This is a follow up to our article "Financial Speculation behind Smear Campaign" regarding the situation with Vladimir Kokorev, a Russian businessman residing in Spain who has been smeared by Spain's two largest newspapers during the last three years. The Spanish press has continually ignored publicly available information, which provides conclusive evidence of his innocence, as well as several defamation suits carried out by Kokorev where he has claimed victory. Since the publishing of our last article, the Spanish newspapers have now reacted: EL MUNDO apparently is not aware of having lost the defamation court case and EL PAIS is in a state of sincere hysteria.
EL MUNDO did not know anything
According to an interview in Periodista Digital with Antonio Rubio, he is not even aware of being sued for defamation - despite the fact that a court decision in favor of the Russian businessman was handed down to EL MUNDO ordering them to publish a full retraction on its website refuting their false claims. This case was extensively covered by Russian media sources in the English language. Is Spain indeed so removed from international media?
Moreover, and further defying any common sense, EL MUNDO declared in a press release (that they were cautious enough not to upload to their web-site) that the information about the court case against its publication is a lie and that "Antonio Rubio has never even been to Russia". Perhaps he should. We would provide him with a good translator and, who knows, we might even carry out a joint journalistic investigation of the "Kalunga Case".
Maybe it would serve Antonio Rubio well to understand why we have such a big interest in this matter and why we are publishing information that Mr. Rubio and his colleagues seem to be making every effort to hide from the public.
There are 244 reasons for us to write about this case, one for each sailor who signed an open letter addressed to journalists in defense of Vladimir Kokorev, their former employer. The letter was published on-line in February 2010, when Kokorev was under attack not only by two Spanish newspapers, but also by almost every printed and electronic Russian mass media source out there, including the central TV channel. All of them kept repeating the exact same nonsense published in Spain, without bothering to check its veracity.
Back then: there were two things that impressed us. The first thing was the fact that more than two hundred sailors stood up in defense of their former boss. The second was that none of the Spanish journalists who had written so much about this story had never even made a single attempt to contact any of the people involved in it.
We did the job for them anyway. You allege that "Kalunga" was a phantom-company with no ships at all? Well, we contacted one of the "ghost ship captains" from the company. That is what he said to PRAVDA:
I, captain Sergei Melnikov, worked in the company "Kalunga" with several hundred other sailors from Ukraine, Russia, Latvia and Lithuania. Therefore I cannot understand the statements made by Mr. Fernando Martínez in EL PAIS according to which the company "Kalunga" supposedly had neither ships, nor crews.
I am acquainted with Mr. Fernando Martínez and I know very well his older brother, Don Manolo. The sailors of our company respected him and have the best memories of him.
I was the captain of Rio Mbini and sailed on this ship from Riga to Bata. The ship, as far as I know, was used for sabotage between the ports of Duala in Cameroon and Bata and Malabo in Equatorial Guinea in the late 90s.
While I was the captain of this ship, all the ship documentation of Rio Mbini was issued to the name of "Kalunga". In my personal ship book, as well as in the ship books of the other members of the crew, the name of this company appeared as our place of work.
I remember gifting Don Manolo a dagger, which I made from the remains of a German bayonet found in Stalingrad. So I want to address Don Manolo: your brother is saying strange things. According to his words, - if they are, in fact, his and not another fabrication by Mr. Irujo, to which we, the sailors of "Kalunga", have grown accustomed over the last three years-, the ships of Martínez Hermanos sailed by themselves, without a crew.
Didn't you know that the ship documents and the personal ship books of the sailors that worked with you were issued to "Kalunga"?
And the replacement parts for Motu Oveng and Katya M, did they arrive to you from the vacuum? They were sent from Russia and Ukraine and arrived to Equatorial Guinea with documentation from "Kalunga". I am a witness to this, as on several occasions I was in charge of formalizing them.
