Exopolitics (literally politics out of this world) has become a buzz word among some ufologists in the U.S., Europe and Latin America, but in Russia’s rough and tumble political world the subject of alien abductions erupted without any need of lobbyists calling for UFO disclosure. The international media reported widely last May that Andrei Lebedev, a member of Parliament for the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, wrote a letter to President Medvedev in reaction to a disclosure by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, head of the Buddhist Kalmykia region in southern Russia, that he met aliens at his Moscow apartment in 1997. “I ask you to say if the head of Kalmykia has made an official report to the Russian presidency about his contacts with representatives of an alien civilization,” Lebedev wrote to Medvedev, adding: “Is there an established procedure of informing about such contacts by high ranking people who have access to secret information like Ilyumzhinov? And did he in the course of his seemingly innocent conversation disclose secret information?”
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, on the other hand, is not your average politician and Kalmykia is an unusual place—a Russian Federation republic with about 300,000 people in the Caucasus region on the Caspian Sea, and the only Buddhist enclave in Europe. A millionaire businessman who was elected President of Kalmykia in 1993, Ilyumzhinov is an eccentric politician whose heroes are Genghis Khan, the Dalai Lama and Bobby Fischer, the legendary American chess champion. One of the first things he did was to build, at his own expense, a number of Buddhist temples (they had all been destroyed during the Stalinist era of repression). Ilyumzhinov is also a chess master who was elected head of the World Chess Federation (which uses the French acronym FIDE) in 1995 and has made the small Kalmykian capital of Elista an international center for chess. In fact, the maverick Russian politician and chess official has been back in the news in the last few days because he is engaged in an acrimonious struggle for the FIDE presidency with Russian grandmaster Anatoly Karpov, but we are getting ahead of our story.
THE MOSCOW ET ENCOUNTER
In an interview with the popular Russian TV host Vladimir Pozner in April, Ilyumzhinov revealed that aliens appeared in a transparent tube on the balcony of an apartment he owns in Moscow on September 17, 1997. “I was reading my book, watching television and had almost fallen asleep,” said Ilyumzhinov. “Then I felt that someone was calling. I would not have believed it, if I had not had three witnesses—my driver, my minister and my aide.” Although the Pozner interview received huge attention because of the Lebedev letter and the Karpov dispute, this was not the first time Ilyumzhinov had discussed his alien encounter. He mentioned it as far back as 1999 in an interview with the Svoboda radio station and again in interviews with Russian and British reporters in 2001 and 2006. Michael Specter, who wrote a comprehensive profile of the maverick Kalmykia leader for The New Yorker in 2006, quoted from Ilyumzhinov’s 2001 interview: “The extraterrestrials put a yellow spacesuit on me. They gave me a tour of the spaceship and showed me the command center. I felt very comfortable with them.”
Ilyumzhinov gave further details to the British newspaper The Guardian in 2006: “They took me from my apartment and we went aboard their ship. We flew to some kind of star. They put a spacesuit on me, told me many things and showed me around. They wanted to demonstrate that UFOs do exist.” In another interview with British TV, Ilyumzhinov elaborated further on his ET contacts: “They are people like us. They have the same mind, the same vision. I talked with them, I understand that we are not alone in this whole world. We are not unique. I am not a crazy man. But after that when I gave the first interview to Radio Freedom in Russian five years ago, thousands—not hundreds—thousands of people wrote me letters and called me on the phone saying, ‘Kirsan, you are a politician and you aren’t afraid to speak about it’. From the United States every year, it is an official statistic, more than four thousand people are contacted in such a way.” And then he linked two of his favorite subjects—chess and UFOs—with the bold statement that “my theory is that chess comes from space. Why? Because the same rules, 64 squares black and white and same rules in Japan, in China, in Qatar, in Mongolia, in Africa. The rules are the same. Why? I think it seems maybe it is from space.”
You can see this interview here:
Just a few days ago, on June 10, the Russian newspaper Gazeta published an in-depth interview with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in which Kalmykian politics, his FIDE dispute with Karpov and his alien abduction are discussed. Regarding this last topic, Ilyumzhinov said he was surprised it had caused so much waves since he had talked about it many times before. “Twelve years ago there was no noise, everyone took this news normally,” he said. “After twelve years this has caused such an emotional discussion. I was glad to know this, that people from any part of the Earth write to me, I receive hundreds thousands of emails, photos and descriptions… I am only happy that a person starts to realize that he is not alone in this Universe, and stops being egoistic, being the only being with a mind, on this Earth… The faster we start feeling ourselves as part of universal intellect, the quicker wars and destruction of each other and creatures with mind shall stop.” He elaborated further on the spiritual significance on his alien encounter and how “this is something personal.” He also mentioned his close relationship with the famous Bulgarian seer Baba Vanga, who is revered throughout eastern Europe. He also stated for the record that, “for the first time I officially declared that I am not an agent of any extraterrestrial intelligence.”
Exo-politics, Russian style…
“Planet Kirsan,” The New Yorker’s long profile of Ilyumzhinov, can be read here.