The issue of the ‘foreign influence’ is always topical in\for the public opinion in Russia. Numerous NGOs in Russia funded by the foreign governments and organisations\companies; promoted public persons lobbying pro-Western agenda in Russia; a solid part of pro-Western/anti-Russian mass media distributing a specific agenda in Russia; suppor of the Russian «liberal opposition» by all kinds of Western NGOs (ecological, socio-public, legal, humanitarian NGOs etc.), institutions and the media…
The issue of the ‘foreign influence’ is constantly being discussed in Russia on various political TV shows and analytical TV programs, on the radio programs, in the newspapers, Internet resources etc.
In particular, a serious concern for Russia is the activity of the American diplomats both in the capital of the country and in the regions.
It’s no secret a foreign Embassies in all countries are a double-intending facilities. These facilities are used both for direct diplomatic work (issuing visas, consulting, establishing public\business contacts, maintaining interstate relations, representing your country in the host country etc.) and as a cover for an intelligence activities. All countries may carry out intelligence activities under diplomatic cover. This is an unofficial, but generally accepted practice.
So intelligence activities is one story. But another story is when a diplomatic facilities (Embassy, Consulate etc.) are used as a cover to undermine state institutions, to unbalance the internal social and public situation in the country, to spread anti-state propaganda, to discredit the country, to purposefully create conditions for a schism in society etc.
The American diplomatic facilities in Russia are engaged in this kind of activities for a long time. Thus why it’s a serious concern for Russia. This is also one of the reasons for the constant irritant in relations between Russia and the United States.
The following text is based mainly on the article posted on «RIA Novosti» website on July 31, 2017 — Source.
The author of this article Sergey Kolyasnikov (famous Russian blogger, civil activist) for several years closely monitored the activities of American diplomats in the city of Yekaterinburg (and not only) in Russia. In his article the author describes some stages of the American diplomatic activities in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg during the period of 3 years (September 2013 — September 2016).
Logically missing phrases are indicated by square brackets by ALAFF. Click on photos to enlarge them. Click on links to check out sources and find more info\photos.
One may be surprised to discover what the American diplomats really do in Russia instead of their direct duties. And, naturally, western reader will not see\hear this kind of material on western TV chanels, radio programs or a news resources in Internet.
(01) In early July 2014, it became known about the meeting of the US Consul General [in Yekaterinburg] Otto Hans Van Maerssen, held in September 2013. It discussed the results of the elections to the City Duma of Yekaterinburg (the meeting was held on September 11, 2013, three days after the elections), but only representatives of opposition political forces were invited to the meeting.
I.e., a high-ranking American diplomat actually intervenes in Russia’s internal affairs (which is a direct violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations — see picture above), discussing the results of local elections in Russia, at that, exclusively with representatives of the opposition forces. It is easy to guess about the rhetoric and the nature of the discussion.
Participants of the meeting:
Those present at the meeting (from left to right): deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Sverdlovsk Region [of Russia] Georgy Persky; a deputy of the City Duma of Yekaterinburg, a close friend and ideological inspirer of [mayor Evgeny] Roizman — Konstantin Kiselev and the ex-head of regional branch of «RPR-ParNaS», an opposition-minded public figure Eduard Zhuravlev.
Video recording of the meeting:
Meeting informally with representatives of the US State Department and informing them about the current situation in the region and in Russia, and advising on a number of piquant moments, the comrades of the mayor Roizman undermine the national security of the country. For example, it’s clearly heard on video how Konstantin Kiselev does not hide his approval by US actions in Syria. Participants in the gathering assess the situation in Russia as sharply negative, while the US diplomat perceives their opinion to be an expert one. The interpreter girl actively participates in the conversation between the subordinates and the «boss», allowing herself to speak on behalf of the US, violating the international [Diplomatic] Convention.
(02) April 2014. The climax of the Ukrainian Maidan. The Head of the US Consulate in Yekaterinburg Otto Maerssen attends the meeting of the Maidan supporters, while in violation of the international convention (Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961), the Russian Foreign Ministry was not warned about a meeting with members of opposition organizations (see below).
Otto Hans Van Maerssen became a participant in the meeting of leaders of opposition organizations RPR-ParNaS, «Golos» («Voice»), «Narodny Alyans» («People’s Alliance»), «Otkrytoe Obshestvo» («Open Society») and representatives of LGBT people. The meeting discussed the current situation around Ukraine and the Crimea.
