It is surprising how judges breach the law, in a much dirtier and more unprincipled manner than any criminal. I made sure of that again on 23 October, when I was suddenly taken to the Moscow City Court from Lefortovo. I did not know the agenda in advance, so I could not select the documents and get ready to defend myself. At first, they said I had to be delivered at 9 a.m., than at midday. I had spent more than two hours holding my belongings and fully dressed up before I took off my jacket. According to Sod’s law, I was told to get dressed in half an hour, and at 3:30 p.m. the prison truck took me to the court hearing with the unknown agenda. 

Judge Yuliia Valerevna Komleva did not bat an eye and started telling how urgent and fully legal her actions were. She took the decision the law enforcement authorities needed (to deprive me of the public defence in the case regarding the events in 2009) in 15 minutes, and I returned to Lefortovo.

My cell mate Fazliddin Kodirov had also been to the Military Court, where his criminal case regarding the terrorism was tried, the same day. Let me remind that Roman Vidiukov, the investigator of the Main Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, threatened a month ago, when I was in Matroska hospital, that my treatment would be over, and I would live with the terrorist from Uzbekistan in the same cell in Lefortovo.

When I came back to the cell, I quickly ate the taste salad Fazliddin had made and went to bed. And then there was an attack...


On 23 October, my cell mate attacked me at night with an iron spoon by the direct order of the Lefortovo officers, who were cynically video recording the incident. The performance had been directed long ago, and now I can reconstruct the entire chain of events in detail. 

Thus, in the middle of September, when I was in the prison hospital in Matrosskaia Tishina after 26 days of the hunger strike, with the diagnoses “intestine candidiasis of category 1”, “bleeding duodenal ulcer”, “diabetes” and so on, investigator of the Investigative Committee Roman Vidiukov informed that he would throw me out of the hospital without treatment and would not return me to my cell with billionaire Manashirov in Lefortovo and place me into the cell with the terrorist from Uzbekistan, by the order of Colonel General of the Federal Security Service Aleksei Dorofeev responsible for the operational support of my criminal case. Despite the complaints I had written to the supervisory authorities regarding the fact that the Investigative Committee and the Federal Security Service could not decide on my treatment and my cell mate in the detention centre, and despite the articles published by the media, it happened that way.

On 5 October 2018, I was dragged out of the hospital without any clothes, notification of the hearing in the Moscow City Court and medicines, and taken to the court, where Elena Gudoshnikova, the judge of the Meshchanskii Court considered my deprivation of the public defence by the Internal Security Directorate of the Federal Security Service. When I returned to hospital in the evening, there was a lot of fuss in Matrosskaia Tishina: General of the Federal Penitentiary Service Moroz who had been scolded by Dorofeev because of me was furious. They started my transfer to Lefortovo at once, having substituted all the medical opinions on my condition and my diseases with the data on my allegedly perfect health.

After the long search, taking of fingerprints and execution of documents, I left Matrosskaia Tishina at midnight while Moroz, the head of all the Moscow prisons, was still there waiting to see whether I would find any pretext to stay in hospital.

After I had arrived at Lefortovo, I was placed into the cell with 26-year-old “terrorist” Kodirov from Uzbekistan, well-built, with broken ears and other signs of a professional mixed-style fighter. I know almost all 170 prisoners, and there are no other terrorists from Uzbekistan who could physically threaten me. Anyone who knows me will confirm that I am physically fit, never back off and am very stubborn in such conflicts despite my age of 54.

Of course, I asked him who his cell mates had been, and why he had been transferred. Kodirov told me he had been in the cell with billionaire Oleg Mkrtchan, who had borrowed money from Vnesheconombank to do business at Donbas and has also been imprisoned by the same General of the Federal Security Service and Head of K Directorate Ivan Tkachev. 

“Why were you transferred to another cell?” I asked.

“I wrote the petition because Mkrtchan would take off his pants in the sauna, but Islam does not allow that, so there was a conflict,” Kodirov replied.

“You should have turned away, what’s the problem?” I doubted?

I did not find his version credible, so I immediately wrote several petitions for transferring him or me to another cell, which I told Fazliddin directly. In ordinary prisons, washing in the sauna naked is actually “against the criminal rules”, and everyone generally washes themselves in pants, but Lefortovo does not adhere to these rules.

My petitions we dismissed despite the fact that I asked to be transferred due to different religious believes, crimes of different gravity and the fact that he smoked in the cell. Fazliddin cooked well, was tidy and fit, treated me with great respect, and always called me “uncle” because I actually was older than his mother. We spent two weeks together without minor arguments.

On 23 October, judge Yuliia Komleva deprived me of the public defence by the Internal Security Directorate of the Federal Security Service for the events of 2009 although I had not been duly notified of the hearing as prescribed by the law. Of course, I demanded from judge Komleva not to obey the Federal Security Service’s order and not to assume responsibility for my safety, which I needed as never before.

“You are in Lefortovo,” claimed the employee of the Moscow City Stamp (Olga Egorova’s establishment, the Moscow City Court, is called this way because it approves absolutely all the illegal actions of the investigators and the Federal Security Service).

“Lefortovo is the very place where they will try to destroy me by making me live with a “terrorist” from Uzbekistan,” I tried to object in court as I suspected that Kodirov would show his true face.

