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Saturday, March 24, 2018

What does the figure of the new chief of the GRU

The fact that between the death of Igor Sergun and the appointment to the post of chief of the GRU Igor Korobov’s been almost a month, suggests that the country’s leadership had to decide on priorities. Possible changers of Sarguna have their own strengths. The choice in favor of General Korobov illustrates the role which assign to GRU in the field of national security.

The appointment of chief of the GRU (as, indeed, and SVR) always a landmark event. But it has little to do with purely political circumstances and the “struggle of clans”, which started to search immediately after the sudden death of General Igor Sergun. Intelligence – both military and “civilian” – technical, routine, priorities in it are not connected with the internal policy or changes of government. It is important to the continuity and professionalism, that does not negate, of course, and the need for periodic metered reforms.

“His scientific works are devoted to topics that the average person not to understand – to say not. For example, “Pseudometric generated by matroid mappings”

The intelligence services fear it is “political” decisions – unexpected managerial appointments of people who know little about the nature of work. Experience and history suggest that similar steps in difficult historical periods resulted in best curiosities, at worst, to failure. A classic example is the situation around GRU in the period of perestroika and after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Both are worthy of an army General, head of the GRU in “the Gorbachev period” (after retirement in 1987, living legend Peter Ivashutin), the intelligence had no relationship. One of them remembered a “masquerade”: he sincerely believed that officers of the General staff should go to work in uniform and issued a corresponding order. As a result, the Central office staff came to the old building of the GRU on Khoroshevskoye highway in the form, and the offices are already dressed in costumes. Funny? Perhaps. It should be understood that any could be placed opposite to a checkpoint and overwrite the incoming rank and branch of service. Including and therefore even a biased rumors about the arrival in GRU “outsider” (no matter where – from the FSO or from the “competitors”) are perceived as painful.

To preserve continuity in exploration – not corporate whim and the desire not to isolate themselves from “outsiders”. In the end, the GRU do not take “students” as in Soviet times, the KGB, there are people from various military branches, focusing specifically on intelligence and the Central office. The military-diplomatic Academy, although the specialized school, but there get already have military experience, so that it can be considered something of a “second education”.


Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu handed the personal standard of the chief of the Main Directorate of the General staff of the Armed forces General-Lieutenant Igor Korobova. The new chief of the GRU of Boxes – a career military intelligence officer, before holding a post of the first Deputy chief of a Central Board – the chief strategic razvedchikah in military intelligence have long been concerned about the lack of specialized educational institutions, which would need to Orient talented young people. We are talking about the preparation of specialists in strategic intelligence and intelligence-operational intelligence, not special forces. In the last ten years on GRU’s usually said in relation to the parts of special purpose, what greatly contributed to the flourishing of serials movie. But special forces is only a small part of the work of the GRU. Combined arms training for staff held at the Novosibirsk higher military command school, but again, this only applies to special forces and field intelligence. A site for the special training of young people as there was no and no. The disbanding of the Military Institute of foreign languages in 1993 further weakened the situation with the staff and professional training.

For all that the candidacy of the chief of military intelligence shows the vector in which intelligence will evolve and the priorities of the moment. All the chiefs of the GRU since 1997, his professional specialization conforms closely to the tasks that were considered then primary or seemed to be established to the Minister of defence. But after the sudden death of General Igor Sergun, given the internal principle of continuity, the choice of candidates for the post of chief of the GRU was small. To choose commander-in-chief, Minister of defense and chief of the General staff had of the four current Deputy head of the Department. Perhaps this was predetermined month time lag: Igor Sergun died on 3 Jan, and the new chief of the GRU was appointed only on February 2. On the other hand, in this environment are made in the end the choice proved to be particularly revealing.

For example, as one of the candidates considered General Sergei Lizunov, laureate of RF government prize in science and technology in 2009. Before moving to the Central apparatus of the GRU, he led 85-m main centre of special services, he inh 26165 – a complex of buildings at the beginning of the Komsomol prospectus in Moscow. His employees machine eyes have not seen, but will be able in three minutes to decipher any code and encrypt it back, not looking up from writing his doctoral dissertation on quantum physics. Gizunov – more of a scientist than a spy. His scientific works are devoted to topics that the average person not to understand – to say not. For example, “Pseudometric generated by matroid mappings” or “Optimal linear codes and critical problem for a matroid”. Don’t ask what it is and why pseudomaturity matroid are generated by their identity. Just trust that all this is directly relevant to cryptography and to the construction of so-called greedy algorithms used for decryption.

It’s not even that man, with the heart lying to the theoretical algebra would be to plan to move troops to operate with the concept “polite people” or to coordinate the activities of illegal residency to distant lands. This is possible if correctly to place specialized professionals on the position of the substituents. But science, cryptography and mathematics planning is now not the main priority of the GRU. With all due respect to General Hisanobu and his extraordinary intelligence, cryptography and science in exploration – only “maids” to ensure operational activities.