Besides I do not know where does the notion that "Kalunga" was a fishing company comes from. Apparently, it must be an inaccuracy. I myself have worked many years in one of the biggestUSSR fishing companies and on several occasions offered our ship owner Vladimir Borisovich Kokorev to get into the fishing business. He declined on principle to take part in this business, preferring to transport fish.
Life has proven the validity of this specialization. Industrial fishing in big factory-ships, built in the USSR, has proven to be an unreliable and economically unjustifiable business.
Two medium sized refrigerator ships navigated under the flag of the company "Kalunga": Bata and Malabo, which during several years, as I remember, unloaded fish for the firm Martínez Hermanos. But the main object of our work was Angola, where we loaded the fish in open sea from fishing vessels and unloaded it on shore in the port of Luanda.
In Angola, as far as I know, V.B. Kokorev worked with an important fishing company, founded by former employees of the Department of the fishing fleet of the USSR.
In the documents of the ships and the personal documents of the members of the crews of "Bata" and "Malabo", "Kalunga" also appeared as the place of work. In accordance with the applicable regulations, all the members of the vessel crews that sailed under the Panamanian flag were issued Panamanian sailor passports, through the company "Kalunga".
Approximately every three-four months we unload the fish from Angola for the firm Martínez Hermanos in the ports of Bata and Malabo.
I am also acquainted with Mr. Marcial Arroyo, the commercial agent of Martínez Hermanos in Las Palmas. When we entered the port of Las Palmas, we received from him provisions for the ships, which were commissioned by "Kalunga".
In the year 1999 I intervened in the finalization of the construction of the vessel "Djibloho", commissioned by the government of Equatorial Guinea. The vessel was bought and finished in the shipyards of Nikolaev by the company "Kalunga". I was the first captain of this cargo vessel, which is to this day sailing between Bata, Malabo and the island of Annabon, having transported hundreds of thousands of passengers.
Until the year 2004 the technical servicing of the vessel "Djibloho" and the recruiting of the crew was carried out by "Kalunga", which every two and half years undertook repairs in Ukrainian docks, in accordance with the applicable regulations regarding navigation safety.
In Ukraine, on commission from the government of Equatorial Guinea, "Kalunga" constructed several small ships for port servicing. I know this because I transported these ships abroad "Djibloho".
As far as I know, the last project undertaken by "Kalunga" was the purchase and refurbishment of the cargo vessel "Mikue".
In addition, "Kalunga" carried out the purchase and supply on commission of the government of Equatorial Guinea of several cargoes, including cars, heavy construction machinery and repair workshops. I know this because after finishing the repairs in the Ukrainian docks, the ship returned to Equatorial Guinea fully loaded, and according to the shipping manifests "Kalunga" was the sender.
In Sevastopol there are wives and mothers of sailors who, to this day, almost ten years after "Kalunga" has ceased to exist, light candles to the health of Vladimir Borisovich Kokorev.
Our children were raised and taught thanks to the money their fathers earned when they worked for Kalunga. However, for three years already My Irujo from El Pais has been trying to prove that we never existed.
Thereby we recommend Mr. Rubio and his colleagues to talk to the people who worked for "Kalunga" or at least visit their blog at http://kalunga-co.livejournal.com. Maybe that will lead you to investigate a much more interesting story: how did it happen that a Spanish media campaign, paid for by US funds, lead to Spain simply being driven from Equatorial Guinea, by the same Americans, to say nothing about Israelis, Arabs, Chinese and even us, Russians.
Maybe as a result of these investigations you will understand the not-so-transparent mechanisms that lead to the incredible failures of Spanish investments in South America.
In the end, those are very similar situations: Spaniards working against Spanish interests for the money paid for by certain investment funds.
EL PAIS as a cover for Spanish Intelligence?
As much as we were surprised by EL MUNDO's reaction, it was nothing compared to that of EL PAIS: Three (!) articles in the same newspaper (April 28 2012). All of them signed by the same person - the very same José María Irujo whom we have covered in our last publication. Just one week later there was another one - this time written by Irujo from Las Palmas.
