Daily Archives: January 13, 2007

Novaya Gazeta on the Kremlin’s Killers

Kommersant reports on the current lead story from Novaya Gazeta, wherein the paper puports to have discovered new evidence of the extent of the Kremlin’s use of murder as a political device:

Former and serving officers of Russia’s enforcement bodies, ranging from secret services to the Army and Interior Ministry, were involved in big terror actions and killings of the past 15 years, Igor Korolkov from Novaya Gazeta concluded.

Quite a number of criminal cases show the existence of certain strategic plot, which unites dozens of terror actions committed both in Russia and oversees, Korolkov wrote in the article published by Novaya Gazeta. Novaya Gazeta correspondent, Korolkov rooted that assumption in the personal experience. In mid.-1990s, he wrote, he met a few covert gangs led by serving officers of secret services of the Interior Ministry. High-ranked officials of the KGB-FSB were involved in the series of big terror actions that hit Moscow starting from mid.-1990. On the other hand, Korolkov didn’t disclose the sources of information nor did he provide some documentary confirmation. Instead, the correspondent published the extracts from some secret instruction. The document says officers of Russia’s enforcement bodies are willing to create “a wide network of agents” and “special troops” for “physical killing the chiefs and active members of terrorist, intelligence and subversive groups fighting the federal authorities.”

Huliq.com reports:

New documents prove that Russian Death Squads have been created to eliminate political opponents. Russian Internet publication “Novaya Gazeta” published excerpts from the secret document where the death squads officially established and described possibility of terror acts against enemy. Publication describes that most of the killings were done by Russian secret services, army and police. The editor of “Novaya Gazeta” Igor Korolkov published document that is secret instruction letter. “Organized crime and terror is become dangerous for the government. It is necessary to have a department that has real possibility to solve problems using agents and spy connections.” Furthermore, the document describes places of interest such as banking industry, government agencies, custom and tax services and courts. “When necessary, the special forces (SPETSNAZ) and its illegal spying abilities can be used to eliminate leaders and active members of terrorist organizations, spying agencies working inside who openly in confrontation with Federal Government. In fact writes Korolkov, Special Forces have legal base bypassing Constitution and thought its semi legal forces become one of the enforcement tool in government hands. In the past high profile killings there is little progress in investigating cases, Many cases have officers and FSB agents as main suspects.

LR hopes to publish a complete translation of the Novaya Gazeta report in the future. The article begins like this:

THE SECRET CADRES

The hidden units of the special services have created secret cadres for the performance of extrajudicial sentences as they accomplish murders in the interests of state.

Secret instructions

Something occurred in Russia after the death of Aleksandr litvinenko in London. It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what it was, but one perceived a certain sensation of unmistakable danger . . .

The Kremlin had nothing to do with the killing. The highest officials have so sworn. But for some reason we do not believe them. Perhaps one of the reasons is the fact the fact that we remember how very recently the same officials certified solemnly that that the arrests of employees of the Russian embassy in Qatar was unrelated to the murder of the former Acting President of Chechnya Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev (pictured above left). This proved false: a video recording showed the entire process of placing a bomb in Yandarbieyev’s car by our diplomats. Thus, perhaps the murder of Litvinenko became that drop of information which which overfilled the cup of our knowledge, and we understood about our country something that makes us feel as if we stand naked before the world in the full light of day.

Werewolves from the GRU

What about our own personal experiences? To each his own. I will describe mine, which I alternatively find difficult to believe and utterly terrifying.

