Vadim Birstein

Dr. Vadim J. Birstein is a historian and geneticist. He is the author of over 300 scientific papers and books and has written two scholarly historical works, "The Perversion of Knowledge: The True Story of Soviet Science" and "SMERSH, Stalin's Secret Weapon: Soviet Military Counterintelligence in WWII". He received the inaugural "St. Ermin's Intelligence Book Award" in 2012 for SMERSH.

Author Archives: Vadim Birstein

New Victory of Boris Sokolov in the Court

On May 4, 2017, the Moscow City Court rejected the complaint by Aleksandr Khinstein, Adviser to Army General Viktor Zolotov, Director of the Rosguards (the Russian security army that reports directly to President Vladimir Putin), and a publicist, to the decision of Presnensky Regional Court of Moscow on the case of the memoir by the former KGB Chairman… Read More »

MVD Rezidenturas Abroad

On May 3, 2017, the Russian Internal Affairs Ministry (MVD) announced that the number of its officers assigned abroad will be increased from 41 to 100 representatives. These are not traditional SVR rezidenturas, intelligence officers involved in espionage at Russian embassies, but a type of MVD rezidentura. A draft of the Decree of Russian President Putin detailed the future changes.… Read More »

Vladimir Medinsky’s Dissertation Still Questioned

On April 21, 2017, the Presidium of the Higher Attestation Commission recommended transferring the discussion of the doctorate dissertation by Vladimir Medinsky, Russia’s Minister of Culture, to the Dissertational Council of the Belgorod State National Research University. Previously, Medinsky’s seriously criticized doctoral thesis “Problems of Objectivity in Descriptions of Russian History of the Second Part of the 15th-17th… Read More »

University Protests – Staged and Real

On March 18, 2017, an official rally on the anniversary of the annexation of the Crimea took place in front of the main building of Moscow State University. For this event in Moscow and similar rallies in other cities, students, teachers and university personnel were ordered to come with posters with such slogans like “Putin is the savior of… Read More »

A Convenient Fall from an Apartment Building

On March 21, the British investor Bill Browder, a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, reported that Nikolai Gorokhov, who currently represents the Magnitsky family, was “thrown from the top floor of his apartment building.” Gorokhov was hospitalized with severe head injuries at Moscow’s Botkin Hospital. The Russian official version was that Gorokhov was allegedly injured while… Read More »

Update on Torture Article

In my recent article on torture, I mentioned the case of Nikita Belykh, the politically active ex-governor of Kirov Region, who was arrested on a questionable charge in June 2016. On March 17, 2017, Nikita Belykh was indicted on a new bribery charge in a Moscow court. In response, Belykh firmly stated that he “has never taken bribes and has no… Read More »

NGOs Banned Completely from Russia

On March 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed two more laws restricting human rights. The first was the law banning “undesirable” foreign and international NGOs from creating legal entities in Russia and Russians from participating in them. The draft law was submitted to the State Duma (lower house of the Russian Parliament) by the government on October 10, 2016. The… Read More »

Attacks on the Memorial Society Continue

On March 9, 2017, Yury Dmitriev, head of the Karelian branch of the International Memorial Society, was additionally charged in the Petrozavodsk City Court (Karelia). As I’ve already written, previously he was charged with child pornography (Article 242.2 of the Russian Criminal Code). Now charges of dissolute acts against a minor (Article 135) and illegal possession of weapons (Article… Read More »