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Kremlin financing Polish radicals: tasks, payments, and reporting to Moscow

As a result of a special operation of Ukrainian hacktivists of CyberHunta [1] and Ukrainian CyberAlliance [2], InformNapalm investigators got hold of the correspondence of one of the “Russian world” coordinators in Eastern Europe, a Belarusian citizen Alexander Usovsky.

In the previous publication [3], we briefly analyzed the dump of [email protected] mailbox and traced the connection between Usovsky and his Russian curators. In this article, we analyze the dump of Usovsky’s Facebook profile and his correspondence (the video of his account hack can be viewed here [4]).

The dump of his Facebook messages is available for downloading here [5]. We have also posted videos provided to us by hacktivists as an evidence of the account hack, which shows communication with various users.

Correspondence with user Jacek Medrzycki [6]:

Correspondence with OWP leader Dawid Derezicki [7] (+ part 2 [8]):

Correspondence with Polish activist Wojciech Wojtulewicz [9], Samooborona (+ video [10] with Alan Galus [11]):

During the past few years, Usovsky actively pitched his pro-Russian projects to Russian representatives, registered a non-profit organization in Slovakia and tried to build a pro-Russian network in Eastern Europe. Not all of his plans were successful, and it should be noted that he often had empty pockets and looked for any possible ways to make any money. However, there have been star moments in his career.

Usovsky’s star moments

In the summer of 2014, Usovsky presented his ideas to representatives of the Russian oligarch Malofeyev associated with a number of Russian jingoist movements and considered to be the official cash box, providing cover for Kremlin’s subversive operations in Eastern Europe and the CIS countries.

In August 2014, Usovsky received €100,000 to organize the pro-Russian rallies in support of Novorossia (Ed.: a confederation of Donetsk Peoples’ Republic (DPR) and Luhansk Peoples’ Republic (LPR), both considered terrorist organizations by Ukraine) in Eastern Europe. Rallies were held from August to October, 2014. Later, Usovsky sent the report [12] on these rallies to all potential future partners.

The money for organizing the rallies was provided by the Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, who at that time was in charge of the DPR / LPR projects within the Russian foreign policy.

“Where is Malofeyev’s office? Is it where we met with Lena when we received the money? In Novinsky Passage?”

Apparently, money handover took place in Malofeyev’s office Novinsky Passage in July and August of 2014. The correspondence also mentions a kick-back for organizing negotiations with Malofeyev, for which the meeting organizer was paid € 10,000 in cash:

“I repeat: it is a commercial project. In August 2014, the person who helped me get a grant for a series of events in Eastern Europe in support of Novorossia received from me personally ten thousand € in cash. This is not a joke…”

Active anti-Ukrainian events and rallies in Poland were staged from August to October, 2014. Usovsky contacted members of the right-wing movement from OWP (Obóz Wielkiej Polski), Mateusz Piskorski’s Samoobrona, and some other mid-level activists.

In late October 2014, Usovsky traveled to Moscow for talks on the second stage of the anti-Ukrainian events and the promotion of the Russian world ideology in Eastern Europe, but was suddenly turned down.

“Sanya, just imagine, I’m in Moscow, and I was DENIED project financing! Fucking fantastic!”

“I’m a sucker. I invested almost all the money in those activities, I bought a car though, but this was in the terms of the contract. Now I have a pro-Russian movement of passionate and ideologically driven people any time ready to take to the barricades, all running like clockwork, in Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia, and an empty budget…”

“In August, I was given €100,000 for the prep stage. And now it turns out that there will be no second stage – when everything is ready. Hell of a work has been completed and fucking THIS MUCH money spent!”

“Damn, I should have stolen some eighty thousand, should have hired some bums for the rest to stage some protests somewhere in Rembertow…”

From his comments we can learn that apart from €10,000 kickback, some money was used to purchase a car for Usovsky (Geely Emgrand X7 for $20,500).

“Event locations:

  1. Poland: Lublin, Rzeszow, Krakow – 2. Slovakia: Kosice, Banska Bystrica – 3. Hungary: Budapest

In Poland: In each of the above cities in the period from August 20 to September 10, two rallies with the total number of participants up to 100 people; after each rally, a press conference by the organizers and a buffet for the invited journalists. Total costs: €13,500

In Slovakia: In each of the above cities in the period from August 20 to 25, one rally will be held with the number of participants of up to 200 people; after the rally, same activities as in Poland. Total costs: €6,000.

