Oleg Zabluda's blog
Monday, December 12, 2016
Who killed Alexander Perepilichny?
Who killed Alexander Perepilichny?
Perepilichny’s friend Yuri Panchul learned of his death on a blog maintained by a Russian opposition figure. Panchul thought it was strange that police didn’t immediately suspect foul play: The Perepilichny he knew partook of few vices that could stop the heart of a healthy man.

Panchul works as an engineer in Silicon Valley. He told me he met Perepilichny 30 years ago, in Moscow. He remembers his old friend as a shy young man who walked with his head down and carried his anxiety in his gait. He had the pale complexion and skinny frame of someone who spent most of his time indoors, his nose buried in books.
Attempted robberies became an occupational hazard. Once, in 1989, someone noticed Panchul carrying a computer into his apartment building and sent an attractive young woman to his door, saying she wanted to go out with him. Panchul happily obliged, but asked a friend to stay in the apartment while he was gone. Sure enough, just after he left with his date, a man tried to get in. Perepilichny and Panchul heard stories of businessmen being tortured with electric clothes irons, even sodomized with soldering irons, by thieves trying to find money stashes. Perepilichny had a heavy metal door installed at the entrance to his apartment.

In 1991, the two friends signed a contract to build a simulator for the computer system used in aircraft like the Su-24, a supersonic Russian fighter jet that could fly at low altitude and had been deployed to devastating effect during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Panchul used his earnings to buy a plane ticket to America. The next year, the United States passed a law that welcomed foreign scientists with expertise in weapons of mass destruction into the country (in order to prevent them from taking their knowledge elsewhere), and Panchul was able to leverage his work on the jet to get a green card.


| |


Powered by Blogger