Ex-Ukrainian Spy Chief: Russian Camps Spreading Chaos

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Voice of America – Mark Snowiss – July 24, 2015) Ukraine’s former intelligence chief says Russia is financing and organizing training camps from within Ukraine’s rebel-controlled eastern provinces in order to destabilize the country. “Up to 30 camps in Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea are training subversive groups, providing them with weapons and sending them on missions throughout Ukraine,” said Valentyn […]

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The Public’s Top Picks for the Pedestal on Lubyanka Square

FSB Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Maria Naum – July 17, 2015) On Aug. 22, 1991 at the peak of euphoria over the failure of the coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, the statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police, was pulled from its pedestal on Lubyanka Square. Since then, the square has remained empty as the public and authorities […]

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Moscow Edges Closer to First Referendum Since Soviet Collapse

FSB Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – June 23, 2015) Moscow looks set to get its first referendum in post-Soviet times – and one of the burning issues on the ballot will be the restoration of a monument to the founder of the secret police to central Moscow. On June 11, the Moscow election committee approved the Communist Party’s […]

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NEWSLINK Kyiv Post: Alexei Bayer, America should teach Ukraine to wage a clandestine war

U.S. Military Convoy Headed to Ukraine, On Highway Near Mountains or Cliffs

Where Ukraine really needs U.S. help is in the area of domestic security. In other words, it needs to fight the kind of war Russia has started – especially now, since the hot conflict in its eastern part has become stationary and the war is entering a clandestine phase.  

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Nemtsov Report Says More Than 200 Russian Soldiers Killed In Ukraine War

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – May 12, 2015) [Report here https://openrussia.org/] More than 200 Russian military personnel have been killed in fighting in eastern Ukraine, according to a report based on research begun by slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. The estimated death toll is one of the main findings of the much-anticipated report on Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict, which […]

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SBU head insists Surkov was in Kyiv on Feb 20-21, 2014

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

KYIV. April 15 (Interfax) – Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko claims that Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov was in Kyiv on February 20-21, 2014. “We are convinced that there is a need to investigate both crimes committed by Ukrainian officials and the role of Russian high-ranking officials in the events in Kyiv’s Maidan. I can confirm that we […]

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Swedish Admiral Admits ‘Russian Submarine’ Was Actually Civilian Boat

Map of Sweden and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Spinella – April 14, 2015) A photo that a retired Swedish naval officer said showed a Russian submarine in Swedish waters last autumn was actually of a much smaller civilian boat, a Swedish admiral told his country’s media Monday. “Analysis revealed that the photograph taken in Stockholm’s inner archipelago was of a smaller boat,” […]

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Is There a Feud Over a New Tsar in the Kremlin?

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Donald N. Jensen – April 1, 2015 – article also appeared at imrussia.org/en/analysis/politics/2217-is-there-a-feud-over-a-new-tsar-in-the-kremlin) Vladimir Putin’s ten-day absence from the public eye has become the most discussed event in Russia this past month, and also highlights the country’s crisis of governance. According to Donald Jensen, resident fellow of the Center for Transatlantic Relations, keeping the increasingly […]

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NEWSWATCH Interfax-Ukraine: All terrorist attacks in Ukraine coordinated by Russian special forces – Nalyvaichenko

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

[“All terrorist attacks in Ukraine coordinated by Russian special forces – Nalyvaichenko” – Interfax-Ukraine – April 1, 2015] Citing a published account by the “Den” (Day) newspaper, Interfax-Ukraine reports on declarations by the head of Ukraine’s SBU security service that Russian special forces are coordinating terrorist attacks out of headquarters in Luhansk and Donetsk. Russian special forces and their representatives have […]

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NEWSWATCH BBC: Vladimir Putin’s formative German years

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

[“Vladimir Putin’s formative German years” – BBC News – Chris Bowlby – Dresden, March 27, 2015] The BBC covers some of Vladimir Putin’s experiences earlier in life, including his first foreign posting as a KGB officer, in East Germany during the collapse of Soviet Communism in eastern Europe. They also explore speculation about the lasting impact of those experiences upon Putin’s perspective towards […]