In Hungary: Everything is more complicated and easier at the same time: it will be enough to coordinate the event with the Jobbik party. On our side, we have to cover the cost of the signage and food for protesters. Total costs: €2,500. A separate rally of the Hungarian Guard for the return of Ungvar, Munkàcs, and Beregszász to their original owner can be organized, pending Jobbik’s concent.

Other expenses: Geely Emgrand X7 car: $20,500; Filming “The Slavic Heart. The Story of Rudolph Jašík,” including equipment and payment of travel expenses and per-diems for the cameraman: $5,400.”

Judging by further correspondence, after the first Minsk talks the Novorossia project was taken away from Malofeyev and given to Surkov’s organization, leaving Usovsky high and dry. Surkov’s people saw him as Malofeyev’s protégé and did not want to do things through him, while Malofeyev switched his attention to the Balkans, where Usovsky had no connections and could not be useful.

Russian trace in protests at UPA monuments in Poland

The bulk of the funds was spent to organize rallies against Poroshenko and the Ukrainian Army, for Novorossia and the Russian world. Part of the money was used to discredit monuments to UPA fighters in Poland.

Usovsky’s most active assistant the discreditation campaign against Ukrainian monuments was a Samoobrona activist Wojciech Wacław Wojtulewicz:

“Can you remind me, where you desecrated a monument to ‘UPA heroes’ in 2014?”

In August 2014, they actively communicated with Usovsky over protests at the monuments to UPA fighters in eastern Poland. In particular, it was about the monument in Hruszowice, but it’s hard to understand the logic of the “Polish nationalists” who decided in this way to revenge the “Bandera’s followers” for the demolished Lenin monument in Kharkiv (the monument was demolished on August 28, 2014, and the discussion around the monument in Hruszowice began on August 30, 2014).

The destruction of a monument is a criminal offense, and we do not want to lose people because of trifles

“Gdzie banderowcy zniszczyli legalny pomnik Lenina!..

Nastąpiły niezależne ode mnie komplikacje i dlatego sprawa zeszła na drugi plan!Teraz może wróci i wszystko będzie załatwione legalnie a nie jak w Charkowie!..

Cześć! Znalazłem wsparcie od strony Dawida Berezickiego,jeżeli sprawa jest nadal aktualna,to będziemy działać.Mam zaplanowane ewentualne działania.Jak przyjedziesz,to wszystko Ci wytłumaczę!..”

Does it mean that the Polish right are not really Polish nationalists, but rather communists?

However, it is ironic that such “patriotic” endeavors of the Polish right wing are paid by the Kremlin. The costs are quite moderate. The rally at the UPA monument and a rally in Budapest cost the Russian taxpayer only $2,000 (or €), but the organizers were in for an embarrassment. Initially, on 12 September 2014, €2,000 were sent as a private transfer from Belarusbank to the account #66 1249 1037 1111 0010 4745 0988 in the PKO BP bank (apparently, it was the account of Wojtek’s daughter Olena Varankovych. However, the money did not reach the recipient, because there was an error in the provided account number, the correct number being 66 1240 1037 1111 00104745 0988.

The problem had to be resolved quickly, and another transfer was made through Western Union, but this time Usovsky could send only $2,000:

“Ot ja dureń! Pomylić cyferkę, to jest nie do opisania i pomyślenia!Zwłaszcza w takich ważnych sprawach! Jestem totalnie załamany. Będę myślał jak zadziałać by odebrać zamówione rzeczy i zapewne się mi to uda. Tyle,że w tym tygodniu jest gwarantowana dobra pogoda a nie wiemy jak będzie w przyszłym.”

Tranfer details: MTCN 863-335-1307, recipient: Wojcech Wojtulewicz, sender: Alialiaksandr Valerevich Usouski. Note the misspelling of the first name (an extra syllable in “Alialiaksandr”). Was it an operator’s error or did Usovsky try to confuse the investigation?

“If we have enough money, let’s decorate the second monument too!”

In the result, the symbols of the Polish Falanga organization appeared on the monument, but judging from the correspondence, it is possible that the monument was “decorated” by the members of OWP / Samoobrona, paid by the Kremlin.

