Valeriy Kostikov and Comrade Kostin
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.
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