In 1995 I prepared an article about the Larionov bandit group which terrorized Vladivostok in the early part of the decade. The Prosecutor’s office conducted criminal case. It was explained that the criminal group was rather unusual. It more resembled a military unit with a clear organizational structure, strict hierarchy and iron discipline than a hodgpodge band of miscreants. This was explained by the fact that it was comprised of former members of the combat and political training division of the VDV [TN: the Russian Airbourn forces, similar to the American Green Beret] and of the Marines, and even included one of the best staff members of local prosecutor himself. They did not refer to themselves as a gang but rather as a “The System” and the followed the strictures of a book titled “The Acquarium” written by a former intelligence officer named Rezun of the GRU [TN: Something like the National Security Agency in the U.S., the GRU is the supersecret element of the KGB which was left largely untouched when the USSR disbanded]. “The System” was equipped with the all the latest eavesdropping devices — by telephone, at a distance, through walls and windows — as well as with devices for coding of its own communications to keep them safe from prying ears. The System was wonderfully armed, and it had available several ten secret apartments. It gathered intelliegence on the local authorities via an extensive net of agents. It committed murders, victimizing both members of the authorities and rival criminal groups. When the question arose as to how the group managed to achieve such pinacles of success, it was possible to explain that with the group collaborated two Colonels of the GRU: Zubov, the acting chief of the secret service administration for the reconnaissance of Pacific Ocean fleet, and Poluboyarinov, the former chief of the operational-analytical center of the same administration. Poluboyarinov had created the group and also led in it’s analytical division. The System acted with self confidence and insolently. After each perfect crime some invisible force impeded investigation, discontined criminal cases and generally threw a wrench into the works.

One of those whose professional activity imperiled very existence of The System was the chief of the Central Directorate of Internal Affairs (“GUVD”) of Vladivostok, Colonel Slyadnev. Therefore, the organization made the decision to kill the Colonel. The job was assigned to a former of the Navy Special Forces and they named it “Barracuda.”

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Novaya Gazeta on the Kremlin’s Killers

Kommersant reports on the current lead story from Novaya Gazeta, wherein the paper puports to have discovered new evidence of the extent of the Kremlin’s use of murder as a political device:

Former and serving officers of Russia’s enforcement bodies, ranging from secret services to the Army and Interior Ministry, were involved in big terror actions and killings of the past 15 years, Igor Korolkov from Novaya Gazeta concluded.

Quite a number of criminal cases show the existence of certain strategic plot, which unites dozens of terror actions committed both in Russia and oversees, Korolkov wrote in the article published by Novaya Gazeta. Novaya Gazeta correspondent, Korolkov rooted that assumption in the personal experience. In mid.-1990s, he wrote, he met a few covert gangs led by serving officers of secret services of the Interior Ministry. High-ranked officials of the KGB-FSB were involved in the series of big terror actions that hit Moscow starting from mid.-1990. On the other hand, Korolkov didn’t disclose the sources of information nor did he provide some documentary confirmation. Instead, the correspondent published the extracts from some secret instruction. The document says officers of Russia’s enforcement bodies are willing to create “a wide network of agents” and “special troops” for “physical killing the chiefs and active members of terrorist, intelligence and subversive groups fighting the federal authorities.”

Huliq.com reports:

New documents prove that Russian Death Squads have been created to eliminate political opponents. Russian Internet publication “Novaya Gazeta” published excerpts from the secret document where the death squads officially established and described possibility of terror acts against enemy. Publication describes that most of the killings were done by Russian secret services, army and police. The editor of “Novaya Gazeta” Igor Korolkov published document that is secret instruction letter. “Organized crime and terror is become dangerous for the government. It is necessary to have a department that has real possibility to solve problems using agents and spy connections.” Furthermore, the document describes places of interest such as banking industry, government agencies, custom and tax services and courts. “When necessary, the special forces (SPETSNAZ) and its illegal spying abilities can be used to eliminate leaders and active members of terrorist organizations, spying agencies working inside who openly in confrontation with Federal Government. In fact writes Korolkov, Special Forces have legal base bypassing Constitution and thought its semi legal forces become one of the enforcement tool in government hands. In the past high profile killings there is little progress in investigating cases, Many cases have officers and FSB agents as main suspects.

LR hopes to publish a complete translation of the Novaya Gazeta report in the future. The article begins like this:

THE SECRET CADRES

The hidden units of the special services have created secret cadres for the performance of extrajudicial sentences as they accomplish murders in the interests of state.

Secret instructions

Something occurred in Russia after the death of Aleksandr litvinenko in London. It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what it was, but one perceived a certain sensation of unmistakable danger . . .