Usovsky requests from Wojtek a video report for Moscow, and on September 23 he posts the video to Youtube:

“Wojtek, it’s not funny. Moscow is waiting for the report of Hruszowice and Budapest, the further financing of the project depends on it. These videos on Youtube are VERY IMPORTANT!”

Usovsky’s correspondence mentioned several Western Union transfers:

Shopping for street protests is often mentioned, like Usovsky buying a megaphone for a rally.

The issue of taking currency across the border is also discussed in the correspondence. Not all transfers go directly to Poland. OWP leader Dawid Berezicki resides in Norway, where he apparently receives the money for rallies and assistance to activists in Poland:

But it would be good to send at least a couple of thousand to Norway, for them to hire smart lawyers”

“Where from? They are really fighting for a cause… Actually, I sent the money for the events not to Poland, but to Norway :-)”

Apparently, after the active rallies with pro-Russian slogans Polish law enforcers started digging at OWP. We can help them: we have found the Russian trail for them.

Usovsky and Polish elections

It should be noted that it is not by chance that the Polish law enforcement agencies paid attention to this activity, because Usovsky’s ultimate goal was a political one: to establish a pro-Russian faction in the Sejm, with pro-Russian MPs at all levels.

In particular, the second funding stage for the fall of 2014 (which was never approved by the Kremlin because of the disagreements between Surkov and Malofeyev), provided for the following spending on local elections:

“To prepare the second phase of the Project, I will need the following funds:

  1. For the election campaign of Jacek Mędrzycki (OWP, running for Sejmik of Mazowieckie voivodship): €2,500;
  2. For the election campaign of Włodzimierz Rynkowski (ZS, running for Sejmik of Mazowieckie voivodship): €2,500;
  3. For the election campaign of Wojciech Wojtulewicz (Samoobrona, running for Sejmik of Mazowieckie voivodship): €2,500. The above people work ONLY with me, have not applied to Moscow for financing and are assumed to be the founders of our future party;
  4. For OWP’s organizational work to prepare the inaugural conference of Hope for Poland party: €2,500;
  5. To help Mateusz Piskorski develop his new structure: €2,500 (optional);
  6. For support of Ladislav Kaszuka’s efforts to establish pro-Russian opposition structure in the Czech Republic: €3,000;
  7. For rallies of WZDOR Party: €3,000 (optional);
  8. Travel expenses: €1,200 (travel is expected from 18 to 29 October of this year);

The total €19,700 if it is decided to enlist both Mateusz Piskorski and support WZDOR, or €14,200 in case it is decided to drop Mateusz Piskorski and WZDOR.

In case of refusal to Piskorski, but a positive decision to support WZDOR, the total is €17,200.”

Wojtulewicz is realistic about his chances for the elections, but he is not discouraged, because it is only the beginning of his political career; Sejm elections are around the corner, and with the Kremlin’s money one can nurture hopes.

However, without the Kremlin’s money, the result of Wojtulewicz [13] running on the Samoobrona list in the 4th District, was only 47 votes. Not much.

Another candidate, Jacek Robert Mędrzycki, ran in the 7th District [14] on the list of KW ZWIĄZKU SŁOWIAŃSKIEGO and won 166 votes. He is friends with Wojtulewizc on Facebook [6], and he does not hide his Pan-Slavic views.

The third pro-Kremlin candidate apparently was to be Włodzimierz Rynkowski from Związek Słowiański.

Although the payment from the Kremlin for the local elections did not go through, €500 were still transferred to the coordinator Dawid Berezicki:

“- Mine too…. I sent my last €500 to Berezicki for the elections…

— Bardzo dobrze,bo nasze środki się kończą!”

In July 2015, Usovsky discussed with Dawid Hudziec, a Polish journalist in Donetsk, his possible candidacy for the Sejm elections:

“Dawid, I was in Moscow last week. They asked me if it is possible to have ten of our people elected to the Sejm, to make a pro-Russian faction. I said that it is possible. On Tuesday, they will decide on allocating money for the elections. If they allocate it, then you are needed as a candidate. You are known in Poland, but more importantly, Lavrov knows you.”

The opinion of Polish voters doesn’t matter that much, it is more important that the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov knows the candidate.

The topic of election, possible candidates and communications with the representatives of various parties is the keynote of a big part of Usovsky’s correspondence.