The participants of the meeting spoke in support of the supporters of Euromaidan, justified the Ukrainian nationalists, condemned Russia’s actions in the Crimea, stating that «the Russian are aggressors who can only be stopped by military force». Source.
The diplomat himself did not take part in the discussion and modestly sat at the wall. After the end of the official part of the meeting, some participants tried to inform the US diplomat about the «inadequacy of Russia’s policy toward Ukraine», «the need to promote the leaders of the Maidan», «belonging of the Crimea to a sovereign [Ukraine] Republic».
Thus, bypassing the generally accepted diplomatic norms of conduct, in the midst of the complications of relations between the Russian Federation and the United States on the Ukrainian issue, the American diplomat took part in a semi-official event that was openly anti-Russian and dedicated to the political crisis in Ukraine.
The activities of the US diplomat directly violate international law — the Consular Convention between the government of the USSR and the US government of June 1, 1964. In accordance with the seventh article of the international agreement, the consular functions of diplomats are «to further the development of commercial, economic, cultural and scientific relations between the sending state and the receiving state and otherwise promote the development of friendly relations between them«. At the same time, the functions of the US Consul General allow participation in socio-political events related to US affairs, but not related to Russia’s internal affairs.
Plus, there’s again a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), the 3rd article of which says (art. 3 par. E): «The functions of a diplomatic mission consist inter alia in promoting friendly relations between the sending State and the receiving State, and developing their economic, cultural and scientific relations» (see below).
Visiting such a meetings, in contact with the leaders of the opposition, the American diplomat collects negative information about the Russian Federation. He takes part in the activities of opposition organizations and advises them. This can be used later in the preparation of anti-government protests in Russia.
(03) July 2014. Otto Maerssen’s meeting with the Islamic community of the Urals, but here it’s worth noting the presence of supporters of radical Islam*. In fact, the establishment of informal contacts, again, a discrepancy with the generally accepted diplomatic standards of conduct. Source.
* It is about the leadership and parishioners of the mosque «Rakhmat», which has been repeatedly caught in the dissemination of extremist literature. For example, on May 2, 2013, three books and pamphlets included in the Federal List of Extremist Materials were discovered and seized in the «Rakhmat» mosque. In January 2014, the inspectors again visited «Rakhmat» and found that parishioners and attendants were again engaged in the dissemination of extremist literature. In April 2014, another check showed that the situation had not changed, and the mosque still continues to distribute banned texts.
The mosque was also marked by numerous violations in the use of the municipal premises — believers handed over the premises of the mosque to sublease. In one of the rooms they arranged not a prayer room, but an auto service; moreover, again in violation of the terms of the lease of premises, parking was organized on the territory of the courtyard without coordination with the SRSI (State Road Safety Inspectorate). In addition, part of the claims [to the mosque] concerned safety issues. The management of the mosque was not bothered by fire alarms or property insurance (the contract was still concluded, but only after receiving notification of eviction). A comprehensive inspection in April 2014 revealed numerous violations of sanitary, fire and technical standards.
Against the backdrop of all this, on July 14, 2014, the US Consul General Otto Van Maerыsen met with the Islamic community of the Middle Urals, attended including by representatives of the «Rakhmat» mosque.
«In fact, the Consul General tries to influence the internal situation in the region by establishing informal contacts, which in no way correspond to the generally accepted diplomatic norms of behavior — he, in fact, transfers his activity into a semi-official basis», — say the sources of the newspaper «Pravda URFO«, who are familiar with the situation.
(04) August 2014. The US Сonsul General Otto Maerssen made an anti-Russian speech in front of the officials of Yekaterinburg. Video recording.
The situation was so flagrant that even Dmitry Rogozin (Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation from 2011 to 2018) reacted:
Dmitry Rogozin’s twitter post (translation):
After viewing [the video], I had two questions:
1) Why is this «diplomat» still working in Russia?
2) Why in the Urals do we have so many Vlasov* followers? After all, apparently, none of the Russians, including [mayor] Eugeny Roizman, who was also present at the event, did not interrupt the arrogant speech of the American. No one even tried to leave the hall. If this is not a rough installation, then these questions are more than relevant.
* General Andrey Andreevich Vlasov — the Soviet military commander, who in the course of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) switched over to the side of the Hitlerite Germany, was recognized by the court decision as a traitor to the Motherland and executed. Since then, the name of Gen. Vlasov has become a common noun in Russia, and is used to denote all kinds of traitors and those who in any way cooperate with the enemy to harm their own country.
