Interview with Vyacheslav Zharko
Vyacheslav Zharko: It all started in 2002, when Aleksandr Litvinenko introduced me to employees of MI6, or Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, which is a more correct name. They proposed that I provide consulting services to them, for money. The fee was about 2,000 euros a month, plus expenses.
Russia Today: Why were you chosen? What makes you such a valuable informant about Russia?
V.Zh.: MI6 employees slightly miscalculated, thinking that I had huge knowledge about the territory of the CIS countries, that I had very good connections in political circles and among journalists and people from law-enforcement agencies. It was due to the fact that until 2002 I had had worked in that area. So, they thought I could do something worthwhile.
RT: But you did not in fact try to convince them to the contrary, did you?
V.Zh.: No, why should I? It was an opportunity to earn money. The other thing is that what I was giving them was different from what they had wanted, because I did not want to act against my country.
RT: But you did provide some paid services for them. How would you describe what you did?
V.Zh.: The tasks concerned the recruitment of employees in the counter-intelligence operations department within the Russian Federal Security Service, the real counter-intelligence that deals with England. It seems to me they accepted this information in order to put pressure on me later. For me to work in this area would actually be espionage. Litvinenko prepared people to be recruited by the British. He as a person, first and foremost, was interested not so much in politics or any other activity, but feeding his wife and child.
RT: What was your goal?
V.Zh.: To earn money, too.
RT: Then what's the difference between you and Aleksandr Litvinenko?
V.Zh.: In the perception of how we earned. Our approaches were different. I didn't think it necessary to leave the country or throw mud at the country where you grew up and received your education.
RT: Still, the money you got was not from a charity organisation, right?
V.Zh.: I did not try to make myself into a dissident or a fighter for democracy.
RT: How did you learn about his death?
V.Zh.: From the Internet.
RT: What did you think?
V.Zh.: You know, somehow I was not surprised. I was not surprised about what happened to him. Sooner or later something like that had to happen.
RT: Who do you think may have masterminded that?
V.Zh.: I think that it was personal experimenting by Aleksandr Litvinenko. He had always said to me, “Let’s find a different way of earning money. To earn money by a different way means to contact extremists for real and earn from them.” To which I asked, “Was it really possible?” He said, “Absolutely possible.” So something may have gone wrong and he simply got poisoned.
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