Front organizations that imitate scientific activity are easily detected by ambiguous names. These names usually incorporate an indication of academic functions, global tasks and humanitarian aim. However, eodem tempore, no links should refer to direct aspirations and tasks of an organization. Wherever you look, hints about nobility and bravery try to make a very first impression about an entity.
Over the last quarter century, dozens of such odd newly established organizations were created both in Russia and abroad. Now they represent various academies, e.g. academy of state humanism, academy of geopolitical issues, academy of image and issues of civilization, security and justice. Also they operate under the legal forms of institutions, centers and funds. Some of them – center for world civilizations, democracy and cooperation, funds of strategical culture, historical perspective, memory and democracy issues` research.
Majority of these organizations do their best to show off on the international level. Indeed, they attempt to fool everyone with their doubtful sources of funding and intelligence officer in charge for surveillance over a particular enterprise. When the word «security» is used either in the name or statutory functions of the organization a reasonable man understands clearly – cooperation with intelligence services is at the core of body`s methods of operation.
In summer 2016, one of centers as described above, was opened up in a big way in Berlin. It`s name is Research institute «Dialogue of Civilizations», established in a legal form of a Limited Liability Company. Full name of the organization — «Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute gemeinnützige GmbH (DOC)»
In conformity with its Statute, this institution is
«…international independent non-governmental organization that studies issues of international relations and promote international security. Primary aim of the Institute is to make recommendations in dispute prevention branch and reducing tensions all over the world.»
The exceptional successful position and constant development of the «Dialogue of Civilizations» among like quasi-academic institutions is due to its founder – Vladimir Yakunin. The institute was registered less than one years after Mr. Yakunin was sacked as a President of Russian Railways.
The institute «Dialogue of Civilizations» is the successor of an International social forum called «Dialogue of Civilizations» established in 2002 on the Rhodes forum. The forum was co-Chaired by Vladimir Yakunin (Russia), President of the «Titan Capital Corporation», Nicholas Papanicolaou (USA/Greece) and former chancellor of Austria, Alfred Gusenbauer.
According to Wikipedia, «Rhodes forum» is defined as non-governmental organization dealing with issues of intercultural communication as well as development as new ways to de-escalation in the world. The forum is established in order to unite scientists, publicists, former and current politics, businessmen, artists from various states that represent distinct cultures.
Such statement in the establishing document of the enterprise points at purely surveillance functions of the forum.
Rhodes being the largest island of the Dodecanese island group in Greece annually hosts the conference «Rhodes forum». The decision and actual transfer of Mr. Yakunin`s forum from Greece to Berlin signal about forum`s new expansion and its permanent nature.
The official web-site of the Institution indicated has the formation is non-governmentally funded, conversely, its main sponsors are: a Swiss endowment-fund (Endowment for the World Public Forum — Dialogue of Civilizations) and some donations from private entities whose names are not disclosed. Consequently amount of received monetary units is kept in a secret.
In 2016 the mass media shared Breaking News that the Institute possess on its accounts 25 million euro. Other news was the number of staff should reach 20 workers, currently the staff is composed of 42 employees, excluding 30-60 non-permanent expert that render consultations.
Three father-founders of the Institute are Vladimir Yakunin, Walter Schwimmer and Peter Schulze.
Walter Schwimmer is an Austrian politician born in 1942. During 1999-2004 Mr. Schwimmer was the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
Peter W. Schulze is a German academic and political scientist born in 1942. During 1992-2003 he headed the Moscow bureau of international fund of Fredrich Ebert (which is in close cooperation with Social Democratic Party of Germany). In 2014 Mr. Schulze dared to justify the annexation of the Crimea by Russia on the ground of «self-defence».
When examining the biography of Vladimir Yakunin one should carefully consider his background education and expertise. He was born in 1948, before 1972 he graduated from the Leningrad Mechanical Institute (former — Military Mechanical Institute) with a major in «Production of flying objects». Later on in 1970s he enrolled into Red Banner Institute of the KGB USSR (currently – the Academy of Foreign Intelligence (alternatively known as the SVR Academy) where he served in scientific and intelligence branch under the First Main Directorate of the Committee for State Security under the USSR council of ministers (PGU KGB).
During 1982-1985 he headed the Foreign affairs department at the Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute of the Soviet Academy of Science. Simultaneously from 1981 to 1991 he worked for the Ministry for foreign affairs, where he held the office of the second and later the first secretary of the Permanent Mission of the USSR to the United Nations. In 1996 together with Vladimir Putin Mr. Yakunin proclaimed country co-operative «Ozero» (also known as Russian top gated community), By 2012 members of the «Ozero» cooperative had assumed top positions in Russian government and business and became very successful financially. In 2002 he started working as Deputy Minister of Public Communication, 3 years later he became the chief of the bureau. From 2005 until 2015 he was the President of Russian Railways, which get some functions of the liquidated Ministry of public communication.
