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 Post subject: Cold war - The Cambridge Spies
Post Number:#11  PostPosted: 12 Jul 2010 09:55 
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Failure to trust

Ever since the Bolshevik Revolution, when a British secret service plot nearly brought down the new Communist government, the KGB had regarded the SIS as the most sophisticated and ingenious of all the capitalist intelligence services, capable of all sorts of duplicity and convoluted conspiracies.

So although the KGB had recruited four young Englishmen who appeared dedicated to their cause, was it just possible that the SIS had deliberately placed these men in the path of the Russian recruiter? Was it possible that although the KGB believed that these four agents had penetrated the British establishment, the very opposite was the case - Philby, Burgess, Maclean and Blunt had instead penetrated the KGB?

The KGB files show that a powerful section of the KGB believed that this was the case. Officers argued that it had been all too easy for the Cambridge ring. Could the British authorities be so stupid to as to allow men of such left-wing backgrounds into positions of trust in the establishment? How could Philby, who had helped Communists escape from Vienna and had then married a Viennese Communist, get through the security checks that the SIS must carry out on all those it recruited?

This suspicion tainted the KGB careers of all four. None of them was entirely trusted. None of the important information they sent to Moscow was accepted at face value, unless it could be confirmed from other sources.

Moscow's spymasters argued that they could not be sure they were not having disinformation deliberately fed to them, with the intention of misleading the KGB. And all the while the KGB wasted the agents' valuable time by trying to trip them up, trying to prove that their loyalty really lay with Britain.

Looking for discrepancies

With the Germans at the gates of Moscow in 1941, the KGB bombarded Philby with orders to write his autobiography yet again, hoping to find in the new version some discrepancy with which to tax him. Even the patient Philby, who is never known to have once said a bad word about the KGB, to anyone who spoke to him, got fed up.

His controller reported to Moscow: 'We've recently raised the issue with 'S' [Philby] about his submitting a summarising, complete and detailed autobiography, with notes on all his contacts, all his work with us, the English institutions, and the like. But 'S' says that he doesn't have the time, that in his opinion, now is the time that attention should be paid primarily to getting information, and not to writing various biographies. We pointed out the error of his conclusions to 'S'.'

And when Philby was not writing and re-writing reports about himself, the KGB wanted him to find out the names of Soviet citizens who might have been recruited by the SIS station chief in Moscow. When Philby looked at the SIS files, and reported that the SIS had not recruited anybody yet, the KGB asked Blunt the same question. When he confirmed Philby's reply, the KGB concluded that this was evidence that Blunt was, like Philby, a British plant, and the British conspiracy to penetrate was more widespread that the KGB had imagined.

Dealing with suspicion

Once the KGB had convinced itself that the Cambridge spy ring was most likely a British conspiracy against the Soviet Union it faced a difficult decision. How was it to handle this?

If it cut off all contact with the Cambridge ring and it later turned out that its agents were genuinely loyal to the USSR, then the KGB would be blamed. Those officers running the Cambridge ring might be accused of sabotage. They might be shot. All right, then, Moscow reasoned, let's pretend that nothing has happened and do our best to reinforce Philby's conviction that we trust him and his ring completely.

And so the game of deceit and double-dealing continued. The Cambridge spies were deceiving their colleagues, their service, their families and their country. They did this in the sincere belief that they were serving a greater cause, through an elite intelligence service, the KGB,

which fathered and mothered them and appeared to trust them totally. But the KGB, in turn, was deceiving the Englishmen, because it really believed that they were playing a treble game and were all traitors to the Communist cause.

The conclusion from all this is that the main threat to intelligence agents comes not from the counter-intelligence service of the country in which they are operating, but from their own centre, their own people.

In a dirty bogus business, riddled with deceit, manipulation and betrayal, an intelligence service maintains it sanity by developing its own concept of what it believes to be the truth. Those agents who confirm this perceived truth - even if it is wrong - prosper. Those who deny it - even if they are right - fall under suspicion.

