Putin spy war on the West

Discussion in 'Everything Political' started by ivar, Jul 2, 2009.

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  1. ivar

    ivar Notebook Deity

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    This article was published 2 years ago (so the accent is on the facts which are forgotten by now), but it describes the tendencies which I tried to turn the attention to in the discussions throughout the OT forum. It seems that the opinions leading to the lack of sufficiently critical view on Putin's Russia are based on ignoring the facts like those I will be trying to turn your attention to in this thread.


    Putin spy war on the West
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2007/070520-spy-war.htm
    (from The Sunday Times May 20, 2007)

    Some pieces from the article:

    Russia’s covert foreign intelligence operations against America have reached cold war levels under President Vladimir Putin, according to Washington officials. White House intelligence advisers believe no other country is as aggressive as Russia in trying to obtain US secrets, with the possible exception of China.

    In particular the SVR, as the former KGB’s foreign intelligence arm is now known, is using a network of undercover agents in America to gather classified information about sensitive technologies, including military projects under development and high-tech research.

    Yuri Shvets, a former KGB agent, said: “In the days of the Soviet Union, the number of spies was limited because they had to be based at the foreign ministry, the trade mission or the news agencies like Tass. Right now, virtually every successful private company in Russia is being used as a cover for Russian intelligence operations.”

    Intelligence experts believe that since Putin became president in 2000, the Russians have rebuilt a network of agents in the United States that had been depleted during the country’s transition from communism.
    Putin served 16 years in the KGB, including a spell in foreign intelligence in East Germany. He became head of the FSB, the domestic security service. According to Shvets, the FSB has been operating widely in America because of its favoured status with Putin. Agents, some acting under diplomatic cover, are said to be trying to recruit specialists in American facilities with access to sensitive information.

    A rare insight into the SVR’s methods was gained ... when the authorities in Canada deported a Russian man who had been masquerading as a Canadian citizen. The alleged SVR agent had been living under a false identity as Paul William Hampel and was detained carrying a fake birth certificate, £3,000 in five currencies and several encrypted pre-paid mobile phone cards.

    In another incident ... the Americans arrested Ariel Weinmann, a former US navy submariner, on charges of spying for the Russians. Weinmann was accused of making electronic copies of classified information which he sought to pass on to his handlers. He was sentenced to 12 years in jail.

    John Pike, a military and security analyst who runs GlobalSecurity.org, said a surge in recruitment of US intelligence operatives since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 had presented great opportunities for the Russians to penetrate the CIA and other agencies. Shvets believes Russian agents are also entering America legally as immigrants, a rarity in the strictly controlled Soviet era.

    The increase in Russian intelligence activity abroad is in step with Moscow’s more aggressive stance since Putin came to power and turned the country’s lagging economy around on the back of record high oil prices.

    Putin’s abrasive style has frustrated Washington. Relations between Russia and the United States are worse than at any time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Comparisons with the tension of the cold war years have become commonplace.

    “President Putin thinks the United States has been weakened by Iraq,” said Richard Holbrooke, a former US ambassador to the United Nations. “He thinks he has been strengthened by recent events and high-priced oil and he is trying to put Russia back on the international map.”

    Estonia, the Baltic state, appeared last week to have become the target of a cyber attack after a row with Moscow over its decision to relocate a Soviet-era military monument. The Estonians claim professional hackers from Russia targeted the internet sites of ministries, parliament, banks, the media and large companies, causing their systems to crash.

    The attack followed Russian calls to impose sanctions on Estonia, cuts in Moscow’s oil and gas deliveries and a campaign of intimidation by a Kremlin-backed youth group against the Estonian ambassador. Nato has sent a cyber-crime expert to help the Estonians, fearing that it could be next.

    In February Putin accused America of imposing its will on the rest of the world. He said that Washington’s plans to install 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic — part of an anti-missile shield bitterly opposed by the Russians — “could provoke nothing less than the beginning of a nuclear era”.
     
  2. hehe299792458

    hehe299792458 Notebook Deity

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    could you say with certainty that the US is not doing the same to Russia, and if not, how is this action deviant from the international norm?

    Remember, even Israel - supposedly a US ally - was caught stealing US secrets. Every country does it!
     
  3. ivar

    ivar Notebook Deity

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    Around 2001 then CIA Chief Tenet told that he would be happy if the number of US spies in Russia would be related to the number of Russian spies in USA as 1:10, but unfortunately. it is much higher.

    And that was just a begining of Putin's resurrection of KGB practices. Nobnody was telling at that time yet that Russian special services activity against the West has risen above the Cold War era levels.
     
  4. hehe299792458

    hehe299792458 Notebook Deity

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    hmm... care to cite the quote? And even if you could, I'm sure the head of the FSB would say that he's happy if the number of Russian spies in the US correlated 1:1.


    speculation? I could speculate that Hollywood stars are actually under the influence of Russia, but I'll leave that to the ghost of McCarthy.
     
