Edmond Poup

Edmond Poup

Country: USA

  1. Biography of Edmond Pope
  2. Memories of Lefortovo
  3. Reasons for Refusing Interviews
  4. Writing "Torpedoed"
  5. Second Book and Russian Authorities
  6. Fellow Inmates and Writing the Second Book
  7. Life after Lefortovo

Biography of Edmond Pope

Edmond Pope is a retired officer of the United States Navy, who was convicted of espionage in Russia and served 253 days in Lefortovo prison before being released by order of President Putin. He recently published a book titled "Torpedoed" in the United States. Evgeny BAI, a Washington correspondent for "Izvestia," became the first Russian journalist to interview Edmond Pope after his return to America.

Memories of Lefortovo

When asked about his most memorable experience in Lefortovo, Edmond Pope recalled a day when he felt overwhelmed by anger. He described the chaotic nature of the case, with judges falling ill and unexpected civil lawsuits filed against him. One such lawsuit claimed damages of $250 million, alleging that he had caused harm to the Russian navy by stealing secrets about the "Shkval" torpedo. Edmond Pope's frustration reached its peak, and he kicked a toilet, causing it to fall and creating laughter among his cellmates. This incident later became a chapter in his book.

Reasons for Refusing Interviews

Edmond Pope explained that he refused interviews after his release because he was mentally and physically exhausted. During the last months of his imprisonment, when he faced the possibility of a 20-year sentence, he even contemplated suicide. When he was finally released, he was met by a television crew, and one reporter referred to him as the American "Agent 007." In response, Edmond Pope jokingly called her the "little KGB lady." He felt that the interview had been carefully orchestrated by Russian authorities.

Writing "Torpedoed"

Edmond Pope revealed that he wrote most of his book while in Lefortovo prison. The act of writing helped him "keep an open mind." He informed the FSB officers that he was writing memoirs, and they did not object, although they advised him to include mentions of them in his narrative. He used his calendars and compiled them into a substantial folder containing 600 pages. After his release, he had to process and revise the material before it could be published.

Second Book and Russian Authorities

Edmond Pope mentioned that another book about him had been published in Russia six months before his own. He had noticed the author, Vasily Stavinsky, looking at him with a scrutinizing gaze. Edmond Pope translated Stavinsky's book, titled "Spy Adventures of Pope in Russia," into English for his own reference. While he expressed his dislike for the methods of the FSB and criticized the situation in Russia, he acknowledged that not all officers were bad people. He had formed friendly relationships with some of them during his imprisonment.

Fellow Inmates and Writing the Second Book

Edmond Pope had around fifteen cellmates during his time in Lefortovo, and not all of them were Russian. Among them were a Turk, an ethnic German living in Russia, a few individuals from Central Asia, and several Chechens accused of terrorism. However, he never had one-on-one interactions with the Chechens. Although he couldn't trust everyone, he had either friendly or neutral relationships with his cellmates. Some of them played chess with him.

Regarding his second book about his time in Lefortovo, Edmond Pope mentioned that there were many details he hadn't included in the first book. He wanted to share more about the prison's climate and the dark humor of the guards. He recounted an incident where his wedding ring couldn't be removed, leading a guard to joke about cutting off his finger. He also mentioned using an aluminum fork to demonstrate a mechanical mechanism, resulting in the investigator suspecting it was a covert device.

Life after Lefortovo

Edmond Pope shared that he now spends a significant amount of time giving lectures about his experience and enjoys speaking to schoolchildren. Alongside his writing, he also collaborates with a company developing a new unmanned aircraft. He is also involved in the creation of a "Cold War" museum, to which he has donated several items, including a prison towel he brought from Russia.

When asked about his health, Edmond Pope stated that he had undergone extensive medical examinations at the U.S. Navy clinic in Bethesda, Washington. Fortunately, no signs of cancer were detected. Despite the immense stress he experienced in Russia, he now feels both free and healthy.