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Valeriy Kostikov and Comrade Kostin

The 'Kostin' letter
Letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington, signed by Lee H. Oswald and mailed on 12 Nov 1963. The letter referred to "my meetings with comrade Kostin."

Commission Exhibit 15.

In the wake of the Kennedy assassination, two aspects of the transcripts of tapped "Oswald" calls in Mexico City drew special attention on the part of CIA analysts. One was a comment that "I went to the Cuban embassy to ask them for my address, because they have it." This led to consternation that perhaps the Cubans were housing Oswald while in Mexico City. The second aspect was a name - Kostikov.

Valeriy Vladimirovich Kostikov was an officer of the Soviet Embassy who was known to be KGB. This by itself was not unusual - after all, CIA officers were housed in the U.S. Embassy. But far more ominously, CIA told the Warren Commission in a long-withheld report that "Kostikov is believed to work for Department Thirteen of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB. It is the Department responsible for executive action, including sabotage and assassination."

The Kostikov name, mentioned only in passing in one phone call, was connected to Oswald in another way. Just a few days prior to the assassination, a letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington was intercepted. Purportedly written by Oswald, this letter referred to "my meetings with comrade Kostin" and noted that "had I been able to reach the Soviet Embassy in Havana as planned, the embassy there would have had time to complete our business."

Mysteries surround both the phone calls and the letter - there are indications that both may have been part of a frame-up of Oswald. There are strong indications that an imposter used Oswald's name in tapped phone calls. The letter, while apparently signed by Oswald, is typed and thus not amenable to a fuller authenticity test. A handwritten draft subsequently entered the record, but the story of its origins is raises further questions.

RESOURCES:

Essays

Overview: The CIA, the Drug Traffic, and Oswald in Mexico, by Peter Dale Scott.

The Fourteen Minute Gap, by Rex Bradford.

CIA Files and the Pre-Assassination Framing of Lee Harvey Oswald, by Peter Dale Scott.

A Model of Mexico City, by Joseph Riley.

Oswald, the CIA, and Mexico City, by John Newman.

The Three Oswald Deceptions: The Operation, the Cover-Up, and the Conspiracy, by Peter Dale Scott.

Listening for Lee, by Joseph Riley.

 

Documents

Warren Report, p.309. Contacts with the Soviet Embassy in the United States. See also p.734, discussing Kostikov vs. Kostin.

Typed letter to the Soviet Embassy, signed by Lee H. Oswald and discussing "recent events since my meetings with Comrade Kostin." Commission Exhibit 15.

Handwritten draft of letter to the Soviet Embassy. Commission Exhibit 103. See also discussion in CD 385, p.321.

24WH332-337, part of Commission Exhibit 2003 listing items taken from Paine household on 23 Nov 1963. This list does not include the handwritten draft which subsequently appeared in the record.

Testimony of Marina Oswald regarding Kostin Letter, starting on page 45 of WH1.

Testimony of Ruth Paine regarding Kostin letter, starting on page 13 of WH3.

Testimony of Michael Paine regarding Kostin letter, starting on page 405 of WH2.

Memo: Contact of Lee Oswald with a Member of Soviet KGB Assassination Department. This letter of 23 Nov 1963 from Pete Begley rang alarm bells regarding the Oswald-Kostikov connection.

Commission Exhibit 2764, a letter from Richard Helms discussing Kostikov vs. Kostin.

Memo from CIA DD/P to FBI Director of 31 Jan 1964, notifying FBI of CIA's response to Warren Commission inquiry regarding Kostin and Kostikov.

Information Developed by CIA on the Activity of Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City , 28 September - 3 October 1963.

HSCA Report, Volume XI, p.154, section entitled: "The Oswalds' contacts with the Soviet Embassy in Washington, DC, after they took up residence in the United States."

Related Starting Points

Books of Interest

    Deep Politics and the Death of JFK
Peter Dale Scott
University of California Press, 1993
 
    Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald
Edward J. Epstein
Ballantine Books, 1978
 
    Plausible Denial
Mark Lane
Skyhorse Publishing, 1991
 
    Case Closed
Gerald L. Posner
Random House, 1993
 
    Lee Harvey Oswald - Report on the Activities of an Imposter who Assassinated President John F. Kennedy
Michael H.B. Eddowes
Self-published, 1978
 
    Khrushchev Killed Kennedy
Michael H.B. Eddowes
Self-published, 1975


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