Note: InformNapalm analysts are not specialists in the Polish domestic politics, and many names or backstage party links are unknown to us, therefore we would like to draw the attention of Polish journalists to Usovskys’ correspondence with the following individuals: Wojciech Wacław Wojtulewicz, Dawid Berezicki, Dawid Hudziec, Mateusz Piskorski, Andrey Romanchuk, Katarzyna Cywilska, Alan Galus, and others. 

Also, to understand the infighting between Surkov and Malofeyev, the dialogues with the following users may be interesting: Alexander Sinkevich, Yury Shevtsov, Kirill Koktysh, Vladislav Breege, Nikita Maksimov, Denis Loginov, Mikhail Malash, Aliaksandr Shpakovskі, and others.

For example, it is very interesting to read Usovsky’s intensive communication with the Polish politician Mateusz Piskorski, which started as soon as Usovsky got the money and lasted until the latter’s arrest by Polish special services for ties with Russia.

Their friendship began with the transfer of €1,000 to organize rallies for the lifting of sanctions against Russia:

“Mateus, good morning! Wojtulewicz does not answer my questions — neither here, on Facebook, nor on the phone. I sent him $1,000 for flags, banners and other expenses, and I would like to know whether he got the money…”

“Want to have a laugh? The day before yesterday, I sent Mateusz Piskorski the final draft of the round table project, yesterday we discussed it and made changes (technical ones — whom to invite, where to hold it, PR, etc.). And today Piskorski got arrested! :-)”

Usovsky and Piskorski often arranged meeting in Moscow, but their communication lasted until Piskorski’s arrest on 18 March 2016.

Let us also note that the plans and funding are not limited to Poland. Here is a discussion on allocating €3,000 for the Communist MP Ladislav Kasuka (Komunistické strany Čech a Moravy, KSČM) to help him win elections in the Czech Republic:

“I included in the total budget 3,000 euros for you for the elections, but I’m afraid that when I get them, the elections will be over :-(“

And so forth…

Getting back to Malofeyev

Throughout 2015 and 2016, Usovsky kept developing new plans to return to the Polish “market”. He bombards different parties with his ideas from the Russian Foreign Ministry to MPs such as Zatulin, Shargunov, Slutsky, and others.

In parallel, he discusses with his Polish friends some commercial projects like the import of Polish apples through a Slovak company to bypass European sanctions, or ways to get a buck or two from Malofeyev’s projects, now entirely focused on the Balkans. To somehow draw Malofeyev’s attention to the Polish market, he publishes the oligarch’s interviews copied from Gazeta.RU, simulating the interest to the persona of the disgraced oligarch in the Polish society (example [15]).

Even working with his Polish connections, Usovsky tries to organize for Malofeyev a meeting in Brussels, where Polish activists are supposed burn the effigy of the Montenegrin Prime Minister Djukanovic:

“Jacek, I have a question. We might need to organize a large protest in Brussels. Against Djukanovic. And against the entry of Montenegro into the European Union. Can this be organized?”

It is obvious from the correspondence, that after Malofeyev got sidelined from Novorossia and Poland projects, he was dispatched to the Balkan ideological front. One of his goals has been destabilizing the situation in Montenegro.

“Only the oligarchs can provide the money. I said that for 25,000 we hold a protest of up to 200 people, with flags and posters, and we will burn the effigy of Djukanovic :-)”

“There’s no such thing as too much money. Concerning the event in Brussels, if it is to be held: we need our people there to hold a march. 100 euros to each, + travel, food and accommodation. The total is about 12,000 euro. Serbian emigrants, about 100 people, 50 euro each. 5,000 Belgians, if say 30 people come, it’ll be good. And all the rest — flags, banners, posters, sound equipment rent. So, 25,000 will be ok.”

The discussion of the costs (about €25,0000) and the further plans for Montenegro began in December 2015. All these plans for the destabilization of the situation in Montenegro were hatched almost a year before the failed Russia-inspired coup, which ended with a scandal and incrimination of the Russian officials in the attempt. Also interesting is the role of the Polish right, who for the Russian money, were ready to bus to Brussels.

Military tourism to Donbas

Besides the European money-making projects, Usovsky also looked for partners for projects in the former Soviet Union. From one of his conversations with an officer from the DPR (Vladislav Breege [16]) we learn that he offered to organize military tourism trips to Donbas for 50 Poles..

