new translation of the mysterious second call, to israeli consul in ukraine yan epshtein

This comes from here. The second call is much more convincing than I thought it would be when I first read a brief synopsis of its contents. But I am still not convinced by it. It looks too perfect. It looks as if it was made in order to be intercepted. After some thought, I have retained VoR’s translation of the first call (Voice of Russia, May 14 2014), because Marknesop’s version of the first conversation (actually made for his blog by a bilingualist who calls himself Yalensis) is deliberately paraphrased in what its author considers to be Usaian gangster lingo, whereas the VoR translation is straight. But Yalensis’ translation of the second conversation is straight, not ‘genre’, which is just as well from my point of view. I’ve included’s account of all this, to keep the context in immediate view. Note that in the first conversation, Kolomoisky definitely says “we’re going to hang them right in the square,” not “they’re going to hang them right in the square,” making the call a direct threat rather than a mere warning of others’ intentions. So here they are, first the VoR translation of the first call, then Yalensis’ translation of the second – RB

Conversation #1 : Kolomoisky to Tsarov
An audio recording of a phone conversation between oligarch and governor of the Dnepropetrovsk Region Igor Kolomoisky and Oleg Tsarov. The caption to the recording says that the conversation took place late at night on May 10 2014 and was recorded by former SBU officers who now call themselves the Joint Cyber-Militia of the Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkov Regions. Chelovek-Online reports that Oleg Tsarov has confirmed its authenticity:

Kolomoisky: Howdy!
Tsarov: Hi!
Kolomoisky: Where are you? Same place?
Tsarov: Yeah.
Kolomoisky: How goes it?
Tsarov: Okay.
Kolomoisky: Listen, there was a bad mess here. A Jew from the Dnepropetrovsk community was killed.
Tsarov: What’s up?
Kolomoisky: A Jew was killed from the Dnepropetrovsk community. I’m in the synagogue now.
Tsarov: What did he do?
Kolomoisky: Never mind what he did! They say fucking big bucks are promised for your head now!
Tsarov: My head?
Kolomoisky: Yeah! One million bucks! They say they will hunt you down, anywhere! I’ve let you know. Stay in Moscow! Don’t go anywhere!
Tsarev: I wanted to tell you this little joke. In Africa there is this …
Kolomoisky: Your associates will be hunted down too!
Tsarev: … They have this … this … poison …
Kolomoisky: Listen! Bollocks to what is in Africa! Stop bullshitting me! I’m telling you, there was a prayer in the synagogue on erev shabos to pray for this man Bogdan Shlemkevitch, the Jew who was killed in Mariupol, by you, you cunt!
Tsarov: So that’s it!
Kolomoisky: They say Tsarov is to blame! You, you cunt! Tomorrow your people here will be shot down like dogs! You tell them to get the fuck out of here, because we’re going to hang them right in the square! And tell Markov not to come back here to Ukraine, under any circumstances! Got it?
Tsarov: Don’t call me anymore, Igor.
Kolomoisky: You don’t want me to call? Okay. See ya.
Tsarov: Bye, see ya.

Conversation #2 : Oleg Noginsky and Jan Borisovich Epstein
Noginsky is the President of the Association of Suppliers of the Customs Union, an organization which aims at increasing the turnover between Ukraine and the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Jan Epstein is the Israeli consul in Ukraine. The “Oleg” they speak of is Tsarev. “Bennie” is Kolomoisky’s nickname. “Markov” is People’s Deputy of Ukraine Igor Olegovich Markov. “Palitsa” is Odessa Province Governor Igor Palitsa:

