RUSSIA

2010s

Books

Lucas, Edward. Deception: The Untold Story of East-West Espionage Today. New York: Walker, 2012.

Goulden, Washington Times, 15 Aug. 2012 and Intelligencer 19.2 (Summer-Fall 2012), notes that the author "argues that Russia's dispatch of the sleeper agents 'is not a laughing matter.'" In Deception, Lucas "contends that 'the most serious' of the sleeper spies ... was Andrei Bezrukov, who lived in Cambridge, Mass., under the name of 'Donald Heathfield,' along with his wife, Yelena." To Peake, Studies 56.4 (Dec. 2012), "Deception is a well-wrttien journalistic account" that provides a "disquieting tale of post-Soviet-era espionage, security, corruption, and their historical antecedents." The book "is generally well documented from open sources, but not in all instances."

For West, IJI&C 25.4 (Winter 2012-2013), the author shows "a jaundiced viewpoint of the Western intelligence community's competence." Also, the book has "[n]umerous ... examples of minor inexactitudes." Nonetheless, the book's strength is its "stark assessment of how much of the Russian economy has been seized by faceless men who wield the ability to intimidate overly inquisitive journalists and orchestrate accidents for incautious rivals."

Soldatov, Andrei, and Irina Borogan. The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia's Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB. New York: PublicAffairs, 2010.

See also, Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, "Russia's Secret Services Today," Intelligencer 18, no. 2 (Winter-Spring 2011): 13-16, which is "based" on this work. An "Editor's Note" points to a streaming video of the authors made at the New America Foundation on 11 October 2010: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/295994-1.

Lucas, Wall Street Journal, 17 Sep. 2010, calls this book "a disturbing portrait" of the FSB, "a sprawling empire, with capabilities ranging from electronic intelligence-gathering to control of Russia's borders and operations beyond them." This "should be essential reading for those who hold naïve hopes about Russia's development or who pooh-pooh the fears of its neighbors." The authors "give skimpy treatment to the FSB's ... rivals within the Russian bureaucracy: the GRU military-intelligence service and the SVR." For Peake, Studies 55/2 (Jun. 2011), this work "presents a persuasive, well-documented view of the FSB that only dedicated, risk-taking Russians could provide."

Volodarsky, Boris. The KGB's Poison Factory: From Lenin to Litvinenko. Minneapolis, MN: Zenith, 2010.

According to Peake, Studies 54.2 (Jun. 2010) and Intelligencer 18.1 (Fall-Winter 2010), the author provides "some background on the origins of the laboratory that produced the KGB's assassination weapons and poison." However, "the primary thrust of the book is on the case of former KGB/FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned in London with a dose of polonium" in 2006. The book "has major flaws," including some poor editing, a disjointed chapter arrangement, and gratuitous personal digressions. The reviewer suggests that "[a] well-sourced second edition would remove what is now just a veneer of legitimacy."

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