Tag Archive for Spies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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(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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


(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

Minister Sees End to U.S. IT Purchases

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(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

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

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.

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

Moscow Duma Says Dzerzhinsky Will Not Return to Lubyanka


(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

Black Volgas and the NSA

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(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

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

Proposed reforms will not stop pervasive NSA snooping

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(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

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

Duma considers expanding security agencies’ surveillance tactics on the web

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(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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIA Novosti: Russia Says Snowden Leaks Won’t Hurt US Ties

Edward Snowden file photo

MINSK, October 25 (RIA Novosti) ­ Leaks by former US security contractor Edward Snowden regarding US intelligence-gathering on Russia will have no impact on relations between Moscow and Washington, Russia’s foreign minister said Friday. Sergei Lavrov said issues regarding Snowden were not high on Russia’s international diplomatic agenda. Emerging allegations that US intelligence operative have

FSB wants to record Internet communications

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yaroslava Kiryukhina, RBTH – October 23, 2013) Just several months after granting temporary asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Russia prepares to implement electronic surveillance that looks similar to the infamous PRISM. But is it actually the same? Russia’s Communications Ministry has drafted an order that would require

Snowden – the only Solzhenitsyn we deserve

Edward Snowden file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Dmitry Babich, special to RBTH – October 21, 2013) Dmitry Babich is a columnist for Voice of Russia radio. Is the former NSA analyst a modern-day dissident? There are many interesting similarities between Edward Snowden and the famous Russian dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008). The most recent example

Russian MPs Downplay New Internet Surveillance Plans, Activist Alarmed

File Photo of Partial FSB Headquarters Building Facade

(RIA Novosti – October 21, 2013) Russian State Duma MPs have downplayed the significance of the Communications Ministry’s draft decree requiring internet service providers to install equipment for storing internet traffic and sharing it with the Federal Security Service (FSB), Russian news agencies reported on 21 October. The Russian heavyweight liberal newspaper Kommersant reported earlier

Russian Telecoms Giant Slams New Surveillance Powers – Paper

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

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 21, 2013) A Russian telecommunications giant has slammed government plans to give security services complete access to all Internet traffic by the middle of 2014, calling them unconstitutional, Kommersant newspaper reported Monday. The daily cited a letter submitted by mobile operator Vimpelcom to the Press and Communications Ministry as saying

Special services not able to access Internet traffic without court ruling – Communications Ministry

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(Interfax – MOSCOW, October 21, 2013) The Communications Ministry’s draft decree on the special services’ access to Internet traffic is not a novelty and does not contradict Russian legislation,” the ministry press service told Interfax on Monday. “This decree is not new. Besides, it doesn’t regulate the procedure governing the provision of Internet users’ data

RIA Novosti: Snowden’s Father Says Russia Only Safe Place For Son

Edward Snowden file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 10, 2013) The father of US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden says he believes Russia, where he arrived on Thursday with the aim of meeting with his son, is the only country in which his fugitive son can feel safe. Lon Snowden told reporters on arrival at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport that

Russian Lower House Speaker Compares Snowden to Don Quixote

Edward Snowden file photo

(RIA Novosti – BRATISLAVA, August 29, 2013) ­ The chairman of Russia’s lower house of parliament has likened fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden to the hero of Miguel de Cervantes’ novel. “You know, I compare him [Snowden] to Cervantes’ hero, Don Quixote,” State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin said Wednesday in an interview with Slovak

Snowden was forced to remain in Moscow over Cuba’s decision to bar his entry – daily

Edward Snowden file photo

(Interfax – August 26, 2013) Former CIA employee Edward Snowden changed his plans of flying from Moscow to a Latin American country after he learned that Cuba had decided to deny landing to an Aeroflot plane carrying him, Kommersant reported on Monday. “Moscow definitely expected that Edward Snowden who arrived at [Moscow’s] Sheremetyevo airport on

Russian rights watchdog head queries security service anonymous tip-off proposal

File Photo of Partial FSB Headquarters Building Facade

(Interfax – August 21, 2013) A proposal that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) should react to anonymous tip-offs could lead to an increase in such messages and would in practice duplicate work done by the police, Tatyana Lokshina, head of Human Rights Watch’s Moscow bureau, told Interfax news agency on 21 August.(1) On the same

RIA Novosti: Moscow Says Obama’s Visit to Russia Postponed Not Cancelled

Edward Snowden file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 22, 2013) US President Barack Obama’s official visit to Russia has been postponed, not cancelled, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday. “The visit has been postponed, not cancelled,” Alexander Lukashevich said. “The invitation that Mr. Obama has is still in force, and we hope that he will use

RIA Novosti: U.S. Left Five Extradition Requests Unanswered – Russia

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 21, 2013) Five of Russia’s extradition requests sent to the United States in the past few years have been left unanswered, a deputy Russian prosecutor general has said in an interview. “Since 2008, the United States has refused 16 times to extradite people to us citing the absence of a

Snowden Not Interrogated by Russian Security Services – Assange

Edward Snowden file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 17, 2013) Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was not interrogated by special services after his arrival to Russia, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said on Friday. In an interview with Fairfax Media, the founder of the anti-secrecy organization has confirmed that WikiLeaks personnel have continuously accompanied Snowden since he left

Snowden Doomed to Dreadful Life in a Capsule

Edward Snowden file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm, Opinion Page Editor – August 16, 2013) Two weeks have passed since former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden received temporary asylum from Russia, and he hasn’t uttered a word. Nor do we know where he is located. The only information we have is a cryptic statement on

Snowden Sr. to visit Russia shortly, visit info to be posted after he meets with his son – source

Edward Snowden file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, Aug 14, 2013) The father of former CIA employee Edward Snowden will arrive in Russia shortly. He will be traveling incognito at first, a source familiar with the situation told Interfax on Wednesday. “The visit of Snowden Sr. and the accompanying persons will be confidential for the apparent reason. The world will

NEWSLINK: Snowden’s father gets visa, to leave for Russia soon

Edward Snowden file photo

[“Snowden’s father gets visa, to leave for Russia soon” – Reuters – August 11, 2013 – reuters.com/article/2013/08/11/us-usa-security-snowden-idUSBRE97A08Y20130811] Reuters reports that Russia has granted a visa to the father of Edward Snowden, former NSA Booz Allen IT support contract employee-turned-fugitive activist.  Lon Snowden is said to be planning to travel to Russia soon. But apparently he

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