In my last post, I wasn’t quite sure if John Giduck is distancing himself and obfuscating his relationship with Yuri Ferdigalov or if it was the other way around. Whichever it is, it is clear that some distancing is going on. During the course of understanding Yuri, legitimate questions began to surface about what Archangel consultant Yuri Ferdigalov actually brings to the table in terms of experience.
The underlying assumption here is that Yuri is what John Giduck says he is..or he isn’t. We could be being fooled en masse here. Here is what John Giduck says in his book, “Terror At Beslan”:
“Yuri,” was Yuri Ferdigalov, a 36 year old Ukrainian and Soviet GRU Special Forces veteran of the Nagorno-Karabakh War.”
It is a seemingly benign statement but like many issues with John Giduck offers indicators of a problematic timeline when we look at other facts.
Yuri had to have been born in 1968 – this matches his description as a 36 year old commando when he was in Beslan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict took place between 1988 and 2004.
The time frame can be further narrowed down because John Giduck specifically refers to Yuri as a “SOVIET GRU Special Forces veteran”. This would mean that Yuri would have served in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between 1988 and 1991 which is when the Soviet Union fell.
The key point here is that Yuri would have been between 20 and 23 years old at the time. Given that Soviet GRU forces were generally comprised of deeply experienced soldiers, it is unlikely that they would welcome a 20-23 year old into their ranks. The problem here is that the older that Yuri may have been upon acceptance into Soviet GRU, the smaller the window of actual combat experience that Yuri could have had in the conflict before being wounded.
Let’s say that John Giduck opens his pie hole and claims that Yuri participated in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict after 1991, there are still significant factual issues with the claim. There don’t seem to be any open source references to GRU special forces participating in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. None. Zero. I’ll ask in the interest of fairness that if readers can find any authoritative references to GRU special forces participation that they post them in the comments.
If GRU special forces aren’t referenced in open source material, it means one of three things:
1) Yuri Ferdigalov wasn’t involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and this is a lie intended to fool clients.
2) Yuri Ferdigalov was involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict but with a different unit (and either John Giduck or Yuri himself are intentionally making Yuri “more interesting” than he was in an effort to fool clients)
3) Yuri Ferdigalov was there in some sort of a classified status during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as a member of GRU special forces. this naturally raises the question of “why is Yuri talking about it?!?” if this was the case. This once again makes me wonder about the security of personal and tactical information passed to John Giduck and members of the Archangel team. Team Archangel seems to like to talk out of school about sensitive facilities and sensitive operations as if they were actual participants…what might they be saying about you?
I also find it interesting is the choice of photos that John Giduck has posted for Yuri Ferdigalov. There are photos of Yuri Ferdigalov on John Giduck’s website. That said, I find it interesting that John Giduck has posted no photos in the gallery section of the johngiduck website or elsewhere that show Yuri Ferdigalov with confirmed members of GRU Special Forces or other Spetsnaz units. None. Zero. Yuri is also photographed separately. Why would that be? Of course, John Giduck will likely choose not to “dignify” a very legitimate question by posting some photos of Yuri with some confirmed Spetsnatz guys. Perhaps John Giduck has some and that wouldn’t mean much since they could be tied to one week adventure camps but I’d be surprised anyway if John Giduck does.
Lastly, a friend who knows about such things asked the following question about the value that Yuri actually brought to the Beslan trip:
Ferdigalov is a Ukrainian and the [John Giduck] quote above implies that he lived in the Ukraine after the fallout in 1991. If he was wounded between 1988 and 1991 and then lived in the Ukraine, what possible connections within Russian Spetsnaz did he have in 2004 that allowed Giduck special access to Beslan?
Good question. I’d add how much operational experience does he bring if wounded between 20 and 23 years old as well. Of course, there is always the possibility that Yuri went on to work for the FSB and now routinely comes into contact with Homeland Security professionals through John Giduck’s Archangel. Perhaps this is why there seems to be a growing distance between John Giduck and Yuri Ferdigalov.
Given similar overstatements of counterterrorisn experience by John Giduck and other Archangel consultants such as Chester Police Commissioner Joe Bail, are we being fooled by more than John Giduck here or is Yuri what John Giduck says that he is?