Council candidate Ari Kagan

Council candidate Ari Kagan

Supporters of City Council candidate Ari Kagan are alleging that anonymous automated phone calls are being sent out to Russian-speaking people that claim Kagan was a former KGB operative. According to reports, the Russian-born Kagan has categorically denied any connection to the KGB before he immigrated to the United States in 1993.

This isn’t the first time that Kagan has been accused of working for the former Soviet spy organization. In March, we reported on local activist Zev Yourman heckling Kagan during a heated confrontation at Kagan’s campaign kickoff event. Yourman referenced Kagan’s time as a journalist in the Soviet Army as proof that Kagan was a KGB operative. On Kagan’s website, he noted that he resigned from the Communist Party and left the Soviet Army when the KGB engineered the military assault on a Lithuanian TV Station.

The newest accusations have come in the form of anonymous Russian robocalls, sent to residents, warning them of Kagan’s alleged KGB roots. Kagan supporter Bela Gubernko, brought attention to the calls to Brooklyn Daily:

Bela Gubernko, a Russian-speaking Midwood resident, said she was at work when her husband Lazar, who does not speak English, got the Kagan KGB call.

“Somebody speaking Russian said that Ari is ‘agent of KGB,’ ” she said. “He told me that it was a woman in the recording.”

Despite the allegations of espionage, Gubernko said she know’s Kagan as an upstanding community activist and never doubted his allegiance to the United States.

“I knew him for many years, he’s helped the community, he’s a good journalist,” she said. “He doesn’t strike me as a spy.”

Furthermore, the fact that these accusations are being pushed during the campaign season is not lost on Gubernko or her husband.

“It’s election time,” Gubernko said. “It’s pretty obvious what’s going on.”

It’s worth noting that a “Bella” and “Lazar Gubenko” together contributed $100 to Kagan’s campaign, as did a “Svetlana Gubenko” of the same zip code. We assume the first two are the same people mentioned in the article, and the third is a relative.

In response to the allegations, Kagan alluded to the possibility that the calls were the result of a rival campaign, though he wouldn’t specify which one.

“My campaign is about helping people and solving community problems, Somebody doesn’t want me winning this race and they’re using every tactic to oppose me,” Kagan told Brooklyn Daily. “People who have volunteered and donated to my campaign have expressed their outrage. But I believe the people in this district are smart, hard working, and they’ll vote for me on Sept. 10, no matter what.”

Has anyone received these calls? Let us know!

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  • zev-is-a-bigot

    Zev Yourman is a bigoted piece of shit. He’s attacked others, none Russians included, with the same accusation. He needs to committed. Ari might not be perfect but he’s not a KGB agent. That idiot is trying to turn a council race into a sideshow for his bigoted pleasure. Shame on him.

  • galina

    They are both idiots.

  • citizen

    my friend received this call. And even though a call itself is a bad taste, Kagan’s past is very questionable. According to his bio he graduated from a military institutions. And as far as I know this is a military political institution where only loyal communists were welcomed. He also became a communist party member where most people left the party because after 1986 the real history of USSR and its communist party became public. I am wondering how Kagan will answer a very simple question “Why he became a communist after 1986?”

  • Vivi

    I agree with citizen kagans past I shady and he never before denied the aligations my grandfather tells me back home they feared people like him now only Jews and that was the time that it was not need to join KGB like he claims that he needed to do so he can survive My opinion on this election is that the only candidate good for us is igor oberman so please let’s bring him in go vote we can’t afford any of the other clowns igor is honest will work for us and make us proud

    • Leonid

      You are worried about Kagan’s “shady past”. I am worried about Oberman’s present politics. Poor people in the co-op can not afford him as Board President. Oberman is fighting with everyone who is in his way to control co-op funds.

      http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2013/06/obermans-trump-village-troubles-attracting-attention-in-council-race/

      What does Oberman have on his record to become City Council?
      Reduce maintenance in the co-op? It is only for a few months before the election. Shareholders do not even have financial statements. You can only see thousands of dollars from co-op contractors to the Oberman’s campaign.
      Who benefits from these nasty calls in the City Council race?

  • jj

    i got a robo call last night telling me not to vote for kagan. this one was because he is supposedly against tenants. the robo calls are apparently geared toward the population of who is being called. i was so revolted by the repeated statement “don’t vote for kagan” that it made me want to vote for kagan. i kept listening for who it was they wanted me to vote for. no name. just don’t vote for kagan. if you want me to vote for your guy tell me why. if you just want to bash someone- i wouldn’t vote for you for anything. at this point i’m leaning toward kagan for that reason alone. btw i tried to look up what all the candidates have said and found nothing anti tenant about kagan, so it seems someone is willing to make up anything just so people don’t vote for kagan.

    • citizen

      The call came up because Kagan got endorsed by REBNY, Look up and you find what this organization stands for. They are spending thousands of dollars for Kagan campaign. Why? I do agree that those calls are tasteless but when most of the candidates have no record to run on, this is what you have. You would never get this kind of call from Chaim Deutsch campaign because he has a proven record and he does not have to be involved in dirty tricks.

  • ari-kagan-is-a-bigot

    ari kagan is a bigot….kagan claims “the russians cleaned up brighton beach”….which means they drove blacks out of the neighborhood…along with some well-publicized lynchings…russians refuse to rent or sell real estate to afro-americans.congressman hakeem jeffries is a self-hating black for supporting kagan. russian bigotry runs so deep that christine quinn refuses to campaign in brighton beach due to anti-gay bias

    • citizen

      This is not true. If you judge all Russians by BS Kagan says, shame on you!

  • peter the great

    ari kagan is best man.kgb is very very strong. very very strong.black people is stupid criminals same like polish people.