Epstein: [picking up the phone] : Hello?
Noginsky: Hello, Jan Borisovich, good evening. Forgive me. Chag Sameach. Did I wake you?
Epstein: No, of course not, it’s still early. Chag Sameach to you too. Shalom lecha v’labriut.
Noginsky: Jan Borisovich, I am calling about a very painful matter, and I am really worried …
Epstein: Why? What’s up?
Noginsky: Well, on May 9 you saw what happened in Mariupol, right? Some guy named Mr Shelemchak was killed.
Epstein: Who?
Noginsky: Shelemchak. A Jew from Dnepropetrovsk. At least, that’s what Kolomoisky says. But that’s not the worst of it. The point is that Kolomoisky phoned Tsarev and told him literally this, that in all the synagogues in Ukraine today, they are going to give out a fatwa to all believing Jews: one million for the head of Tsarev, and for Russian separatists. Well, as soon as I heard the word “synagogue” …
Epstein: Oh, that’s just nonsense! I know that! I was at the synagogue today. They had the usual prayers, the usual deal, so to speak.
Noginsky: Jan Borisovich, that’s not what I’m talking about. Of course nothing happened in the synagogues. The point is that when he says stuff like that, I don’t know if his words were recorded or not, but if those words get out to the press, well, you can imagine what’s going to happen.
Epstein: You mean, to Tsarev?
Noginsky: Yeah. One million dollars for his head. And that tomorrow they’ll start to hang all his family. His relatives.
Epstein: [snorts]
Noginsky: No! Listen to me! You know Oleg. Say what you will about him, but he never lies. And he sent this to me just tonight. He’s in a huge state of shock. And this was also confirmed to me by a man who was sitting right next to him and overheard the whole conversation.
Epstein: That’s horrible! No! I simply cannot understand how a Jew could … Jews are not supposed in principle to ever permit themselves to do stuff like that! They phoned him personally?
Noginsky: Yeah. He likes to do stuff like that. Not long ago he phoned Markov, he started telling him how he would be burned alive if he ever came to Odessa. It’s like a hobby with him. I don’t know. I have the sense that he has simply gone out of his mind, if the truth be told. On the other hand, it is a fully confirmed fact that it was him who hired those goons in Odessa. Fully confirmed. And for the precise purpose of placing Palitsa in the post of Governor. I got confirmation from that in the Tymoshenko HQ. The situation got out of control for them. Their job was just to beat people up, mess them up a bit, get them taken off to the hospital so they could tear down their Tent City.
Epstein: Yeah, well, you know, these were Avakov’s guys. Those guys are capable of anything.
Noginsky: Well, there was supposed to be a deal. If it was still … and in principle, a verbal agreement. He came in and said, “What are you gonna do about Odessa?” That Kulikovo Field was there, all the time, non-stop. “Give Odessa to me, and I’ll make it just like Dnepropetrovsk. Like, not even a mouse will dare to stick his nose out.” So they tell him, “Okay.”
Epstein: He was already in Odessa. He was living there.
Noginsky: And he’s still there now. And he’s still doing stuff. Like, on the one hand, in the past three days, sixteen people have been killed out of those who were detained and were still alive after the “Trade Union.” Two people had their throats slashed. And so on.
Epstein: Well, Oleg, I simply cannot, I simply cannot believe that Bennie is capable of doing such a thing.
Noginsky: I have the feeling that he has gone insane. Well, let’s assume that Korban is very actively trying to take away Tsarev’s property. Well, enough said about that.
Epstein: I don’t know the man, therefore I can’t say anything about him. I don’t know him.
Noginsky: Well, he’s a friend of Bennie’s. And Filatov was also going on about paying a bounty for Moskali. I just think that … Jan Borisovich, the fact is that Bennie’s affairs are Bennie’s affairs. He can do whatever he wants to do, even if he believes himself to be the Second Coming of Hitler. Well. And we’re going to end up with, I guess, a second Nazi Germany on the territory of a small chunk of Ukraine, Bennie is a multi-millionaire, and is the master of that domain. And whatever happens to other Jews around the world … I just think that somehow or another we need to distance ourselves from that, immediately and publicly.
Epstein: Distance ourselves from what?
Noginsky: From Kolomoisky. From Bennie.
Epstein: And how are we gonna do that?
Noginsky: Well, for starters, we could issue a statement that in a case like this, world Jewry has nothing in common with the personal position of Mr Kolomoisky, and secondly, not support either Odessa nor Mariupol or none of that, and express our personal condolences; and thirdly, we would announce that if any Jew should be encountered committing Nazi atrocities, then we will be the first ones to condemn …
Epstein: Well, things have been fairly quiet in that regard recently, thank goodness.
Noginsky: And all the more so out of the actions of one man who decided to become a billionaire. A multi-billionaire. Or who thinks of himself as the Master of Ukraine.
Epstein: No, but the point is the synagogues. If they … The synagogues should always remain distanced from these types of … The synagogue is a meeting place. It is a place of prayer. It should engage itself in the spiritual lives of Jews and that’s it. That is its sole task, so to speak, and not to engage in politics, in such things, nor to support …
Noginsky: What I mean is that, well, you know, it’s just that I have this feeling that, unfortunately, standing apart from politics is not going to be possible for us.
Epstein: Why so?
Noginsky: It just won’t work. And by the way, I asked Oleg to keep quiet about this. His very first thought was to make it public.
Epstein: No! If he does that, then he himself will start to stir people up against the Jews! That’s for sure!
Noginsky: Are you kidding? This could start something crazy! People all over the world could be stirred up!
[The transcription abruptly ends.]