From that moment on, the better that agent's information, the greater the suspicion with which he or she is treated. When other agents offer confirmation, the suspicion spreads, until the whole corrupt concern collapses, only for a new generation of paranoid personalities to start afresh.

Knowing this, anyone interested in the spy world should reflect on the moral problems of espionage, and how they might be confronted.

Perhaps one way would to be to consider whether we need intelligence services in the 21st century. They are only a comparatively recent phenomenon (the SIS dates from 1911, the KGB from 1917, and the CIA from as recently as 1947). It could be that nations have been the victim of a vast confidence trick to deceive us about the necessity and the value of spies.

About the author

Phillip Knightley is the author of The Second Oldest Profession: The Spy as Bureaucrat, Patriot, Fantasist and Whore (Pimlico) and Philby: KGB Masterspy (Vintage). In 30 years of writing about espionage, he has met just about every major spy and spymaster from all sides in the espionage wars.


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 Post subject: Re: Russian and other Spies
Post Number:#12  PostPosted: 12 Jul 2010 09:57 
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Anthony Blunt - Spying was my biggest mistake


The memoirs of former spy Anthony Blunt tell how he regards his decision to spy for Russia as the biggest mistake of his life.

Anthony Blunt was revealed as a traitor in 1979 although he had been discovered more than a decade earlier.

The memoirs of former spy Anthony Blunt reveal how he regarded passing British secrets to Communist Russia as the "biggest mistake of my life".

He supplied hundreds of secret documents to the Soviets while a wartime agent for MI5.

Blunt was part of the infamous Cambridge spy ring, with Kim Philby, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean.

His manuscript, at the British Library in London, says a "naive" desire to help Moscow beat fascism motivated him.

Blunt wrote the 30,000-word document after former prime minister Margaret Thatcher exposed his treachery in 1979.

The revelations had led to a man who had worked as Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures being stripped of his knighthood.

His version of events was given to the library in 1984, the year after his death, on condition that it was not displayed for 25 years.

In it, he describes his recruitment by Moscow: "I found that Cambridge had been hit by Marxism and that most of my friends among my junior contemporaries - including Guy Burgess - had either joined the Communist Party or were at least very close to it politically."

I realised quite clearly that I would take any risk in this country, rather than go to Russia

However, Burgess - who had already begun working for Stalin's Comintern - persuaded him not to join the party but instead to work undercover.

"What I did not realise at the time is that I was so naive politically that I was not justified in committing myself to any political action of this kind," says Blunt.

"The atmosphere in Cambridge was so intense, the enthusiasm for any anti-fascist activity was so great, that I made the biggest mistake of my life."

Blunt's memoirs reveal little about his espionage activities during World War II, during which he passed on top-secret material decoded from German radio traffic.

He claims he later became disillusioned with Moscow, wishing only to "return to my normal academic life".

However, he says his knowledge of the others in the ring made this impossible.

By 1951, Philby had become head of the counter Soviet section of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6.

Suspicion


He warned Maclean to flee to Russia - which he did, along with Burgess - after learning he was about to be unmasked as a traitor.

Maclean's defection led to suspicion falling on Blunt, who was also advised to flee.

But Blunt wrote: "I realised quite clearly that I would take any risk in this country, rather than go to Russia."

He was eventually denounced in 1964 and confessed when offered immunity, giving the authorities "all the information that I had about the Russian activities".

He went back to work "not only relieved but confident", believing it was in the security services' own interests to keep his story quiet.

So after the "appalling shock" of his public exposure, he says he considered taking his own life.

Not wishing to upset his friends and family further, he instead sought refuge in "whisky and concentrated work" - the product of which is now on display.


Video about Anthony Blunt


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 Post subject: Re: Russian and other Spies
Post Number:#13  PostPosted: 12 Jul 2010 09:59 
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MI6: A Century in the Shadows

Much of what the public knows about the UK's Secret Service, or MI6,
comes from the world of fiction - whether Ian Fleming's James Bond or John Le Carre's George Smiley.