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Putin Urges FSB: Harder, Faster, Stronger

FSB Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – March 27, 2015) Western governments will attempt to discredit and destabilize Russia, but their efforts will be futile, President Vladimir Putin told Russia’s top security officials Thursday. “We have always had and always will have a proper response to all internal and external threats to national security,” Putin told senior officers of the […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: How Russian Spy Games Are Sabotaging Ukraine’s Intelligence Agency. Ukraine’s security agency, the SBU, has been riddled with Russian spies, sympathizers and turncoats

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

When Moscow-backed separatists were starting their war in east Ukraine last spring, the country’s main security agency sent a covert team to capture a rebel leader. But word of the classified mission leaked out, and three Ukrainian operatives were themselves captured and thrown into a separatist jail. Rebels stripped them to their underwear, bound their wrists and blindfolded them, then […]

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NEWSLINK Moscow Times: Vladimir Frolov, Kadyrov, FSB at War After Nemtsov Death

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

The Chechen connection to the assassination of Russia’s opposition leader Boris Nemtsov is pushing Russia’s spooks into political battles they would rather avoid. The FSB appears to have uncovered signs of a conspiracy that implicates Chechen leaders very close to Ramzan Kadyrov. According to Novaya Gazeta, investigators have found a sustained effort by elements in the Chechen security forces to track and target not only Nemtsov, but several prominent opposition figures and public personalities critical […]

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Moscow Preparing Revolts in Major Ukrainian Cities, Poroshenko Ally Says

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 27, 2015) Having been slowed by Ukrainian resistance and hope to use the Minsk Accords to avoid new sanctions, Moscow is planning to spark uprisings in major Ukrainian cities in March and April before beginning a major military attack on the country in May, according to Yuri Lutsenko, head of the Poroshenko […]

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Experts See Dark Plot in Spate of Mystery Bombings in Ukraine

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – February 26, 2015) As the latest blast in a recent string of mysterious bombings in eastern Ukraine claimed another victim Wednesday, experts warned that there would be more to come – and they could spread the conflict further from the front lines. A Donetsk grocery store became the latest scene of carnage […]

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Moscow Times: Putin Says Russian Intelligence Shows U.S. Is Already Arming Ukraine

Column in Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Feb. 18, 2015) Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed the U.S. is supplying Kiev with lethal weapons, telling reporters that the conflict in Ukraine will not be resolved through military escalation. “According to our intelligence, [U.S.] weapons are already being delivered,” Putin was shown on state television Channel One as telling a press conference on […]

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Historian on Spies and ‘Sosedki’ in Soviet 1960s

Stylized Artis Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Aliide Naylor – December 2, 2014) Historian Sheila Fitzpatrick first arrived in Russia as an Oxford student at the end of the 1960s. Before she and other students went, they had a meeting. “We were all summoned to the [British] Foreign Office to have a briefing. … We were taken down into a basement, with […]

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Spy Malware Deployed Against Russia by Unknown Nation, Report Says

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – November 25, 2014) Russian and Saudi Arabian telecommunications and Internet firms are being targeted by highly advanced cyber espionage malware that is likely being controlled by a Western intelligence agency, The Financial Times reported Monday. Leading computer security company Symantec issued a statement Sunday warning about a new piece of malware known […]

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Interfax: “Refusal of U.S. Senate to restrict NSA powers marks decline of democracy – Pushkov”

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 19 (Interfax) – Head of the State Duma International Affairs Committee is disappointed that the U.S. Senate decided against considering legislation restricting the powers of the National Security Agency (NSA). “The U.S. Senate turned down the bill limiting the spying activeness of NSA. In this way liberties are sacrificed to total control. The decline of democracy,” he twitted […]

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Stratfor: A Struggle Over Russia’s Interior Ministry Could Emerge