Kiev protégé allegedly behind Mariupol and Odessa massacres: leaked tapes, May 15 2014

Two leaked tapes have emerged on the internet where Kiev-appointed governor allegedly threatens an ex-presidential candidate who called for a referendum. The official may also be behind the Odessa massacre and Mariupol shootings, the leak adds. On the first tape, which appeared on May 14, an oligarch and governor of the city of Dnepropetrovsk in south-eastern Ukraine, Igor Kolomoisky, allegedly called ex-presidential candidate Oleg Tsarev and started threatening him. He told Tsarev to leave Ukraine immediately, saying it was in connection with the killing of Bogdan Shlemkevich, a soldier from Ukraine’s National Guard on May 9 in Mariupol. He was shot in clashes between anti-government protesters and soldiers sent by Kiev in an ‘anti-terrorist’ operation in eastern Ukraine. Tsarev, a Dnepropetrovsk businessman and People’s Deputy of Ukraine, submitted his candidacy as self-nominee for the presidential election scheduled for May 25. He is standing for federalization of the country as well as for referenda in all parts of Ukraine. He withdrew his presidential candidacy on 29 April in a protest against Kiev. Kolomoisky told the ex-candidate that now Tsarev and his family will be hunted down and killed. The Dnepropetrovsk governor says:

We prayed for Shlemkevich who was killed in Mariupol and they say that Tsarev is guilty. They put $1m for your head, they will go after you everywhere. Tomorrow they will look for your people and relatives.

The second leaked conversation, which also emerged on May 14, was between Oleg Noginsky, the president of the Suppliers of Customs Union, an organization which aims at increasing the turnover between Ukraine and the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, and someone whom he called Jan Borisovich. Noginsky said:

Kolomoisky’s actions are mad. Besides, it was he who hired the guys in the Odessa incident. The situation went out of control. Their task was to beat them so they would be taken to hospital, and to destroy the camp completely.

Kolomoisky is still in Odessa, and the result of his actions is that 16 of those who survived the House of Trade Unions bloodshed in Odessa were killed during the next three days, the man who is believed to be Noginsky accuses the Dnepropetrovsk governor. According to him, it’s not the first time the Dnepropetrovsk governor has threatened politicians. He also allegedly threatened Igor Markov, a deputy of the Ukrainian parliament. RT could not confirm the veracity of the tapes, and Oleg Tsarev was not available for comment at the time of publication. However, he confirmed to the website of Russian TV show, ‘Man and Law’, that this conversation took place.


  1. Posted May 17, 2014 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the shout-out, Rowan! But the translation on my blog was done by one of my commenters, who calls himself yalensis – I don’t speak Russian well enough to carry out a translation on that level. Also, the language used in the first conversation’s translation is in American gangster style: yalensis loves old Bonnie-and-Clyde type films such as those that featured Jimmy Cagney. His paraphrasing is based on tone and flavour rather than what was actually said, although the content is accurate, and the cursing is certainly not inappropriate for Kolomoisky, who considers himself quite the little Caesar.