A few samples from the speech of Otto Maerssen:
— «The United States will help end the illegal occupation of the Crimea and stop [Russia’s] efforts to destabilize other regions of Ukraine».
— «I am very grateful for everything that my country has given me — freedom and opportunities. I want the same for people here in Russia. I want to participate in the process of helping this state, so that it can serve as an example of those qualities that can win the favor of its citizens and respect fof the whole world«.
— «I believe that today we celebrate not only America’s freedom and independence, but also express hope for the freedom and independence of all peoples, including the people of Russia«.
The decision to include Crimea into Russia is an official legislative act of the Russian Federation. Thus, speaking about the fact that «…the United States will help end the illegal occupation of the Crimea…«, the US Consul General directly violate the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), in particular, Article 41, which says: «Without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State. They also have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State» (see below).
Speaking about «freedom, opportunities and independence», the US Consul General clearly wants to say that in Russia they do not have it. I.e. «free and independent civilized people from the United States» would like to teach «savage Russian barbarians» these values.
(05) September 2014. Intensifying of exchange programs, work with schoolchildren, but we’ll come back to this [issue] later.
(06) October 2014. Already after the successful coup d’état on Ukraine — there’s a conference in Yekaterinburg on the organization of «orange revolutions» (Soft Power technology), at that, on the basis of state institutions, at the state expense and… with the invitation of «experts» from Ukraine, as the saying is, with a real experience (their arrival was organized by Konstantin Kiselev, deputy director of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who is also a member of the organizing committee of the conference).
A compilation and screenshots of the lists of participants — here.
(07) November 2014. Continuation of work with [Russian] universities and the development of exchange youth programs, despite the complication of relations between Russia and the United States because of Ukraine. Source. At the same time, [Consul General] warmly and personally congratulates those exchange program participants who have already completed training in the US; one can guess the % of the opposition among them. Source.
(08) December 2014. Home parties at Consul’s house — of course, with representatives of the opposition, supporters of the Urals republic, associates of [Alexey] Navalny, moreover, no one hides the fact of meetings (btw, this is not the only format of meetings).
In the picture above, on the left is Leonid Volkov, a well-known ideologist of the so-called Ural Republic, concurrently a colleague of [Alexey] Navalny; on the right is Konstantin Kiselev. He is also an ideologist of the Urals separation from Russia, while being a deputy of the Yekaterinburg City Duma and an associate professor of the Department of Social and Political Sciences of the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology of the Ural State University (Ural Federal University). Both persons hold the flag of the unrecognized Urals Republic.
Thus, in fact, the US Consul General conducts home parties and informal communication with representatives of the Russian opposition, who support the separatist sentiments in Russia.
(09) February 2015. Tim Timmons, who is extremely closed [person] to social networks and the mass media, arrives in Yekaterinburg for a permanent job; according to rumours — [he is] a specialist on establishing links with elites, with a strong background in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tim Timmons on a photo. Source.
(10) April 2015. Arrival in Yekaterinburg and a private meeting of Ambassador John Tefft with city mayor Evgeny Roizman. Source.
During his three-day visit to the region, the head of the US diplomatic mission visited the defense industry in the Sverdlovsk region [of Russia]. In particular, John Tefft visited the VSMPO-AVISMA plant (world’s largest titanium production), which has long been in the zone of attention of the US State Department (for example, in 2012, the company was visited by the former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, and a year later the Consul General of the United States in Yekaterinburg, Otto Hans Van Maerssen visited the plant. Source).
The fact is that the VSMPO-AVISMA company produces products intended not only for civil aircraft construction, but also for the needs of the military-industrial complex. It is worth noting that the initiative of the trip came directly from John Tefft and met with a warm welcome from the management of the company.
The Ambassador was interested in the whole range of the enterprise’s production, although it was initially assumed that the diplomat will focus exclusively on the activities of the joint venture Ural Boeing Manufacturing, which produces titanium parts for three models of civil aircraft.
«Tefft visited several workshops: blacksmith’s, foundry-melting, mechanical assembly. The head of VSMPO-AVISMA Mikhail Voevodin personally guided him on the enterprise. The Consul General Otto Van Maerssen also attended«, — a source in the corporation shared some brief information.