Yuliia Valerevna Komleva seemed to have lost her hearing and eye sight and did not hear that I had not been notified of the hearing, that my attorney Grivtsov was absent, that the session of the first-instance court had been conducted by Gudoshnikova, the judge of the Meshchanskii Court, without my attorneys, with numerous procedural violations. At 7 p.m., “servant of the law” Komleva deprived me of the public defence, and three hours later “terrorist” Kodirov attacked me with the sharpened metal spoon.

I do no believe in such coincidences as I know how impudent and unprincipled billionaire Generals of the Federal Security Service Dorofeev and Tkachev are: they are ready to destroy me for the “rubbish” money of Governor Vorobev and mafia bosses of Moscow Region. I remember their words they said in the large office in the Presidential Executive Office of the Russian Federation,

“All the judges and prosecutors do what we say!”

I remember being arrested on 13 June, on the day when the election in which I had been told not to participate was appointed. These moral monsters have not been afraid of publicity for a long time, and all of them have the absolution in their pocket. I keep repeating that to all the “masters of the universe” with fat faces in court, during the investigation, to the Federal Security Service and prosecutors,

“You will answer for the people whose life you have ruined! You will answer for the lawlessness! In a year, in two or in three years! Your children will also have to answer and suffer just like my children. People will make each of you answer no matter where you hide, what country you run to.”

So, when I came back to Lefortovo from the Moscow City Court, I washed my face quickly and got ready to eat salad and go to bed at 10 p.m., according to the daily schedule in the detention centre. Fazliddin always goes to bed later because he likes sleeping late. I am an early bird, and I wake up at 5 a.m. both at home and in prison. 

I have never had any conflicts with Kodirov, but I asked him not to touch or wake me every evening. He likes to push me after I fall asleep to share some news. Also, Fazliddin wants to be liked by the staff of the detention centre because his sentence is close, and any reprimand will deprive him of a chance to be released from prison, so he never defends his rights as I do. He always wonders why I am not afraid to demand from the prison wardens to comply with the law in such a rough manner.

 After I had undressed, I strictly warned my cell mate again not to touch me even if the prison wardens trying to get under my skin all the time asked him to. The radio beeped at 10 p.m., I went to bed and lay with my face to the wall in accordance with the daily schedule.

At around 10:10 p.m., the “feeding” window of the cell was opened, and three officers of the detention centre holding cameras in their hands ordered Kodirov to wake me up.

“I won’t push him, there will be a conflict,” Kodirov warned.

“Wake him up, come on!” the prison wardens demanded.

“Shestun warned me not to touch him,” “terrorist” Fazliddin insisted.

“Do that!” they yelled.

Of course, I had not fallen asleep and heard everything they had said. Kodirov came up to me and pushed my back.

“Take your hands off me,” I said roughly without turning back.

“Come on, come on!” they encouraged Kodirov, and he pushed me again.

“Get off me!” I repeated.

“Hear that? Hear him?” my cell mate humbled himself to them.

The prison guards laughed and left after they had closed the window in the door. In ten minutes, Kodirov suddenly started shouting that he would kill me,

“I am an Islamic hell raiser! I a warrior of Allah! Blood is to be shed! I am going to kill him!” Fazliddin shouted and waved the metal spoon like a sword.

Despite the shouting, I was still lying with my face to the wall: I was so exhausted by the hearing that my instinct self-preservation did not work. Then I turned around, sat on my bed and watched him repeat the threat to kill me ten times. I raised and came up to him; he touched me slightly and started beating the door with his leg and spoon. Could they be waiting for my outburst of fury? Did they want a fight? I am a very hot-tempered person.

I suppose the Federal Security Service had asked the officers of the detention centre to stage that performance by offering Kodirov to play the role of the “indignant” in exchange for a more lenient sentence or just by using him blindly. In the blatnoy slang, it is called a slammer and is common in the detention centres of the Federal Security Service. The similar thing happened to Malkhaz Dzhavoev, who was attacked by the prisoner brought by the investigators in order to make him admit having killed the ballet dancer.

I felt no fear although I realised that his threats were real. The only feeling I had was surprise because I had not seen the connection between those events yet. Even any wild dog can feel that its adversary’s eyes have no fear. I have seen too much in this life: the loaded was pointed at my face, and I did not obey; grenade F-1 burst a meter away from me, and the security guard standing next to me got two fragment wounds while our Volvo had around 30 holes.

Of course, Kodirov realised at once that I had not been impressed by his battle power and wild shouts. The prison wardens came in about 15 minutes although it was obvious that they had heard everything and were just waiting.

 “You have seen my good side, but you have not seen my bad one! I am an Islamic hell raiser!” my cell mate kept repeating hotly. “I have Allah, and you have the money! I will kill you!”

“I have no money, and you have no Allah...”


After Kodirov had been taken away from the cell at around 11 p.m., the “building” guard followed by three officers of the Federal Penitentiary Service tried to console him on the way and said that everyone was fed up with Shestun. He came back in about an hour and claimed at once,

“I will kill you, and I will get five additional years at most; I can be sentenced to 10 to 12 years.”

Actually, he has been accused of terrorism, and sentences there are quite long, in comparison with the murder. Our courts punish for the murder much more leniently than for economic crimes or drugs.

I called the “building” guard immediately and asked him to place me into another cell without my belongings for one night. My desire to sleep vanished as if by magic after such words. It was no use killing him as well so I asked to move cell until the morning. My request was dismissed, so I had to stay in the cell with him. Surprisingly, I fell asleep quickly and did not wake up at night.

