Analysis: What we know about the Russian spy ring case

SVR seal

SVR seal

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
If you are frustrated with the increasingly idiotic and sex-obsessed media coverage of the Russian spy ring recently busted by the FBI, you are not alone. Less than a week since news of the arrests in the US of ten alleged deep-cover agents of Russia’s SVR intelligence agency emerged, sensationalist media hacks have left no stone unturned. Thankfully, Stratfor Global Intelligence has produced an excellent early summary of this developing story, complete with a useful diagram of the known members of the SVR spy ring. The summary correctly points out some of the critical issues in the espionage case, including the fact that the 11 suspects appeared to be primarily run out of the SVR residence at the Russian mission to the United Nations in New York, and not out of the Russian Embassy in Washington DC. It was the SVR which provided the suspects with fake identities and ‘legends’, which included fake childhood photographs and elaborate –though largely believable– cover stories. It also provided them with “bank accounts, homes, cars and regular payments”, in order to allow them to establish their operations on US soil. Another noteworthy fact is that the network’s deep-cover agents (married couples Lazaro/Palaez and Heathfield/Foley) were in touch with each other, but seemed to be unaware of the existence of two of the spy ring’s short-term agents, namely Chapman and Semenko. Finally, the Stratfor summary entertains the hypothesis that it may have been Sergei Tretyakov, a senior SVR agent stationed at Russia’s United Nations mission in New York, who defected to the US in 2000, who first tipped off the FBI about the existence of the SVR spy ring.

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

2 Responses to Analysis: What we know about the Russian spy ring case

  1. This has been going on since the Cold War Ended. Just a Big catch and an Embarrassment for the Russians to be found doing this, without noticing our Operations in their midst. We are still The Champs. The Chinese think they have an upper hand, but are quite calm knowing they are probably next too. They cannot not react or they give more away. Aggression at its worst case scenario, for the Other Nations at risk. Terrorism and Their support Nations are at serious risk. These[Russia,China] are so allied to the Terrorists too. They support direct Military and Intel services.

  2. Ishmael says:

    This HAD to be politically motivated. Any Counter-Intelligence Agency worth it’s salt would have at least tried to grab Matsos and try to turn him anyway. That way they could both watch his field agents and set them all up for disinformation campaigns back to Moscow.

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