Top Russian spy defects after unmasking U.S. ring

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PostFri Nov 12, 2010 5:48 pm » by sockpuppet


So what is really going on?



Top Russian spy defects after unmasking U.S. ring


Remember that Russian spy-ring that authorities rounded up back in June? Right, that one.

Well, it looks like members of the operation were betrayed by their boss. And it turns out he has defected to the United States, throwing Russia's foreign intelligence service into turmoil.

A Moscow newspaper, Kommersant, has reported that a Colonel Shcherbakov, who ran Russia's deep-cover U.S. spying operations, was responsible for the spies' unmasking, and that he left Russia just days before the spy-ring arrests were announced June 28. Gennady Gudkov, a Russian lawmaker who sits on Parliament's national security committee, has confirmed the Kommersant report.

Shcherbakov, whose first name was not reported, would become one of the most high-ranking turncoats since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990.

An unidentified Kremlin official told the paper--a respected Russian business daily--that Russia is now planning to assassinate Shcherbakov, offering this chilling quote: "Do not doubt that a Mercader has been sent after him already." (Ramon Mercader was a Russian agent who assassinated Leon Trotsky in Mexico in 1940, after the exiled Bolshevik had fallen out with Stalin's regime.)

The news comes as a major blow to the reputation of Russia's foreign intelligence agency, known as the SVR. According to AFP, Kommersant reports that Russian officials are pressing to find out why SVR brass allowed Shcherbakov to stay in his crucial post even though his daughter was living in the United States--an obvious threat to security even in less sensitive agencies.

"There has never been such a failure by Section S, the American department that Shcherbakov directed," one top Russian lawmaker told the paper.

There's already talk of a special panel being created to probe the reasons for the blunder. The SVR chief, former Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, may be fired and the entire unit folded into the Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB, according to the paper.

The 10 spies arrested in June all pleaded guilty, and were deported back to Russia as part of a spy swap two weeks later -- though not before at least one of them, Anna Chapman, became a tabloid sensation in the United States.

Meanwhile, U.S.-Russian relations appear to be clouded by the affair's ongoing fallout. Kommersant reports that Russia's intelligence service reacted so harshly to news of Shcherbakov's defection that it sabotaged recent talks between the two powers on anti-ballistic missiles. "The Foreign Intelligence Service is so enraged that it keeps torpedoing all and any work with the Americans, even including ABM projects," a senior Russian diplomat told the paper.



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PostFri Nov 12, 2010 5:53 pm » by Muchtyman


Image

.................................... :love:

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PostFri Nov 12, 2010 5:59 pm » by sockpuppet


She's gorgeous alright... but was it really her fault, like they had us believe last summer? ;)
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PostFri Nov 12, 2010 6:04 pm » by sockpuppet


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... -ring.html

he man, named as Colonel Scherbakov, worked for Russia's SVR foreign intelligence service, a successor agency to the KGB, where he oversaw a top- secret programme to dispatch long-term sleeper agents or "illegals" to the United States.

Russian intelligence sources told the Kommersant newspaper that he was the traitor who had given the FBI the names of the ten sleeper agents who made up the ring, including glamorous spy Anna Chapman. In at least one case, he is even said to have taken part in an interrogation.

In an echo of the Cold War, a Kremlin source was quoted as saying that Colonel Scherbakov would not have long to savour his betrayal.

"We know who he is and where he is," the source said. "Have no doubt that a Mercader has been sent after him already."

Ramon Mercader was the KGB assassin who murdered exiled Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky with an ice pick in 1940. A "Mercader" is a synonym for a hit squad.

"The fate of such an individual is unenviable," the Kremlin source continued. "He will fear revenge every day (of his life)."

The FBI went public with the names Colonel Scherbakov had given it in June just days after he himself had fled to the United States. The 10 agents he compromised were exchanged for four men convicted by Russia of being Western spies the following month in the biggest spy swap since the Cold War.

Vladimir Putin, who served as a KGB agent in East Germany in the 1980s, hinted this summer that he knew the identity of the traitor.

"This was the result of treason and traitors always end badly," the Russian prime minister said.

The reason for Colonel Scherbakov betraying his own agents was not clear but the paper said his daughter was a longtime resident of the United States and that his son had moved there earlier this year. The colonel turned down a promotion last year because he knew he would have to take a lie-detector test and feared he would give himself away, it added. Intelligence sources complained there were a number of suspicious things about the double agent that should have rang alarm bells and been investigated but were not.

Gennady Gudkov, deputy chairman of the powerful security committee in the lower house of parliament, said he had known that Colonel Scherbakov was the traitor. He called for a parliamentary inquiry into the fiasco amid calls for Mikhail Fradkov, the head of the SVR foreign intelligence service, to resign.

"The damage committed by the colonel to the state is too enormous," not to have further repercussions, Mr Gudkov told the Interfax news agency.

The view among Russia's intelligence community was that it was one of the worst setbacks it had suffered, he added.

The disclosure has stoked speculation that Russia's intelligence services may be restructured as an investigation into how a double agent could have operated at such a high level continued. "This is a big mix-up that will see heads roll and people demoted," an intelligence source told Kommersant.

The most valuable of the 10 Russian agents exposed appears to be Mikhail Vasenkov who operated under the name Juan Lazaro. Intelligence sources claimed he had been able to obtain the US President's travel agenda years in advance. US investigators had broken his leg and three ribs while interrogating him, they claimed.
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PostFri Nov 12, 2010 6:04 pm » by Muchtyman


sockpuppet wrote:She's gorgeous alright... but was it really her fault, like they had us believe last summer? ;)


Probably not Sock............There's a lot of stuff that goes on that we never hear off ..

Good catch ..........Apologies for being flippant ............... :cheers:



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