The Kremlin had nothing to do with the killing. The highest officials have so sworn. But for some reason we do not believe them. Perhaps one of the reasons is the fact the fact that we remember how very recently the same officials certified solemnly that that the arrests of employees of the Russian embassy in Qatar was unrelated to the murder of the former Acting President of Chechnya Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev (pictured above left). This proved false: a video recording showed the entire process of placing a bomb in Yandarbieyev’s car by our diplomats. Thus, perhaps the murder of Litvinenko became that drop of information which which overfilled the cup of our knowledge, and we understood about our country something that makes us feel as if we stand naked before the world in the full light of day.

Werewolves from the GRU

What about our own personal experiences? To each his own. I will describe mine, which I alternatively find difficult to believe and utterly terrifying.

In 1995 I prepared an article about the Larionov bandit group which terrorized Vladivostok in the early part of the decade. The Prosecutor’s office conducted criminal case. It was explained that the criminal group was rather unusual. It more resembled a military unit with a clear organizational structure, strict hierarchy and iron discipline than a hodgpodge band of miscreants. This was explained by the fact that it was comprised of former members of the combat and political training division of the VDV [TN: the Russian Airbourn forces, similar to the American Green Beret] and of the Marines, and even included one of the best staff members of local prosecutor himself. They did not refer to themselves as a gang but rather as a “The System” and the followed the strictures of a book titled “The Acquarium” written by a former intelligence officer named Rezun of the GRU [TN: Something like the National Security Agency in the U.S., the GRU is the supersecret element of the KGB which was left largely untouched when the USSR disbanded]. “The System” was equipped with the all the latest eavesdropping devices — by telephone, at a distance, through walls and windows — as well as with devices for coding of its own communications to keep them safe from prying ears. The System was wonderfully armed, and it had available several ten secret apartments. It gathered intelliegence on the local authorities via an extensive net of agents. It committed murders, victimizing both members of the authorities and rival criminal groups. When the question arose as to how the group managed to achieve such pinacles of success, it was possible to explain that with the group collaborated two Colonels of the GRU: Zubov, the acting chief of the secret service administration for the reconnaissance of Pacific Ocean fleet, and Poluboyarinov, the former chief of the operational-analytical center of the same administration. Poluboyarinov had created the group and also led in it’s analytical division. The System acted with self confidence and insolently. After each perfect crime some invisible force impeded investigation, discontined criminal cases and generally threw a wrench into the works.

One of those whose professional activity imperiled very existence of The System was the chief of the Central Directorate of Internal Affairs (“GUVD”) of Vladivostok, Colonel Slyadnev. Therefore, the organization made the decision to kill the Colonel. The job was assigned to a former of the Navy Special Forces and they named it “Barracuda.”

Novaya Gazeta on the Kremlin’s Killers

Kommersant reports on the current lead story from Novaya Gazeta, wherein the paper puports to have discovered new evidence of the extent of the Kremlin’s use of murder as a political device:

Former and serving officers of Russia’s enforcement bodies, ranging from secret services to the Army and Interior Ministry, were involved in big terror actions and killings of the past 15 years, Igor Korolkov from Novaya Gazeta concluded.

Quite a number of criminal cases show the existence of certain strategic plot, which unites dozens of terror actions committed both in Russia and oversees, Korolkov wrote in the article published by Novaya Gazeta. Novaya Gazeta correspondent, Korolkov rooted that assumption in the personal experience. In mid.-1990s, he wrote, he met a few covert gangs led by serving officers of secret services of the Interior Ministry. High-ranked officials of the KGB-FSB were involved in the series of big terror actions that hit Moscow starting from mid.-1990. On the other hand, Korolkov didn’t disclose the sources of information nor did he provide some documentary confirmation. Instead, the correspondent published the extracts from some secret instruction. The document says officers of Russia’s enforcement bodies are willing to create “a wide network of agents” and “special troops” for “physical killing the chiefs and active members of terrorist, intelligence and subversive groups fighting the federal authorities.”