(11) April 2015. Consul General of the United States in Yekaterinburg Otto Hans Van Maerssen, known for his support of extreme [Russian] opposition and anti-Russian statements, made a guest visit to Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District (YNAD) governor Dmitry Kobylkin. Source.
Arriving in Salekhard, Otto Maerssen met with the head of the administration of the capital of the district Ivan Kononenko, the deputy governor of YNAD Alexander Mazharov and the human rights commissioner in the region Anatoly Sak. It is noteworthy that the regional head of the district Dmitry Kobylkin preferred to ignore the visit of the US Consul General to ignore, explaining this by his absence in the region. The officials who met with the US diplomat told him in detail about the strategic projects being implemented in the district, in particular, about Yamal LNG, the seaport of Sabetta and the Northern latitudinal railway.
The US Consul General personally asked questions to the district officials about the condition of [Russian] geopolitical projects in the Arctic.
«This kind of actions of the Consul General, for obvious reasons, can not be called a kind of «espionage» because the term implies obtaining important information illegally and secretly. Nevertheless, the information received in official and semi-official discussions with high-ranking local authorities can be of utmost importance for geopolitical opponents of Russia. «This is not espionage, but collecting a lot of legal information about strategic facilities gives a lot. The recommendations of analytical services in the US are often based on this [kind of] information«, — said the director of the Urals branch of the Foundation for the Development of Civil Society Anatoly Gagarin to the newspaper «Pravda URFO«.
«I think that the main intention of the US Consul General is intelligence purposes. First of all, personally assess the «well-being» of the Russian regions in conditions of the imposed [American] sanctions. Now, if he brought with him a dozen large American businessmen ready to invest billions of dollars in Yamal projects, then one could talk about full-fledged cooperation in economic and other spheres. But there is nothing like this. Our cooperation at the moment, in fact, has been reduced to joint launches of space vehicles, no more. So, obviously, the purpose of the [US Consul General] visit is to obtain the relevant information for the structures of his country«, — says the head of the LDPR faction of the Tyumen Regional Duma Vladimir Sysoev.
(12) June 2015. Allocation by the US Embassy in Russia of $ 10,000 to artist Vasily Melnichenko for the art festival «The Space of Multiplicity» in Omsk city. The sum of the grant was publicly announced by the assistant to the US Consul General in Yekaterinburg, Otto Hans Van Maerssen, who also attended the festival. Vasily Melnichenko himself earlier refused to name the amount of the grant, which he received for the second time.
Vasily Melnichenko before his move from Russia to Germany (in 2015) was curator of the public art festivals «The Space of Multiplicity«.
The allocation of funds for culture and the support of artists — this is undoubtedly a good thing. But the whole point is that Vasily Melnichenko is a rather peculiar artist. One has only to look at his creations. Just a few samples:
What’s more important — the civil position of artist Vasily Melnichenko definitely is unambiguous. Actually, it is obvious that this kind of civil position was the reason for generous sponsorship from the US Embassy. For example, here’re just some of the statements of the artist Vasily Melnichenko in an interview with the portal «Crimea. Realia» *:
— «Crimea was a turning point in my life. I felt painfully ashamed to speak Russian language, I lost hope and respect for the Russians. We could not be together anymore«.
— «Brutalizer» for Russians has already been tested in the Georgian war. The scale was smaller, but the experience was successful. The hatred of the Russians is easy to switch, they are so unhappy that they are ready to kill, whom they will be told by their Fuhrer«.
— «In the first days after the annexation [of the Crimea], my friends and I started to picket with the demand to abandon the aggression against Ukraine«.
— «For a small number of Russians, Crimea became a terrible shame, and Ukraine — a hope for a free future«.
— «Russia, as a «country of fools«, is the right image«.
— «When the Crimea happened, and then Donbass, the prospect of experiencing the experience of Jews or Communists in the era of Nazi Germany is not such a fantastic prospect, in every sense«.
— «I have the impression that Russia is no longer capable of self-activity, it is a dying state formation and a dying culture. The sooner she dies, the sooner will appear something fresh, more intelligent and free on this territory«.
The US diplomats do not give money to the artists, admiring the beauty of Russia, drawing on patriotic themes, depicting the country’s natural and\or national wealth. They do not give money to the artists depicting the friendship and cooperation of the United States and Russia — for example, in space or science… although, it would seem, it’s a direct duty of diplomats — to promote friendship and good relations between countries. It is very characteristic that the US diplomats give money only to opposition-minded marginals with a clearly expressed anti-Russian position, who criticize the policy of Russia, humiliate the people of Russia etc.