  2. niqnaq
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    Hi there. Nice to get the chance to chat. Point taken about Yalensis. I’ve modified my intro to correct it on that point. I only looked at your blog for the first time yesterday, and I must say, I’m a bit knocked out by the level of knowledge that everybody there seems to have. Compared with me ( or for that matter MoA), I think yours qualifies as an expert blog. MoA, shall we say, is amateur, and mine (although I’ve been doing this for 12 years) could be called a perpetual beginner level, because I’m absolutely not a skilled interpreter of anything. I have an intuition, but it isn’t always correct, it can be embarrassingly wrong, and when it is I correct my errors as silently and rapidly as possible.

    In this case, I spent a good few hours tweaking these (the first conversation, Kolomoisky/Tsarov, came out on VoR over 48 hours ago now). Just like you, I wanted to get it just right, but I didn’t want a genre paraphrase at all, which is why I’ve basically stuck to the VoR one, just improved a few awkward phrases. It’s really important to get it right, because some have spoken of it as a warning rather than as a threat, whereas I maintain on the basis of that final “we” that it’s a threat. I think Tsarov was rather clever, because I think he pulled his stupid joke about the African poison out of thin air, deliberately to annoy Kolomoisky, to provoke him, which is really shrewd of him, because Kolomoisky, being a choleric sort of fellow, then burst out with a self-incriminating tirade. And then, after that little tirade, Tsarev goes “aha” – “So that’s it!” That’s how I read it, anyway.

    But the second conversation was quite new to me when I saw your link to it on MoA and read it. And it is absolutely fascinating. Both of them seem to be playing a part. It’s just that little bit too perfect, the way each of them plays his role. But I could be wrong. My vice, as some see it, is to be more willing than most to detect complex Jewish subterfuges and double games, and to say so. This is why at this precise moment I have this admittedly amateurish Israeli stalker, trying in his own way to intimidate me. It comes with my particular territory. It isn’t an instance of professional harassment, it’s just one little guy who carried away by Jewish zeal, wants to knock me out of the game if he can. But he doesn’t have the guts to go to the real nasties, the JDL/Kach types, who could knock me out of it, because he is just as frightened of them as anybody else. They are after all gangsters, though of a political sort, which is what fascists are in general, political gangsters.

    To return to the actual issue: There isn’t any obvious way to determine whether the second conversation was ‘staged’ or ‘fabricated’ in order to be ‘leaked’, that’s the point I’m making. Even your friend Yalensis would be hard put to make that sort of judgment one way or the other, no matter how good his grasp of russian/ukrainian nuance. But by all means put it to him, ask him whether it seems to him possible, from a close listening to the second convo. See what he says.

  3. Posted May 17, 2014 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the kind words; I agree that my commenter section is killer, there are some very smart people there, and until recently they included Alexander Mercouris, the British lawyer who often appears on Peter Lavelle’s “Crosstalk” and at RT in other capacities. Thanks for the reminder, I’ve been meaning to get hold of him and find out where he’s been. Anyway, I’m lucky to have them.

    But don’t sell yourself short – I quote a lot of stuff on my blog which was sourced from Moon of Alabama and Vineyard of the Saker, and looking at my referrals I see a lot of people go to those sites after reading mine, or come to mine after being there. There is an astonishing variety of fantastic material at both those sites which I do not see anywhere else on the net, and the Saker hints at having been some kind of intelligence professional himself at one time.

    I try to stay away from the Zionist, Israel uber alles thing as much as possible and, to the extent it can be accomplished, to be on good terms with everyone. However, there is no disputing that Israel is paranoid and employs an enormous collective effort in both intelligence-gathering and lobbying. They also will not hesitate to play the holocaust/pity card. I don’t mean to offend anyone by that, and Jews have never done anything to me personally, but it’s just a fact that they are not content to conduct international relations at face value – there are organized efforts to manipulate the narrative. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but Warren posted a clip this morning of formal classes being instructed by Israel, for Jews, to edit Wikipedia. They consider this to be the premier source in the world today for general information – and it probably is – and further consider that they must have trained volunteers to intercept anything which is critical of Israel and replace it with information which presents the Israel-sympathetic view. The girl who is interviewed near the end of the clip says as much herself.

