Vladimir Putin engineered sex tapes to destroy opponents
We know this doesn’t fall under the “Hollywood gossip” umbrella, but it was too interesting to pass. Plus, it involves breasts and sex tapes, so we’re really staying within the boundaries of our journalistic scope. Mmmm, we can almost smell that Pulitzer…Crap, that’s our toast burnin! Ma!!!!!!
Her name is Katya, and while some say she looks like a girl next door, her victims claim she is the bait deployed by the Kremlin to lure Vladimir Putin’s critics into embarrassing sex ‘honeytraps’ aimed at destroying their reputations.
With piercing blue eyes, one thing is clear about this seductive amateur model – influential men in Moscow’s opposition circles have an uncanny habit of ending up in bed with her, with the cameras rolling, and the grainy footage finding its way onto the Russian blogosphere.
Her latest victim is radio journalist and satirist Viktor Shenderovich, 52, married with a daughter, who admitted cheating on his wife while also blasting the secret services – and in particular Putin’s henchmen – for setting him up.
Formerly a script writer for Russian Spitting Image who has accused the prime minister’s circle of corruption and killings, he said bitterly: ‘Putin’s administration was listening to these allegations with enormous cool, and without denying any of it, they answered with their typical, illegal filth.’
His admission came as footage of him in a Moscow flat with Katya was released on the web, prompting critics to warn that the days of the Soviet era KGB are returning.
Hitting back at Putin – a former KGB spy – Shenderovich admitted: ‘I did have Katya – without much pleasure though, as she was as boring as your whole dull Gestapo.’
In all six opponents of the ruling elite have been given Katya’s treatment, all in the same bedroom in a flat in central Moscow.
The video featuring Shenderovich also included carefully edited X-rated clips evidently involving two extreme nationalist politicians Alexander Potkin and Eduard Limonov.
Potkin admitted he was secretly filmed, protesting: ‘Now you see that there are no guarantees of having your private life protected.’
Limonov, the divorced founder of the National Bolshevik Party, insisted: ‘I do not see anything objectionable about the fact that opposition men do not refuse women.’
Another victim, Ilya Yashin, unmarried leader of Solidarity opposition group, admitted to a brief sexual fling with Katya, who he claimed is a secret services agent.
He said his fleeting relationship with her was as long ago as 2008, and it ended after he became suspicious when he offered her a threesome, producing her collection of sex toys and handcuffs.
He asked her if he was being filmed. She denied it. But as soon as she got out some cocaine, he says he fled.
He insisted he did not feel guilt, and had done nothing illegal.
Shenderovich’s admission follows an earlier compromising video circulated featuring Mikhail Fishman, who edits Russian Newsweek, which has run stories critical of the Kremlin.
He appeared to be snorting cocaine while the same woman – Katya – walked naked around an apartment that is believed to have been rented by the secret services.
Another member of his party, Roman Dobrokhotov, alleges he was targeted by Katya last year – but claims she called herself Zhanna, offering him a ‘small mountain’ of marijuana. Anti-immigration extremist Alexander Belov-Bodkin also fell into Katya’s clutches.
Several victims are also shown paying bribes to police officers – who are believed to be actors, as is another woman, who some say was Katya’s room mate Nastya Chukova.
Shenderovich has warned that other ‘notable public figures’ are set to be exposed by Sexgate revelations.
He warned: ‘This is not entertainment, the filming was done professionally, federal forces were involved in it. This is being done by the authorities for two purposes: to discredit and to blackmail.’
If they refused to do the bidding of the Putin administration, they would be exposed, said Shenderovich, whose marriage is reported to be going through problems following the disclosures.
It was pointless taking legal action over invasion of privacy, he added.
‘The justice system in Russia belongs to the very system that is engaged in this criminal activity. It is one authoritarian system,’ he said.
‘This is not a case where we should hide and apologise. It is a case where those who invade the private life of other people should be prosecuted and punished,’ he said.
Fishman, also married, said at the time: ‘I’ve no doubt that the security services played a role in this.’
A Putin spokesman said he had no knowledge of the alleged sex trap.
Katya – or Ekaterina Gerasimova, and nicknamed Moo-Moo for unclear reasons – is listed as an amateur model with Progress modelling agency in Moscow. The agency said it did not know what its models did ‘in their spare time.’
Ostensibly, the footage has been released by an obscure group calling itself the ‘Civil Committee for the Defence of Morality, Law and Civil Agreement’.
Experts say that the technology deployed in Katya’s bedroom is sophisticated, featuring multiple camera angles, music and clips from a popular comedy show between the sordid bedroom scenes.
Her face is also digitally obscured in the footage.
Russian intelligence sources are divided over those behind it. ‘This needs professionals,’ insisted retired FSB agent Kirill Kabanov.
‘You need to observe the target, bug his phones so you know his timetable and then make sure the victim suspects nothing.’
But retired KGB general Alexei Kondaurov denied state intelligence was involved.
‘More likely it was private security firms who had the appropriate technical equipment.’
So far it is only Kremlin critics, not loyalists, who have been exposed.
Honeytraps were used in Soviet times by the KGB – predecessor of the FSB – to seek to ensnare Western politicians and diplomats.
There have been claims the KGB tried but failed to catch Harold Wilson – later British prime minister – on a trip to Moscow in the 1950s.
But in 1968, Winchester-educated ambassador Sir Geoffrey Harrison was seduced here by his Soviet maid Galya, described as ‘a blonde of ample proportions’. After being recalled to London, he admitted: ‘I let my defences drop.’
Last year British diplomat James Hudson was targeted in what was widely seen as a classic ‘honeytrap’ operation by Russian secret services.
The 37-year-old deputy consul in Ekaterinburg quit the Foreign Office after being filmed with two women in a sauna and massage parlour close to the British consulate.