Scary Russian business-man insists he isn't scary: "you are in no possible danger of being murdered if you come to Moscow!"

Brian Krebs reports on the Russian arrest of Pavel Vrublevsky, owner of the ChronoPay service (about whom Krebs has written an upcoming book) for witness intimidation. Vrublevsky is on trial for hiring hackers to attack a ChronoPay competitor called Assist, and he admitted that he phoned a witness in the trial and offered that person money; the witness said "he felt pressured and threatened by the offer."

Where this gets good is where Krebs recounts his own conversation with Vrublevsky, when the Russian businessman offered Krebs money as well:

“My proposition to you is to come to Moscow, and if you don’t have money….I realize journalists are not such wealthy people in America, we’re happy to pay for it,” Vrublevsky said in a phone conversation on May 8, 2010.

When I politely declined his invitation, Vrublevsky laughed and said I was wrong to feel like I was being bribed or intimidated.

“It’s quite funny that you think somehow when you fly to meet me in Moscow or ChronoPay offices that you are in any possible danger from me for being murdered,” Vrublevsky said. “Come to Moscow and see for yourself. Take your notebook, come to my office. Sit in front of me and look around. Because you’re getting information, which, to be honest, is not factual.”

As you can see, Vrublevsky is a master of putting people at their ease with his warm and cuddly demeanor, as is evidenced by his official Facebook profile photo, above.

Vrublevsky Arrested for Witness Intimidation


  1. He also added: “If you do not wish to come to Moscow, I can also arrange 3 or 4 or my employees to come visit you at your home and provide you with a factual information. Nobody will be in danger. Your wife that usually leaves work around 17:30 every day from her office on the corner of 5th and 7th, to pick up your daughter at the kindergarten will be perfectly intact upon you agreeing with my own opinion.”

    1. Nobody will be in danger.

      I noticed, though, that the quote never made such a claim. It only
      said that for Krebs to think there was danger would be funny, and come check for himself. Vrublevsky probably has a great sense of humor.

    1. “Do you expect me to print a retraction?”
      “No, Mr. Krebs.  I expect you to DIE.”

  2. Studies show that the human brain tends to ignore the negative words in a sentence.

    When someone says, “It’s quite funny that you think somehow when you fly to meet me in Moscow or ChronoPay offices that you are in any possible danger from me for being murdered” (which is pretty skimpy on negative words anyway), what we really hear is “you are in danger of being murdered.”

    So depending on his objective, this guy is either a terrible rhetorician or a very good one.

    1. Interesting.  Do the western lapdog journalist scum usually beg your forgiveness when you confront them in your lair?

  3. Mind you, it’s essentially impossible to get ahead in Russia if you don’t want to work with organized crime. By all accounts, all but the lowest levels of politicians, businessman and the like can simply be assumed to have ‘connections’, at the very least, as they’re pretty much required to get and keep those positions.

    1. You don’t think there’s plenty scary about real Russian oligarchs, right here and now? You don’t read the same news I do, apparently. (i.e. the Exile…) O.o

  4. It’s interesting that if someone assures you that they won’t kill you, your chances of being killed are actually higher than if the subject doesn’t come up at all.

  5. The kindest thing I can say is that Vrubelvsky has taken one of those pills that the spaced out young lady’s* Roadkill Tee is advertising.

     (or maybe he has the alternate: “I used to be a sociopathic criminal master-mind, but I take ‘credit’ for that now”)

    *It may just be the eyeshadow, of course.

  6. “I realize journalists are not such wealthy people in America”
    I can’t help but feel they’re probably not such wealthy people in Russia either…

  7. It’s funny how it’s the folks from ex-communist nations who seem to really “get” capitalism.

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