Who did Leonid Wolf murder?
Although you have lost all claim to journalistic competence and integrity, at least you can console yourself with not being alone and unappreciated. Indeed, you are a valued member of a large and successful team. Grigory Luchansky, Vadim Rabinovich, and Leonid Wolf undoubtedly know of your work, and they thank you for it.
60 Minutes, CBS Television
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New York, NY
I bring to your attention the following Kyiv Post article:
I reproduce the Kyiv post article in its entirely on the chance that it will be useful to 60 Minutes researchers interested in developing a good story. However, for purposes of this letter alone, we are primarily interested in information on Leonid Wolf which is contained in the three segments in blue:
Who is Leonid Wolf and what is behind government action?
By STEFAN KORSHAK
Post Staff Writer
01 July 1999
In making wealthy businessman Vadim Rabinovich persona
non grata on June 24, the Ukrainian government created a
mystery. By simultaneously announcing that it had taken a
similar action against Leonid Borisovich Wolf back in
December, it created another one.
The government linked Wolf to numerous unsolved contract
killings. But it did not specify the link between Wolf and
Rabinovich, other than to name them in the same press
release announcing that both Israeli citizens are banned
That leaves the public, as usual, out of the loop about
what the twin actions mean and what evidence the Ukrainian
government is holding. While Wolf could not be reached for
comment, Rabinovich denied the Ukrainian government's
allegations in a June 30 news conference in Tel Aviv.
The unanswered questions are numerous: What led the
Ukrainian government to bar Rabinovich from the nation for
five years? What are his ties to Wolf? What evidence links
Wolf to murders?
The ban on the two men also raises larger questions
about government motives: Coupled with the pending
embezzlement charges against former Prime Minister Pavlo
Lazarenko and an aide, is the Ukrainian government finally
getting tough on corruption? Or is it simply being unfair to
successful businessmen who happened to fall out of favor?
Those questions in turn raise the most unpredictable
question of all: What's next?
The official State Security Service (SBU) press release
"Today Ukraine's Security Service, according to
materials in its possession and in the interests of
Ukraine's national security, has forbidden the entrance the
citizen of Israel Vadim Zinoviovich Rabinovich, (passport
numbers) from entering Ukraine for the period of five years
beginning 24 June 1999, for causing especially serious
damage to the Ukrainian economy.
"Moreover, on 17 December 1998, the SBU closed the right
of entrance into Ukrainian territory to Israeli citizen
Leonid Borisovich Wolf, who is considered a member of a
professional organized criminal group, which is suspected of
carrying out contract killings in the Odessa, Kyiv, and
The relationship between Rabinovich and Wolf was not
spelled out, nor was the reason why the Ukrainian government
chose to announce the decisions in the same news release.
Who is this Leonid Wolf?
A search of Ukrainian media archives for the last 10
years turned up nothing. Ukraine's SBU and Ministry of
Internal Affairs flatly declined comment, as did Israeli
However, according to Kyiv law enforcement and Odessa
business sources, Wolf is a Ukrainian native who was born in
the 1940s. He emigrated to Israel in the late 1970s and
became a citizen there.
By the early 1990s, the sources said, Wolf was playing a
key role in developing Ukraine into an international
smuggling hub. His business activities were said to include
shipping, oil trading, narcotics, export of weapons,
chemicals, metals, and agricultural commodities — sometimes
in cooperation with Soviet-era mobsters, sometimes with the
assistance of local officials.
Wolf first came into contact with Vadim Rabinovich in
Israel in the early 1990s, one Ukrainian police source said.
One of Wolf's important business associates, the police
source said, is one of the former Soviet Union's most
notorious alleged criminals, Grigory Luchansky. That, if
true, could be the link between him and Rabinovich.
Luchansky was born in the 1940s, possibly in Latvia,
according to several sources contacted by the Post. He
became a career KGB officer and served overseas in a variety
of posts. By the mid-1980s, Luchansky set up and ran
Vienna-based Nordex, a KGB-owned and operated business
designed to launder money for overseas intelligence
Nordex's primary trading partner in Ukraine was
government-owned Ukragrotekhservis, U.S. Congressman Dan
Burton alleged during congressional hearings in April 1997.
Burton identified Rabinovich as Luchansky's key Ukrainian
lieutenant, serving in a variety of capacities including,
until 1995, Nordex vice president.