He was transferred to another cell the next day, and my new cell mate, 42-year-old Eduard Rusu from Moldova, came in five minutes later. He had been imprisoned under Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “Illegal Purchase, Storage, Transportation, Production and Processing of Drugs”. He had just returned from the hospital in Matrosskaia Tishina, where he passed the rehabilitation commission after the cranial trepanation made in 2003.

Because of his head trauma, Edik had spent a lot of time in the prison hospitals, had been to the Serbskii Institute where all the prisoners pass the psychiatric expert examination who were accused of the especially grave crimes. Rusu had been to the mental hospital of Butyrka prison called Cat’s House. 

My new cell mate makes an impression of an absolutely normal person, and it is very convenient to live with him, especially given that I am preparing the large publication about the prison psychiatrics, and his experience in those hospitals will be of great use.

Edik had spent two months in Lefortovo in the same cell with Nikita Belykh. His total period of confinement is more than a year.

Rusu immediately stopped smoking after I had warned him that I would have to ask the senior executive of the detention centre to transfer him to another cell. He does not go for walks, but it does not worry me. I treat loneliness as a normal thing and even enjoy silence and solitude to some extent. 

I spent two hours in the walking yard today as I had accumulated lots of walks for the hours missed because of the court sessions. I tried to do 500 sit-ups at once by the recommendation of my human rights defender Volodia Osechkin. To be honest, I failed to do it at once, and I managed to do so many sit-ups only in fifteen sets.

During the last trip to the court, Head of the State Council of Komi Igor Kovzel claimed that he could do 700 sit-ups without a pause. It seems he is not lying as he looked like a very fit man. My goal is to be in the similar shape, especially since it is good exercise for the cardiac muscle, let alone legs and buttocks. 

Another good thing about Edik is that he does not watch TV. I am distracted by any noise when I write texts or read books. He does not insist on talking, and I am also very interested in drug dealing and the cover-up of that business. I have already written that most drug trafficking into Russia is controlled by the Federal Security Service. Any large suppliers are covered up by the “office”, and baron of crimes have been away from that market for a long time. Of course, everyone knows about it, but few people write about the real situation. 

It is very difficult to collect all the information when you are in prison, but you get to communicate with the people imprisoned under the corresponding articles a lot and to hear their professional stories and facts. Article 228 is most common among the prisoners, and it outnumbers the others considerably. The sad thing is that stashers of drugs and minor traffickers are put behind the bars while organisers are rarely caught. 

I am well aware of this system in Serpukhov. The Federal Security Service knows every “outlet” in the city as well as all major suppliers. They catch the minor dealers surrendered by the large pushers. Viktor Urbanovich, the Head of the Serpukhov Department of the Federal Security Service, has a “family business” with his mother, President of the Serpukhov City Court Natalia Urbanovich, who sometimes passes surprisingly lenient verdicts. For instance, this case was described by the mass media in detail: the man caught red-handed with several kilos of drugs was given a suspended sentence of seven years. 

The most terrible thing is that, despite the harsh punishment prescribed by the Criminal Code for trade in a large batch of drugs (15 years to life imprisonment), consumption of this substance in Russia keeps growing at high rates. While major pushers are well known in Mexico and Columbia, and every kid knows who El Chapo is, nobody knows any major vendors in our country, and there is never been any high-profile litigation in the present-day Russia although the drug consumption level here is one of the highest in the world. Since minions are imprisoned instead of their organisers and supporters, the volumes will keep growing, unfortunately, which will lead our nation to degeneration. 

K Directorate of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation managed by well-known General Ivan Tkachev is responsible for fighting drug trafficking. This unit has consolidated all the financial types of activities, including banks, customs, government authorities and drug trafficking. It is definitely the “richest” directorate of the Federal Security Service, and its head automatically becomes a billionaire. In the following chapters, I will describe it in detail how Vania Tkachev, an ordinary border guard from Karelia who was lucky to do his military service together with Oleg Feoktistov, turned into powerful Ivan Ivanovich in 15 years.

On 25 October, a day after the incident with Kodirov, I want to the Basmannyi Court to the hearing based on my complaint against the investigator’s omission. When I entered the prison truck in the morning, I went to the compartment where “terrorists” Davronbek Vakhidov, Fazliddin Kodirov and Bekhruz Makhmudov were sitting instead of the compartment with my prison friends Mikhalchenko, Gaizer, Kovzel, Chernov and Zakharchenko. Despite Kodirov’s night attack on me, I still do not believe they are affiliated with the Islamic groups. Kodirov and their leader Vakhidov have never prayed or adhered to the Islamic rules before; they turn into true believers in prison only. 

Davronbek called me when I entered the prison truck; he wanted to sort out the night incident. I was pleased to join them as I wanted to know Vakhidov better: he was a prisoner with the iron character and evident leadership skills. Davronbek is from Kyrgyzstan, but he is Uyghur. The same as all of his accomplices, he worked in Saint Petersburg, co-owned the night club and some commercial facilities. In Lefortovo, he spends practically all his time in the isolation cell. That day, he also was held in the sweat box because of four pieces of bread he had taken to the hearing. For instance, daring Vakhidov demanded from the prison wardens to open the cell window and threatened to start a fire if they refused. Of course, they refused, so he put newspapers and other combustible materials onto his bed and started the “pioneer’s fire” in the cell. All the officers on duty in the detention centre had to rush and put out the burning fire. 