What's interesting is that three years ago, when Mr. Irujo started to write about Kokorev, he did not need to go to Las Palmas, as we have pointed out. Now, at last, he has finally demonstrated that he is a real professional: first he wrote an article and then,and only then, he went to on a fact-searching trip.
In the end, the result was that same as that of 3 years ago: millions of Euros, African dictator, Russian businessman Vladimir Kokorev and Court Nº5 in Las Palmas - the exact same material Irujo came up with the first time. "The circle is narrowing" - Mr. Irujo repeats for the fourth year running.
Curiously enough, El PAIS keeps reprinting the old "news", but does not react in any way to the very serious allegations that we made against its staff journalist. According to several Spanish journalists, who have asked to remain anonymous (we insist: several journalists), Irujo is an agent of Spanish Intelligence (CNI). To be honest, we expecteda refutation and were prepared to publish a different opinion. We do not have any problems with airing several views on the same subject.
Unlike EL PAIS - or at least unlike their coverage of the infamous "Kalunga Case".
By the way, indoctrination under the disguise of information is one of the preferred practices of the special services working under press cover. Something similar happened in USSR, when the employees of KGB, working under the cover of independent journalists were not as focused on obtaining information as they were on spreading the disinformation of their potential opponents.
Judging by a very "educational" feature of many publications, EL PAIS is also very much involved in disinformation. But who are their potential opponents? What interests serve their monopoly in the information sector? Vladimir Kokorev sent dozens of refutes to different Spanish newspapers and not one of them published a word of it. Why, after naming all of the alleged crimes and sins that you suspect Vladimir Kokorev committed, don't you tell at least a part of what is true?
For instance, with all the suspicions fabricated by your newspaper, why did the assigned Judge, Ana Isabel de la Vega, not admit the case for presentation by Madrid's lawyer Manuel Olle Sesse three years ago? Or that the case, presented by Manuel Olle Sesse, which you support with all the authority of your newspaper, not even mention Vladimir or Yulia Kokorevs?
Madrid's lawyer, who received the money for his investigations from the Soros Fund, has not done a good job. He could not even find out who were the owners of "Kalunga" or what were the activities of that company. The same can be said about the Spanish supposedly independent journalists writing about the Russian businessman's family. The hysteria of Mr. Irujo on the pages of EL PAIS is the best evidence. If anyone in Spain rightly suspected that what was going on was not a journalistic investigation but rather a witch-hunt of Kokorev's family, then after these four articles there can be no further doubt. There will be more articles. EL PAIS has already proven that it can repeat and re-print the same material for many years. It is even better for "education".
Spain is crumbling under the weight of its economic problems - a legacy left by the socialist government (publicly backed by EL PAIS). A quarter of the population does not have a job, including more than half of all young people. Good time to look for who is responsible - as long as it's not among your fellow party members.
The foreigners residing in Spain, particularly those with money, make a good target. Will it get to the point of calling on "pogroms" as it happened before in times of crisis? We will see very soon.
And to conclude, an almost anecdotic episode, related to our publications on the Spanish issues. Pravda.ru was contacted by Spanish journalist, with whom we were acquainted thanks to his articles published in EL PAIS. We thought that the purpose of his visit would be to back Mr. Irujo and his own newspaper. For some mysterious reason the Spanish journalist introduced himself as a member of a different media source and asked us why we were so well-informed of the stories which are taking place in Spain and who are our sources in his country. We offered our collaboration, including documents and contracts, but the Spanish colleague did not show up after the first visit. And lastly, on the same week that EL PAIS and EL MUNDO started their peculiar counter-action against our materials, the electronic version of the article by Aleksandr Finist in Pravda went off-line for two weeks, until finally restored by their IT department. A cyber attack or a technical malfunction? A coincidence? Everything is possible.
We shall continue to follow the "Kokorev Case". With time it's growing to become more and more interesting -some examples of our readers comments should suffice to prove it.
Georgy Kovalev, pensioner (Moscow, Russia)
Keep away from a box of spiders!
