St. Petersburg newspaper: “Bellona and Military Intelligence shares office”

Publish date: October 29, 1998

Written by: Thomas Nilsen

ST. PETERSBURG (Bellona Web): According to today's issue of the local St. Petersburg newspaper "Tsjas Pik" Bellona in Oslo shares its office with the Norwegian military intelligence.

The article named "This weeks crime watch" writes: "One curious fact: the office of Bellona in Oslo shares the building with the Defence Ministry of that country, which is a part of the NATO structure." And then the newspaper concludes that Bellona is a part of the NATO intelligence.

For the record: Bellona has its office in Oslo at Nordre gate 2, which is near the river Akerselva on the east end of Oslo, while the Ministry of Defence is located near the Akershus Castle in the central part of Oslo, more than two kilometers from the Bellona office.

"Tsjas Pik" is one of the main local newspapers in St. Petersburg, with a circulation of 21,200 copies. The newspaper has during the FSB process against Nikitin several times printed articles in favour of FSB, and has re-written the facts in the case. For example this week when they wrote about the two experts who were called in as witnesses in the Nikitin trial, the paper wrote: "According to the experts’ opinion, Nikitin caused Russia damage equal to 4.5 billion roubles," which according to the article is the same as US$ 800 million. What the paper doesn’t write is that the figure 4,5 billion roubles refers to old roubles, before the devaluation 1 January 1998, when the central bank of Russia cut three zero’s in the roubles value. The correct figure according to today’s rate is US$ 900,000.

The editor of "Tsjas Pik" is Natalya Chaplina, the wife of the former KGB chief in St. Petersburg, Viktor Cherkessov. Some weeks ago Cherkessov was appointed Deputy Director of the central FSB office in Moscow. Bellona Web has several times this morning tried to call editor Natalya Chaplina to get her comments on the article, without success.