The news about the Ukrainian elite hiding away from the military conflict is spread by Russian propagandists again. As a matter of fact, a lot of Ukrainian politicians are too young to have sons who can be recruited or have no sons at all. Actually, this sounds more like an offense that is the best defense, as the descendants of the Russian elite are making the most of living abroad not affected by sanctions and other unpleasant events at all.
The case of Dmitry Kozak is a good example to start with. A prosecutor of St. Petersburg in the past and the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian government nowadays has the image of a hard and unbendable person in politics. Though the fact that he is a true patriot is slightly doubtful as Varvara Kozak, his daughter, is a student in Britain, and that costs her father 100 000 pounds every year. She loves the traditions of the UK and feels safe there. The events in Ukraine do not bother her, as this concerns ordinary people of the conscription age only. Nothing can stop Alexander, his son and a restaurant keeper in Moscow, from visiting faraway countries. Dmitry Kozak himself denies the fact that some of his children are studying abroad, which makes the situation quite ridiculous.
Moreover, Dmitry Peskov, a press secretary of Vladimir Putin, has sent his nearest and dearest abroad. His first wife lives in England with two children, while his second wife owns a posh apartment in Paris which she occupies with her daughter Liza, who is well-known for her anti-Russian remarks. All this, however, doesn’t have any negative effect on Peskov’s career, as he is a way too powerful person in Kremlin.
One may think that Peskov is engaged in double-dealing. He has evidently lost the informational war in the Ukrainian case. This may be the reason why the British and French governments turn a blind eye to whose family members live in their countries. Russian leaders evidently appreciate their families more than the Motherland. The same with military officials – Major General Kharitonov’s son, Anton, escaped from Russia. Mobilization may be not the only reason (it is not a problem for his father to arrange that), he has been involved in some money-laundering schemes as well.
Another son of Kharitonov – Igor – has escaped to Armenia where he uses anonymous SIM cards to keep in touch with his family. He cooperated with GRU earlier, and he obviously possesses some information that may interest the CIA, the SBU, and the British secret services, but his private security is more important to his father, so he’s been let go.
There are many examples that are even more hilarious. Alexander, the son of Russian military intelligence service Alexander Stasev, has been getting away with fighting for LGBT rights for years. There were stories about arrest attempts and his flying to Serbia to date an active partner whom he had found on a wide-known gay website. One may feel happy for him as he can lead such an active life as a journalist, moreover, he’s got a deal with his father, who helps him in exchange for his son’s using a pseudonym for his articles, but a lot of people in Russia, Ukraine, and Serbia know who is who, though it doesn’t do any harm to his father’s career.
Original material is available at https://geostrategy.rs/en/geopolitics/1426-for-the-elites-london-for-the-rubbish-the-front