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The intertwining of fact and fiction dates back to the birth of the British intelligence service. In the early years of the 20th Century, the British public was whipped into a frenzy of "spy mania" driven by novelists and newspapers.

It was an era in which the UK was fearful of the rise of Germany and particularly its navy.

William Le Queux wrote the novel, The Invasion of 1910, which was serialised in the Daily Mail. The paper took care to adjust the invasion route the Germans were supposed to take in order to include the towns where its circulation was highest.

There was a widespread belief that the Germans were everywhere, posing as waiters and barbers, stealing secrets and preparing for war. Public pressure grew to do something and so a Secret Service Bureau was established. One half, which would become MI5, was designed to hunt for German spies. The other, which would become MI6, was to steal German secrets.

Older mythology


Even at that early stage, fiction was rubbing off on the real world of espionage, says Alan Judd, the biographer of Sir Mansfield Cumming, who was the first head of what became MI6.

"Le Queux knew some of the people in the War Office, I had no doubt that he had some influence on it all - certainly the culture and the climate," says Judd.

But the mythology created by fiction may have gone back even further, to the era of the Great Game - the battle between the British and Russian empires for supremacy of Central Asia, which began in the early 19th Century.

Britain had no professional spying service at the time, just the occasional gentleman amateur and soldier. But their stories were written up for the public, most dramatically in Rudyard Kipling's Kim.

These forerunners of the professional spy "did some very brave things" says Sir Colin McColl, MI6's chief between 1989 and 1994.

"And so there was a sort of general feeling that this was a good thing done by brave people. And that was followed by a whole series of authors in the first part of the 20th Century - [John] Buchan and so on. I mean terrific stuff."

The fiction created a romanticism around spies which attracted many people to work for the service.

Among them was Daphne Park, who joined in the 1940s and rose to become a controller at MI6.

"I suppose it did start with reading [Rudyard Kipling's] Kim, reading John Buchan and reading Sapper and Bulldog Drummond and I think from a quite early age I did want to go into intelligence. I didn't know what kind or how it would be. But I always wanted it."

As well as attracting individuals to sign up for desk jobs, the daring antics of fictional spies also helped MI6 in its core work of recruiting agents - people willing to spy for the service and pass on secrets.

"There have been a lot of people with whom we've dealt across the world... [that] have come to us or worked with us because they felt we knew far more than anybody else knew," says Sir Colin.

And much of the world knows MI6 though the man known as 007. James Bond's creator Ian Fleming never served in MI6 but he did work in naval intelligence during World War II and modelled Bond on a number of real life intelligence officers.

His creation - particularly once it moved to cinema - has done much to define public perceptions of MI6, although the real chief is called C not M. Egyptian intelligence services reportedly bought up copies of Fleming's books to use on their training courses.

So do people think it is like Bond?

"They usually do," says Sir Colin. "[But] no it isn't you see… we were not in the business of going out and shooting people down dark allies. That was a completely different world."

But Bond still has his uses. "Everybody watches Bond. And so why shouldn't a little bit of Bond rub off on our reputation," says Sir Colin. "If you looked at the number of people who helped us at any one time, a large number of them were Brits who were doing it for nothing - perhaps a bottle of whisky at Christmas. You know we had wonderful support and that is hugely valuable... based on the reputation."

However, Fleming's character seems to have made less of an impression on the Russians, according to former KGB colonel Mikhail Lyubimov.

"Bond was never considered to be a serious film in the KGB," says Mr Lyubimov, curtly.

The other figure who has done much to shape the public understanding of MI6 is John le Carre. The portrayal of often flawed characters draws a mixed reception from real life spies.

"I mean there were two feelings I think in the service over the years," explains Sir Colin McColl. "There were those who were furious with John Le Carre because he depicts everybody as such disagreeable characters and they are always plotting against each other and so on… So people got rather cross about that.

