Former Russian prime minister and a strong rival of Vladimir Putin- Mr Mikhail Kasyanov has been filmed in a sex sting with a British activist. The 58-year-old ex-PM was seen with scantily-clad Natalya Pelevine, 39, in the grainy bedroom footage at a Moscow apartment, it’s alleged. Ms Natalya is also an aide of the former PM.
The release by Kremlin -friendly television channel NTV is apparently aimed at destroying one of the few opposition leaders seen as remotely capable of being an alternative president to strongman Putin.
But it also attacks and humiliates a UK citizen who has been a constant critic of the Russian leadership, especially over its actions in Chechnya and lack of democracy, but who is also seen as a key link between Putin foes inside Russia and prominent figures in the West .
Married and father of two, Mr Kasyanov was shown rather intimately with his secret lover. The black and white pixilated footage did not show explicit sex acts.
It appeared to have been filmed by a hidden camera in a dressing table in the bedroom of a Moscow flat apparently used for covert liaisons between the couple.
Who was behind the filming is unclear, but the purpose was evidently to embarrass the opposition figures who are also heard savaging other so-called allies in an anti-Putin front ahead of upcoming elections.
Soviet-born Natalya’s parents emigrated to Britain before the collapse of the USSR when she was a child.
The lurid NTV screening claimed she regularly travelled to the United States and was in contact with Senator John McCain and investment banker William Browder, who has become a leading Western critic of Putin’s government
She was also said to have contacts with associates of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, now seeking the Democrat nomination for the US presidential election.
The film claimed she had been charged last month with a possession of a “spy pen” with a hidden camera for covert filming. Kasyanov tells here he wants her “to get elected in this country” to bolster opposition forces in the Russian parliament so that “your star fully rises”.
But the man who served Putin as prime minister from 2000 to 2004 is also heard voicing the view that Russia could be engulfed by “chaos”, in which case he intended to get his wife Irina to safety abroad, he told his lover