Moreover, Davronbek was a cell mate of baron of crime Shakro and thief Pichugin. Shakro Molodoi is considered to be thief number one in Russia, and I am definitely interested in him as a hero of prison novels.

When I sat onto the wooden bench next to Davronbek, I heard him ask,

“Why had Fazliddin kept praising you for three weeks, and then there was a conflict?”

“Let’s ask him, he is standing here,” I replied. “To be honest, I didn’t get it.”

“They made me push you, uncle, at night, and I was afraid to say no to them,” Kodirov repeated.

“Do you need any comments?” I asked their leader Vakhidov?

“See, uncle, I am from Uzbekistan, and you are Russian. I can’t talk to them the way you do. I’m totally helpless! They will do anything they want to me if I don’t do what they say.”

Although their Russian was very bad, I realised from our conversation during that “resolution” that he had actually been planted into my cell by the order of the investigators and the Federal Security Service. 

Of course, it was very difficult to make Fazliddin speak honestly in the prison truck as there were too many people, and the car is so unsteady that you are jerked from one side to another and collide with the other prisoners. I have not found out what the purpose of the Federal Security Service and investigator Vidiukov was: to scare and suppress my will? To provoke the fight with grave bodily injuries with account of my hot temper and fighting skills?

Nothing can surprise me as I remember the telephone provocation for my mate Manashirov, for which he has been imprisoned for six years. It could also me a multi-option scenario. They could intend to injure me or to add four or five years to my sentence by adding the grave bodily injuries to the charges.

Let me remind you that on the day when I was attacked by the “warrior of Allah”, the Moscow City Court had finally deprived Shestun of the public defence, just three hours before the incident with Kodirov. As he had been planted by the Federal Security Service and the investigators, I did not think it was a coincidence. It is good that it all ended like that. 

For instance, two months ago, a day after he had been deprived of the public defence by the Internal Security Directorate of the Federal Security Service, businessman Badri Shengeliia, who had provided testimony against Mikhail Maksimenko, the Head of the Internal Security Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia, and who had been three cells away from me in Lefortovo, was shot down. A coincidence? I cannot believe it! Shengeliia wrongly accused Maksimenko, the decent officer of the Investigative Committee, who had been to flash points, had been wounded and injured. Mikhail Maksimenko exposed the corrupted officers in the Investigative Committee, and I knew him when I was free. What they have done to him in Lefortovo... He has been to Cat’s House twice. Few people can bear such injustice. 

Shengeliia lied that he had bribed him with a car eight years ago, and the only evidence was his words. Even when he tried to prove at the court hearing that he had been in the sale place as Maksimenko, the billing of their telephones demonstrated the opposite. The Federal Security Service used Shengeliia like a condom and flushed him down the toilet. Badri was shot down in his Mercedes on the way from Saint Petersburg to Petrozavodsk. 

I am well aware of the methods used by the Ninth Internal Security Directorate of the Federal Security Service. Not only the one managed by General of the Federal Security Service Komkov, but also the one under the guidance of the former head, General of the Federal Security Service Aleksandr Kupriazhkin. 

Lieutenant General of the Prosecutor General’s Office, Gennadii Aleksandrovich Nisiforov, died in January 2012 after several meetings he had had with me. 

In those times, I was under active pressure by the Moscow regional prosecutors’ gang, all of whom were thereafter placed behind the bars: General Aleksandr Ignatenko, Serpukhov’s prosecutor Oleg Bazylian and his assistant Mikhail Zhdanovich, Head of the 13th Directorate of the Moscow Regional Prosecutor’s Office Dmitrii Urumov, Klin’s prosecutor Eduard Kaplun, Noginsk’s prosecutor Vladimir Glebov, Pushkino’s prosecutor Ruslan Nishchemenko, officials of the MIA Nikolai Pyshkin, Dmitrii Akulin, Sergei Ermakov, Farit Temirgaliev, Mikhail Kulikov and businessman Ivan Nazarov. I contacted the Head of the Main Organisational and Inspection Directorate of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation (which was actually the Internal Security Directorate), General Yurii Sindeev, and he forwarded me to his deputy  Gennadii Nisiforov. Head of the Sixth Internal Security Directorate of the Federal Security Service Tkachev insisted that I should not meet Nisiforov, but I did not want to be at war with that powerful authority, so I attended the luxurious building in Petrovka several times. I suggested that Nisiforov should dismiss the prosecutors who had been extorting money from me, with no extra fuss. I did not want to imprison anyone, and that option seemed the most reasonable. After the audio records I had furnished and the other numerous proofs of their illegal activity, Nisiforov said he needed time to report to Sindeev and Chaika.

Almost immediately after that, on 4 November 2011, the Investigative Committee instituted criminal proceedings against General Nisiforov by the order of the Internal Security Directorate of the Federal Security Service, for the alleged attempt to rape his secretary dismissed about two years ago. Prosecutor General Chaika did not support the charges, so the criminal proceedings against Nisiforov were terminated. On 9 January 2012, Lieutenant General Nisiforov was run over by the dump truck in the centre of Moscow. A coincidence?

