Russian espionage in the United States

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According to American counterintelligence, in 2007 Russian espionage reached Cold War levels.[1]



According to former GRU Colonel Stanislav Lunev, "SVR and GRU (Russia's political and military intelligence agencies, respectively) are operating against the U.S. in a much more active manner than they were during even the hottest days of the Cold War."[2] From the end of the 1980s, KGB and later SVR began to create "a second echelon" of "auxiliary agents in addition to our main weapons, illegals and special agents", according to former SVR officer Kouzminov.[3] These agents are legal immigrants, including scientists and other professionals. Another SVR officer who defected to Britain in 1996 described details about thousand Russian agents and intelligence officers, some of them "illegals" who live under deep cover abroad.

Cooperation with foreign intelligence services[edit]

An agreement on intelligence cooperation between Russia and China was signed in 1992. This secret treaty covers cooperation of the GRU GSh VS RF and the SVR RF with the Chinese People's Liberation Army's Military Intelligence Directorate. In 2003, it was reported that SVR RF trained Iraqi spies when Russia collaborated with Saddam Hussein.[4] The SVR also has cooperation agreements with the police services of certain former Soviet republics, such as Azerbaijan and Belarus.

Assassinations abroad[edit]

"In the Soviet era, the SVR – then part of the KGB – handled covert political assassinations abroad". These activities reportedly continue. Igor the Assassin, who is believed to have been the poisoner of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006,[citation needed] was allegedly an SVR officer.[5] However, SVR denied involvement in the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko. An SVR spokesperson queried over Litvinenko remarked: "May God give him health."[6]

It was reported that in September 2003, an SVR RF agent in London was making preparations to assassinate Boris Berezovsky with a binary weapon, and that is why Berezovsky had been speedily granted asylum in Britain.[7]

Electronic Espionage[edit]

In April 2015, CNN reported that "Russian hackers" had "penetrated sensitive parts of the White House" computers in "recent months." It was said that the FBI, the Secret Service, and other U.S. intelligence agencies categorized the attacks "among the most sophisticated attacks ever launched against U.S. government systems."[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Putin spy war on the West. The Sunday Times. May 20, 2007
  2. ^ Expulsion of Russian Spies Teaches Moscow a Needed Lesson by Stanislav Lunev, 22 March 2001
  3. ^ Alexander Kouzminov Biological Espionage: Special Operations of the Soviet and Russian Foreign Intelligence Services in the West, Greenhill Books, 2006, ISBN 1-85367-646-2 [1]
  4. ^ Collier, Robert; Wallace, Bill (17 April 2003). "Russia Now Admits Training Iraqi Spies". (San Francisco, California, USA). Hearst Communications, Inc., USA. Retrieved 22 November 2016. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Alex Goldfarb and Marina Litvinenko. Death of a dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB, The Free Press (2007) ISBN 1-4165-5165-4
  8. ^ Evan Perez; Shimon Prokupecz (8 April 2015). "How the U.S. thinks Russians hacked the White House". CNN. Retrieved 17 December 2016. Russian hackers behind the damaging cyber intrusion of the State Department in recent months used that perch to penetrate sensitive parts of the White House computer system, according to U.S. officials briefed on the investigation.