Comment: Russian Espionage Steals 2010 Limelight

GRU emblem

GRU emblem

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
As the first decade of the 21st century is coming to an end, few would dispute that Israeli and American spy agencies have been among the most talked-about intelligence organizations of 2010. The reasons for this are equally undeniable: the United States tops the list because of its political prominence, which inevitably attracts media attention; Israel tops it because of the sheer ferocity of its espionage output throughout the Middle East. And yet there is nothing new about this, since neither the Central Intelligence Agency nor the Mossad are exactly novices when it comes to high-profile media exposures. The same cannot be said with respect to Russian intelligence agencies, which went through a period of prolonged hibernation following the end of the Cold War. Indeed, the year that is about to end demonstrates that the stagnant interlude in Russian espionage may well be in its closing stages.

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Mysterious Russian spy goes on trial in Poland

Valentin Korabelnikov

V. Korabelnikov

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The trial has started in Warsaw, Poland, of an unnamed Russian citizen accused of working for Russian military intelligence. On October 22, the mysterious Russian, known only as “Tadeusz J.”, appeared before the Regional Court of Warsaw and pleaded not guilty to charges of collecting military intelligence on Poland on behalf of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU). The accused has a Polish-sounding name and is fluent in Polish, but is not a Polish citizen. Instead, he lived in Poland under permanent residency status for at least decade. His legal income appears to have come from his ownership of a hunting-rifle accessories store. But he was arrested last February, after a six-month surveillance operation by Poland’s Internal Security Agency (ABW). He was subsequently charged of obtaining classified information on the Polish military through his patronage of elite Polish hunting clubs, whose members included several Polish military officials. Read more of this post

Polish officials reveal arrest of alleged Russian spy

Valentin Korabelnikov

V. Korabelnikov

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The Polish government has announced the arrest of a Russian resident of Warsaw, on charges of spying for Russia. The man, whose identity has not been released, was apparently arrested last February or March, after a six-month surveillance operation by Poland’s Internal Security Agency (ABW). Polish officials did not say why the arrest was kept secret for so long, but revealed that the alleged spy’s capture was known only to Poland’s president, the prime minister and the office of the prosecutor. The alleged spy is said to be a Russian citizen and a fluent Polish speaker, who has lived in Poland under permanent residency status for at least decade. His legal income appears to have come from his ownership of a hunting-rifle accessories store. Read more of this post

Article on formerly unknown Soviet spy published

George Koval

George Koval

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
On November 2, 2007, some of Russia’s most senior military and intelligence officials gathered at the Kremlin to honor a Soviet spy whose name was until then completely absent from the annals of espionage history. Russian defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) chief Valentin Korabelnikov were among several officials who joined Russian president Vladimir Putin to pay tribute to George Koval. Koval was an American citizen born in Iowa to immigrant parents from Belarus. In 1932, Koval, his parents and two brothers, all of whom were US citizens, moved back to the then rapidly developing Soviet Union to escape the effects of the Great Depression. It was there that the young George Koval was recruited by the GRU, the foreign military intelligence directorate of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces. He received Soviet citizenship and returned to the US through San Francisco in October 1940. Read more of this post