    Also, has published its account of the Odessa fire and murders, and it is chilling. It presents a lot of stuff we’ve already seen, but there’s some new footage as well including the Odessa police parting to let the Right Sektor hoods through and then closing up behind them. Meysan claims to have a source inside the Ukrainian Security Service.

  4. niqnaq
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the Wikipedia tip; that’s absolutely up my street. In a perverse way, I actually love the Israelis. I have a lot of Israeli rock music in mp3 files. It’s cold and harsh by UKUSAian standards, but some of it is quite gripping, and that was one of my main motivations for wanting to learn hebrew (a project which misfired when I tried it with Jewish teachers, but I have a big teach yourself package with audio CDs, which ironically was made for US diplomats and their families!) I don’t buy the Meyssan story because the idea that the Right Sector operation that day was codenamed “Ha-Ola” is just absurd. It reminds me of many stories in the Arab press which play on superstition about Judaism.

    I have been juggling all those stories as well. This little blog here is hardly more than a personal notebook that I use to keep track of stories, actually. It’s absolutely self-indulgent. But it doesn’t matter. Anyway, bear in mind my suggestion, to ask Yalensis whether the second conversation sounds like two people reading from a script. I’d be interested to know.

    Saker said a few weeks ago on one of those obscure posts of his that he was a field intelligence analyst. I would guess he was probably a sergeant. Field intelligence is junior to staff intelligence, which starts at captain. Both are GRU ranks (army intelligence). He’s an excessively religious character for my tastes. I do not believe him when he says he gets 20,000 readers a day on that thing. simply wouldn’t support that number, they would make him buy a subdomain.

  5. yalensis
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Hi, this is yalensis. Thanks for using my translation for Conversation #2. I could have done a better job with that one if I had more time, but everybody on the internet was racing each other to get this gem out there!

    I mentioned on Mark’s blog that Conversation #2 reads in the original Russian almost like a miniature Chekhov play, with many nuances and undercurrents. Hidden motives, etc. It really deserved a more literary translation, but nobody has time for that any more.

    In my translation, I did miss one little nuance, which was pointed out to me later by another commenter, and then I re-listened to the tape and confirmed it. When Epshtein mentions Avakov, as in “That guy is capable of anything”, the nuance is that Epshtein still cannot bring himself to believe all the bad things that Noginsky is telling him about “Bennie” Kolomoisky, so Epshtein is offering Avakov as maybe an alternate theory. As in, this was all Avakov’s fault, and Bennie had nothing to do with it.

  6. niqnaq
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Wow. I like that. Deniability within deniability, as I would put it in my psyops lingo. The whole pattern of who is incriminated and who is exonerated seems to change from day to day. It’s great you came over here to tell me about that. As you can see, I am so cynical about psyops in general and what I hold to be Jewish psyops in particular, that I sometimes tie myself in knots trying to capture what I think I see. And, as I told Mark, I get a lot of hostility in return.

    For example, I have a mammoth thing here, which I researched entirely on my own, trying to prove that the Zionist agents sent by Ben Gurion to Stalin in 1947 were so subtle that they managed to convince him the Zionist state would declare itself a Communist one as soon as it attained independence, and ally itself with the USSR. Of course, it did the exact opposite. But I’m not aware of anybody who goes to such lengths of reinterpretation as me, except I suppose certain old-line hard-right ‘anti-Semites’. And, I insist, I’m not one (an ‘anti-Semite’), but simply a consistent Marxist.

    But that is the reason why I jumped to the super-cynical interpretation of this conversation, and that is the question I asked Mark to put to you: do you think, in the light of the voice-tones and the details of the language they used, that the whole conversation was staged in order to be leaked, unlike the first one, the threat by Kolomoisky to Tsarev, which is absolutely genuine? It would be quite easy to insert the faked conversation along with the real one, and fool the ex-SBU “cyber-warriors” who then leaked both conversations more or less at once: I’m not suggesting that they were in on this as well. One double agent somewhere in between would have been sufficient, whose job would be to make sure the “cyber-warriors” knew where and when to hack the phones, in order to find both conversations at once. Does that make sense?

  7. yalensis
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Dear niqnaq: Sorry, I forgot to respond to your question, which is what I think about the second conversation, and whether or not I think it was staged.

