Medvedev the Marauder
Russia’s so-called “president” Dmitri Medvedev announced feverishly a few days ago that he was sending out a “Mercader” to deal with the “traitor” who exposed the Anna Chapman spy clan under deep cover in the United States. As a result of that scandal, of course, Russia was totally humiliated before the entire world. We offer further insights about the debacle in a post from the head of Agentura.ru in this very issue.
Medvedev was referring to “Ramón Mercader, the secret agent sent by Joseph Stalin to kill archrival Leon Trotsky with an ice pick.” That’s right, Medvedev was openly patterning himself after Josef Stalin, and bragging about it in public. Lest you think the world saw this as another silly Russian joke, the “traitor” was soon under FBI protection.
Posted in editorial, espionage, medvedev, neo-soviet crackdown, potemkin villages, propaganda, russia
Tagged Anna Chapman, dmitry medvedev, Joseph Stalin, Leon Trotsky, Ramón Mercader, russia, vladimir putin
Andrei Soldatov of Agentura.ru, writing for the Moscow Times:
Right from the start, the latest Russian spy story resembled the stuff of which Soviet spy legends are made. We have a main hero — an intelligence agent who refuses to buckle when tortured. We also have a traitor who meets face to face with the hero in his prison cell. Last week, we may have learned the name of this traitor. Depending on which media report you read, it was either Colonel Shcherbakov or Colonel Poteyev who revealed the 11 Russian “illegals” working in the United States.
Betrayal has always played a prominent role in the mythology surrounding Soviet intelligence. As Yury Kobaladze, former head of the Foreign Intelligence Service‘s press service, said on Channel One on Sunday, it was the traitors — not the intelligence service — who were to blame for the recent failure in the United States.
There are two main reasons why this spy flap — like every other one before it — was so blatantly misrepresented by the Kremlin and state-controlled television.
Russia’s security services have changed a lot since late Soviet days.
They are much worse.
That’s the view of Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, two young Russian journalists who have just published a book on the FSB, the main present-day successor to the powerful Soviet KGB.
“The KGB was a very powerful organization but at the same time it was under the strict control of the Communist Party,” Soldatov told Reuters in an interview in London on Wednesday, when he and Borogan were promoting their book at a seminar.
“… With the FSB, we have no party control and we have no parliamentary control … we have got uncontrollable secret services.”
Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan , co-founders of Agentura.ru, writing in The Moscow Times:
In December 2000, then-director of the Federal Security Service Nikolai Patrushev proudly described the FSB’s rank and file: “Our best colleagues, the honor and pride of the FSB, don’t do their work for the money,” he said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda. “They all look different, but there is one very special characteristic that unites all these people, and it is a very important quality. It is their sense of service. They are, if you like, our new nobility.”
Patrushev hit the nail on the head. Throughout the 2000s, the FSB indeed became the country’s new elite, enjoying expanded responsibilities and immunity from public oversight or parliamentary control. Putin made the FSB the main security agency in Russia, allowing it to absorb much of the former KGB and granting it the right to operate abroad, collect information and carry out special operations.
A Russian Tail, and Dog
Suppose we told you that those three numbers represent the annual salaries of the President of Russia, the Prime Minister of Russia and the Chief of the KGB (now known as the FSB).
The Darkness swallows Russia
The news out of Russia was bleak and morbid last week, even by Russian standards. Even we, who are used to daily reporting the animalistic misconduct occurring in Putin’s Russia, are alarmed by the news now rolling out of this desperately-screwed up land.
Make no mistake: This news threatens us as much as it does Russians themselves. Russia is a beast with nuclear fangs which can lash out at any moment against any one of us.
Hero journalist Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:
During his visit to Ukraine on Saturday, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told journalists that he met with the 10 Russian “illegals” — who pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to being agents for the Russian government — at some point after they arrived in Moscow on July 9.
“They will find decent work — I’m sure,” Putin said. “I don’t doubt that they will have interesting, bright lives.” Perhaps he was referring to Anna Chapman, who has already received an offer from Vivid Entertainment to play the leading role in a porn film.
“I can tell you that it was a hard fate for each of them,” Putin said. “First, they had to master a foreign language as their own.”