Ex-KGB agent shot dead in downtown Moscow



By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A former KGB agent, who was jailed in Israel in the 1980s for spying for the Soviet Union, was gunned down in downtown Moscow on Monday afternoon. Shabtai von Kalmanovic was shot repeatedly from close range in an apparent contract killing operation, as his chauffeur-driven Mercedes car was stopped at a red light a few blocks away from the Kremlin. Kalmanovic, 62, was a citizen of Lithuania, Russia and Israel. He was born in Soviet Lithuania in 1947, and permitted to emigrate to Israel with his Jewish parents in 1971. In 1987, Israeli authorities arrested Kalmanovic for allegedly giving Israeli military secrets to the KGB. He was sentenced to nine years imprisonment, but was released in five, due to concerted pressure by Israel’s Russian Jewish community and the Russian government. Upon his release from prison, Kalmanovic returned to post-Soviet Russia, where he became extremely wealthy by promoting concerts and sports events. Interestingly, an article about his killing in Israeli daily Ha’aretz describes Kalmanovic as “a long-term Soviet spy and later a Shin Bet informant” (emphasis added), presumably (?) referring to his cooperation with the Israelis following his arrest.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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