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Monday, March 19, 2018

The life story of a priest-spy: who betrayed Eugene Petrin

On Tuesday the Moscow city court announced the verdict in one of the most ambiguous and mysterious cases concerning ex-the employee of FSB and the Department for external Church relations (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate. Yevgeny Petrin was found guilty of treason — specifically, that he was revealing to the CIA details of Russian special services.

Petrina case was considered in Moscow city court behind closed doors, as had the stamp “secret”. According to investigators, a former intelligence passed to US intelligence strategic information security officers — distribution data of the number of personnel of the FSB with an indication of their military ranks and positions. Petrin insisted that despite the dismissal, he continued to serve in the FSB and the Russian Orthodox Church was sent as an undercover agent.

Who is actually captain Yevgeny Petrin? Villain? Or maybe just crazy? “MK” tried to understand this strange business.

Eugene Petrin with the mother.

Wanted to serve God and Fatherland

“Not this sin to me, but in Truth do not fear any trials to endure, for if God should will it so, it is better to suffer for doing good than for doing evil… as God as my witness, that the betrayal was done and God forbid from such temptation.”

From a letter of Eugene Petrina brother

Every message Petrina from prison repeatedly mentioned God. The chief judge, the attorney and the attorney for the former scout. This is not surprising: Eugene grew up in a deeply religious, albeit very simple family. His father worked all his life as a mechanic and her mother is an operator at a petrol station. And learning the basics of the religion was the basis for the education of children in the family Petrini (Eugene has an elder brother and sister).

How did it get in explore?

Friends and family describe Petrina as a modest, friendly and knows how to win a man. However, he was able to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate positive qualities. He even thought of becoming a politician. Even in high school Eugene joined the liberal democratic party.

In 2005, Petrin graduated with honours from the Law Institute of Irkutsk state University. However, he really had no idea where to go to work and what should I dedicate my life. He even decided to ask the advice of the leader of LDPR Vladimir Zhirinovsky. And received the answer: “Become a military, so you’re more able to benefit Russia.” Petrin did. In 2006, he entered the military service of the Space forces of the Russian Federation. He was sent to the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region. There Petrin will last until 2009. Apparently, the young officer showed himself well, and his powerful mind was able to appreciate — in the same year, Eugene entered the military service in the military counterintelligence Department of the FSB of Russia in the Space forces. A year later, Petrina took over the training in the Academy of foreign intelligence in Moscow. Budding military, apparently, was waiting for a brilliant career.

photo: From personal archive
Eugene Petrin (center) in the service of the Space forces.
August 2006

After moving to Moscow, the security officer often visited the temple near his home. Got friends among the faithful. Whenever possible, travel to monasteries, from which they brought all the relatives of the icons and books.

In June 2012, Petrin received the spiritual strengthening of the Solovetsky monastery, which was rewarded with a conversation with one of the elders. Eugene turned to him for advice. “Maybe my calling to become a monk, to be a prayer for the family and loved ones?” To which the elder replied: “maybe it is better to be in the world? To serve the Fatherland and our Church, to become the man and husband that requires you a lot of effort for rebirth, but your faith will be established stronger and for the benefit of the soul.”

However, in March 2013, Petrin, promoted by that time to the rank of captain of the FSB, suddenly decided to resign “in connection with the intention to devote further life to the service of the Fatherland in the Russian Orthodox Church,” he told the leadership of their intention. And immediately was employed in the Department for external Church relations of Moscow Patriarchate Secretariat for inter-Orthodox relations. There Eugene and previously filed a petition for admission, stating the knowledge of foreign languages and the desire to benefit the Church. There he was assigned to oversee the relationship between the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox churches of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Spies in the ROC

However, the new job Petrini was uncomfortable. After all, the former KGB does not happen. And Eugene managed to find a conspiracy on his head. According to the Vltava river, during a trip to Ukraine he was able to identify threats to the interests of the ROC by foreign organizations, including those closely related to US intelligence.

The extracted information Eugene shared with a colleague, another co-worker Dmitry Petrovsky of the DECR. He advised to contact the FSB. Since the spring of 2013 Eugene turned to the intelligence agencies about the threats to the Church, and the Russian Federation as a whole working for foreign entities. the CIA But the KGB has ignored the treatment of the former employee — only requested information about those persons from the ROC, which said that “any threat to the security of the Russian Federation, these persons do not have”.