* Internet resource «Crimea. Realia» is a project of American corporation BBG. «Crimea. Realia» is a powerful and, perhaps, the main generator of anti-Russian propaganda in the Crimean information space. It is a local Crimean project of the Ukrainian branch of a famous anti-Russian propaganda resource «Radio Liberty«, and its content is produced by illegal correspondents on the peninsula and «journalists»-grantees escaped from Crimea to Ukraine. Source.
(13) July 2015. After the arrival of John Tefft, Otto Maerssen resigns. According to rumors — ahead of schedule. Source. Consul General Otto Maresen announced the early completion of his work on July 2, 2015 at a reception at the «Hyatt» hotel in celebration of the United States Independence Day. The reception was attended by the deputies of the Yekaterinburg City Duma Konstantin Kiselev and Dmitry Golovin.
On a photo: Konstantin Kiselev (left) at the farewell reception of an American diplomat.
Below one will see a sharp aggravation of rhetoric from this moment on.
(14) July 2015. Official twitter of the US Embassy in Russia: «Inevitable change of regime in Russia«.
One can wonder what would happen if the Russian Embassy in the US would post a tweet like this: «It’s time for American people to change a US regime»…
(15) October 2015. [This time] this is not the Urals, this is Moscow, and the US Ambassador John Tefft himself acts. As Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, today (October 29, 2015) the US ambassador in Moscow, John Tefft, sent the information to a number of mass media that allegedly victims of Russia’s operation in Syria were civilians. As noted by Zakharova, Tefft referred to the British group on monitoring human rights in Syria (i.e. SOHR). Zakharova noted that such a newsletter is taking place against the background of the upcoming meeting in Vienna. «[This is] real agitation, i can’t call it another way», — said [Maria] Zakharova. Source.
…Though, let’s get back to the Urals.
The new Consul of the United States, Marcus Micheli, began his work in the region very actively.
(16) October 2015. Kathleen A. Kavalec, Victoria Nuland’s deputy, arrived in Yekaterinburg in order to meet privately with businessmen, but the situation was publicized. Reports in mass media — one and two.
The [supposed to be private] meeting was held in the «Hyatt» hotel (the same one in which Consul General Otto Maersen announced the early termination of his powers). Realizing that the official meeting should not take place in the toilet rooms in the hotel, the State Department officials decided to urgently organize a small press conference.
But «something went wrong». After a dull conversation with several unscrupulous [Russian] businessmen, a group of Americans rushly advanced to the hotel lobby. Questions of journalists mainly concerned diplomatic etiquette and nuances of meetings with regional elites in hotel rooms. After the second question, the US team announced the impossibility of continuing the press conference and hurriedly retired. Source.
Mindful of what kind of hysteria the American mass media and officials have been raising around the legal activities of the Russian Envoy Sergey Kislyak (i.e. around his direct work duties), it’s hard to imagine what would happen if Russian diplomats were caught behind such thing — a private (= secret, unofficial) meetings\contacts with American businessmen or\and officials…
(17) October 2015. A spokesman for the US Embassy in Moscow, William Stevens, visited Yekaterinburg to hold a closed briefing. Audio recording. Those present, of course, could not disclose the contents of this briefing. Why? The diplomat sharply criticized the policy of the Russian leadership (again, in rude violation of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, in particular, its Article 41, which says that «Without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State. They also have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State«) and spoke about the highest form of democracy, which is universally borne by the United States.
(18) November 2015. The US Envoy John Tefft holds a private meeting with participants of the banned exchange program FLEX (banned in Russia since 2014) at the apartment of the new US Consul in Yekaterinburg, Markus Micheli. Source. The content of the meeting remained unknown, there were no official comments from [John] Tefft.
(19) December 2015. A closed meeting of the US Consul Markus Micheli with local deputies. Video.
In particular, the video shows the private conversation of the US Consul General Marcus Micheli with the deputy of the City Duma of Yekaterinburg Konstantin Kiselev (for whom a secret meetings with American diplomats are a «good old tradition» — see (01) point).
The last photo source.
(20) February 2016. Lynn Tracy, John Tefft’s assistant, arrives in Yekaterinburg: closed meetings with businessmen, travel around the city on tinted-windows cars without registration numbers and the like. Source.