General of the Prosecutor’s Office Viacheslav Sizov responsible for the Federal Security Service allegedly shot himself almost at the same time, in summer 2011. His wife did not believe into the suicide version. As a reminder, the conflict between the Federal Security Service and the General Prosecutor’s Office was in full swing then.

When General of the Main Directorate for Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Enforcement Boris Kolesnikov died in 2014 after he had fallen out of the window in the building of the Investigative Committee in Tekhnicheskii Lane, nobody believed into the suicide version. 

Let me remind that the war for the Moscow encashment market between Ivan Tkachev in charge of the Sixth Internal Security Directorate of the Federal Security Service and Major General of the MIA Denis Sugrobov ended in imprisonment of all the senior executives of the Main Directorate for Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Enforcement. 

While defending my deputy Elena Bazanov imprisoned by the provocateur form the Main Directorate for Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Enforcement, Colonel Boris Kalimulin disguised as businessman Yusup Karimov, I spent several years of my life trying to expose the gang from the Main Directorate for Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Enforcement. “Bazanova’s imprisonment was controlled by General Kolesnikov by the request of the Moscow Regional Prosecutor’s Office in order to affect Shestun,” that was the testimony provided in court by Deputy Prosecutor of Moscow Region Stanislav Buianskii. 

Although I was against Kolesnikov and Sugrobov in that war, that open murder seemed too violent and cynical abuse by the Internal Security Directorate of the Federal Security Service. Those were the methods used by Ivan Tkachev for ten years. And “terrorist” Kodirov is not a fake character.

When I was talking to supervisory prosecutor Vladislav Lonchakov, I told him a story about cook Petr selling Manashirov the telephone in Lefortovo for 300,000 roubles. That made the eyes of the officer from the Prosecutor General's Office pop out although he was the one supervising that detention centre. Moreover, I included that information into the record and sent similar statements regarding the crime committed by the Lefortovo worker to President Putin, Bastrykin, Kolokoltsev and Bortnikov. Why was Manashirov the only one to be convicted? Both had committed the crime.

“Is it true? The cook working for the detention centre?” Lonchakov asked Aleksandr Khanov, Lieutenant Colonel of the Federal Penitentiary Service.

“It is. He is our employee,” Khanov mumbled and stared at the floor like a naughty boy. 

That day, I spent five hours in the office with the supervisory prosecutor, described Kodirov’s attack and all the other violations in the detention centre. We wrote about 12 pages about Lefortovo’s attempts to destroy me, starting from the fact that my medicines had been taken away, and I did not see the doctor, and up to the locked window covered with a film so that I would not see whether it was sunny or cloudy outside, the faulty ventilation system, no meetings with the attorney and the inability to buy drinking water. A real war! It is OK, I am no stranger to that, it is my domain.


On 26 October, my birthday, the senior executives of Lefortovo did another crazy thing, which can hardly be treated as a reasonable one. Mikhail Fedotov came to the detention centre to meet me. Mikhail Aleksandrovich was going to find out about Kodirov’s night attack against me with a metal spoon in detail and probably to congratulate me on my birthday. He was not admitted! Yes... You have heard me! The President’s advisor was dismissed unceremoniously. 

Fedotov gave an interview to TASS, where he claimed,

“I have been attending detention centres for eight years, and in each of them I meet dozens of the accused. Never before have I been asked to show the investigator’s permission to talk to the prisoner. Let alone the fact that the article which the senior executives of Lefortovo detention centre refer to is associated with the procedure for meetings between the accused and their relatives. In this case, the purpose was not to give Shestun a chance to meet the Chairman of the Presidential Council; quite the opposite, it was to enable the Chairman of this Council to meet Shestun in order to notify the President of the state of affairs in the area of human rights defence in this specific case,” emphasised the Chairman of the Presidential Council for Human Rights.

These are the gifts I get from the “Federal Security Service’s bunker”, Lefortovo, which demonstrates again that Shestun’s case has been paid for well. They create newsmakers themselves by promoting my image of a hero. If they do not admit anyone to me, they have something to hide.

Non-admission to Lefortovo was not the only “surprise” on my birthday. Iulia managed to get a meeting to come and congratulate me on my 54th birthday together with the younger children. For five months of my imprisonment, I had seen my little angels only once, in the Basmannyi Court in August when my arrest was extended; then the policemen did not let me stop in front of them even for a second and tore my wrists with the handcuffs until they bled. 

Me and Iulia treated the prison meeting across the glass as the best option. Moreover, I was sure that the head of the detention centre would allow me to kiss the children to protect them from the second mental trauma. No such luck! When Lieutenant Colonel Khanov had entered the meeting room, he forbade even a second of contact strictly. Two officers on duty in the camouflage uniform were seated a meter from us. One of them was a man, almost two meters tall and of around 130 kilograms, with the plain face, and the other one was a woman wearing the camouflage uniform of the Federal Penitentiary Service.

When my boys had come into the room, I forgot about everything; I kept looking at them, and the tears ran down my face. Oh my God! I loved them so much! Not seeing them was breaking my heart! As soon as Matvei had entered the room, he chirped,

“Mum, are we taking Daddy home? Come on, Daddy, get out of there!”

Grisha understands that I am in prison, so he started telling me about his school and chess achievements at once.

“Dad, I get only As at school. And I have received a new chess category!”

I could give away anything for one kiss, for one chance to hug my boys. I had never been so sensitive... It must be age.

