January 1 marks the 111th anniversary of the birth of the superstar from the world of spies, Kim Philby, who worked for Soviet intelligence for more than half a century. Students from the KGB-SVR regularly gather at his grave, and laudatory materials are prepared in the federal media for each of his jubilees. In the famous Philby apartment, where a retired spy trained Russian intelligence officers, they planned to open a museum. The widow was ready to transfer the living space to the balance of the SVR (in exchange for the readiness to provide for her old age), but she received nothing and died a beggar. Philbophiles didn’t get anything either: suddenly appeared Veronika Krasheninnikova, a friend of the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin, described his property, after which some of the most valuable items disappeared somewhere, and the apartment was put up for sale. Krasheninnikova herself, who calls herself a political scientist, without obvious sources of income, became the owner of several elite apartments in the center of Moscow at once.
Philby died in 1988 after a deep depression, when Gorbachev’s perestroika was in full swing in the country (according to other sources, he committed suicide). After the death of her husband, Rufa Pukhova was left practically without a livelihood and was forced to sell his personal belongings. The main buyers of spy “artifacts” were Philby’s students, who jokingly call themselves “philbophiles”. The main backbone of philobophiles are: the former Secretary of State of the Union State of Russia-Belarus Grigory Rapota (in the 80s he worked in the residencies of the PGU KGB in Sweden and Finland), deputy editor-in-chief of Rossiyskaya Gazeta Nikolai Dolgopolov (spying in France), head of the investment fund Pangeo Capital Yuri Kudimov, who previously worked undercover as a journalist for Novoye Vremya in Mexico City, former “diplomat” from the Soviet Embassy in London Alexander Korsik (until 2016 he served as chairman of the board of Bashneft), ex-employee of the Finnish residency of the PGU KGB Vladimir Chernov, who from 2012 to 2021 headed the presidential department for cultural relations with neighboring countries, retired general of the Foreign Intelligence Service and co-host of Ekho Moskvy Yuri Kobaladzethe writer Mikhail Lyubimov, expelled from England for espionage, and the “journalist” Mikhail Bogdanov mentioned above, who was on the British non-grata list.
In 2008, Rufa Pukhova offered to transfer the apartment to the balance of the SVR, since she could not pay utility bills and buy medicines from her small pension. In return, the widow set two conditions: material assistance for the rest of her life and the removal of the arrest from Philby’s bank account in London, which contained £ 10 thousand. Kobaladze, who had previously worked undercover as a journalist in London, took up the solution to the banking problem. However, the former “roofer” failed to get the money out.
The widow’s request to transfer the apartment to the balance sheet of the Foreign Intelligence Service was passed on to Vladimir Putin, but he did not react in any way. And the then director of foreign intelligence Mikhail Fradkov stated that he was not interested in this option. As a result, the offended Pukhova bequeathed the apartment to her brother Konstantin. But soon he died and his wife, 70-year-old Natalya Pukhova, became the heiress.
“For us, this is, of course, an expensive gift. Veterans and current employees of the Foreign Intelligence Service cherish the memory of this outstanding person, the legendary Soviet intelligence officer, ”- uttered solemn speech pleased Naryshkin.
At the same time, it remained a mystery who got the antique furniture, Persian carpets, the “History of the Crimean War” and rare books stolen from the library in Dublin. The editors sent questions to the same granddaughter Natalia, which was mentioned by philbophiles. At first, the girl agreed to answer our questions, but then she stopped communicating. In the meantime, as The Insider found out, a whole line of people who want to buy the famous apartment has already lined up. Veronika Krasheninnikova also declined to respond to requests from The Insider.