"But I thought it was terrific because, again, it carried the name that had been provided by Bond and John Buchan and everybody else, it gave us another couple of generations of being in some way special."

Ms Park, it's fair to say, is not a fan.

"He dares to say that it is a world of cold betrayal. It's not. It's a world of trust. You can't run an agent without trust on both sides." Le Carre, who served briefly in MI5 and MI6, declined to be interviewed.

As the British Secret Service has come out of the shadows, some of the myth and mystery has certainly disappeared. Some insiders believe this is inevitable and for the best, laying to rest some of the crazier ideas about the world of MI6.

But there are a few, all the same, who may rather miss it.


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 Post subject: Re: Russian and other Spies
Post Number:#14  PostPosted: 12 Jul 2010 11:12 
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Most Humiliating Spy Flop in Russian History

12 July 2010 Moscow Times
By Vladimir Frolov


President Dmitry Medvedev made the right decision to downplay the importance of the latest spy scandal between Russia and the United States and to arrange for a quick exchange of 10 clandestine Russian operatives. This should allow the scandal to die off quickly, while letting Washington and Moscow maintain the momentum of the “reset.”

Medvedev now has to order a high-profile investigation into the most humiliating intelligence failure in Russia’s history. He needs to appoint a commission led by a respected former intelligence official to develop a report on the investigation.

It is now evident that the awkward timing of the arrests — two days after Medvedev’s departure from Washington — had more to do with a U.S. intelligence operation to secure the escape of a highly placed mole in Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, or SVR, than with hawks scheming to undo the reset. It is obvious from the documents filed in U.S. courts that the FBI had been alerted to the identities of Russia’s undercover agents from the moment they arrived in the United States. It was an act of betrayal by someone from a very small circle of the SVR’s most senior officers.

Herein lies a political entrapment that Medvedev needs to evade. The spin on the spy story from Washington is that the operation was the brainchild of former President Vladimir Putin — U.S. hawks’ favorite bogeyman and cold warrior — who allegedly ordered it in the early 2000s. That it has ended in such a humiliating failure discredits Putin and his style of government, which relies on the use of security services to achieve political objectives.

Another shot at Putin has been the recent publication on U.S. web sites of top-secret reports from the Federal Security Service — some intended for Putin’s eyes only — detailing highly sensitive Russian intelligence operations in the former Soviet republics from 2002 to 2006.

This sends an unsubtle message that the United States views Putin as a “man of the past” and wants to deal with Medvedev after 2012.

Medvedev should be wary of U.S. efforts to bolster his political standing by discrediting Putin and his power base within the security services.

He needs to meet with the undercover agents who were expelled from the United States and energize the demoralized Russian intelligence community with a new mission that best suits his objectives.

Vladimir Frolov is president of LEFF Group, a government-relations and PR company.


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 Post subject: Re: Russian and other Spies
Post Number:#15  PostPosted: 13 Jul 2010 11:08 
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Nostalgia for Soviet Spies

12 July 2010 By Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan

The Russian spy scandal has focused attention on whether the use of “illegals,” undercover agents with no diplomatic immunity, makes any sense in the 21st century. Comparisons to Soviet-era illegals who were quite successful during the Cold War are not valid. The Cold War was a war of ideologies, and the moral corruption of the enemy was the chief objective.

Image


But today, the value of illegals is negligible. It is obvious that 11 — or even 1,011 — Russian illegals in search of “hidden information” from open sources could never harm U.S. interests or undermine its “moral fiber.”

The spy flap is evidence of a serious crisis within Russia’s intelligence. The Foreign Intelligence Service, or SVR, is unique for two reasons: It has its own academy, and it uses illegal agents. Both the CIA, and MI6 only have training courses, and neither has attempted to send U.S. or British citizens to Russia disguised as local citizens.

The golden days of Russian espionage were during the era of Comintern, the international Communist organization active from 1919 to 1943. In those times, the Soviet Union used Western Communists and their loyalists as spies, but they were eliminated in the Stalinist purges of the late 1930s, forcing the intelligence service to create a special school to train former peasants to work in an unfamiliar environment.

