Yuri Felshtinsky

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Yuri Georgievich Felshtinsky (Russian: Ю́рий Гео́ргиевич Фельшти́нский, born 7 September 1956 in Moscow) is a Russian American historian. Felshtinsky has authored a number of books on Russian history, including The Bolsheviks and the Left SRs (Paris, 1985), Towards a History of Our Isolation (London, 1988; Moscow, 1991), The Failure of the World Revolution (London, 1991; Moscow, 1992), Blowing up Russia (with Alexander Litvinenko), and The Age of Assassins (with Vladimir Pribylovsky).[1]


Felshtinsky's parents died when he was 17 years of age. He began studying history in 1974 at Moscow State Pedagogical University. A couple of years later he decided to emigrate from the Soviet Union to Israel travelling first to Vienna.[2] But instead of going from Vienna to Israel he went further to the United States where he arrived in April 1978 and there subsequently continued his studies. He graduated from Brandeis University and earned his PhD in history from Rutgers University. In 1993, he returned to Moscow and defended his Doctor of Science thesis at the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, becoming the first non-Russian citizen to earn a doctorate from a Russian university.[3]


Felshtinsky has published a number of books on the history of the Communist movement. In one of those books, Leaders the Mobsters,[4] he described the Bolshevik party as a Mafia-like organization where "almost no one died by a natural cause," alleging the poisoning of Vladimir Lenin, Felix Dzerzhinsky, and Maksim Gorky by Genrikh Yagoda on orders from Joseph Stalin, the murders of Mikhail Frunze, Vyacheslav Menzhinsky, and Leon Trotsky, the poisoning of Stalin by Lavrentiy Beria, and other similar episodes.

In 1998, Felshtinsky traveled back to Moscow in order to study the politics of contemporary Russia. At that time, he became acquainted with Alexander Litvinenko, a lieutenant colonel of the Federal Security Service (FSB). In 2000, Felshtinsky and Litvinenko began working on Blowing Up Russia, a book that describes the gradual appropriation of power in Russia by the security apparatus and details the FSB's involvement in a series of terrorist acts that took place between 1994 and 1999. In August 2001, several chapters from Blowing Up Russia were published in a special edition of the newspaper Novaya Gazeta. In 2002, the book became the basis for a documentary film, Blowing Up Russia (also known as Assassination of Russia). Both the book and the documentary were officially banned in Russia for "divulging state secrets". Until 2006, Felshtinsky continued working with Litvinenko on gathering additional materials documenting the FSB's involvement in the apartment house bombings of September 1999[5][6][7] According to authors, the bombings were committed by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), as a false flag operation intended to justify the Second Chechen War.

In November 2006, Litvinenko died in London of acute radiation syndrome, three weeks after being poisoned with polonium-210. (See Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko).

In 2007, investigator Mikhail Trepashkin said that, according to his FSB sources, "everyone who was involved in the publication of the book Blowing Up Russia will be killed," and that three FSB agents had made a trip to Boston to prepare the assassination of Felshtinsky.[8] After the death of exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who sponsored the book, Felshinsky suggested that Berezovsky was killed.[9]

List of selected publications[edit]



  1. ^ Gordievsky, Oleg (March 7, 2008). "The Age of Assassins: the Rise and Rise of Vladimir Putin by Yuri Felshtinsky and Vladimir Pribylovsky". London: The Times. 
  2. ^ Yuri Felshtinsky writes: "Я выбрал эмиграцию и сумел уехать (что в те годы было не банально). Я уехал по так называемой "израильской визе", хотя в Израиль даже не заехал, а уже в Вене декларировал американским властям свое желание жить в США, куда прибыл в апреле 1978 года. Никого из близких у меня в США не было. Уезжал я один. Родители мои умерли когда мне было 17 лет." From ШАГ ВПЕРЕД, ДВА ШАГА НАЗАД ИЛИ НОВЕЙШАЯ ИСТОРИЯ РОССИИИ, retrieved from the website of the author: felshtinsky.com, accessed March 08, 2015
  3. ^ Биография [Biography] (in Russian). Yuri Felshtinsky. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Вожди в законе [Leaders the mobsters] (Text online) (in Russian). Moscow: Terra. 1999. 
  5. ^ "Britain accuses Russian in murder of Litvinenko". May 22, 2007. 
  6. ^ Cowell, Alan (May 23, 2007). "Russian Is Accused of Poisoning Ex-K.G.B. Agent". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ "Yuri's quest to uncover the truth lives on". 
  8. ^ "Interview with Mikhail Trepashkin" (in Russian). Radio Liberty. December 1, 2007. все, кто причастен к выпуску книги «ФСБ взрывает Россию», будут уничтожены, и что выехала в Штаты группа из трех человек, сотрудников федеральной службы безопасности ... по месту жительства Фельштинского в город Бостон. 
  9. ^ Questions remain over death of Berezovsky. The Financial Times. March 24, 2013.

External links[edit]