In 2005, Yakunin on-the-job defended his Ph.D. thesis entitled «The mechanism for developing geo-strategies in the modern Russia» (focusing on transport and railway sector), and in 2007 the doctoral dissertation on the issue «Processes and mechanisms of public policy formation in modern Russian society».
Undoubtedly, these works have nothing in common with science. This can be seen in the names and rapid periods of research. Such dissertations cumulatively with a rank of professor are mandatory supplement to the corresponding hierarchical status in modern Russia. Since the end of 2010, Mr. Yakunin has been the Dean of the Department of Public Policy, Moscow State University.
The military rank of Mr. Yakunin is not disclosed with public. In a letter to the British journal «The Economist», published in August 2013, Mr. Yakunin denied allegations that he held senior positions in the KGB or the FSB. According to Yakunin, his military rank is «captain-engineer». Bearing in mind his high positions in Putin’s state hierarchy and 22 years of service in intelligence this seems to be fake news.
Since 2010, Yakunin is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Russkiy Mir Foundation. This is a state fund, headed by another senior intelligence officer, Molotov’s grandson Vyacheslav Nikonov. The organization is heavily engaged in propaganda and recruitment of Soviet-Russian emigrants in all countries of the world.
A professional biography of Yakunin is a typical biography of a state security officer who has worked undercover all his life. Obviously, the only real profession of Vladimir Yakunin is foreign intelligence.
Aleksey Malashenko, a Master of Arab studies is the head of research centre of «Dialogue of Civilizations». Scrolling down his official biography, it`s clear that he is directly to the Soviet special services, just like Mr. Yakunin. Mr. Malashenko graduated from the Institute of Asia and Africa in 1974. During 1974-76 he served in the Armed Forces of Algeria (he was a member of the Soviet advisers), in 1979-80 he was a member of the Soviet expedition in Libya. From 2006 to 2008 he taught in MGIMO, we highlight that he taught in a rank of professor. Malashenko is a member of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy. This is another quasi-organization created in 1992 and closely associated with the Russian government and security forces.
If one takes a broader view however, one cannot omit the following facts.
In 2014, Russia committed aggression against a neighboring country in the very center of Europe. Moscow ordered to occupy the Ukrainian Crimea and Donbass, where a merely disguised war is ongoing for 5 years. As a result, become a political outcast. The world community is trying to call it to order via economic sanctions, however this leverage is ineffective.
Imagine, in the midst of these troubles, Putin’s colleague, meaning former KGB officer, one of the first people in his social circle is creating a scientific institution in Berlin with the goal of «promoting common international security» and «making recommendations in the field of preventing conflicts and reducing tensions in the world». Dozens of foreign experts are involved in the projects and among them are professors, politicians, journalists.
Mr. Yakunin`s attitude to news about his military rank and actual functions was expressed in his interview with the media «TASS» in 2014, he noted, «The West is waging a systematic, well-planned and paid information war aimed at destruction of the Russians as nation».
A bird may be known by its song. It`s obvious that the Institute has no relation to scientific activity in the literal meaning. It was created, like its predecessor, the Dialogue of Civilizations forum, to serve the propaganda needs of Moscow and to recruit agents of influence abroad.
Who are those German managers and experts that create the image of the Institute? It is striking that despite the fact that the institute is located in Berlin, there are only three hereunder mentioned Germans among its managers.
Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis is a German socialite, businesswoman, philanthropist, Catholic activist, and artist;
- Peter Schulze, from 1992 to 2003 — head of the Moscow bureau of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and member of the German-Russian Forum;
- Andrea von Knoop, former representative of the German Economy Union in Russia from 1993 to 2007. He is also a member of the German-Russian Forum. Andrea von Knoop was awarded the Order of Friendship by Putin in 2003.
It`s undeniable that General Harald Kuyatt was one of members and manager of the institute. He is a former inspector general of the Bundeswehr, however by the spring of 2017 his name had disappeared from the institute’s website. The reason was not indicated.
The recruitment of foreign employees or students who came to pursue knowledge in Russia has always been a distinct part of the activities of the KGB (GRU) and this Soviet tradition is duly inherited by Russian special services. The major subjects of influence are journalists, students, scientists, employees of Western organizations and firms and businessmen. On the example of the Institute «Dialogue of Civilizations», one can judge what results the organization wants and what it has reached. The institute’s extensive list of experts includes 56 contacts from around the world. Still there seem to be only two representatives of Germany: a professor at a higher school in Trier, Dirk Löhr; and political analyst Alexander Rahr .
We learned through the grapevine that when Yakunin was about to launch this, many German specialists in Russia received an invitation to work for him, but almost all refused.
The first conference organized by the DOC in Berlin took place on December 1, 2016. Since then, conferences, receptions and round tables are routine events and are conducted often, to be precise once or twice a month.