Rabinovich has stated repeatedly that he severed
relations with Luchansky in 1995 due to Nordex's poor
international reputation. He has consistently denied
participating in any criminal activity while he worked for
An April 1997 Time magazine article identified Luchansky
as "the most pernicious unindicted criminal in the world."
Luchansky's trading activities in the former Soviet
Union encompass weapons, oil, narcotics, natural gas,
chemicals, precious metals, fertilizers, agricultural
commodities, and consumer goods.
Other Luchansky enterprises reportedly include
prostitution, drug manufacture, racketeering, influence
peddling and fixed privatization auctions.
Nordex grossed $2 billion in 1994, investing some of its
income in enterprises ranging from a Moscow beer brewery to
a Kyiv tire plant, a Magnitogorsk steel mill, an Austrian
health spa and even a Uruguayan car dealership, according to
various media reports.
Luchansky's biggest business coup came in 1993, when he
engineered a fuel-for-food deal between Russia and Ukraine.
In 1995, after meeting at a Democratic Party fundraiser
with U.S. President Bill Clinton and sparking a U.S.
political scandal, Luchansky fell under increasingly intense
In 1996 a $35 million gold mine deal brokered by
Luchansky between the Kazakhstan government and a Canadian
mining company flopped, cutting into Nordex earnings.
Nordex has reportedly suffered in the wake of the
emerging-markets economic crisis.
Luchansky maintains a residence in the Israeli seaside
town of Netanya, a Mecca for Soviet-region emigres and scene
of intense Russian mob activity, the Jerusalem Post
The Post was unable to contact Luchansky for comment and
his whereabouts are unknown.
I Expand My Summary Table Once Again
The table which I have been developing in my previous four letters to you can now be elaborated with the Leonid Wolf entry. As the SBU press release gives no dates for the Leonid Wolf assassinations, I am assuming that they took place in the last five years:
|Date of my letter
||Subject of my letter
||Date of Attack
Violence that you should have reported in your 23Oct94 The Ugly Face of Freedom
||The Wiesenthal-Safer Calumny
||Who did Israel Roitman murder?
||Who murdered Volodymyr Ivasiuk?
||Who murdered Vadim Boyko?
||February 14, 1992
Violence that you might have encouraged by your 23Oct94 The Ugly Face of Freedom
||Who blew the hands off Maksym Tsarenko?
||Who murdered Volodymyr Katelnytsky?
||July 7-8, 1997
||Who murdered Borys Derevyanko?
||August 11, 1997
||Who did Leonid Wolf murder?
And I Find My Earlier Conclusions Strengthened
For your 23Oct94 60 Minutes broadcast The Ugly Face of Freedom, you went to Ukraine determined to broadcast the story — no matter what the evidence — of Ukrainians oppressing and murdering Jews. In order to do so, you had to blind yourself to the plentiful evidence that exactly the opposite was taking place. The reality is that Ukraine is being plundered and assaulted by a Jewish mafia based in Israel. You can begin your investigation of this phenomenon with the cases of the following three Israeli citizens: (1) "the most pernicious unindicted criminal in the world" Grigory Luchansky, (2) his "key Ukrainian lieutenant" Vadim Rabinovich, and (3) "contract killer" Leonid Wolf. Please note that in your smearing of Ukraine, you were unable to come up with evidence of a Ukrainian mafia based in Ukraine and victimizing Israel. The evidence was the opposite, but you were not interested in evidence.
But since the subject of our discussion is not merely crime, but rather cross-ethnic violence, I restrict my attention to assassin Leonid Wolf, and with respect to Leonid Wolf, I ask you to note that you were unable to come up with evidence of a Ukrainian assassin who roamed Israel murdering as he went, especially one whom Israel, fearing the vengeance of a powerful Ukraine, neglected to arrest and put on trial, but merely banned from Israeli soil for a time.
Mr. Safer, Ukraine's plunderers and assassins cannot operate in a vacuum. They need support. They need Swiss banks to stash their loot. They need Israel to provide them with sanctuary. They need journalists to smear their victims. And so, although you have lost all claim to journalistic competence and integrity, at least you can console yourself with not being alone and unappreciated. Indeed, you are a valued member of a large and successful team. Grigory Luchansky, Vadim Rabinovich, and Leonid Wolf undoubtedly know of your work, and they thank you for it.
cc: Ed Bradley, Jeffrey Fager, Don Hewitt, Steve Kroft, Andy Rooney, Lesley Stahl, Mike Wallace.