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Stratfor.com – November 11, 2014) Summary In recent weeks, rumors that Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev will be replaced have been circulating among Russian media and pundits who watch Moscow. Stratfor has been monitoring the Russian government’s coherence and the strength of its leader, President Vladimir Putin, as the country faces a series of crises involving its faltering economy and tensions […]

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NEWSLINK: Alleged Russian intelligence agent caught outside Kyiv claiming to be FSB general

Stylized Artis Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

[“Alleged Russian intelligence agent caught outside Kyiv claiming to be FSB general (PHOTOS)” – Kyiv Post – October 24, 2014] The Kiev Post covers reports that Ukraine captured a Russian operative connected with Ukrainian separatists, posing as a journalist: Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) says on Oct. 23 it apprehended a high-level Russian intelligence agent and a commissioned military officer […]

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How to Become a Russian Spy

Stylized Artis Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – October 3, 2014) When a young Vladimir Putin decided to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a spy, he headed to the local branch of the KGB in Soviet Leningrad. Wary of unsolicited applicants, the KGB officers turned Putin away, but not without some valuable advice: Go get an education, preferably in […]

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Ukraine Looks To Stalin Era To Root Out Spies

Stylized Artis Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(RFE/RL – rferl.org –  Luke Johnson – September 03, 2014) Kyiv appears to have taken a page from Stalin’s book in a bid to root out pro-Russian spies looking to weaken Ukraine’s defenses from within. Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey has announced the creation of a Special Service, similar to a counterintelligence organization that existed during Josef Stalin’s rule, to deal with subversive […]

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Anders Aslund: RE: Response [re: Ukraine, Russia, Putin, Media, JRL]

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Subject: RE: Response Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 From: Anders Aslund <AAslund@PIIE.COM> Dear David, Thank you for your inordinate attention you have given to my personal words to you. I appreciate your kind consideration. At the same time, I am surprised that anybody can object to me calling your list biased in favor of Putin. Whenever you get a chance, […]

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Britain Announces Well-Timed Litvinenko Inquiry in Open Snub to Russia

file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 22, 2014) Britain is planning to hold a public inquiry into the death of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko while in exile in Britain, news agencies reported Tuesday. Home Secretary Theresa May confirmed that the public inquiry will be held, Reuters reported. The inquiry will open the way for an investigation of whether the […]

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Interfax: Russian official hopes Ukraine crisis will not end security cooperation with USA

File Photo of Partial FSB Headquarters Building Facade

(Interfax – June 17, 2014) First deputy director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), Sergey Smirnov, has expressed hope that the events in Ukraine will not disrupt cooperation between the Russian and US security services, privately-owned news agency Interfax reported on 17 June. “We have always been cooperating, though sometimes, when some events are taking place, cooperation calms down. We […]

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Interfax: Snowden must apply for extension if he decides to stay in Russia – head of Federal Migration Service council

Edward Snowden file photo

MOSCOW. June 2 (Interfax) – Former CIA analyst Edward Snowden will have to ask for extension of his temporary asylum if he decides to stay in Russia, Vladimir Volokh, the head of the Public Council of the Federal Migration Service, told Interfax on Monday. “He has to request an extension of his temporary stay. No additional documents are filed if […]

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Putin’s envoy denies Russia coordinates Ukrainian separatists’ actions

Vladimir Lukin file photo

(RIA Novosti – Slovyansk, May 3, 2014) The Russian president’s special envoy Vladimir Lukin has commented on an audio recording, posted online by the Security Service of Ukraine [SBU], which, according to the SBU, was Lukin’s telephone conversation with leader of the Slovyansk defence forces Igor Strelkov. According to Lukin, this conversation did take place but its content has nothing […]

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Is Putin at Risk of Being Overthrown by a Coup?