Huliq.com reports:

New documents prove that Russian Death Squads have been created to eliminate political opponents. Russian Internet publication “Novaya Gazeta” published excerpts from the secret document where the death squads officially established and described possibility of terror acts against enemy. Publication describes that most of the killings were done by Russian secret services, army and police. The editor of “Novaya Gazeta” Igor Korolkov published document that is secret instruction letter. “Organized crime and terror is become dangerous for the government. It is necessary to have a department that has real possibility to solve problems using agents and spy connections.” Furthermore, the document describes places of interest such as banking industry, government agencies, custom and tax services and courts. “When necessary, the special forces (SPETSNAZ) and its illegal spying abilities can be used to eliminate leaders and active members of terrorist organizations, spying agencies working inside who openly in confrontation with Federal Government. In fact writes Korolkov, Special Forces have legal base bypassing Constitution and thought its semi legal forces become one of the enforcement tool in government hands. In the past high profile killings there is little progress in investigating cases, Many cases have officers and FSB agents as main suspects.

LR hopes to publish a complete translation of the Novaya Gazeta report in the future. The article begins like this:

THE SECRET CADRES

The hidden units of the special services have created secret cadres for the performance of extrajudicial sentences as they accomplish murders in the interests of state.

Secret instructions

Something occurred in Russia after the death of Aleksandr litvinenko in London. It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what it was, but one perceived a certain sensation of unmistakable danger . . .

The Kremlin had nothing to do with the killing. The highest officials have so sworn. But for some reason we do not believe them. Perhaps one of the reasons is the fact the fact that we remember how very recently the same officials certified solemnly that that the arrests of employees of the Russian embassy in Qatar was unrelated to the murder of the former Acting President of Chechnya Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev (pictured above left). This proved false: a video recording showed the entire process of placing a bomb in Yandarbieyev’s car by our diplomats. Thus, perhaps the murder of Litvinenko became that drop of information which which overfilled the cup of our knowledge, and we understood about our country something that makes us feel as if we stand naked before the world in the full light of day.

Werewolves from the GRU

What about our own personal experiences? To each his own. I will describe mine, which I alternatively find difficult to believe and utterly terrifying.

In 1995 I prepared an article about the Larionov bandit group which terrorized Vladivostok in the early part of the decade. The Prosecutor’s office conducted criminal case. It was explained that the criminal group was rather unusual. It more resembled a military unit with a clear organizational structure, strict hierarchy and iron discipline than a hodgpodge band of miscreants. This was explained by the fact that it was comprised of former members of the combat and political training division of the VDV [TN: the Russian Airbourn forces, similar to the American Green Beret] and of the Marines, and even included one of the best staff members of local prosecutor himself. They did not refer to themselves as a gang but rather as a “The System” and the followed the strictures of a book titled “The Acquarium” written by a former intelligence officer named Rezun of the GRU [TN: Something like the National Security Agency in the U.S., the GRU is the supersecret element of the KGB which was left largely untouched when the USSR disbanded]. “The System” was equipped with the all the latest eavesdropping devices — by telephone, at a distance, through walls and windows — as well as with devices for coding of its own communications to keep them safe from prying ears. The System was wonderfully armed, and it had available several ten secret apartments. It gathered intelliegence on the local authorities via an extensive net of agents. It committed murders, victimizing both members of the authorities and rival criminal groups. When the question arose as to how the group managed to achieve such pinacles of success, it was possible to explain that with the group collaborated two Colonels of the GRU: Zubov, the acting chief of the secret service administration for the reconnaissance of Pacific Ocean fleet, and Poluboyarinov, the former chief of the operational-analytical center of the same administration. Poluboyarinov had created the group and also led in it’s analytical division. The System acted with self confidence and insolently. After each perfect crime some invisible force impeded investigation, discontined criminal cases and generally threw a wrench into the works.

One of those whose professional activity imperiled very existence of The System was the chief of the Central Directorate of Internal Affairs (“GUVD”) of Vladivostok, Colonel Slyadnev. Therefore, the organization made the decision to kill the Colonel. The job was assigned to a former of the Navy Special Forces and they named it “Barracuda.”

Novaya Gazeta on the Kremlin’s Killers

Kommersant reports on the current lead story from Novaya Gazeta, wherein the paper puports to have discovered new evidence of the extent of the Kremlin’s use of murder as a political device:

Former and serving officers of Russia’s enforcement bodies, ranging from secret services to the Army and Interior Ministry, were involved in big terror actions and killings of the past 15 years, Igor Korolkov from Novaya Gazeta concluded.

