to a Russian apocalyptic narrative in the context of the March 1999 and September 1999 bombings).
Over time, much like Nekrasov, Chiesa has come to be a rather transparent Putin apologist, and produced a ‘false flag’ documentary about 9/11 Called ‘Zero: An Investigation into 9/11’ (2008) which was aired on Russian state television for the seven year anniversary of the September 11 attacks (here’s another non-negative take on it from the now-acknowledged Russian conspiracy site ‘Globalresearch’).
So the idea of pro-Putin conspiracists cultivating an idea that the FSB was responsible for the 1999 attacks does not seem unprecedented. It is also clear that most of the anti-American 9/11 conspiracy theories from Alex Jones’ ‘False Flag 9/11’ to the Syrian government’s ‘4000 Jews Stayed Home’, to ‘Nostradamus’ are tied to Russian strategic narratives.
Further, Andrei Nekrasov describes himself as a friend of Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who had been an organizer of his 2016 Magnitsky film’s botched Brussels premiere – and has recently been indicted on obstruction of justice charges in the US for lying about her contacts with senior Russian government officials. Her now-infamous ‘bait and switch’ meeting with senior Trump campaign members in June 2016 (subsequent to the release of the Nekrasov film) was also apparently centered around concerns about the Magnitsky Act and Bill Browder. Veselnitskaya is observed to be extremely close to the FSB and has counted them as clients for years.
Nekrasov for his part has been dogged by associations with the FSB subsequent to the 2016 film, and even has seemed to drop ‘hiding in plain sight’ hints that he is connected to Russian state security in his earlier works:
“One Bundestag member was a polite, reasonable woman, but after I told her about some inconsistencies in Magnitsky’s case she turned into a fury and called me an FSB agent.” – Andrei Nekrasov
“I said to [Nekrasov], on tape, it sounds like you’re part of the FSB,”…“Those are FSB questions.” – Bill Browder (CEO, Hermitage Capital Management)
“I entered a theater school which was considered an ideological educational institution… we hung out, we fooled around, but we were always aware that there was an informer among us… ” – Andrei Nekrasov (Poisoned by Polonium @ 13:45 – 17:00)
(The above quote appears at a point in the film which is one of the few visual examples I have seen aside from my own work which directly connects Vladimir Putin to Lavrentiy Beria.)
Notably in the process of filming Poisoned by Polonium – beyond the character of Alexander Litvinenko — Nekrasov came very close to the dissident figures of 1999 bombings whistleblower Mikhail Trepashkin (who was imprisoned), the exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky (who died mysteriously subsequently), as well as journalist Anna Politkovskaya (who died in the course of the film making). One might wonder if Nekrasov had a role in aiding these events based on the subsequent events surrounding Magnitsky and Nekrasov’s possible association clandestinely with Russian state security.
In addition, Nekrasov was instrumental in promoting ‘Pussy Riot’ internationally since 2012, which I have connected previously to FSB operations, the infamous ‘Center E’, and generally resurgent communist narratives in popular culture.
While some may accuse me of overreach and paranoia for suggesting this may have something to do with a deeper ‘communist conspiracy’ intended to undermine global capitalism and resurrect socialism, I cannot shake the knowledge that despite the idea that Bill Browder has been called out as a ‘CIA agent’ in Russia according to Sputnik News, his grandfather, Earl Russell Browder — was the former head of the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) from the 1930’s through World War 2.
Furthermore, Earl Browder was a known Russian intelligence informant according to the Vassiliev notebooks (codename:’ Helmsman’/’RULEVOJ’). Earl Browder’s sister, Margaret was also a known Soviet Intelligence agent (‘Helmsman’s Sister’). Earl Browder’s brother (William) and his wife Rose were both Soviet intelligence contacts, and Rose was an intermediary between the KGB and Earl Browder. Further, Earl Browder had a Russian born wife (Raisa Berkman Browder – codename: ‘Peasant’) who was connected to a family of Russian anarchists — his next wife Kitty Harris Browder was a Comintern agent. To top it off, the family nanny was also a KGB spy.
That’s some communist-spy pedigree for Bill Browder there, and one might infer that Earl Browder was on friendly terms with Lavrentiy Beria (so why not their apparent successors?). Time and time again, the ‘kayfabe’ (fake nemesis) emerges as a highly effective potential tool in intelligence collection and ‘Hegelian’ culture conflicts . Perhaps Bill Browder is not as on unfriendly terms with the Russians as the story of Magnitsky would suggest. Perhaps Browder is central to the strategy enabling Russian revanchism in this sense – much like Nekrasov – or even dare I say (my one time ‘hero’) Litvinenko, or the more recent Skripal, etc. may have counterintuitively been. “Once a KGB man, always a KGB man” as they say. Could these events have been aspects of ‘self sacrifice’ (or some kind of reflexive control) for the sake of the reglorification of the Russian state, Orthodoxy, etc. under the pretext of promoting Russophobia as a strategic narrative and Putin’s War
of on Terror?
Well, it’s just a theory and I am not 100% certain about it, though I think it seems increasingly parsimonious. That said, I wouldn’t tell Bill Browder anything I didn’t want Putin to know. Wouldn’t it be tempting to? Therein lies the power of the kayfabe.