A Spanish couple living near Madrid thought they would welcome an occupant like the others in their guest room available on Airbnb. But Felipe Turover carried with him a turbulent history: that of agent of the KGB involved in the fall of Boris Yeltsin, reports The country.
The story of a Spanish couple living in their home on the outskirts of Madrid could be like any other bad rental experience. Its peculiarity nevertheless lies in the quality of the host: for a year, María and Eladio Freijo have welcomed a former staff member. KGB, the information service of the formerUSSR… And he refuses to leave their guest room, report The country.
When he arrived in January 2021, Felipe Turover had everything of the ideal guest: friendly, polite, he spoke “In almost perfect Spanish, where only the r betrayed Russian origins”. But a quick internet search told his landlords that the 56-year-old had played a role in a major political and financial scandal in Russia in the late 1990s.
According to the Spanish daily, the case can be summed up as follows:
Turover, who had access to Swiss banking information, exposed corruption charges against President Boris Yeltsin, and the scandal resulted, on December 31, 1999, in Putin’s ascension to the presidency. Thus began a chapter in Russian history which, today, twenty-two years later, has not been closed. ”
A reputation as a bad payer
Felipe Turover’s name appears in journalist Catherine Belton’s bestselling book, Putin’s People (“Putin’s Men”, not translated into French), which describes the current Russian president’s maneuvers to get rid of his predecessor Boris Yeltsin. The author describes Turover as“Ex-agent of KGB”.
When the case was made public in 1999 after an investigation by Corriere della Sera, the European press is interested in this mysterious character. At the time, The country even devoted an article to him, explaining that Turover had finally left Russia for Switzerland and then Spain, where his father obtained nationality. Expensive, it ends up dragging behind a reputation for bad debtor and could well be riddled with debt.
Granting an interview to the Spanish newspaper in a hotel in Madrid, he tells of his desire to write a screenplay for Hollywood. However, he struggles to explain how he came to squat the residence of the Freijo couple. Since September, the ex-agent of KGB no longer pays rent and takes advantage of the slowness of the eviction procedures in Spain to stay in the famous guest room. According to the newspaper, politeness is no longer in order in the house, where reigns “An illusory calm, loaded with tension, worthy of the cold war”.