    First, disclaimer: I don’t know Ukrainian, only Russian, but fortunately for me, all the speakers on these tapes are speaking straight-up Russian, no dialect except for the [bleepety bleeps].
    Even Kolomoisky, the Ukrainian nationalist, is speaking standard Russian, including the [bleepety bleeps].

    Secondly, I admit I had the exact same thought as you when I listened to, and read the transcription of, Conversation #2. It sounded like it was staged. However, my impression was that Noginsky knew he was being taped and was the instigator of the whole thing. Epshtein was not in on the joke, at least not initially, but I get the impression he starts to realize that he is being set up in some fashion; this is when he falls back on the banalities about “The synagogue is a place or prayer” and all that B.S.

    Parsing Noginsky, he is definitely out to deliver a message, he even seems to have a list of talking points, and he is checking off the list as he goes. Every time Epshtein makes a timid rejoinder, Noginsky just keeps barrelling on with his talking points.

    Soon enough. Epshtein starts to realize what is going on, but he doesn’t really know how to respond, because Noginsky has him cornered on all Bennie’s malicious deeds.

    At least that is my reading of their voice tones and the actual words.
    Like I said, this conversation is a little Chekhovian masterpiece of subtlety.

    Hey, folks, a new literary genre has been invented: The wire-tapped private phone conversation!
    With the ancillary sub-genre of translation into various other languages for mass distribution!

    As to the larger point: IF the conversation was staged, THEN what was the point?
    Alas, I do not know the answer to that question.
    “Peace be upon you,” as Epshtein would say.

  8. niqnaq
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Ah hmm. Well, there is a simple answer to that: Noginsky is an undercover Mossad agent-in-place, whereas Epshtein is a straight Foreign Office man. Noginsky would be a classic Mossad agent-in place because of his job. The possibilities involved in that job are obvious, it produces immediate penetration into all points in the FSU Customs Union countries. And Noginsky is trying to do two things at once in the call, which sounds foolish but may not be, because if Epshtein knows that Noginsky is Mossad, and then guesses that the conversation is being taped in order to be leaked, then he has no choice but to play along with whatever Noginsky is trying to tell him.

    But something goes wrong right at the end, just before the cut-off. They are agreeing that the leak of the first conversation would be oh-so-terribly dangerous for “the Jews” but Noginsky detects some fine shade of misunderstanding on Epshtein’s part and says “What do you mean?” then appears to repeat yet again what they are supposed already to have agreed upon, viz this dreadful danger attendant on the first convo being made public. So there’s a super-subtle undertone that we aren’t quite catching yet. Perhaps it’s only at that point that Epshtein realises that the plan is to leak the first conversation, the Kolomoisky threat to Tsarev, and that Noginsky is trying to tell him that while ostensibly agreeing with him that it would be dreadful. And at that point, if the recording had continued, Epshtein would have given the game away by ejaculating involuntarily: “You mean…!?”


    I want to recommend to you a little gem that I picked up from a now extinct Russian Orthodox Christian site, which was written in a delightfully sarcastic english style by a Ukrainian Reform Jewish ‘leader’ in 2002. I recommend this to everybody because I love it so much. ‘Chekhovian’ would not be quite right for this. Maybe Goncharovian?:

  9. lobro
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    what i take away from these transcripts are the following observations:

    this jew shelemovich (or whatever) was an israeli assassin.
    how do i know?
    circumstantially but nevertheless … whoever killed him was supposed to know, discern and avoid hurting the idf-mossad-shin-bet staff, which is why everyone from this evil tub of lard cascading downwards through the synagogue was so exercised.
    think about it,
    Kolomoisky: A Jew was killed from the Dnepropetrovsk community. I’m in the synagogue now.
    Tsarov: What did he do?
    Kolomoisky: Never mind what he did!
    They say fucking big bucks are promised for your head now!

    tsarov was supposed to know who they are and label them as untouchable.

    hundreds of goys dead, tortured, burned beyond recognition and shit only hits the fan when a jew psychotic killer accidentally cops it.

    a jew’s fingernail worth a million goy lives?

    you better believe it.

    i would think that jews suspect that russians have also identified some of these israelis (ukraininan born traitors come back for some purifying bloodshed) and are sending a warning to the masters.