By the way, many high-ranking officers ROC activities Eugene was like a bone in the throat. They openly warned him about future problems. Chief Eugene not once blamed him, “I told him many times not to combine their work in the DECR with their previous work in FSB. Petrin continued to insist, however, support was not found.

Then, according to the version of Petrina, he began to act alone, as the hero Superman from some of the spy Saga. He began to actively contact with foreign nationals, to provide counselling. And so it is not exposed, took money for it. As asserted later, Eugene, the information transmitted is completely legal, no secrets it contained.

In the end, in its network caught a really big fish. This is a businessman, Daniel Bilak, a very famous person in Ukraine since the mid-zero years. Officially, he has provided legal consulting services to large Ukrainian companies. Petrin, in his words, received information that Bilak contributed to the split of the two churches — the Russian Orthodox and Ukrainian. With these data he received shortly before the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych. The company officially worked Bilak, categorically denied this hypothesis of spyware.

“From the beginning, the purpose of my meeting was only the desire to submit to the Russian security services evidence base that ignored the security threats of the Russian Orthodox Church carry and the threat of Russia as a whole, which was confirmed in my meetings in February and April 2014, with foreigners, creating favorable conditions for getting into the field of view of 1 Service of the FSB, which is what happened… 23 APR 2014 detained the employee of CIA of the USA (at the US Embassy in Moscow) red-handed. The same evening I received from Americans ‘ phone call (“signal of danger”) with the requirement to leave Russia, which was for me impossible and unwanted.

From a letter of Eugene Petrina brother

In April 2014, Petrin decided to stop meeting with foreigners, making their intention to end his recruiting and development. According to the former security officer, he knew exactly what is under the control of the FSB, but not addressed to Kuznetsky Bridge (reception of the Federal security service), as was to complete the collection of evidence about the involvement of individuals in inspectlon, what has been done by the beginning of June.

photo: From personal archive
A letter to his brother.

4 Jun 2014 the KGB gave Petrino an ambush in the hiding place. The scheme is partly resembled the scene of the arrest of the spy in the movie “TASS is authorized to declare” in a conditional place for Eugene hid a flash drive with information allegedly from a representative of the CIA. When Petrin came for the media, he was detained. Surprisingly quickly, he signed a confession of treason. Allegedly the employee of the Russian Orthodox Church gave the CIA the military secrets about colleagues at the FSB, as well as information about the role of the ROC in Russia’s policy in the South-East of Ukraine.

“When they realized they made a mistake and I actually discussed with them only the Church news (from public sources, without prejudice of the Russian Orthodox Church), they were afraid of the whip from his superiors, missed what these spies do, and now caught innocent in me.”

From a letter of Eugene Petrina brother

When it became known about the arrest Petrina, his ROC was fired retroactively. He argues that the resignation did not write, but the paper somehow miraculously appeared with his signature. This became known when the father of Eugene petřín Yuri came to the Moscow Patriarchate with the request for the intercession of the Church. The Ministers of the Church refused to support him, citing the fact that Eugene no longer their employee.

According to the lawyer Ivan Pavlov, in the course of the investigation, the experts recognized by the state secret disclosed to Petrinum only one fragment of a document sent by Eugene to foreigners that mentioned the name of Deputy head of Department, where he served until his dismissal from the FSB. Here only mention one name without specifying other information about the person does not identify this person. The state Prosecutor asked for Petrina 19 years! This same Prosecutor Evgenia Vasilyeva, the accused in the multibillion-dollar damage to the Russian defense Ministry, asked for a suspended sentence.

Petrin on the court. Photo courtesy of the press service of the Moscow city court

In the end, the Moscow city court sentenced Eugene Petrina to 12 years of imprisonment. As additional punishment the court fined him 200 thousand rubles and 2 years restricted freedom after his release from prison.

Thank you, your honor, I understand — responded to the sentence of a convicted.

This is the minimum term provided by the sanction of article 275 of the criminal code. Advocates have already filed a complaint to the court.

It’s unlikely we’ll ever know, opened there really Petrin conspiracy to embroil the Russian and Ukrainian Church. Or just trying to prove my usefulness to the intelligence, imagined that eventually became a reality (almost like a hero Mel Gibson in the movie “conspiracy Theory”). Unfortunately, the “possessed student syndrome” security officer-vasenmalerei realized too late that the FSB are trifled with. In the end, he paid with his freedom.

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