Stylized Artis Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 28, 2014) Many in Russia and the West have speculated that the combination of Vladimir Putin’s policies against Ukraine, Moscow’s increasing isolation internationally, and deteriorating economic conditions at home will eventually lead to a Maidan-style challenge to his rule. That is possible, of course, but a man identified as a former […]

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Moscow Times: Putin Says CIA Created the Internet, Cites Foreign Influence at Yandex

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – April 25, 2014) President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that the Internet was a CIA project and that Russia’s most popular search engine Yandex had been subject to Western influence when it started out. The president told a media forum that the Internet “emerged as a special project of the U.S. CIA and […]

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Who Are the Men Behind the Masks?

Philip Breedlove file photo

Supreme Allied Commander Europe http://aco.nato.int/saceur2013/blog/who-are-the-men-behind-the-masks.aspx 17 April 2014 Who Are the Men Behind the Masks? By General Philip Breedlove NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and Commander of U.S. European Command. [DJ: Headline in Military Times : “4-star: Armed attackers in Ukraine are Russian troops in disguise”] It’s hard to fathom that groups of armed men in masks suddenly sprang […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Federal Security Service board

fsb-building

(Kremlin.ru – April 7, 2014) Vladimir Putin took part in an expanded meeting of the Federal Security Service board. The meeting reviewed the results of the FSB’s activities in 2013 and set the priorities for 2014. —– PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, At this expanded meeting today, we will discuss the Federal Security Service’s results over the recent […]

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Minister Sees End to U.S. IT Purchases

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 27, 2014) U.S. spying could cost software companies said Communications and Mass Media Minister Nikolai Nikiforov, in a message attached to an Instagram shot of a recent Wall Street Journal article detailing renewed U.S interest in spying on Russia. “U.S. security services have put an end to the further use of U.S. computer software […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Press Conference with President Obama and Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands [excerpts re Russia]

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – For Immediate Release – March 25, 2014) Gemeentemuseum Den Haag The Hague, The Netherlands Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  You’ve been criticized during this dispute with Russia as not understanding President Putin’s motivations.  As recently as last month, you and others in your administration said you thought Putin was reflecting […]

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Interfax: Head of Ukraine’s SBU provided Ukrainian special service officials’ personal files to CIA – Yakimenko

Map of Ukraine and Ukrainian Flag

MOSCOW. March 13 (Interfax) – Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, the head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), provided the personal files of Ukrainian special service officials to the CIA during his tenure as head of the Ukrainian Security Service in 2006-2010, Oleksandr Yakimenko, who has recently left the post of head of the Ukrainian Security Service, said. “CIA officials worked in the […]

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Obama Bid for Russia Reset Slips Amid Cold War Iciness

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Nicole Gaouette – February 14, 2014) If mounting U.S. frustration with Russia wasn’t clear enough after President Barack Obama blamed Moscow on Feb. 11 for the starvation of Syrian civilians, this week offered plenty of other signals. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress that “an assertive Russia” poses a risk to the U.S. and […]

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Moscow Duma Says Dzerzhinsky Will Not Return to Lubyanka

fsb-building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – D. Garrison Golubock – February 12, 2014)  A statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky or Iron Felix, a Bolshevik revolutionary and founder of the Cheka, the predecessor of the KGB, will not be restored to its erstwhile location on Lubyanskaya Ploshchad, the Moscow Duma’s committee on monuments announced Tuesday. “Restoration of the monument is impractical at the […]

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Black Volgas and the NSA

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – George Feifer, special to RBTH – February 10, 2014) George Feifer is the author of many acclaimed books, including “Moscow Farewell” and “The Girl from Petrovka.” Thank you, Edward Snowden, for telling us how badly reform is needed. It would have been impossible without the knowledge you gave us. If Edward Snowden ever […]

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RIA Novosti: No Evidence Snowden Spied for Russia – U.S. Senator

Edward Snowden file photo

WASHINGTON, January 28 (RIA Novosti) – A senior U.S. lawmaker said Tuesday that she has seen no evidence that intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was working with Russia when he disclosed troves of documents on classified US spying programs. “I have no information to that effect. I have never seen anything to that effect,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate […]

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Proposed reforms will not stop pervasive NSA snooping