The KGB’s biggest successes of the late Cold War era were the recruitment of Aldrich Ames, who directed the CIA’s analysis section covering Soviet intelligence operations, and Robert Hanssen, who worked in the counterintelligence unit of the FBI. They were both recruited by Viktor Cherkashin, a KGB agent with diplomatic cover at the Soviet Embassy — not by illegals.

But it looks like the Foreign Intelligence Service cannot give up on old ways. One reason is that it was never required to do so and was not reformed in the 1990s. The other reason is that it prides itself on maintaining its old traditions. But these outdated traditions have crippled the agency. Some old-time advocates of illegal agents claim that they are valuable resources during wartime. Located within enemy territory, the argument goes, these undercover agents can deliver weapons and lead a partisan campaign against the enemy. But it is difficult to imagine that this would be relevant in post-Cold War U.S.-Russian relations.

Igor Sutyagin was the only civilian among the four people whom the United States received in the spy exchange. Sutyagin’s arrest in October 1999 coincided with the Federal Security Service’s campaign against several dozen scientists and academics. Amnesty International and other human rights activists both in Russia and in the West declared Sutyagin a political prisoner.

Sutyagin faced absurd accusations that the open information he collected included state secrets. The fact that a former intelligence service agent served as a jury member for the trial confirmed the weakness of the FSB’s position. To be fair, however, the liberal media in Russia and in the West largely ignored or downplayed the shady consulting firm Alternative Future that hired Sutyagin as a consultant and vanished without a trace after his arrest.

Sutyagin’s confession, which was a mandatory condition to secure a presidential pardon and extradition, changed the situation, hinting that the FSB could not or did not want to tell the court what sort of secrets Alternative Future really obtained from Sutyagin.

In times of war — including the Cold War — intelligence organizations were the ones that decided what the public was allowed to know about their activities. But in the post-Cold War era, this has changed. Americans have the right to know why a trial for spies alleged to pose a serious treat to their country’s security was canceled, and Russian society must ask whether the mistakes of the intelligence service will be investigated.

Another good question that the public needs to ask: How long does the Foreign Intelligence Service intend to cling to its old ways and keep building false myths about its activities?

Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan are security analysts with Agentura.ru. This comment appeared in EJ.ru

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 Post subject: Re: Russian and other Spies
Post Number:#16  PostPosted: 13 Jul 2010 11:51 
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Famous Cases

Aldrich Hazen Ames


Aldrich Hazen Ames was arrested by the FBI in Arlington, Virginia on espionage charges on February 24, 1994. At the time of his arrest, Ames was a 31-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), who had been spying for the Russians since 1985. Arrested with him was his wife, Rosario Ames, who had aided and abetted his espionage activities.

Following guilty pleas by both Ames and his wife on April 28, 1994, Ames was sentenced to incarceration for life without the possibility of parole. Rosario Ames was sentenced on October 20, 1994 to 63 months in prison.

Ames was a CIA case officer, who spoke Russian and specialized in the Russian intelligence services, including the KGB, the USSR's foreign intelligence service. His initial overseas assignment was in Ankara, Turkey, where he targeted Russian intelligence officers for recruitment. Later, he worked in New York City and Mexico City, Mexico. On April 16, 1985, while assigned to the CIA's Soviet/ East European Division at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, he secretly volunteered to KGB officers at the USSR Embassy, Washington, D.C. Shortly thereafter, the KGB paid him $50,000.

During the summer of 1985, Ames met several times with a Russian diplomat to whom he passed classified information about CIA and FBI human sources, as well as technical operations targeting the Soviet Union. In December 1985, Ames met with a Moscow-based KGB officer in Bogota, Colombia. In July 1986, Ames was transferred to Rome, Italy.

