Circling the Lion's Den

FSB investigates the New Nobility

We were informed on September 20 by Elena Evgrafova, an editor-in-chief of the United Press publishing house, that on September 14, the General Director of the Chekhov Poligraphic Complex, German Kravchenko, received a letter from the Moscow department of the FSB in which the Head of the 2nd Directorate of the 6th Inter-regional Section A.I.Sergeev requests information as to the identities of those individuals who placed the order for the publication of the book The New Nobility: Historical Notes on the FSB (The Russian version of "The New Nobility The Restoration of Russia's Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB") by authors Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan.

The book was published in July 2011 and was immediately available in bookshops across Moscow. The book is the result of investigations carried out by Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, that were published over a ten year period in various Russian newspapers, including Moskovskie Novosti, Novaya Gazeta and on Ej.ru. The book's authors devoted their careers to investigating and covering the work of the secret services, and for ten years have run the site Agentura.ru. Within two months the book became a bestseller in Russia and Knizhnaya Obozrenia gave it second place in its non-fiction listings.

The book The New Nobility was first published in the U.S. and UK by the Public Affairs in September 2010, and it was only subsequently that Russian publishers showed an interest in purchasing the rights. The FSB have made no attempt to contact the authors in the two months since the book was published. However, past experience suggests that the FSB have launched their investigations into the book's authors and the publishing house, and that this will not be limited to a letter.

In 2002 the authors were called in for questioning at the FSB's Investigations Directorate after a law suit was filed in connection with an article for the newspaper Versia written by Andrei Soldatov. In addition, in seizing Soldatov's computer and that of the editorial office, the FSB significantly impeded the newspaper's work. In 2007 Andrei Soldatov was again questioned by the FSB, this time in relation to his interview with the SVR traitor Sergey Tretyakov.

Agentura.Ru September 20, 2011