A man looking exactly like Lieutenant Colonel Sergey Kulakov posing in U.S. military uniformSergey Kulakov
“It’s most likely a montage. Why are we continuing to discuss it?” Lieutenant Colonel Sergey Kulakov said in September 2016, answering questions posed by a reporter from St. Petersburg newspaper Fontanka. He was commenting on photos showing a man looking just like him, which the newspaper found on MySpace. The man is sporting a U.S. army uniform.
Kulakov denied any links to the images. He even told journalists he’d never been to America. However, investigators didn’t believe him. On Oct. 2,
Surprisingly enough, the whole case came to light without any intelligence connection – at least initially. While investigating a separate case (commercial fraud) the police received information that one of the two suspects was an undercover agent who answered to Kulakov. At least this is what the suspect said.
Another suspect, businessman and ex-cop Igor Khotin, also knew Kulakov. Moreover, he told the police something very surprising: That Kulakov is an American citizen who had shown him a U.S. passport. After
Sergey Kulakov in Russian police uniform.Sergey Kulakov
As Fontanka pointed out, images emerged of a man looking extremely like Kulakov wearing the uniform of the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade. Military expert Alexey Stepanov suggested that Kulakov could have been part of the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion which took part in military action abroad – in Afghanistan and Iraq.
According to investigators, the photos were most likely taken in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where one of the biggest U.S. military installations is located. Kulakov himself, however, told Fontanka that the photos had been meddled with by Igor Khotin (although they had been on the web for several years, presumably taken in 2007 or 2008).
But he failed to prove this to the court so he’s facing a
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