Ludmila Alekseeva answers Arkady Mamontov

Source: (info), 24/01/12

· Human rights defenders

Ludmila Alekseeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, has responded to the accusations made against her in the latest report by Arkady Mamontov broadcast on 23 January on Rossiya 1 television channel.

The BBC reported that Ludmila Alekseeva said, among other things, that she received US citizenship in 1982. This happened five years after she had left the USSR under threat of imprisonment for her human rights work. In 1990 she returned to Russia and obtained Russian citizenship. In 2002, Ludmila Alekseeva said, her US passport expired and it had been necessary to renew it.

In his film Arkady Mamontov said that in December 2002 Ludmila Alekseeva ‘was given a US passport’. ‘The obligatory procedure for receiving a document of this kind is publicly taking an oath of allegiance, the essence of which is to faithfully and undividedly serve the United States of America,’ Arkady Mamontov said. He pointed out that ‘it is precisely the spies who are engaged in subversive work against Russia who also work with our human rights defenders, send them money and create means of cover for them.’ ‘One of these means is the issuance of passports, in other words a document witnessing to the citizenship of one or another Wesetern country,’ Arkady Mamontov said.

He also said that Russian human rights defenders received money from the hands of British secret agents, and demonstrated payment documents allegedly signed by the second secretary of the British Embassy in Moscow, Mark Doe, whom Arkady Mamontov openly named as a spy in a 2006 film, reports.

In the words of Ludmila Alekseeva, Moscow Helsinki Group actually did receive a grant at that time from a British organization that did not have any representatives in Russia. Then it was arranged that the British embassy would provide representation for this organization in Russia. ‘Consequently, the embassy staff signed the document. The grant that we received was not signed by Mark Doe, it was signed by Kathy Leach, head of the political section of the embassy. She was not accused of anything. Mark Doe was accused, but he continued to work at the embassy. We were the ones they attacked,’ Ludmila Alekseeva said. From that time the Moscow Helsinki Group has not received any funding from a single British organization.

FSB General Sergei Sorokin told Arkady Mamontov in an interview that ‘Mark Doe, together with Ambassador Tony Brent went to the State Duma and gave advice to our Duma members what laws should be passed on human rights, and Mark Doe travelled on business trips where he gave seminars and held meetings precisely on the issue of human rights.’ ‘Think about it, a spy and foreign agent is travelling around Russian towns and cities giving advice to our human rights defenders, our NGOs, about how they should behave themselves in a democratic society. This is cynicism, presumptuousness, and lack of respect for our country,’ General Sergei Sorokin said.

Furthermore, in the words of Arkady Mamontov, Russian counter-intelligence ‘never accused human rights defenders of collaborating with the English secret service.’ ‘And in our material we say only that it is necessary to be more selective in the company you keep,’ said Arkady Mamontov.

On 19 January Arkady Mamontov said he was thinking of making a new film about ‘traitors, hiding behind democracy and selling out their own country.’ One of the examples of such treachery is, the journalist believes, the recent meeting of the new US ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul with members of the Russian opposition. ‘As soon as the first working day of US ambassador McFaul comes along, they immediately go and make their bows to him, as if we were...Earlier we had the Mongol Yoke, 200 years, 300 years, and now it is as if we are under the American Yoke. And here the viceroy has arrived, only not from the East, but from the West, with the instructions from his boss, whoever he will give them to…The traitors of the Russian people and of Russia went to bow down to him: Oh, you have arrived, Viceroy, oh it’s us, the opposition, oh, tell us how to run this country, tell us what to do with it,’ Arkady Mamontov said.

He also commented on the admission by Jonathan Powell, a former advisor to the British Prime Minister Tony Blair, that the ‘spy rock’, revealed in 2006 in an exposé by Arkady Mamontov, actually had been used to transfer information. ‘Six years ago I told everyone that I was right to 150%, now I am right to 200%. I want to say thank you to those who criticized me then – I mean Alekseeva, the human rights defender, I mean Parfenov, the so-called journalist. That is, other people who called me such-and-such, said that I had dreamed it, and made fun of me. I am grateful to them, I thank them very much. I say this sincerely, for the fact that, thanks to them, thanks to these people, the truth has come out,’ Arkady Mamontov said.