  10. lobro
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    moreover, they are all in it, not only kolomoisky.

    yeah, tell me about the good jews if this is the main subject discussed in the synagogue, yarmulke passed around for the million dollar hit on tsarov who was asleep on the switch.

  11. niqnaq
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Don’t mind lobro, yalensis: he’s our resident comedian. He didn’t know that “Bogdan Shlemkevitch, the Jew who was killed in Mariupol,” wasn’t even Jewish, He was a private soldier in the Kiev army who was killed in the fighting at Mariupol, and he received a Christian burial, covered rather extensively on YouTube. So that disposes of lobro’s strange theory.


  12. yalensis
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Ha ha!

    In any case, the death of Private Shlemkevich, or Shelemkach, or whatever his name was, didn’t have anything to do with his Jewishness, or lack of Jewishness, he was just a random soldier on the battlefield who happened to get killed. Bennie Kolomoisky is just using this one death to threaten and intimidate Tsarev. You made a good point, that I hadn’t picked up on, how quick thinking is Tsarev on his feet. His cute little joke about the African poison sends Bennie over the edge and gets him to show his hand sooner, descending into Mafia-style threats to life and limb. Reminds me of those scenes from a gangster movie where Al Capone is a completely rational and even-headed guy; until he suddenly loses his temper and starts bashing people over the head with a baseball bat.

    As for Noginsky, you really think he is Mossad? I had a completely different reading. My take was that Noginsky is FSB, and he is engaging in psychological warfare against Koloimoisky. By trying, for starters, to get Epshtein to distance himself from Kolomoisky. Thus depriving Kolomoisky of his usual friends and allies.
    Noginsky maybe thinks that Epshtein is vulnerable to the argument: “All good Jews must denounce Kolomoisky, otherwise they/we risk the wrath of the world, once the sh*t hits the fan.”

    I see this as an FSB gambit against Kolomoisky. (Not to mention that FSB has the technology to tap everybody’s phone in Ukraine.)

    You make a good interpretation about the subtlety of, What should happen if the threats to Tsarev should become public? Noginsky is dissembling about, “Oh god forbid this should become public, then people all over the world will really start to hate Jews”, and all the while knowing full well that they are planning to publish the tape the very next day. It’s also highly suspicious that the tape suddenly cuts off. The conversation must have taken a turn that the tapers were not interested in!

    Alternative theory: Noginsky is ticked off that Epshtein dismisses his opinions and continues to defend Bennie. “Oh, Bennie is such a sweet guy, he would never say anything like that.” And Noginsky has to prove to him that, yes, Bennie would say that, and did say that, by producing the tape. It’s like, when your best friend doesn’t believe you, that his wife has been unfaithful; and so you feel you have no choice except to show him the photos…

  13. niqnaq
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    The problem with my theory is that Noginsky would be taking a serious risk of exposing himself, if he was indeed Mossad. By the way, I looked at the thread on Mark’s blog and saw that you really didn’t think the VoR translation of the first was better than your gangsteresque version, and I appreciate that it is terrible in style, with its “howdy” and “bollocks”. From my point of view, what is good about it is that it doesn’t have any style, though, that’s why I call it straight. And of course the fact that VoR published it is an important data point in itself.

    I’m glad you like the idea that Tsarev is deliberately provoking Kolomoisky with the african poison thing. Does Tsarev actually say “I want to tell you a joke” before he mentions this, or just “I want to tell you something”? It doesn’t matter really, I know. We could fiddle with these for ages. Let me know if you do any more on these, please. Otherwise, we can just leave it where it is. We agree about quite a lot of things,. I don’t buy your final “alternative theory.” I think it’s a step backwards in term of interpretation. Whatever Noginsky is, he wouldn’t deliberately leak the tape just to convince Epshtein, that would be crazy.

