22 Dec 2014, 21:10
Text: Evgeny Krutikov
Voiced by President Putin the data about hundreds of employees of foreign intelligence services identified in the country during the year, unprecedented. The main problem, however, lies not in the revitalization of the foreign residents, but that changed as the conditions and methods of their work. And to counteract this the Russian counter-intelligence not all ready.
Speaking at the ceremony dedicated to the Day of worker of state security, Vladimir Putin did not explain whom exactly he meant by “identified employees of foreign special services”. In any case, 230 “revealed” for the year – this is an unprecedented amount. It is clear that we are not talking about detention, arrest or destruction of so many foreign spies. We are talking about “identifying”, i.e. the establishment of the involvement of a character to a foreign organization engaged in collecting secret or analytical information in the territory of the Russian Federation and against Russia. That is, the President only talked about the identification, therefore, on the control of foreign intelligence, and not physical termination of their work.
So, to the expulsion of aliens, possessing diplomatic immunity, in 2014 has been reduced to just two episodes. And they were a “response” that is perfect for the proverbial “balance of power”. For example, an employee of the canadian Embassy Margarita Atanasov was expelled from Russia in a 14-day period in response to the expulsion from Ottawa assistant of the Russian military attache. And recently, on November 15, officer of the political Department of the German Embassy at the request of the Russian side was recalled in Germany after Berlin was “without attracting too much attention, but after a long observation on the part of the German secret service sent an employee of the Russian Embassy. Latest the arrest of the diplomat red-handed with the further disclosure of the incident and the expulsion happened in may 2013. Then while trying to recruit an employee of one of Russian security services was detained by CIA personnel Fogle Ryan Christopher, who worked undercover for the positions of third Secretary of the political section of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
This is normal statistics, as countries are generally very rarely go to such an extreme measure as a Declaration of the diplomatic mission persona non grata. Because it automatically means a scandal, attract attention not only to the specific figure of the intelligence officer under diplomatic cover, but also in the activities of the residencies. It is not in the interests of the intelligence services and therefore not in the interests of the state as a whole.
Cover, which are used by employees, for example, the CIA, are divided into two categories – official and unofficial (“deep”). An official refers to positions that provide intelligence to the state Department, Agency, USIA, international development, peace Corps, Ministry of defense and some other government agencies in the US. These spies protected by diplomatic immunity, have a diplomatic passport or at least office. Under unofficial undercover informer working as businessmen, journalists, graduate students, visiting lecturers, social workers or charity organizations.
Identifying the second category for obvious reasons, considerably harder than the first. Besides tens of years of conflict developed a detection technique of the CIA with diplomatic cover for a number of characteristic features. The KGB was engaged in a division within the Department “To” foreign counter-intelligence), and this work ended with the creation of the weighty of the Handbook of the CIA (according to the “Who is Who”, which has not lost relevance and is updated regularly).
At the same time, the U.S. Embassy, for example, over the past few years have seriously changed the machine, including the so-called “station” – legal CIA station. It was connected not only with the figure of the Ambassador, ask him about it at all in the last turn. The figure of the Ambassador, of course, not quite so decorative, but still in the present conditions and circumstances, it performs rather a mediator, an official of the repeater the point of view of Washington, and not the “evil manipulator”, which often represent the current U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft. Its function is essentially reduced to “diplomatic support” information channels between the two countries, a game of “cloak and dagger” is not his specialty, despite the terrible track record.
Rotation of employees of the U.S. intelligence community in Moscow is related to the internal processes that took place in recent years in the CIA and in the two competing structures. After a number of failures of a conceptual nature (we are not talking about specific instances of “error resident” and the more serious, systemic failures), the CIA was cleaned from the first roles of the younger and more aggressive structures, representing the army intelligence. From there flowed and frames. Initial fears that these people will not be subject to the usual criteria of “identifying” and they are difficult to identify, fortunately, was not confirmed. For example, the Embassy in Moscow at serious positions (first secretaries, counselors) came ex-military, who have passed special accelerated training. They were “obvious” and did not require undue effort to identify them as intelligence officers.
However, Washington made in this question the mistake, typical of many bureaucratic organizations around the world. These positions were sent officers who, for whatever reason (age, lack of professional education, and the like) could no longer count on the continuation of a career in the army. They were easily accepting the change in exploration in the hope to make a career even not actually spy but rather a diplomat. But it was clear that the former specialist in electronic coordination of artillery fire with the Marines in Afghanistan, well, can not at the Embassy in Moscow to deal with the issues of the Arctic. And he managed to go on scientifically-practical conference in Murmansk and incidentally to lecture at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian foreign Ministry, now being interested in this issues of the conflicts in the Caucasus. And dozens of such examples.
This new generation of representatives of the U.S. intelligence community in Moscow have developed a storm of activity, which, however, was more diversified than the previous methods. In particular, in addition to the traditional “sekretonositelyami” Embassy staff began to be active in the scientific field among students of prestigious universities, and among teachers. Organized seminars, exchanges, trips, held a joint discussion on various topics, was created by relevant funds and programmes. This activity (especially in the last two or three years) was not so much a traditional spy work, how many ideologically subversive. Its successful dissemination contributed largely prevails among some of the teachers of the fashion for the “opposition” and “elitist” views.
The identification of such kind of activities also is not particularly difficult, and another thing, what’s to stop her efforts only so-called first departments of institutions themselves is often impossible. And it’s not even in the position of the teaching staff, and formal legality of it all. Nobody can deny the scientific and administrative contacts, or an exchange of views with representatives of the embassies or foreign research centres, even on their facade for three miles you can see the acronym CIA. In the last year and a half this activity is mainly used as time to identify the constantly rotating part of the residencies and the establishment of control.
Thus, the requirement of the President to strengthen vigilance quite objectively because it changes not only the cadres of foreign intelligence services operating in Russia, but also the methods, mechanism and the very focus of their activities. Now it’s not enough to put employees residencies under surveillance, you need to consider the specifics of advocacy and campaigning work. And this is not all in the Russian special services are ready, as this is a completely new for Russia type of activity. And in fact paramilitary conditions, which is now in the country, work on this will have from the paper, without the old methods and the “reference”.