A long list of foreign participants in the events organized by the Institute of Dialogue of Civilizations is the same list of people for the purposes «Friends of Moscow» events. It’s hard to get included in the list. For any Western politician or scholar, the Yakunin Institute and with Yakunin himself is completely transparent Russian story. In any case, it can be clarified today very simply and very quickly. Therefore, the fact of participation in the activities of the Yakunin Institute indicates a conscious decision to cooperate with the Putin regime and represent its interests.
It is not a secret to any of the institute’s employees and partners that Yakunin is a high-ranking representative of the Russian special services and that the institute itself cannot be anything other than a branch of the Russian special services disguised as a public organization. It can also be assumed that the specific tasks of the institute are being solved due to great financial support and money laundering method through the Swiss endowment fund.
Actions speak louder than words. In July 2013, Yakunin and his wife, Natalya Yakunina, co-founded and headed the endowment fund of the Dialogue of Civilizations World Public Forum, registered in Geneva. The president of the fund is Natalya Yakunina, the vice president is Vladimir Yakunin. Endowment Fund is a trust fund created for non-commercial purposes. In case of the Institute the aim is to finance the activities of the Berlin Institute «Dialogue of Civilizations». What is the purpose to create two legal forms in different jurisdictions that have the same goal?
In fact, in July 2013, the Yakunin family founded not one, but two endowment funds in Switzerland. The second is the endowment fund of St. Andrew the First-Called. The official goal of the foundation is «to support the research and preservation of the Russian national heritage, as well as to promote the peaceful coexistence of various peoples and religions.» The story repeated, Natalia Yakunina became the president of the fund, Vladimir Yakunin — vice-president.
This endowment fund has the role to fund the activities of the Russian foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called, created in 1992. The Fund carries out «projects aimed at creating a positive attitude in society towards the traditional, fastening foundations of Russia: the state, church, army». In 2001, on the initiative of the Andrew the First-Called Foundation, the Center for National Glory was created and it`s statutory aim was formed in the following way, « to be engaged in preserving the cultural foundations of society through an appeal to the historical fate of Russia».
Vladimir Yakunin having being already experienced chaired of the Board of Trustees of the Andrew the First-Called Fund and the Center for National Glory. The director of the Andrew the First-Called Foundation is Vladimir Vladimirovich Bushuev (born 1957), a KGB officer in a rank of colonel.
In March 2013, Vladimir Yakunin established the «Istoki» Endowment Fund and headed its board of trustees. The fund is officially registered in Moscow.
According to information available on its web-site, the mission of Endowment Fund «ISTOKI» is to strengthen spiritual grounds of the Russian society, moral education based on Orthodoxy and on worthy examples of the Russian history and the Russian culture. The income from investing in the «Istoki» Endowment Fund is for development of the current programs of the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called which help draw the attention of the public to the issues of spiritual and moral revival of Russia, respect for the Russian history and culture».
I kindly attract your attention to the fact that the volume of aggregate endowment capital of the fund is one of the five largest endowments in Russia.
In 2016 was marked with a simultaneous opening of the Dialogue of Civilizations Institute in Berlin and announcement that the «Istoki» Fund would begin a project to train students of the Department of Political Science at Moscow State University in major foreign universities — in France, the UK, Singapore, China and Hong Kong. The Faculty of Political Science of Moscow State University was established in 2008 with the aim of training «political analysts who could make an objective, serious and thorough analysis and forecast of the political process.» It is more than likely that this Yakunin project is aimed at training future intelligence officers abroad.
All three Yakunin funds are interconnected. The Executive Director of the «Istoki» Fund, Catherine Gerus, also serves as a manager at the Dialogue of Civilizations Institute in Berlin. The director of the «Istoki» Foundation, Sergei Shcheblygin, has been the president of the Andrew the First-Called Foundation since 2006. Shcheblygin is a member of the Council of the Federation of Russia. His teaching major was the history of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. From 1983 to 1992 he was a history teacher at the Higher Party School, since 2002 he has been a regular participant in the conferences of the World Public Forum «Dialogue of Civilizations» on Rhodes.
Surprisingly or not that much, the Dialogue of Civilizations Foundation is registered at the same address as the «Istok» Foundation and the St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation, all have their offices on Pokrovka, 42 street, Moscow.
Eventually, Vladimir Yakunin at the same time turns out to be the head of several supposedly fundamentally different, supposedly public organizations, tied to endowment funds in Switzerland and Russia. It is possible that Yakunin today concentrated state funds intended to finance the activities of special services in various directions in his hands. Moreover, for each direction there is a separate «fund». This makes the task to trace down monetary transfers more complicated, although it`s possible.
The St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation is engaged in imperial and chauvinistic propaganda inside Russia.
The «Istok» Foundation finances the education Russian political science students from Moscow State University in foreign state where they gain both theoretical and practical skills. These students are viewed rather as future employees of security services and specialists in «international peace and security»
The Institute «Dialogue of Civilizations» was created to imitate international academic activity abroad and introduce special services into German political circles.