In Rome, Ames continued his meetings with the KGB, including a Russian diplomat assigned in Rome and a Moscow-based KGB officer. At the conclusion of his assignment in Rome, Ames received instructions from the KGB regarding clandestine contacts in the Washington, D.C. area, where he would next be assigned. In addition, the KGB wrote to Ames that he had been paid $1.88 million by them in the four years since he volunteered.

Upon his return to Washington, D.C. in 1989, Ames continued to pass classified documents to the KGB, using "dead drops" or prearranged hiding places where he would leave the documents to be picked up later by KGB officers from the USSR Embassy in Washington. In return, the KGB left money and instructions for Ames, usually in other "dead drops."

In the meantime, the CIA and FBI learned that Russian officials who had been recruited by them were being arrested and executed. These human sources had provided critical intelligence information about the USSR, which was used by U.S. policy makers in determining U.S. foreign policy. Following analytical reviews and receipt of information about Ames's unexplained wealth, the FBI opened an investigation in May, 1993.

FBI Special Agents and Investigative Specialists conducted intensive physical and electronic surveillance of Ames during a ten-month investigation. Searches of Ames's residence revealed documents and other information linking Ames to the Russian foreign intelligence service. On October 13, 1993, Investigative Specialists observed a chalk mark Ames made on a mailbox confirming to the Russians his intention to meet them in Bogota, Colombia. On November 1st, Special Agents observed him and, separately, his Russian handler in Bogota. When Ames planned foreign travel, including a trip to Moscow, as part of his official duties, a plan to arrest him was approved.

Following their arrest and guilty pleas, Ames was debriefed by FBI Special Agents, at which time he detailed compromising the identities of CIA and FBI human sources, some of whom were executed by USSR authorities. Pursuant to his plea agreement, he forfeited his assets to the United States, and $547,000 was turned over to the Justice Department's Victims Assistance Fund. Ames is serving his sentence in the federal prison system. Rosario Ames completed her sentence and was released.

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 Post subject: Re: Russian and other Spies
Post Number:#17  PostPosted: 11 Nov 2010 17:45 
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Reuters
MOSCOW | Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:17pm GMT

Top Russian spy defects after betraying U.S. ring.

The head of Russia's deep cover U.S. spying operations has betrayed the network and defected, a Russian paper said on Thursday, potentially giving the West one of its biggest intelligence coups since the end of the Cold War.
Russian spy suspects are seen in this courtroom
sketch during an appearance in
Manhattan Federal Court in New York


The newspaper, Kommersant, named the man as Colonel Shcherbakov, and said he was responsible for unmasking a Russian spy ring in the United States in June whose arrests humiliated Moscow and clouded a "reset" in ties with Washington.

The betrayal would make Shcherbakov one of the most senior turncoats since the fall of the Soviet Union and could have consequences for Russia's proud Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) and its chief, former prime minister Mikhail Fradkov.

Kommersant said Shcherbakov -- whose first name it did not give -- had been responsible for 'illegal spying' in the United States, meaning spies operating under deep cover without diplomatic immunity.

"There has never been such a failure by Section S, the American department that Shcherbakov directed," said Gennady Gudkov, deputy chairman of the Russian parliament's security committee, confirming that Kommersant's report was accurate.

The paper said Shcherbakov had left Russia days before U.S. authorities announced the spy ring arrests on June 28 -- and quoted a Kremlin official as saying a Russian hit squad was probably already planning to kill him.

"We know who he is and where he is," the unidentified official was quoted as saying. "Do not doubt that a Mercader has been sent after him already."

Ramon Mercader was the Russian agent who murdered exiled Bolshevik Leon Trotsky with an ice axe in Mexico in 1940.

SPY SWAP

All the 10 spies arrested in the United States pleaded guilty and were deported to Russia in a spy swap less than two weeks later.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, himself a former KGB spy, greeted them as heroes. He said traitors came to a bad end, and that the informer would be left to the mercy of his own kind.

"The special services live by their own laws and everyone knows what these laws are," he said.

Despite Moscow's tough talk, the revelation could damage the reputation of the SVR.