While we were talking, Matvei sat in the middle, between Iulia and Grisha, and kept pressing their heads against his as if trying to make a selfie. He never stopped smiling charmingly as he realised how much I loved to see them like that. 

Of course, Iulia was interested in my health and details of the night attack by the “terrorist” cell mates. 

“You can only discuss ordinary issues,” the prison warden watching the conversation suddenly said.

“We will disrupt the meeting now,” the spotty woman supported him.

“Read law 103.” “We are not allowed to discuss criminal cases only,” I objected and continued description of the incident.

“Stop that! I have warned you!” 

The clumsy two-meter prison warden stood up decisively, grabbed Matvei by his shoulder and tried to drag him out of the compartment.

It was good that I was locked up in the other compartment. I was so indignant that I was ready to destroy that Cyclop. One minute would be enough to knock him out for a long time. I felt dizzy... When he saw I was ready to attack him, the prison warden let Matvei go and backed off.

Remaining ten minutes of my conversation with Iulia were spoilt. The children left after they had waved their pretty hands and thrown kisses. I was devastated, unable to get up and walk back to the cell. When I managed to get to my bed, I took my blood pressure at once. As I expected, it was higher than 200. I spent all the day lying in the terrible mood and thinking I would get a heart attack or a blood stroke. I had never felt so bad before. I would not wish that even to my enemies. I was definitely the worst day of my imprisonment.


No wonder that 17-year-old Mikhail Zhlobitskii blew himself up in the building of the Federal Security Service in Arkhangelsk on 31 October 2018. To my great horror, many prisoners wish to repeat his doing because they see impudence and abuse by the today’s masters of the universe. I am sure that the tragic incident in Arkhangelsk will bring about major implications. It is the beginning of the end... destruction of the vicious system created by the Federal Security Service. The collapse has started from the inside. 

Many honest officers of the Federal Security Service have long been claiming that it is necessary to purify and stop commercialisation of the service. Few people in Russia know that the Federal Security Service has such operating method as seconded officers introduced into organisations, government authorities and business entities. Are you surprised? It is 100 % true. That is bitter reality of present-day Russia. There are seconded officers in all the large entities; this phenomenon is of massive rather than accidental nature. For instance, the seconded officer from M Directorate of the Federal Security Service in the government of Moscow Region is Roman Karataev, who holds an advisor’s office with the minister’s rank. This year, Vorobev is appointing him to be in charge of all the cemeteries of Moscow Region, which brings profit.

The same way as all the other seconded officers, Roman pertains to the staff of M Directorate of the Federal Security Service, but he is officially employed by the government and gets his salary there. His vehicle’s number plate is concealed. When Karataev’s car is registered by the video recorder of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate because of overspeeding, the computer shows three letters “FSS” (Federal Security Service) instead of Roman’s last name. That is why he never pays fines, just like all the other seconded officers with the concealed number plates. It is captivating to see how a 30-year-old young man from Siberia has got wealthy with incredible speed in the team of the most corrupted Governor Vorobev and turned into a millionaire in several years. 

There are seconded officers in all the government authorities and agencies, including the gas service, the Federal Registration Service, Federal Property Management Agency, the Russian Railways or law enforcement authorities. Everywhere! I could reveal the secret, but any major financial issue is resolved through the seconded officer only, including any major political or administrative ones... Never heard of that? 

No other country, even an African one, applies such practice. It has been known since Ancient Rome that a warrior cannot combine his duties for the benefit of the empire with trading or bank activity because he turns into a fat merchant out of the centurion. 

I would give examples of many other seconded officers in the government authorities, but I do not want to do harm to them. The list of my today’s enemies is already beyond any reasonable limit.


Today I went to the Basmannyi Court again to appeal from the investigator’s actions. I met almost all of my prison friends in the prison truck in the morning. I was especially happy to see Dima Mikhalchenko because I was held in the cell in the Basmannyi court for a long time, in addition to the prison truck. We always have issues to discuss. We pray and eat together. Dima always has the best food, which he shares with everyone generously. I try to be among the first ones to get into the prison truck so that I would have time to communicate and find out about the latest news of Lefortovo.

I was pleased to see Slava Gaizer, Lesha Chernov, Igor Kovzel and Boris Korevskii. The only person missing was Colonel Dmitrii Zakharchenko, who would make our trip better with his wonderful sense of humour. Boria is his cell mate and says he is upset. In the article in The Rossiiskaia Gazeta, Bastrykin mentioned Zakharchenko’s case again as one of the major ones. The Investigative Committee is fully subordinated to the Federal Security Service now and has ultimately lost its independence. Everything ordered by the service is done without any objections. Iurii Chaika and Viacheslav Lebedev manage to retain some independence from the Federal Security Service. Of course, the prosecutor’s office and court carry out “wishes” of the Federal Security Service, but they sometimes object and snap back. 

I know all the ins and outs of Bastrykin’s agency, and I know all the strong and weak points of its head. I had a chance to communicate with Aleksandr Ivanovich in person, when I and Vice Premier of Chechnya Khasan Khakimov saw Bastrykin to his plane from Ramzan Kadyrov’s residence after the Security Council in Grozny chaired by Nikolai Patrushev two years ago. When we shook hands, I regretted in the end that the Chairman of the Investigative Committee would not stay to take part in the volleyball match with Nikolai Patrushev despite his height.