Local civil activists claimed that the purpose of Lynn Tracy’s arrival in Yekaterinburg was to hold several closed meetings for consultations with the Russian opposition.
Sergei Kolyasnikov, a member of the Public Chamber of the Sverdlovsk Region:
— All the key figures [of the US diplomacy] have already visited Yekaterinburg, now it’s Lynn Tracy’s turn. Definitely a good surprise is being prepared for the elections of 2016 in Yekaterinburg, all conditions have been created in the region for this. What is characteristic, all the meetings [of the US diplomats with the Russian businessmen and officials in the Urals region] are closed, confidential. Can our diplomats work this way in the US? It’s ridiculous to ask this — it’s impossible not only in the US, but also in Europe.
It should be noted that actions of the American diplomat violated the Consular Convention between the Government of the USSR and the Government of the USA (1964), in particular, Article 28: «Without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state, including traffic regulations«. Moving on cars without registration numbers is a clear violation of the traffic rules.
(21) May 2016. The city of Orenburg. This time it’s [the US Consul General in Yekaterinburg] Marcus Micheli who intensifies exchange programs. Source. As one can see, the aggravation of relations between the US and Russia is not a hindrance.
The Consul met with the deputy head of the city on general issues Yaroslav Moiseev and the head of the department for public relations of the administration Anton Shuvakin. During his visit, the US Consul General paid special attention to student exchange programs.
(22) September 2016. An exhibition for schoolchildren in the Urals «Prison weekdays of Russia», organized by the US Consulate. Photos.
In 2016, the US State Department initiated a new strategy to form a generation of «pro-American» citizens of Russia. For this purpose, a US foreign policy department organized propaganda among the active and intellectually developed Russian youth of Western values and educational standards, and increased «quotas» for their departure under exchange programs.
In April 2016, students of the secondary school No. 3 in Krasnoufimsk, Sverdlovsk region, with the support of the US Consulate General twice visited Yekaterinburg, where they took part in a series of activities during which children were shown photographs on the subject of prison everyday life, they were also pointed to the need to search for American symbols on b/w paintings by Russian artists who emigrated to the United States.
Representatives of the US Consulate General were seriously afraid of wide publicity, since this could negatively affect the image of the United States and could lead to the disruption of the projects of the diplomatic mission on the ideological treatment of the Ural youth. Fears of publicity were clear. What the Americans could teach the Russian children, showing them photos related to prison subjects? What conclusions should the schoolchildren make after such events? Obviously that Russia is a «jail-country and a people’s prison».
It is noteworthy that [at the same time] the staff of the US Consulate General in Yekaterinburg, including Consul General Marcus Micheli, continued to support his fellow pedophile in prison and did not consider him a criminal, they were happy to share this issue with the same Ural schoolchildren. Meanwhile, since 2015, the US citizen David Ayer Lang is a figurant of the criminal case under Art.134 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation («Sexual intercourse and other acts of a sexual nature with a person under the age of sixteen«) and is detained in a special institution in Chelyabinsk city. This foreigner for several years carried out illegal activities to create films of pornographic content with the participation of underage citizens of the Russian Federation.
Organizer of the «prison tour» and protection of the American pedophile among Ural schoolchildren — vice-consul for culture, education and media relations Sarah Erin Saperstein (smiling woman in a scarf on the last photo above). Some more info on this issue. Btw, it’s worth noting that during his visit to the South Ural State University in Chelyabinsk on November 13, 2014, the US Consul General in Yekaterinburg, Otto Hans Van Moorssen said, among other things: «We have a new employee responsible for culture, she will be engaged in the development of exchange programs for professors and students. This is a very important area of the Consulate’s activities» (saying «she«, the Consul General obviously had in mind exactly Sarah Erin Saperstein). A very important area of the Consulate’s activities. An example of this activity one can see above — a provocative exhibition for schoolchildren «Prison weekdays of Russia».
One can only guess how the US authorities would react if Russian diplomats in the US would organize an exhibition for American schoolchildren of photos showing the horrors of detention in Guantanamo Bay, torture of prisoners etc…
From this point on — perhaps, because of the publicity provided by journalists and civil activists about the events conducted by the US Consulate — there was nothing to be heard about [the US Consul General in Yekaterinburg] Marcus Micheli until his quiet resignation (source):
With two exceptions, the events solely in the Urals were described above. One can recall the pilgrimage * of the [Russian non-systemic] opposition to the Moscow Consulate of the United States; one can recall the increased activity of the US diplomats in the opposition elections in Moscow and the regions [of Russia]…
All that is described above is only the tip of the iceberg. The subversive activities of American diplomats in Russia are much broader and more diverse, and sure deserves a separate, thorough and complete coverage.