Kommersant cited an unidentified source as saying that Fradkov could be sacked and the SVR folded into the powerful Federal Security Service (FSB), the main successor of the Soviet-era KGB.

"The damage inflicted by Shcherbakov is so enormous that a special commission should be created to analyse the reasons which allowed this complete failure to happen," Gudkov said.

"And then we should decide what should happen to the SVR and its unique Section S."

Putin, who had a stint as FSB chief during his rise to power, has installed many allies from his KGB days in top government posts, and former members of the security services are considered to wield a great deal of power within the Kremlin's walls.

Foreign Intelligence Service spokesman Sergei Ivanov declined to comment on the Kommersant report, saying: "We have no comment on this and will not have any."

U.S. authorities said in June that the Russian spy ring had been operating in the United States for 10 years, its members adopting false identities and blending in while they tried to gather intelligence for Moscow.

The announcement came four days after President Dmitry Medvedev left the United States after an upbeat summit with President Barack Obama during which they hailed a "reset" of long-strained ties.

Kommersant reported that Shcherbakov had long been a double agent and had refused an offer of promotion before the scandal erupted, presumably to avoid a routine lie detector test.

(Writing by Thomas Grove and Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

As usual, to read the original story click the newspaper boy Image

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More about Anna Chapman





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 Post subject: Re: Russian and other Spies
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Ireland Expels Diplomat Over Fake Spy Passports

02 February 2011 The Associated Press

DUBLIN — Ireland ordered a Russian diplomat expelled Tuesday after an investigation found that the country's intelligence service used six stolen Irish identities as cover for spies operating in the United States.

Ireland opened the investigation after the FBI smashed a Russian spy ring in June involving 10 men and women posing as American suburbanites in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Virginia. Many had been living apparently normal U.S. lives since the mid-1990s.

It was the second time in 2010 that foreign intelligence agents were found to be using fake Irish passports. Ireland last year expelled an Israeli diplomat after ruling that eight members of a Mossad hit team had traveled on fake Irish passports during a Dubai assassination of a Hamas official.

Both episodes highlighted the value — and apparent ease — of abusing Irish identification documents when undercover agents want to travel unrecognized.

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin said Ireland's police investigation into the Russians' counterfeit passports had determined that Russian diplomatic officials stole the details off genuine passports taken from Irish people during their applications for tourist visas to Russia.

One spy, Anna Chapman — who since has cashed in on her good looks by posing semi-nude in magazines and fronting a Russian TV show on the occult — used passport details stolen from the managing director of a Dublin charity for orphans called To Russia With Love.

Another spy, who lived in New Jersey under the name Richard Murphy but was later revealed to be Russian national Vladimir Guryev, used passports copied in the name of Eunan Doherty, a firefighter from the northwest Irish county of Donegal. Guryev used the Irish passport when traveling to Europe to meet Russian handlers.

The United States in July exchanged the 10 spies for four people convicted in Russia of spying for the West.

Most of the Russian spies had instructions to work their way into influential business and political circles, but they largely failed in that mission. Their fabricated identities included surnames common in Ireland.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said a senior Irish official had issued a face-to-face reprimand Tuesday to Russia's ambassador to Ireland, Vladimir Rakhmanin.

In a statement it said the ambassador was told "that the activities of Russian intelligence services in connection with the forgery of Irish passports and the effective theft of the identity of six Irish citizens are completely unacceptable and not the behavior the [Irish] government would expect from a country with which we have friendly relations."

Russia's embassy in Dublin and Foreign Ministry in Moscow declined to comment.

Ireland declined to identify the Russian Embassy official being expelled as punishment, or to specify whether the official was directly linked to the theft or counterfeiting efforts.

"It is regrettable that this action has been necessary. However, the primary responsibility of the government is to ensure the security and well being of Irish citizens, which includes protection of the integrity of Irish passports," the statement said.

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 Post subject: Re: Russian and other Spies
Post Number:#20  PostPosted: 03 Feb 2011 22:37 
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