Another potential candidate – General Vyacheslav Kondrashov, doctor of historical Sciences, author of fundamental work “Military intelligence in the Second world war”. Last year he co-wrote a report on the European ABOUT the United States and NATO (together including the then chief of the operational Directorate of the General staff General Andrei Tretyak) and made in the state Duma with the report about the missile capabilities of countries of the Middle East, in which, in particular, were given detailed specifications of missile capabilities of Iran. On the basis of data Kondrashov formed the negotiating position of the Russian Federation in relation to the deployment of us missile defense systems in Europe, as these data demonstrated the inability of Iran to threaten, even in theory any object in the area in which the United States had intended to place its missile defense system, citing “the Iranian threat”. There is some reason to believe that General Kondrashov supervised the preparation of similar reports that evaluate missile capabilities of North Korea. Called this paper “the Performance characteristics of the available weapons in the countries of the Middle East, including Iran and North Korea, ballistic missiles and possibilities for their improvement”, and was read at the scientific-practical conference in the Military Academy of the General staff.

A number of sources indicate that General Kondrashov at the end of 2013 was in Egypt, when after freezing, the Obama programs of military cooperation Cairo for the first time turned to Russia for assistance in rearmament. Then it was on the supply of missile weapons, almost “Topol”, which is excessively stirred up Israel, which took unprecedented steps to derail a possible deal. More real, however, it would be an assumption that the question was not about “the Poplars,” and about the “Iskander” in their export performance (their range was considerably less than the missiles delivered to the Russian army). This story, apparently, were Saudi Arabia and now disgraced Prince Bandar, who had intended to arm like neutral Egypt with missiles capable of hitting Iran. According to Arab sources, the report of General Kondrashova could change the opinion of the President Putin about the missile deal with Egypt. But here we have to mention that implicitly trust Arab sources any degree of proverennoi would be unprofessional. In their performance, every story turns into “a Thousand and one nights”.

In other words, General Kondrashov – a professional in the field of missile weapons, assessing missile threats and strategic military capabilities, while having outstanding literary talents (a combination of humanitarian interests and technical expertise in strategic exploration is expensive). In the present situation of this man in his place, perfectly corresponds with the level of the tasks set before him. However, this is only part of the challenges now in front of the GRU, and tolerate the experience of professional profile on all overloaded edifice, which, as it is not cut, still in the barn does not fit, apparently, the time has not come yet.

The third potential candidate for the position of chief of the GRU was considered the most well-known media, although with some reservations. General Igor Lalin remember a Colonel, when in 2000 he worked as a military attache of the Russian Embassy in Tallinn. Officially accredited diplomats to avoid the publicity, and Lenin and his Deputy naval attaché Igor Shitov – participated in the laying of wreaths at the memorial to Soviet soldiers-liberators, while he was still on tõnismägi the square, and was moved to the cemetery. After finishing his tour of duty Igor Lalin continued service is not in the GRU, and in the Management of personnel of the Armed forces of the Russian Federation, responsible including military educational institutions. And there is reason to believe that Estonian business trip could be interrupted through no fault of Lelina circumstances, and its further participation in the operational intelligence was questioned in connection with the “servicenote”.

In theory, this circumstance did not prevent him to apply for the position of chief of the GRU. In the end, no one particularly hid which diplomatic posts were reserved for employees of the intelligence (well nobody is surprised incorrect a large number of cultural attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow). But experience in intelligence-operational intelligence (and it can be attributed to the activities of the residencies in the secondary in the intelligence plan countries such as Estonia) suffers from one significant flaw. As a rule, such people have no experience of strategic thinking and global assessment information. In particularly critical cases, produces a peculiar form of “attachment” to the region in which long time worked employee, resulting in local information begins to seem something extremely important, you lose the objectivity in the evaluation, distorted the overall picture, despite the fact that historically in the “low residency” still prevails work on the “main enemy”, i.e. the United States.

No one claims that this fully applies to the General Lelio. But it is a well-known professional deformation, which in intelligence more than in any other profession, with the exception of the theater. But it is the ability to evaluate strategic information, to structure the overall flow and choose from it the most significant determined the current choice of the new chief of the GRU in favor of General Igor Korobov. His track record is less well known than the others, but most of his career he was directly associated with the strategic intelligence and supervised this direction in the post of first Deputy head of the Department.

In the modern GRU strategic intelligence is structurally divided between the territorial administrations and the special Office of strategic doctrines and arms. Given the specificity of the GRU, the processing strategic data more attention there is paid to the military aspects, not politics. But in today’s world has significantly increased the role of theoretical constructs in the first place, with strategic military planning. The army now do not develop linearly, just increasing quantitatively and improving their weapons, and according to the theoretically constructed strategies. In an unexpected development can obtain such weapons, which previously were not given much importance. Another example is the emergence of the military-political crisis in the previously stable region. To evaluate this type of threat and requires a new approach to the collection, and most importantly – to the processing and evaluation of operational data, claiming to be “strategic”. The lack of such a system of strategic analysis suffered from the KGB the late Soviet period, and even specially created there office with the General Leonov, the situation has not changed, but only worsened the problem, as Leonov and the company was too fascinated by conspiracy theories.

Now the need for strategic assessment of information greater than ever in the history of the Russian Federation. The choice of General Korobov for the position of chief of the GRU could be predefined in this scenario and accompanying calculations in the leadership of the country and the army. And this, in turn, creates a new vector of development of the military intelligence, including in terms of internal reforms and staff recruitment. No politics. Only pragmatics.

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