“Well, the Poles say they have 40-50 people who are willing to pay for such tour…

Not just to Donetsk, but closer to the line of fire. And to shoot at a shooting range, this and that, in a word, military travel…

Poles suggested one deal to me. There are tourists in Poland wishing to go to Donetsk. Piskorski has probed this matter with Kofman, but he is now in jail, and will stay there, by the look of it. But the business is trending…”

The request for this type of operation for the first time emerges in a conversation with Alan Galus, with whom they discuss possible transaction details and the format of tourist groups:

“- Cześć, tłumacz naszą ofertę przetłumaczy dopiero na jutro.

Z samolotów nie będziemy korzystać, gdyż kupujemy busa. Będzie taniej.

Grupy będą 8-10 osobowe.

Chcemy pierwszych śmiałków wysłać jakoś na początku sierpnia i września.

Trzeba jeszcze będzie załatwić dwukrotne wizy.

Co do ceny będziemy negocjować. Mamy własny kosztorys. No i cena musi być adekwatna dla polskiego turysty. Więcej niż 4500-5000 zł nikt nie zapłaci za tydzień. My zakładamy teraz biuro turystyczne, wszystkie kwity będą, pozwolenia etc. i prawnie się zabezpieczamy, żeby nie było problemów.

– Because in case of a Ukrainian offensive, no one can guarantee their safety. Yesterday, more than a hundred soldiers and officers of the army of Donetsk were killed… Upon his arrival to Rostov, tourists must sign a waiver of any claims to the DPR authorities in the case of their injury or death.”

Usovsky’s latest plans

In the first part of our analysis of Alexander Usovsky’s correspondence, we have already noted the fact that he has returned to the Polish ideological front after a meeting with Konstantin Zatulin, State Duma Deputy and Director of the Institute of Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

To organize new events, he again contacted his old friend, OWP leader Dawid Berezicki.

Here, Usovsky again has some money, he calls Berezicki to a meeting in Grodno, and they discuss the method to transfer money: “Okay, you think about where it will be safe to send it, and then write to me. Maybe no one controls WU there.”

“- There could be a kind of eye on my account… Poland is not safe, after Piskorski… No, better just send it to Norway, and send an info that the money has been sent for the English”

“Better cash. This is the safest option. We will not do anything illegal, but it is better anyway…

I’ll send you $1,000, I think, this will be enough for a trip to Grodno, and when you come, I’ll give you the money for the work. In two weeks, when you have prepared everything, we will meet in Krakow or anywhere else and decide what to do next…”

Let’s note that these people are well aware of what they are doing and for whose money. None of them wants to repeat the fate of Piskorski detained by the Polish intelligence service for espionage, therefore they do not want to expose money transfers to their Polish bank accounts. The $1,000 sent through Western Union cover the costs of travel and accommodation in Grodno, where, apparently, guidance on further action and cash for further work are to be received. Usovsky, apparently, found another sponsor and is ready to start active operations in Poland again.

Conclusions

The analysis of Usovsky’s correspondence gives us a completely different perspective on many events of the recent years. Pro-Russian protests in Poland and other Eastern European countries have been most often backed by Russia. From the simple purchase a megaphone for a rally to semi-legal actions at the monuments to UPA fighters, there is often a Kremlin agent like Usovsky looming behind it.

The modesty of the sums allocated to Usovsky for his events is not surprising. It’s just that we got access only to the correspondence of Usovsky, who shortly, but very actively worked on a number of projects in Malofeyev’s team. However, Russians have not left Poland alone: while Malofeyev focused on the coup in Montenegro, Surkov and his men started working in Poland.

Besides, Russians are actively seeking access to Polish politicians, from trying to push through their candidates in local elections, to organizing respectable round tables with the participation of politicians of a higher level. Russians start by establishing contacts with some fringe figures who have some connections, and then gradually test the waters for further action.

The example of Usovsky and his accomplices is an example of mostly failed political scheming on a local scale, but can we be sure that no one else works in Poland for the Russian money and in the Russian interests?

Disclaimer:

Evidence was provided to InformNapalm on an exclusive basis by the hacktivists of the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance for analysis and processing. InformNapalm Community bears no responsibility for the sources and origin of the data.

This publication was prepared by Cyril Mefodiev, translated by InformNapalm English [17]

[18](CC BY) Information specially prepared for InformNapalm.org [19] site, an active link to the authors and our project is obligatory for any reprint or further use of the material.