In my life, I have had an opportunity to communicate with all the leaders of the state in person; I even spoke with Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin for half an hour when he attended the monument to the warriors of the Great Patriotic War in Stanki Village in Serpukhov District constructed under the guidance of veteran Antotina Efremova, the night before 8 March. The President gave her Volga while she insisted on hiring me as the most honest and hard working man. 

“Thank you for your help to the veterans, Aleksandr Viacheslavovich,” Putin repeated and shook my hand.

But Efremova went on to praise me again, so the President had to thank me and shake my hand several times. I felt awkward, but I could not leave him according to the procedure.

Putin made an impression of a very self-disciplined and fit man, with the wonderful sense of humour and flash-like reaction. He took no time to find the proper answer to each unexpected statement.

I also managed to communicate with Dmitry Medvedev at the Serpukhov Lift Construction Plant, where he held the onsite meeting of the government several years ago. I shook his hand and thanked him for his help in 2009. Then I fell victim to the criminal case as a reprisal for the arrest of Abrosimov, the officer of the General Prosecutor’s Office, and I recorded the video address to President of Russia Medvedev and published the voice-recorded threats by the prosecutors’ gang and the video where they were taking away the money and pushing it into their pockets. Aleksandr Abramov, the former Secretary of the Regional Committee of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League of Moscow Region and the President’s advisor, reported to Medvedev on my video address. The response was prompt: my case was immediately transferred to the central administrative office of the Investigative Committee, and the investigation was conducted in an objective and unprejudiced manner. In three years, the criminal proceedings were terminated due to absence of the crime event.

On 2 November, I saw all of my relatives in the Basmannyi Court and threw kisses. I spoke surprisingly briefly and peacefully at the session. I did not want to spoil the attitude to me before the hearing on extension of the arrest. I will do my best there! I have already written the speech that will take almost an hour. Iulia has asked me to get ready because I usually speak spontaneously, and she thinks I sometimes repeat the same things. My statements turn harsher session by session. There will be a climax in several days, that is the limit. I am sure that the judge will interrupt me, but I will not keep my mouth shut and say everything that has been filling me for five months of my imprisonment. 

This time, I told judge Iuliia Safina briefly that she should not dishonour Irina Vyrysheva, the President of the Basmannyi Court, who was concerned about the common expression “Basmannyi justice”, but was unable to influence the judges the way Ivan Ivanovich Tkachev did, for instance. We have already revoked nine decisions of the Basmannyi Court in the Moscow City Court, including the critical ones, such as declaring institution of the criminal proceedings against me legal, attaching the bank accounts, declaring deprivation of my right to run for the election in the form of the notary’s non-admission legal.

As usual, when we were held in the cell in the Basmannyi Court together with Dmitrii Mikhalchenko, we discussed everything we could. Dima has been in this prison for three years and knows all the ins and outs.

“Dima! My former cell mate Manashirov says I’m wasting my time on the publications because nobody reads them,” I asked what Mikhalchenko thought.

“That’s not true. Many people read them. Judge Lenskaia told me at the hearing today that I must not talk to Shestun,” Dima objected and told me how she had commented on my latest publication.

In the evening, on the way back to Lefortovo from the Basmannyi Court, I got into the prison truck and sat next to the Hollywood-like man in beautiful clothes and with his hair professionally done. His white shirt looked as unreal as a spacesuit would.

“Which prison are you from?” I asked the dandy.

“Medvedkovo,” the well-built man to the right of him wearing a Russia jacket, looking familiar and speaking with a typical Caucasian accent responded.

“What is your nationality?” I wondered.

“Spanish,” the gentleman in the white shirt responded mildly.

“And I’m Avar, my name’s Magomed Khizriev.”

“Sure, I know you,” I answered to the Head of the Internal Security Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Dagestan. “Of course, I have heard of you. Which area are you from?”

“Guniba,” Khizriev responded and immediately told me the story of his arrest which I had seen on TV. 

I took a pen and a sheet of paper to put down all of his adventures.

“Don’t your write about me,” Magomed asked.

“Whatever you wish, but silence will not save you,” I tried to reason him and turned my attention to the man next to him, who was Khizriev’s accomplice. 

“Say hello to everyone from Dagestan,” said the Dagestani police officer in the end.

All the ministers of Dagestan, including Prime Minister Abdusamad Gamidov, who fell victim to the massive cleansing, are held in Lefortovo.

How could the people of Dagestan allow that humiliating arrest and transfer of their ministers to Moscow with bags on their heads? The people of Chechnya would not allow that. Magomedov brothers are accused of more and more episodes in Lefortovo all the time. Everyone in Russia knows that they are honest and decent businessmen! Why are the Avars silent? Why was Magomed Khizriev, the veteran of all the latest wars, wounded and awarded by the government, not afraid to fight the combatants in the mountains, and why did he fear publications? Are they mountain men or not? Where are the courage and honour the Avars have always been famous for? Was it a secret that when the Treasury of Russia paid subsidies to the Government of Dagestan, it took away 5 % of the amount in cash at once? Let alone all the other kickbacks and “gratitude”. Who has brought collapse of the industry, lack of investment and massive unemployment in the republic? Gamidov and the Magomedovs? Why are the real contributors to the all misfortunes of Dagestan not accused? Why can’t the Lezgians, Avars, Dargins, Laks, Tabasarans and Kumiks join their efforts and demand dynamic social and economic development of their great and ancient motherland from the government?

