Oppositionist Leonid Volkov (recognized as a foreign agent) said that he decided to “take a break” as the ACF International fund (Anti-Corruption Foundation, Anti-Corruption Foundation, FBK*). He made such a decision after a public conflict with the former editor-in-chief of the Ekho Moskvy radio station Alexei Venediktov (recognized as a foreign agent), who caught Volkov in a lie. Read more about the situation in the Russian opposition in the material Daily Storm.
How it all started
On March 8, Alexei Venediktov published on his Telegram channel a letter addressed to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell and Head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen with a request to lift sanctions against the leaders and owners of Alfa Group.
The letter says that Petr Aven, Mikhail Fridman, German Khan and Alexei Kuzmichev are not connected with the Russian state and are major investors in the Ukrainian economy. The document is dated February 2023.
The photographs posted by Venediktov show the signatures of Russian opposition figures, including the signature of Leonid Volkov.
However, the head of ACF International said that he did not sign the letter published by Venediktov. According to the oppositionist, his signature on the February document was “photoshopped”, he does not know how and why the letter ended up with Venediktov.
The ex-editor-in-chief of Ekho Moskvy then wrote in his Telegram channel: “I think that if the letter in support of the leaders of Alfa Group addressed to the European Commission is false, then: a) the European Commission must be immediately warned about this; b) It will not be difficult for the FBK to investigate how and through whom it got to Brussels.”
Then the former editor-in-chief of Echo published a letter on the lifting of sanctions against the owners and managers of Alfa Group, dated as early as October 2022, in which only Volkov signed.
“Volkov is a pitiful coward. I made a decision – do not deny, take responsibility. And he signed that letter, but he really sent his signature remotely, ”added Venediktov.
Pause for Volkov
A few minutes after the revealing publication of Venediktov, Volkov posted the same letter on social networks and announced that he was “taking a break” as head of the FBK.
According to the politician, he sent a letter to Borrell’s office in October. The oppositionist called the request to lift sanctions against Fridman and Aven “a big political mistake.” Volkov added that he exceeded his powers as head of the FBK, because he signed the letter not as an individual, but on behalf of the organization.
The politician said that at the time of sending the letter, against the backdrop of the situation in the NVO zone, “a critical situation had developed”, and it was possible to start a “chain reaction” of public condemnation of hostilities and a split in the Russian elites. This logic was flawed, he added.
“I want to apologize to everyone whose trust I did not justify – first of all, of course, from my colleagues in the governing bodies of the FBK, from supporters and, of course, from Alexei Navalny,” Volkov wrote in his Telegram channel.
According to the oppositionist, in the near future he will meet with colleagues to discuss the formats of cooperation and, in general, the possibility of such work. Volkov also called for respect for his decision not to comment further on sending the letter to Borrell.