“The source for some of the so-called Steele dossier’s most specific but debunked allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government has been identified as a Russian public relations executive.
PR executive Olga Galkina, 40, was a “subsource” for Igor Danchenko, a Russian analyst who reported directly to dossier author and former British spy Christopher Steele, a Wall Street Journal investigation found Wednesday, citing a former national security official.
When Galkina began feeding information to Danchenko in mid-2016, she was an employee of Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian tech executive who owns two Cyprus-based web hosting companies, XBT Holdings and Webzilla.
Gubarev is accused in a dossier memo by Steele dated Dec. 13, 2016, of working with Russian hackers to infiltrate Democrats’ computer systems, and of having been recruited by Russian spy services.
Galkina had been fired at Gubarev’s company a month before Steele wrote the memo, according to the Journal, providing a possible motive for her to spread questionable allegations about the company.
Galkina had been hired by the firm as a public relations specialist in November 2015 to help the company produce press releases about the company’s business in the U.S. and Europe. She is listed as a press contact on a Feb. 2, 2016, press release for Servers.com, an affiliate of XBT.
The Journal reported that Galkina’s manager filed a report with police in the Cypriot city of Limassol saying that she drank heavily and was often late for work. One of Galkina’s former colleagues also told The Daily Caller News Foundation in August that she was a heavy drinker and often failed to show up on time to work.
By August 2016, Webzilla was looking to fire Galkina over what her former co-workers have said was erratic behavior.
According to one report in Russian media in February 2017, Galkina sued Gubarev, accusing him of harming her career and reputation by spreading rumors that she was unable to care for her young son.
In addition to the allegations against Gubarev, Steele’s dossier memo asserted that a Russian man, Seva Kaptsugovich, took part in the hacks of Democrats’ computer networks.
Kaptsugovich was likely not involved in the cyberattacks, the McClatchy news agency reported in 2017, saying he had been in prison since 2013 on child pornography charges. Kaptsugovich is from Perm, hometown of Danchenko and Galkina.
A lawyer for Gubarev alleged Wednesday that Galkina fabricated allegations against the tech executive.
“The report that allegations about Alex Gubarev, XBT, and Webzilla originated from a disgruntled and unstable employee is further proof of what has already been proven time and time again–all of the allegations against my clients are a pure fabrication and their inclusion in any report, whether private or public, is a gross dereliction of professional responsibilities,” lawyer Val Gurvits told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Galkina’s role as a source for the Steele dossier would seem to further undercut the credibility of the salacious document, which BuzzFeed News published on Jan. 10, 2017, 10 days before Trump took office.
The FBI relied heavily on the dossier in its applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. (Read more: The Daily Signal, 10/31/2020) (Archive)