Is the Federal Security Service of Dagestan that has detained Dargin Kubasai Kubasaev, the Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, better and more honest than him? Let me reveal the secret: the main corrupt officials of Dagestan are the Federal Security Service, the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor's Office, whose officers are mostly Russian. Why aren’t these officers put behind the bars in this mountainous republic? At least one of them. As they say, General Kaburneev, the Head of the Main Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, who instituted the framed-up criminal proceedings against me AT 2 A.M. on the day when the election was appointed, had also left lots of traces in Dagestan.

I have always loved and respected the people from Dagestan as the most hard-working and loyal people with the great history and ancient traditions, but now they have changed so much that I cannot admire them anymore. May be, there will be new imam Shamil or Gazi-Magomed who will raise the highlanders’ spirit? 

For instance, Derbent is much older than Moscow. Why doesn’t the call of forefathers show the path to Dagestan’s prosperity?

I turned back to the Spaniard and asked what his name was.

“My name is Gor Chudopalov, I am the chairman of Mineev and Partners Bar and own Standart restaurant near Lubianka,” the sad-faced gentleman in the white shirt, who seemed to be aged 40, said and added, “I used to work in the UN, as an envoy’s advisor.”

I discussed the latest news with Magomed Khizriev’s accomplice for a long time, and then I talked to the other prisoners from different Moscow prisons who had questions to me. In my turn, I found out that, for instance, the mafia enforcer in Presnia prison was Pauk, and he was allegedly the only Russian in all the detention centres. In Medvedkovo, the largest detention centre of Moscow with around 5000 prisoners, the mafia enforcer is Kazbek Chernyi, a Chechen from Kyrgyzstan. In Butyrka, Akhmed from Ingushetia has been replaced by Beslan from Ingushetia as well.

There is a common opinion that Ramzan Kadyrov encourages the Nakh (the common name used for the people of Chechnya and Ingushetia) to be unofficial leaders in prisons and prison settlements. Ramzan is obviously the major Muslim political figure in Russia. He needs underbosses and mafia enforcers of his nationality in order to promote Islam in the establishments of the Federal Penitentiary Service. Let me remind that half of the prison settlements in Russia are already ruled by the Jamaat representatives instead of the criminals. It would be a very rare thing five or ten years ago, but now Islam is expanding at an exponential rate. Most prison settlements and prisons will be “green” in the short term. When they are released, the true believers raised in the confinement facilities will find the new believers based on the principles of the network marketing. If you ask any Russian in prison to read a prayer by heart, no more than 3 to 5 % of the prisoners will remember the Lord’s Prayer. Almost all the Muslims know the main prayers by heart. As the number of prisoners from the Central Asia, which already is 40 %, is growing, and given the support from the people from Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Karachay-Cherkessia and Azerbaijan, the prospects of the Muslims’ total power in prisons are almost 100 %.

In the prison truck, I was sent hello and best wishes from Igor Pushkarev, the Mayor of Vladivostok held in Kremlevskii Tsentral. 115 people are held in that branch of Lefortovo, under the same “freezing” conditions, but attorneys are admitted every day, and there is a restaurant, e-mail and even a gym. Pushkarev is held in cell 607 together with Erik Kutuashvili and Aleksandr Kabanov, the Magomedov’s financial officer. The Mayor of Vladivostok fell victim to Tkachev’s “roll” and was very happy when I published the record where Ivan Ivanovich told proudly how he had destroyed Igor.

I am often asked why I write about underbosses, mafia enforcers and barons of crime. They ask what colour I am, black (pertaining to thieves) or red (cooperating with the prison executives). I am the biggest source of problems for the senior executives of the detention centre and their “cover-up”, so I am definitely opposite of the red in prison. At the same time, I do not support the thieves’ ideology, so I am definitely not black. I do not pertain to this domain at all. 

A week ago, the British newspaper The Times published an article about me, “Shestun was shocked with the tactic applied by Tkachev and Andrei Iarin, one of the top counsellors of the Kremlin. ‘Even gangsters have higher moral standards“,’ he claimed before the arrest.”

Underbosses and mafia enforcers cooperate with the executives of the detention centre more than any other prisoner. They speak the same language and listen to the same songs, rogue songs. In fact, I was put behind the bars by the Federal Security Service together with the Podolsk gang and Governor Vorobev supported by the “reputable” businessmen, Mountain Jews. Andrei Iurevich’s mother was born in Grozny, and she is a Mountain Jew (the Tats speak Farsi). There are no brothers’ gangs left in the country. Their functions have long been taken away by the law enforcement authorities. With their badges, powers and guns, they have turned into the main predators eating up businessmen or other herbivores and sometimes, when there is no food, smaller carnivores. Today’s largest predator definitely is the Federal Security Service, the one eating the best food: businessmen and governors.




Светлана Астраханцева
Нам выпало время, когда белое становится черным, а черное – белым…
Григорий Михнов-Вайтенко
Пример Шестуна – это пример в истории, я бы сказал. Чаще всего такой человек предпочитает тихо и незаметно, извините за выражение, отползти в угол, и очень редко, когда вступает на путь правдорубца.
Людмила Улицкая
Понимание и попытка разрешения "мусорной" проблемы вызвали конфликт Шестуна с властью. Не просто с властью, а с самым сердцем нашей власти - с ФСБ. Люди должны встать на защиту Александра Шестуна. И к этому я призываю.

Записки Шестуна