* In 2012, a big scandal was caused by a videoclip, which filmed a campaign of representatives of the [Russian] liberal opposition to the newly appointed US Ambassador Michael McFaul and US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, who came to Russia. The video was entitled «Obtaining instructions at the US Embassy». The video showed the entrance to the US Embassy, to which the invited Russian opposition figures come in turn: Evgenia Chirikova, Lev Ponomorev, Boris Nemtsov, Lilia Shibanova, Oksana Dmitrieva, Sergei Mitrokhin and others.
Well, let’s see what the US diplomats were doing in another city in the Ural region of Russia.
(01) April 2014. The head of the US diplomatic mission in Yekaterinburg, Consul General Otto Van Maerssen during his visit to Nizhny Tagil decided to talk with students of the local pedagogical university and in the course of communication allowed himself such harsh assessments of Russia’s foreign policy on the situation in Ukraine, that this threatens his future career in Russia. The US Consul General in Yekaterinburg, Otto Van Maerssen [by his] sharp anti-Russian statements risks jeopardizing his diplomatic mission.
The speeches that interested the Russian Foreign Ministry were made in Nizhny Tagil on April 17, 2014 — the US diplomat visited the city on an official visit, during which he met with students and teachers of the Nizhny Tagil State Social and Pedagogical Academy.
A source in a special services told the newspaper «Pravda URFO»:
«The meeting was about studying, but it’s clear that [Otto Van] Maerssen was asked about other topics, including the situation with the Crimea and the riots in Ukraine, and the [Consul General’s] answers were, to put it mildly, not quite diplomatic — all responsibility for what is happening, according to him, lies with the Russian authorities, which he accused of interfering in. His country in general allegedly tried to «settle the conflict peacefully». Then he mentioned a Crimea — a referendum, following which a Crimea became part of the Russian Federation, the Consul General called illegitimate, and its results — falsified«.
According to the interlocutors of the publication, Otto Van Maerssen was clearly preparing to discuss the Ukrainian topic with the students. According to them, he demonstrated a bulletin from the Crimean referendum as a confirmation of his words about the illegality of [Crimean] voting, the authenticity of which, however, is being questioned. At the same time, when students asked the diplomat to depart from quoting the leaders of the US State Department and express his own position, he recommended them to apply to the Moscow Embassy of the United States.
Under diplomatic rules, such accusations against the authorities by an official representative of a foreign state can cause serious questions from the foreign ministry.
(02) April 2014. The Ural Federal District [of the Russian Federation] also witnessed several scandals involving US Vice-Consul Kristina Hayden. In April 2014 she was detained in Serov city with a group of her countrymen-musicians for violating the rules of visiting certain parts of the country, moreover, at first, foreign guests attracted the attention of law enforcement agencies with a gross violation of traffic rules by rolling on a minibus along the sidewalk. Source.
The actions of the US diplomat (movement on tinted-windows cars on the sidewalks) directly violate the Consular Convention between the Government of the USSR and the US Government (1964), the Article 28 of which says: «Without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state, including traffic regulations«.
Employee of the US diplomatic mission, along with five music students, came to the Serov Pedagogical College to meet with students, but could not get to the place. For some reason, a minibus with foreign guests was traveling not along the carriageway, but on the sidewalk, which attracted the attention of local traffic police officers. When trying to verify the documents [Kristina] Hayden said that she would not show them, and also forbade students to do it. As it turned out later, US citizens came to Serov city, violating Russian legislation..
«According to the Government Decision No. 470 of July 4, 1992, the city of Serov is in a territory [of the Russian Federation] that foreign citizens can visit only with the permission of the Ministry of Security of the Russian Federation, which was later transformed into the FSB«, — the source in a special services agencies explained the circumstances of the incident to «Pravda URFO» newspaper.
Because of the violation, [Kristina] Hayden along with the students was sent to the local department of the FMS (Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation), where she continued to prevent law enforcement officers from fulfilling their professional duties, still forbidding students to show their passports and sign the protocol.
To be continued…