In an unprecedented manner, he conducted “exclusive” interviews with Vladimir Putin, wrote books about the Russian leader, and appeared for years on German channels as a Putin expert. But research has shown that his journalism was not independent at all. Hubert Seibel, 73, is said to have received hundreds of thousands of euros from Kremlin entourage through a post office box company in the British Virgin Islands. A major scandal between our eastern neighbors.
look. Here you can see how much fun it was during Sibel’s interview with Putin
Hubert Sippel was not necessarily considered the best German expert on Russia. But he was undoubtedly the reporter who was easiest for Putin to approach. He claims to have met him nearly 100 times, Die Welt writes. These meetings resulted in interviews, documentaries and books – which (later) were intended to paint a “friendly” portrait of the Russian president.
“A different perspective”
His book, which painted a portrait of the Russian leader and was published in 2015, promised a “different perspective” on Putin than what Western opinion makers usually say about him. In 2021, he released a new book, Putin’s Power: Why Europe Needs Russia.
There has been a huge uproar among our eastern neighbours, as it now appears that Seibel has been a puppet of the Kremlin all along. The evidence against Sibel – collected by the German investigative group Paper Trail Media in cooperation with “Der Spiegel” and the television broadcaster “ZDF” – destroys his journalistic independence.
Leaked financial documents show that the man received 600,000 euros for his book projects from Russian oligarch Alexei Mordashov (58 years old), who has close ties to the Kremlin and has been on the European Union sanctions list since February 2022. These payments were made in three installments via a post office box company in British Virgin Islands. It is not known how much money Sibel received from Kremlin entourage over the years.
Hubert Seibel has now admitted to Der Spiegel and ZDF that he had Russian “sponsorship” for his book projects. But he claims that he did not receive any money from third parties for his documentaries and interviews. German broadcaster NDR had a model contract with Seipel as a freelance reporter from 2008 to 2018. The broadcaster is now considering legal action against the controversial journalist.
Publisher Hoffman and Camp immediately stopped making both books available and removed the information from the site – it is not known if this was also an internal investigation.
Seibel won German Television Awards for his 2014 interview with former CIA employee Edward Snowden, who was granted political asylum in Russia, and for a report on Afghanistan (2009). It is also unclear whether he will be able to retain these accolades.
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