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gevorg Mirzayan, special to RBTH – January 23, 2014) Russian experts say Obama’s initiatives to reform the U.S. surveillance do not go far enough. President Barack Obama has announced reforms at the National Security Agency. He unveiled several changes, which he believes will redress the balance between civil liberties and the need to […]

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U.S. Congressman Alleges Snowden May Have Worked With FSB

Edward Snowden file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – January 20, 2014) The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate intelligence committees will investigate suspicions that intelligence leaker Edward Snowden might have already been in touch with Russian security services while working as a defense contractor on U.S. soil, the committees’ leaders said. Representative Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan and head […]

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Duma considers expanding security agencies’ surveillance tactics on the web

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH – January 17, 2014) Russian MPs want to step up counterterrorism measures to include more control over what the Internet. The powers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) will be expanded, electronic payments in the Russian segment of the Internet will come under stricter regulations and, overall, state control […]

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Russia at home and abroad: past successes, future challenges

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(opendemocracy.net – Margot Light – January 5, 2014) Margot Light is Professor Emeritus of International Relations at the Department of International Relations of the London School of Economics and Political Science. 2013 produced several foreign policy successes for President Putin, increasing Russia’s prominence on the international stage. At home, the Volgograd suicide attacks brought the year to a sad and […]

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Interfax: Russians stand for collecting intelligence worldwide – poll

Stylized Artis Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

MOSCOW. Dec 13 (Interfax) – Russians are certain that foreign security services are spying in their home country and support the proportionate actions of domestic security services on a global scale. Two-thirds of Russians (66%) believe that domestic security services should collect intelligence information in other countries: tap conversations, read correspondence and obtain classified materials. Ten percent say this is […]

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Russian MP says Europe’s outrage over U.S. phone tapping will not last long

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 7 (Interfax) – State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov believes that the scandal sparked by revelations that U.S. special services monitored European leaders’ phone conversations will soon fizzle out because the European leadership is dependent on Washington. “The administration of [U.S. President Barack] Obama does not seem to be particularly troubled by Europe’s anger over this […]

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Kremlin Denies Snowden Is Breaking Terms of Russian Asylum

Edward Snowden file photo

MOSCOW, November 2 (RIA Novosti) ­ Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden will not be permitted to break the conditions of his asylum status in Russia by harming the US, a Russian newspaper quoted President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman as saying Saturday. The Kommersant daily quoted a source in the US White House as saying that Snowden’s activities in Moscow were […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: “Kremlin: Spying accusations meant to overshadow U.S.-­EU problems”

Stylized Artis Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolay Surkov, RBTH – November 1, 2013) Security experts in Moscow say Russia already had countermeasures in place. The Kremlin dismissed accusations on Friday that Russia spied on G20 delegates, saying Western media is creating a distraction from the bigger issue of deteriorating relations between the United States and its European allies over […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian Government Communications Reliably Protected – Spokesman

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, October 30, 2013) The Russian president’s spokesman Dmitriy Peskov thinks that the existing government telecommunications in the country ensure the protection of the security of conversations between the first persons of the country. “We have government telecommunications which ensure the necessary level of confidentiality and security of conversations. And measures to ensure that security is at […]

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Interfax: Lavrov believes most world leaders knew they were tapped by U.S. special services

Sergei Lavrov file photo

ATHENS. Oct 30 (Interfax) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes most of the key world political leaders were aware of being tapped by U.S. special services. “I even feel somewhat bored to comment on this. In fact, I am sure that everyone knew everything or at least had such suspicions. And all this fuss is being made now just […]

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On your marks, get set… intercept!

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(opendemocracy.net – Mark Galeotti – October 29, 2013) Mark Galeotti is Professor of Global Affairs at New York University’s SCPS Center for Global Affairs. He blogs on Russian security affairs at In Moscow’s Shadows and tweets as @MarkGaleotti. His most recent book is Russian Security and Paramilitary Forces since 1991 (Osprey, 2013) Russia is devoting considerable effort to trying to […]

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