The Miami Herald did some remarkable reporting on Florida blogger/private investigator Stanislav Doudnik, aka Steve Cohen, a character who seems straight out of a spy novel. The Herald reports that there’s no evidence that Doudnik was anything but a pro-Trump observer and broadcaster to Russians in the U.S. and in Russia during the MAGA sedition riot but he has “a controversial past, a curious present and seems a contradiction.”
That’s putting it mildly.
From the Herald:
In his day job as private detective, staying in the background and under the radar is paramount. Yet on Jan. 6 and over the weeks that followed, the Florida detective made himself a very public figure, appearing across the globe on that most public of forums, the internet, and on Russian TV. He warned that America was bowing to radicals like antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement and was on the verge of embracing socialism.
Public records show Doudnik, 45, came to the United States in 1995 at the age of 19 and has lived in South Florida since then, mostly in Broward County. He was an émigré from Tashkent, the capital of what today is Uzbekistan but had been long under rule of the Soviet Union until its dissolution at the end of 1991. He’s a member of an international group of detectives that includes Russians who openly boast of their work for the FSB, Russia’s feared spy agency.
In South Florida, he’s operated a number of companies, including those that do fingerprinting and conduct background checks. In a period of less than a year in 2013 and 2014, Doudnik divorced twice and legally changed his name to Steve Cohen, for reasons he has declined to discuss. But he broadcasts under his birth surname, going by Steve Doudnik on YouTube and Instagram. He uses Steve Cohen on his company website for his current company, General PI, in South Florida, and on the website of General PI Latam, his pairing in Costa Rica with another Soviet émigré.
Doudnik/Cohen claims to be a former law enforcement officer and FBI agent but he was neither, according to the Herald. He is for sure a fervent Trump supporter with connections to some eyebrow-raising people, including his partner in Costa Rica, a former Soviet fighter in Afghanistan who owns security businesses and boasts on Facebook, “I can FIX most of your problems in Central America.”
But the important thing about Doudnik is his appearance at the January 6th insurrection, followed by his public assist in the Russian effort to blame the left for it.
The Daily Beast reports that Doudnik broadcast on YouTube, in Russian, on his way to Capitol, “We’re ready, Russian speakers don’t surrender! Everyone here can confirm this. We’re for our president. I hope we will defeat those bastards.” Later, he expressed disappointment at not seeing any antifa or Black Lives Matter at the Capitol insurrection. But on Russian state TV, he claimed Trump supporters were the victims of some antifa trap:
He claimed that the police allowed “antifa” to break the windows, enter the Capitol and take selfies inside. He disingenuously asserted that having broken into the Capitol, “antifa” subsequently left and innocent Trump supporters “entered the trap,” solely because they were “invited” to come in and the doors were already open. Having described this surreal scenario, Doudnik proceeded to clarify that he was nowhere near the Capitol and found out what supposedly happened from fellow pro-Trump participants staying in the same hotel.
Doudnik repeatedly appeared on Russian TV after January 6 with a Russian-speaking emigré from Crimea named Elena Nikitskaya, the Herald reports. The paper describes her as a “stay-at-home mother of twins and social-media manager” who “seems to have evolved in the past year to prominent journalist on Russian television.”
A recently declassified intelligence community report on foreign threats to the 2020 presidential election states, “Russian online influence actors generally promoted former President Trump and his commentary, including repeating his political messaging on the election results.”
I have no idea what Doudnik/Cohen’s relationship with Russia is, if any. But there are a lot of dots that look connectable.