Vladimir Feinberg: the master thief of the Russian culture of the early 1990s

Crime 27/10/19 Vladimir Feinberg: the master thief of the Russian culture of the early 1990s

In September 2019, the US returned to Russia a package of historical documents. The number of securities – inscribed decrees of Nicholas II. The solemn transfer of archival data was one of the last steps of Jon Huntsman for the post of U.S. Ambassador in Moscow. Under his predecessor John Tefft Russia in 2016, has received other important documents. The most valuable paper from the pack three years ago experts were called Peter I decree from April 3, 1715, about payment of the content of foreign officers in the Russian military service. Another interesting document that generated interest not only among historians, – the order of Joseph Stalin from 1944 on the transformation of the 1st independent air regiment of civil air fleet in the guards regiment.

These and many other documents of direct relevance to Russian history, was found by us intelligence agents in investigations 2006-2012 in several U.S. cities. After the Soviet collapse, the papers were stolen from Russian archives, then once in private hands through auctions.

the Connoisseur

the Central figure of a scandal that 25 years ago, significantly stained the reputation of the Russian state historical archive (RGIA), was Vladimir Feinberg – the thief-dealer and of its kind a cult figure, a living symbol of the “dashing 90”. He began experiencing weakness of the Museum exhibits in early childhood, once with the family in Hermitage. And matured, Feinberg realized that promising to be “work” in the archive. The security in this facility in the late Soviet period left a lot to be desired, and the young gun just had a variety of talents.

the First document Feinberg stolen from the Leningrad archives in the mid-1980s. For the realization of their ploys he devised a clever scheme, spelland stealing from relative, famous journalist Alexander Minkin signed the forms, which were to serve as a base for visiting the archive. Fake “directions” Feinberg was moved to the vault. The offender had skillfully ingratiated older archivistica, stories and the like in between to ferret out the secrets of the institution, number and equipment of the guards, the level of alarm.

the First theft and a prison

the data Obtained Feinberg carefully systematized. Just a few weeks he managed to compile a list of archival documents, representing the greatest interest among collectors. Using the information from the employees, the scammer stole several dozen papers. To extend the scope of its activities Feinberg had not yet been resolved. Was being held back by lack of experience and Soviet law. Criminal code of the RSFSR promised for stealing severe punishment.

Epic Feinberg in the Leningrad archives lasted about two years. In the end, the fact that the systematic loss of documents found, the initiator – exposed. Six years machination went to places not so remote.

was Sentenced to six to serving only three, freed on PAROLE. Returning to his native Leningrad, Feinberg realized with surprise that he was in a completely different country – dramatically updated, demanding all sorts of freedoms, opening arms to private business. Thus not breaking its thrust to the beautiful, Feinberg opened his own antique shop. With their simple fact he survived the collapse of the Soviet Union and entered the era of primary accumulation of capital. The rapidly crumbling of the old foundations, however, such as it is, the crooks attacked the grain time.

Soon, Feinberg remembered about the files. There is now chaos reigned. Months without receiving a salary, the employees began to quit. Remained to work only those who really had no place to go. In search of at least some of the income they are sad moaning and sighing, agreed to the crime.

Collusion with a police officer

For the opportunity to take fate revenge Finberg teamed up with the Petersburg businessman of an average hand, Alexander Zaitsev. Pretty soon they smiled a rare stroke of luck: on the announcement given by Feinberg in the newspaper about buying Antiques, responded the militiaman Alexander Bespamyatnov who served in the protection of the RSHA – so from 1992 became known as the Leningrad archive. On the designated “arrow” negligent guards brought a stack of papers, offering to buy them at a reasonable price. Tricky Feinberg immediately realized where made of paper and, in addition, realized that Bespamyatnov does not represent their real value. Accomplices managed to lure a younger Sergeant in his net. From now on, Feinberg and hares came to the archive in the duty of his new partner in crime and shamelessly steal unique paper.

“Policeman night missed Feinberg and his accomplices in the archive, disconnected the alarm, and there they quietly wielded, took what they wanted,” he said presently Deputy head of the Federal archive Agency Vladimir Tarasov.

Exposing criminals

the Loss came to light only in 1994 after a request from the auction in Stuttgart, where the companions tried to implement part of the production. By this time Feinberg managed to steal about 4 thousand documents. Assessing the total damage caused to the archive by crooks in RGIA let out a low whistle – not less than $ 24 million.

And again demonstrated the “effectiveness” of domestic law enforcement. All three have detained that is called with polichnym. Evidence of their guilt enough. However, for some reason, Feinberg, Zaitseva Bespamyatnov to court and released on their own recognizance. Of course, back in jail the leader of a gang did not want – and fled to Israel, where the Russian authorities have vainly sought his extradition. In 1998, the other two condemned to long prison terms and fined. Feinberg happily took on the responsibility. Most likely, and now he is loose somewhere in tel Aviv, recounting the quiet remains of the money received from the sale of nagrablenna..

Okunev Dmitry

© Russian Seven

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