  14. niqnaq
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    I’ve thought of a simpler solution for the end of the second tape. Instead of disagreeing, Noginsky is agreeing but saying the danger is much much larger than Epshtein has yet realised:
    Noginsky: … by the way, I asked Oleg to keep quiet about this. His very first thought was to make it public.
    Epshtein: No! If he does that, then he himself will start to stir people up against the Jews. That’s for sure.
    Noginsky: Are you kidding? This could start something crazy! People all over the world could be stirred up!

  15. yalensis
    Posted May 18, 2014 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Dear niqnaq:
    Thanks for your comments. By the way, I didn’t really mind so much that you picked the other translation over mine, I’m not that much of a prima donna, I was being a bit jokey about it. On Mark’s blog, Moscow Exile and I sometimes race each other to scoop the translations of the juicier stuff, and we have a running gag about who is a better Constance Garnett , she was one of the most famous Russian to English literary translators, did all of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, etc.
    And Kolomoisky is not exactly Dostoevsky, although he does make a decent Tony Soprano.

    Anyhow, as to Tsarev’s “poison” comment. I looked at it again, here is the link to the tape by the way.

    The relevant exchange is this:
    Коломойский: Миллион долларов. За твою. Да. Причём, сказали, будут искать везде. Ну, просто сказал, что вот это ж. Я хотел тебе открыть, чтобы ты динамил в Москве, никуда не езжай.
    Царёв: Я тебе хотел сказать такую штуку. В Африке есть такие…
    Коломойский: Завтра будут твоих людей отлавливать тут.
    Царёв: В Африке есть такая… такой яд…

    Kolomoisky: A million dollars. For your [head]. Yup. And by the way, they would they would hunt for you everywhere. And there you have it. I just wanted to let you know, you should stay put in Moscow, don’t go anywhere.

    Tsarev: I wanted to tell you this little joke. In Africa there is this…
    Kolomoisky [conversation somewhat overlapping]: Tomorrow they will be hunting your people down here..
    Tsarev: In Africa, they have this … this… poison…


    So, yes, Tsarev does set it up like he is about to tell a funny joke.
    But before he can get to the punch line, Kolo blows a gasket on him.
    Not sure why. Maybe the word “poison” set him off? He took it as a threat? In any case, kudos to Tsarev for thinking so quickly on his feet. Most people would have been paralyzed by fear, the moment Kolomoisky started to speak.

    One final linguistic note: When he warns Tsarev to stay in Moscow, Kolomoisky uses the very slangy verb динамил . It’s Russian urban slang, and I am not even sure how best to translate into English, it’s like a combination of hanging around someplace and deceiving people at the same time. Hence, I originally translated it as “bullshitting the folks in Moscow”, or something like that, which maybe isn’t even correct., since the larger context is that Kolo is warning him not to re-enter Ukraine.

  16. niqnaq
    Posted May 18, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Right, I shall have a think about all that, incorporate your improvements in my version, etc. Closer to the exact timbre of the moment. Then I shall mull it over and see whether I feel (really, feel, not ‘think’) that the various conspiracy theories still hold up.

  17. yalensis
    Posted May 18, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Dear niqnaq:
    On your second point, re-reading the end of the Noginsky-Epshtein exchange, I think you are right.
    LIke you say, they are not disagreeing, they are just dithering about the scope of the backlash, how much all of this can hurt world Jewry.

    With Epshtein saying: “There could be a backlash against Jews.”
    And Noginsky agreeing: “Are you kidding? There could be a HUGE backlash. And not only that, but all over the world.”
    And that’s when the tape cuts out. [which makes me wonder what they said after that]

    Which also puts into doubt my theory about Noginsky being FSB. I just assumed he was, since he is a big wheel in the Customs Union world. And I tend to see everthing in a “spy vs Spy” kind of way.
    But could just be two influential Jews who are really worrid about their people, given everything that is going down in their neck of the woods.

  18. niqnaq
    Posted May 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, me too: I feel my Mossad theory crumbling away.


  19. niqnaq
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I think I have better evidence that Noginsky is Mossad. We now know who the man who “was sitting right next to Oleg Tsarev” during Benny’s phone call was. Here he is. Of course, I have no ‘evidence’ he is Mossad, but to me it sticks out a mile. I know their style, the pseudo-Left cover in this case. I’ve seen it before.

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