You've raised an interesting issue in your article: whom does the Spanish intelligence consider a potential enemy?
It is hard to grasp it from your articles. On top of that, the right answer is surprising. The main enemy of the Spanish intelligence is Spaniards.
You will hardly understand, if you are not familiar with the Spanish intelligence. All intelligence services are approximately similar. Intelligence officers are always horseplaying like spiders in a box. But, in Spain the situation is even worse due to spies who regularly get out of control.
You must have heard about an untied canon that rolls to and fro around the ship's deck crashing everything in its way. A spy working against his government is even worse. This is not infrequent in Spain. This smilingly democratic country is split into two camps - "the red" and "the blue". "The red" are socialists crushed at the latest elections by "the blue" - the Christian democrats from the People's Party.
The same separation is inside the intelligence service. Sometimes, it happens so that intelligence officers do not know whom to report first. On the one hand, the government pays them salary, but for the time being. On the other - the opposition, where an intelligenceofficer's wife, relatives and a lover belong, is very much likely to pay him salary tomorrow. In future, he also can be promoted for something which today is nothing but treason.
Irujo belongs to the generation of the socialists, who first came to power during the rule of Felipe González. The intelligence service was then headed by Manglano. The Spanish intelligence was a complete mess. They bugged everybody, even the king. They let the leakage of secret information through journalists, they knew. Jose Maria Irujo was one of them.
Manglаno was almost put behind the bars for bugging the king. At that time, some Spanish financial groups tried to blackmail the king for his ties with plotters who ventured to topple the government in February 1981. General Manglano blamed Colonel Perote. To take a revenge, Colonel Perote disclosed a top secret operation of the government against bask separatists to the press. The socialists, who were in power, made a decision to shoot off terrorist via a private secret firm set up by the government.
The Spaniards blundered with this shooting-off as they often did and killed innocent people my mistake. There were even some cases of torture before death.
Obviously, Irujo is now playing against the Christian democrats from the People's Party, who aggressively used this story to win the elections and they succeeded. The seemingly invulnerable democrats with Felipe González were defeated. Today, Irujo tries to force the government of Mariano Rajoy into a new story totally unwanted by Spaniards with Russians, former colonies and Americans looming in the backdrop, to take revenge. Irujo's goal and the goal of his backers is clear - the worse for the government, the better for the opposition.
The position of El País that obviously supports him can be understood. The newspaper has gone bankrupt. The publishing group, which owns it, owes 3.5 billion! euros. The solution is either to stake everything, or to queue for the unemployment benefit.
Unless the Spaniards settle the matter with the spies-out-of-control, there will be no order. It is clear to everybody and there's worse to come as this European "Titanic" crashes.
I would advise Kokorev to leave Spain as soon as possible. He becomes a dangerous witness to the squabbles that apparently started inside the intelligence service of Spain.
Efim Yamelyaninko (Alicante, Spain)
What are you trying to get from EL PAIS? Do you even realize that this newspaper is bankrupt? Their chief editor has recently fled to USA with 30 million dollars, while the journalists have not been paid the wages for the last 2 month. So what you expect them to write about: how they have been robbed by their own bosses or a ten-year old story about Russian businessmen and African dictators?
Randy (Blackburn, Britain)
Your spy Irujo is a Sunday spy at best. It's clear that the Russians have provoked him and he bit the bait. What the Russians are using him for - no clue, but pretty sure it has nothing to do with Kokorev or his family or the sailors. The Russians often use the argument of defense of their compatriots to advance their own agenda. What is it really about - money, of course! Not the meagre twenty million that the Spanish are writing about, but billions of dollars that are made from oil export in Equatorial Guinea. Russian company Gazprom is already working there, while the Guineans pushed our Spanish Repsol (the same that happened to YPF in Argentina, but with less press coverage). Just add two and two. The Russians are playing the Spanish press against their own companies.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a possibility of a real revolution that may happen in world economy in the coming years to put an end to the monopoly of large Western banks