Quite a number of criminal cases show the existence of certain strategic plot, which unites dozens of terror actions committed both in Russia and oversees, Korolkov wrote in the article published by Novaya Gazeta. Novaya Gazeta correspondent, Korolkov rooted that assumption in the personal experience. In mid.-1990s, he wrote, he met a few covert gangs led by serving officers of secret services of the Interior Ministry. High-ranked officials of the KGB-FSB were involved in the series of big terror actions that hit Moscow starting from mid.-1990. On the other hand, Korolkov didn’t disclose the sources of information nor did he provide some documentary confirmation. Instead, the correspondent published the extracts from some secret instruction. The document says officers of Russia’s enforcement bodies are willing to create “a wide network of agents” and “special troops” for “physical killing the chiefs and active members of terrorist, intelligence and subversive groups fighting the federal authorities.”

Huliq.com reports:

New documents prove that Russian Death Squads have been created to eliminate political opponents. Russian Internet publication “Novaya Gazeta” published excerpts from the secret document where the death squads officially established and described possibility of terror acts against enemy. Publication describes that most of the killings were done by Russian secret services, army and police. The editor of “Novaya Gazeta” Igor Korolkov published document that is secret instruction letter. “Organized crime and terror is become dangerous for the government. It is necessary to have a department that has real possibility to solve problems using agents and spy connections.” Furthermore, the document describes places of interest such as banking industry, government agencies, custom and tax services and courts. “When necessary, the special forces (SPETSNAZ) and its illegal spying abilities can be used to eliminate leaders and active members of terrorist organizations, spying agencies working inside who openly in confrontation with Federal Government. In fact writes Korolkov, Special Forces have legal base bypassing Constitution and thought its semi legal forces become one of the enforcement tool in government hands. In the past high profile killings there is little progress in investigating cases, Many cases have officers and FSB agents as main suspects.

LR hopes to publish a complete translation of the Novaya Gazeta report in the future. The article begins like this:

THE SECRET CADRES

The hidden units of the special services have created secret cadres for the performance of extrajudicial sentences as they accomplish murders in the interests of state.

Secret instructions

Something occurred in Russia after the death of Aleksandr litvinenko in London. It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what it was, but one perceived a certain sensation of unmistakable danger . . .

The Kremlin had nothing to do with the killing. The highest officials have so sworn. But for some reason we do not believe them. Perhaps one of the reasons is the fact the fact that we remember how very recently the same officials certified solemnly that that the arrests of employees of the Russian embassy in Qatar was unrelated to the murder of the former Acting President of Chechnya Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev (pictured above left). This proved false: a video recording showed the entire process of placing a bomb in Yandarbieyev’s car by our diplomats. Thus, perhaps the murder of Litvinenko became that drop of information which which overfilled the cup of our knowledge, and we understood about our country something that makes us feel as if we stand naked before the world in the full light of day.

Werewolves from the GRU

What about our own personal experiences? To each his own. I will describe mine, which I alternatively find difficult to believe and utterly terrifying.

In 1995 I prepared an article about the Larionov bandit group which terrorized Vladivostok in the early part of the decade. The Prosecutor’s office conducted criminal case. It was explained that the criminal group was rather unusual. It more resembled a military unit with a clear organizational structure, strict hierarchy and iron discipline than a hodgpodge band of miscreants. This was explained by the fact that it was comprised of former members of the combat and political training division of the VDV [TN: the Russian Airbourn forces, similar to the American Green Beret] and of the Marines, and even included one of the best staff members of local prosecutor himself. They did not refer to themselves as a gang but rather as a “The System” and the followed the strictures of a book titled “The Acquarium” written by a former intelligence officer named Rezun of the GRU [TN: Something like the National Security Agency in the U.S., the GRU is the supersecret element of the KGB which was left largely untouched when the USSR disbanded]. “The System” was equipped with the all the latest eavesdropping devices — by telephone, at a distance, through walls and windows — as well as with devices for coding of its own communications to keep them safe from prying ears. The System was wonderfully armed, and it had available several ten secret apartments. It gathered intelliegence on the local authorities via an extensive net of agents. It committed murders, victimizing both members of the authorities and rival criminal groups. When the question arose as to how the group managed to achieve such pinacles of success, it was possible to explain that with the group collaborated two Colonels of the GRU: Zubov, the acting chief of the secret service administration for the reconnaissance of Pacific Ocean fleet, and Poluboyarinov, the former chief of the operational-analytical center of the same administration. Poluboyarinov had created the group and also led in it’s analytical division. The System acted with self confidence and insolently. After each perfect crime some invisible force impeded investigation, discontined criminal cases and generally threw a wrench into the works.

