Eleven Days of Hell: A Terrifying True Story of Kidnap, Torture and Dramatic Rescue by the FBI and the KGB
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On January 6, 1992 Yvonne Weinstock and her then-husband Danny landed in Moscow on a business trip. They had just left the airport when they were ambushed, kidnapped and held for ransom for 11 horrifying days in a dilapidated country house by a gang of Russian "gypsies" who were in reality far more sinister -- cold-blooded conspirators in a sinister plot that joined the Russian Mob, ex-KGB agents and early al-Qaeda operatives looking to fund terrorism, no matter the cost of human life. As told by Yvonne Weinstock (now Bornstein), who survived, but will never be free of its painful echoes, this is the incredible story of those 11 days of hell, and of one of history's unlikeliest rescue operations -- which against all odds allied the FBI and Russian intelligence agencies for the first and only time in history. Reliving the agony, horror and torture she endured, she also unravels the twists and turns of the rescue mission from her own research into the confidential case, skillfully weaving a heart-thumping narrative of drama and intrigue worthy of a top-notch spy novel. Yvonne writes from the heart about the devastating impact of the kidnapping on her marriage and her life, and the change of attitude it had on her that resulted in a belated appreciation for the simple, meaningful things she had come to overlook in her drive to the top of the corporate business world.. In the end, though, she lives uneasily with the memory of her 11 days of hell, she took from it lessons in life that apply to all of us.
It was as if a business had sprouted out of the ground without us having to do much of anything, and almost out of a sense of guilt about that, we repaid the efficacious Matthew by giving him a nominal salary of $40,000. More rewardingly, we named him co-director with us in Video Technology—which was extraordinarily generous of us, given that it’s customary for directors of any company to kick in equal shares of money. The amount of equity that Matthew had paid for in Video Technology was
insurrection. That would lead to a twenty-month war that claimed 100,000 Chechen lives and thousands of Russian soldiers. It would also incubate some of the world’s most bloodthirsty terrorists. Yvonne and Danny, like most of the world, knew or cared little about these geopolitical developments and did not have any inkling of how they might be related to their kidnapping. It would take time for those pieces to fit together. Yet the fact that these people all around them seemed to be not
see him brought back alive. I walked meekly to the big pot of water. I took off my pants and underwear and ran the wet sponge over my lower body, washing out the stench and the grime. Then I put my pants back on and found my way back upstairs. The house was oppressively hot, and my cheeks felt like they were burning, particularly the one Sascha had slapped. But my hands and feet were ice cold. I was shivering. I thought I might be going through the first stage of shock. I also knew I had to
Miasnikov? Had he risen from the grave? Danny blinked to make sure it was really him. Damn, it was. Had Miasnikov been lying low in order to throw the authorities off his scent? Was he called back now because he could provide some cover as a ‘respectable businessman’? Did that mean the plot was falling apart? Whatever the explanation, Danny’s anger about Grigory resurfaced. He wanted to rip him to shreds. Trying to think rationally about what Miasnikov’s return meant, he wondered if his and
approval, Andrei would say something to him in Russian. I wondered: Who is this big shot? He looked like he himself was a gangster who had stepped out of a B-movie. Around forty years old, dark-featured, his hairline receding, he wore a vivid red shirt and black tie under a black leather jacket—a pearl-handled revolver on his hip. After a while, he smiled and introduced himself as Colonel Vladimir Rushailo and congratulated us in broken English—although he seemed as if he really wanted us to