  5. santa-u2

    santa-u2 Notebook Consultant

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    Putin is one of my most admired politicians. enough said.
     
  6. ivar

    ivar Notebook Deity

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    Hitler was for some, too.

    What Putin's KGB junta made of Russia is essentially a fascist state. The details are given in other threads related to Russia.
     
  7. ivar

    ivar Notebook Deity

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    Putin's KGB wages 'spy war' against UK (May 2008)

    http://www.sundayherald.com/news/he...809.0.putins_kgb_wages_spy_war_against_uk.php
    HUNDREDS OF Russian spies are now operating in the UK - many times more than at the height of the cold war, according to a former KGB lieutenant colonel writing today in the Sunday Herald.

    Konstantin Preobrazhensky claims Russia is now in the midst of an unprecedented espionage war against British interests at home and abroad, and says it is a spying war for which Britain is wholly unprepared.

    Preobrazhensky's comments follow claims earlier this week by Whitehall that the murder of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko was carried out with the backing of the Russian state.

    Litvinenko was a fierce critic of former Russian president Vladimir Putin and died after being poisioned with radioactive polonium-201 in London in 2006.

    Preobrazhensky, who was a close friend of Litvinenko, was granted political asylum by the US in 2006 after fleeing Russia following outspoken criticism of Putin and Russian intelligence operations.

    He says: "Russian agents have a strangle-hold on the UK because Putin modernised the Russian concept of intelligence"
     
  8. ivar

    ivar Notebook Deity

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    "The Soviet/Russian KGB created, and still controls, the international terrorist network. Under the reign of "ex" KGB officer Vladimir Putin, the Russian government--
    including the deniable commercial entities assisting the Iraqi war effort - is very much on the side of the terrorists."


    http://www.newswithviews.com/iserbyt/iserbyt7.htm

    I don't agree with everything written there, but the opinion above deserves more publicity.
     
  9. Kirov Class

    Kirov Class Notebook Geek

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    No he doesn't. And that is why no body cares what he writes, is it?

    And you say you don't say: Putin=Hitler, Russia=Nazi Germany?

    On topic: Everyone are spying against each other. This is well known.
     
  10. ivar

    ivar Notebook Deity

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    This opinion of a former KGB officer is also confirmed by British intelligence reports:

    Russian spies 'at Cold War level' (2007)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6452519.stm


    Russian agents are as active in Britain now as at the height of the Cold War, senior Whitehall officials have said. The sources told the BBC's Frank Gardner there were more than 30 identified intelligence officers trying to get secrets by covert means.

    Targets include military hardware, scientific know-how and technology, and inside tips on Westminster politics. Businessmen who may have access to sensitive information are also of interest, as are Russian dissidents.

    Such dissidents include Boris Berezovsky, friend of the murdered former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko.


    'Very extensive'

    Sir Paul Lever, a former member of the Joint Intelligence Committee, said: "Russian espionage activity in Britain is very extensive.
    "In scale it's probably pretty much as it was at the height of the Cold War."

    You need large numbers of people to keep them under round-the-clock surveillance

    He described the activities of Russian spies and how they operate.


    "Mostly it is by gradually drawing their targets into a relationship which at first may seem to be a perfectly normal business relationship - 'we'd like some information, we'd like an article, of course we'll pay you', but over time develops into something more akin to the classic relationship of case officer and agent."

    Once a potential agent has been hooked, his or her Russian handler then needs to avoid the British authorities.

    Counter-espionage

    In Britain, counter-espionage has been carried out by the security service M15 for nearly 100 years. Russian counter-intelligence thinks that British intelligence are not only spying against Russia but trying to influence the political situation Russian security expert Andrei Soldatov
    The service now focuses mainly on counter-terrorism and only about 5% of its budget is now spent on counter-espionage.
    The service oversees every visa application from a potential intelligence officer coming to Britain - and tries to keep out the more experienced ones.
    Those that do get in usually operate from the Russian embassy in Kensington. Here they report to a controller, known as "the resident". But keeping tabs on these agents is a difficult task.
    Surveillance expert Crispin Black said: "You need large numbers of people to keep them under round-the-clock surveillance.
    "And you have to change those people every now and again. Say the suspect goes on a journey - you can't follow them from here to Glasgow in one white Peugeot up the M1." Not only that, but our security correspondent said that some Russian intelligence officers were reappearing in London from 20 years ago.

    In Russia, Britain is in turn accused of spying.

    Last year saw the case of "the rock" - allegedly a device planted by MI6 to receive coded data from agents. Russian security expert Andrei Soldatov said: "Now Russian counter-intelligence thinks that British intelligence are not only spying against Russia but trying to influence the political situation."

    Imho, "Russian security expert Andrei Soldatov" is just spreading the disinformation originating from Russian special services. :)
     
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