One of those whose professional activity imperiled very existence of The System was the chief of the Central Directorate of Internal Affairs (“GUVD”) of Vladivostok, Colonel Slyadnev. Therefore, the organization made the decision to kill the Colonel. The job was assigned to a former of the Navy Special Forces and they named it “Barracuda.”

Novaya Gazeta on the Kremlin’s Killers

Kommersant reports on the current lead story from Novaya Gazeta, wherein the paper puports to have discovered new evidence of the extent of the Kremlin’s use of murder as a political device:

Former and serving officers of Russia’s enforcement bodies, ranging from secret services to the Army and Interior Ministry, were involved in big terror actions and killings of the past 15 years, Igor Korolkov from Novaya Gazeta concluded.

Quite a number of criminal cases show the existence of certain strategic plot, which unites dozens of terror actions committed both in Russia and oversees, Korolkov wrote in the article published by Novaya Gazeta. Novaya Gazeta correspondent, Korolkov rooted that assumption in the personal experience. In mid.-1990s, he wrote, he met a few covert gangs led by serving officers of secret services of the Interior Ministry. High-ranked officials of the KGB-FSB were involved in the series of big terror actions that hit Moscow starting from mid.-1990. On the other hand, Korolkov didn’t disclose the sources of information nor did he provide some documentary confirmation. Instead, the correspondent published the extracts from some secret instruction. The document says officers of Russia’s enforcement bodies are willing to create “a wide network of agents” and “special troops” for “physical killing the chiefs and active members of terrorist, intelligence and subversive groups fighting the federal authorities.”

Huliq.com reports:

New documents prove that Russian Death Squads have been created to eliminate political opponents. Russian Internet publication “Novaya Gazeta” published excerpts from the secret document where the death squads officially established and described possibility of terror acts against enemy. Publication describes that most of the killings were done by Russian secret services, army and police. The editor of “Novaya Gazeta” Igor Korolkov published document that is secret instruction letter. “Organized crime and terror is become dangerous for the government. It is necessary to have a department that has real possibility to solve problems using agents and spy connections.” Furthermore, the document describes places of interest such as banking industry, government agencies, custom and tax services and courts. “When necessary, the special forces (SPETSNAZ) and its illegal spying abilities can be used to eliminate leaders and active members of terrorist organizations, spying agencies working inside who openly in confrontation with Federal Government. In fact writes Korolkov, Special Forces have legal base bypassing Constitution and thought its semi legal forces become one of the enforcement tool in government hands. In the past high profile killings there is little progress in investigating cases, Many cases have officers and FSB agents as main suspects.

LR hopes to publish a complete translation of the Novaya Gazeta report in the future. The article begins like this:

THE SECRET CADRES

The hidden units of the special services have created secret cadres for the performance of extrajudicial sentences as they accomplish murders in the interests of state.

Secret instructions

Something occurred in Russia after the death of Aleksandr litvinenko in London. It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what it was, but one perceived a certain sensation of unmistakable danger . . .

The Kremlin had nothing to do with the killing. The highest officials have so sworn. But for some reason we do not believe them. Perhaps one of the reasons is the fact the fact that we remember how very recently the same officials certified solemnly that that the arrests of employees of the Russian embassy in Qatar was unrelated to the murder of the former Acting President of Chechnya Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev (pictured above left). This proved false: a video recording showed the entire process of placing a bomb in Yandarbieyev’s car by our diplomats. Thus, perhaps the murder of Litvinenko became that drop of information which which overfilled the cup of our knowledge, and we understood about our country something that makes us feel as if we stand naked before the world in the full light of day.

Werewolves from the GRU

What about our own personal experiences? To each his own. I will describe mine, which I alternatively find difficult to believe and utterly terrifying.

