Spies Like Us

4769bdd91e567 RUSSIA SPIES.jpgA Georgian magazine today excerpts quotes from a Russian whistleblower’s accusations about modern Kremlin spy tactics. According to Anna Bukovskaya, a 20-year-old member of the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi, since 2007 the Kremlin has been infiltrating Russian opposition groups with operatives. Among the targeted groups: the National Bolshevik Party, Garry Kasparov’s United Civil Front, the Oborona Movement, and Young Yabloko. 

“Apparently,” the authors of a story in New Times conclude, “it was thanks to this practice that officers of the interior ministry and the FSB in recent years have been able to develop a mechanism of preventive detention of opposition figures” whenever a major demonstration is planned, thus reducing their effectiveness.

Meanwhile, the FSB announced that it has detected the presence of foreign spies milling for Russian science secrets in Siberia over the past year.

“The security service’s main objective is to know when a spy has arrived. But he may not necessarily reveal himself so that his activity could be stopped. Our problem is to find and register foreign agents and spies before they transfer secret data abroad,” said Sergey Savchenkov, an FSB director in Siberia. 

Didn’t such subversive tactics die out with the Cold War? Apparently not, since the UK is also freaking out about Russian and other spies setting up networks in England. According to a government report obtained by The Telegraph, Iran, Syria, North Korea and Serbia, as well as traditional allies France and Germany, have foreign agencies hard at work to steal state secrets.

From the report:

“In the past, espionageactivity was typically directed towards obtaining political and militaryintelligence. In today’s high-tech world, the intelligence requirements of anumber of countries now include new communications technologies, IT,genetics, aviation, lasers, optics, electronics and many other fields.Intelligence services, therefore, are targeting commercial enterprises farmore than in the past.

“It is estimated that at least 20 Foreign intelligence services areoperating to some degree against UK interests. Of greatest concern are theRussians and Chinese. The number of Russian intelligence officers in Londonhas not fallen since the Soviet times.”