In 1995 I prepared an article about the Larionov bandit group which terrorized Vladivostok in the early part of the decade. The Prosecutor’s office conducted criminal case. It was explained that the criminal group was rather unusual. It more resembled a military unit with a clear organizational structure, strict hierarchy and iron discipline than a hodgpodge band of miscreants. This was explained by the fact that it was comprised of former members of the combat and political training division of the VDV [TN: the Russian Airbourn forces, similar to the American Green Beret] and of the Marines, and even included one of the best staff members of local prosecutor himself. They did not refer to themselves as a gang but rather as a “The System” and the followed the strictures of a book titled “The Acquarium” written by a former intelligence officer named Rezun of the GRU [TN: Something like the National Security Agency in the U.S., the GRU is the supersecret element of the KGB which was left largely untouched when the USSR disbanded]. “The System” was equipped with the all the latest eavesdropping devices — by telephone, at a distance, through walls and windows — as well as with devices for coding of its own communications to keep them safe from prying ears. The System was wonderfully armed, and it had available several ten secret apartments. It gathered intelliegence on the local authorities via an extensive net of agents. It committed murders, victimizing both members of the authorities and rival criminal groups. When the question arose as to how the group managed to achieve such pinacles of success, it was possible to explain that with the group collaborated two Colonels of the GRU: Zubov, the acting chief of the secret service administration for the reconnaissance of Pacific Ocean fleet, and Poluboyarinov, the former chief of the operational-analytical center of the same administration. Poluboyarinov had created the group and also led in it’s analytical division. The System acted with self confidence and insolently. After each perfect crime some invisible force impeded investigation, discontined criminal cases and generally threw a wrench into the works.

One of those whose professional activity imperiled very existence of The System was the chief of the Central Directorate of Internal Affairs (“GUVD”) of Vladivostok, Colonel Slyadnev. Therefore, the organization made the decision to kill the Colonel. The job was assigned to a former of the Navy Special Forces and they named it “Barracuda.”

NATO Turns on Russia

Writing in the St. Petersburg Times Major General Peter Williams, the first head of the NATO Military Liaison Mission in Moscow, from 2002 to 2005, exposes NATO’s increasing hostility towards Russia based on Russia’s outrageous misconduct towards the West:

If NATO had issued a report card on the state of its strategic partnership with Russia at their November summit in Latvia, the document might have read: “Good effort, but must try much harder.”

Given the crises over energy security, the mysterious deaths of Kremlin opponents both at home and abroad, the disagreements over Western intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan and the failure to convene a NATO-Russia Council summit in tandem with the Riga meeting, this report card might seem justified. But NATO decided not to invite Russia, and its absence at such a significant gathering passed almost unmentioned in the media.

To some extent, a general mood of pessimism about NATO-Russia relations seems to be unavoidable. But ahead of the 10th anniversary in May of the founding of the Permanent Joint Council this is an ideal time for political leaders to reassess and then reaffirm their commitment this remarkable strategic partnership.

First, it is worth asking whether the challenges that created the Permanent Joint Council and then the NATO-Russia Council have been overcome or diminished in importance. Combating the threats from terrorism, extremism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remains as important and as unresolved as ever. Added to these challenges during the last decade have been the increased focus on countering transnational crime and the need to address energy security and environmental issues.

In all these areas, NATO, through its partnerships and relations with other states, continues to demonstrate that it provides a forum of choice during times of political crisis. The NATO-Russia Council is also able to offer a mature hierarchy of political and military councils, committees and working groups that deliver a flexible framework of structures and processes that can be adapted to almost any situation or problem.

The alliance’s chain of command also provides the backbone for multinational operations in the Balkans, the Mediterranean and Afghanistan. NATO forces and their coalition colleagues continue to provide security and ensure a welcome return to peace and sustainable development in numerous regions beyond the territory of member states. Having met NATO’s demanding pre-deployment standards, Russian naval units joined the allied maritime surveillance flotilla in the Mediterranean in September for the first time.

Other areas where substantial and demonstrable progress has been made are in the field of military cooperation including submarine search and rescue, air defense and airspace coordination, and the safe transportation of nuclear warheads. Some other military projects have achieved little so far; unfortunately, one of these is the Russian peacekeeping brigade in Samara that is intended to be interoperable with allied forces.

So how can the report card be improved in 2007? First and foremost, the political will that created and has sustained the NATO-Russia strategic partnership will need to be reaffirmed at the highest political level at a meeting in or around May. The NATO-Russia Council’s successes must be trumpeted and new, daring projects need to be launched that can capture imaginations on main streets in Vancouver, Valencia, Verona, Volgograd and Vladivostok.

One issue that continues to cry out for constructive engagement by NATO, Russia and its allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization is close coordination of air and ground force operations to counter terrorism and transnational crime in Central Asia and northern Afghanistan.

U.S.-led coalition troops and Russian-led forces, for example, have operated from separate, neighboring air bases in the region, both ostensibly to counter the same threats but without any degree of genuine cooperation. It will take courage to change this political and military culture of noncooperation, but aiming for interoperability can only improve the effectiveness of these operations and save the lives of soldiers and civilians both there and, indirectly, in the countries taking part.

Inevitably, the success of NATO-Russia cooperation will depend on the resources — human, logistical and financial — that are devoted to it. Talk of achieving military interoperability is cheap, but delivering personnel who speak a common operating language (which must be English in this context), are trained in the same doctrine and operational procedures, and use equipment that can dovetail with that used by their multinational colleagues will be expensive.

Political will, structures and projects mean little without resources. Over the first decade of the special relationship between NATO and Russia, the resources committed for the execution of NATO-Russia Council policies and plans have been far below those suggested by the political rhetoric.

In May, pessimists will likely see the NATO-Russia Council glass after its first 10 years as half empty, and will look for the project to be put on the back burner as irrelevant when the NATO-Russia relationship appears to be stuck in a rut.

Optimists, on the other hand, will see the glass as at least half full, believing that, with the necessary political support and commitment of resources, those structures and programs already in place can deliver ever closer NATO-Russia cooperation over the decade ahead.

Top U.S. spy says Russian policies increasingly threaten Western interests

The International Herald Tribune reports on Russia’s further alienation of the United States:

The top U.S. intelligence official warned Thursday that Russia is becoming a regional energy superpower and increasingly is pursuing foreign policy goals that threaten U.S. and Western interests.

In his annual review of global threats, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte said high energy prices have allowed Russia to increase its assertiveness in foreign affairs.

“A flush economy and perceived policy successes at home and abroad have bolstered Russian confidence, enabled increased defense spending and emboldened the Kremlin to pursue foreign policy goals that are not always consistent with those of Western institutions,” Negroponte told the Senate Intelligence Committee in written testimony.

Rivalry with Russia, he said, will complicate cooperation on important foreign policy goals including counterterror, nonproliferation and democracy promotion in the Middle East.

As Russia approaches a March 2008 presidential election, the government has been undermining its credibility as a partner with the West by stifling political opposition, Negroponte said.

“As the recent Litvinenko murder demonstrates, the steady accumulation of problems and irritants threatens to harm Russia’s relations with the West more broadly,” he said.

Alexander Litvinenko, a Kremlin critic who lived in exile in London, died in a London hospital on Nov. 23 after receiving a lethal dose of polonium-210. In a deathbed statement, he accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his murder, which the Kremlin has denied.

Russia’s foreign policy tactics also are producing friction with the West.

Negroponte said Russia is trying to use economic power stemming from its exports of the country’s immense energy resources to influence the internal politics of neighbors, including countries such as Georgia and Ukraine, former Soviet republics that have recently moved toward greater democracy.

“Russia is attempting to exploit the leverage that high energy prices has afforded it, increasingly using strong-arm tactics against neighboring countries,” he said.

He warned more broadly that access to energy is emerging as a source of greater vulnerability for the West as producers increase their economic power and consumers compete more aggressively for resources.

“We have entered a new era in which security has become an increasing priority not only for the U.S. and the West, but also rapidly developing economies like China and India that are becoming major energy consumers,” he said.

In separate prepared testimony, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Michael Maples, said “Russian entities” sell technologies useful for weapons of mass destruction and missile programs abroad.