RUSSIA

1999

July - December 

For reportage on the revelations in September 1999 about Soviet espionage operations in the West based on materials drawn from the "Mitrokhin Files," see "UK/SpyCases/September 1999."

Materials arranged chronologically.

Wadhams, Nick. "Former KGB Chief Chebrikov Dead." Associated Press, 2 Jul. 1999.

Viktor Chebrikov, who headed the KGB from 1982 to 1988, has died. Chebrikov presided over the KGB "during one of the most infamous incidents in the Cold War, the shooting down of Korean Airlines Flight 007 in Russia's Far East in 1983."

Gordon, Michael R. "Russia Ousts U.S. Officer as Ties Sour Over Kosovo." New York Times, 4 Jul. 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]

The assistant Army attache at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Lt. Col. Peter Hoffman, has been declared persona non grata; he departed Russia on 1 July 1999. The Russian action is seen as "a fresh sign of the tensions that have grown between the United States and Russia since the war in Kosovo."

Gertz, Bill. "Russians Told to Cut Number of Spies in America," Washington Times National Weekly Edition, 2-8 Aug. 1999, 14.

According to "administration officials," U.S. Ambasador James Collins has told Vladimir Putin, "Russia's top Security Council adviser," that Russia must "voluntarily reduce the large number of intelligence officers operating in the United States or face cutbacks in diplomatic positions or expulsions."

9 August 1999: Yeltsin sacks Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin and names Vladimir V. Putin, a former KGB officer in East Germany, more recently deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, and most recently director of the Federal Security Service, as the newest of his prime ministers; Yeltsin also endorses Putin as his candidate for president in next year's elections. The following is some of the associated reportage and comment:

Bohlen, Celestine. "Yeltsin Dismisses Another Premier; K.G.B. Veteran Is In." New York Times, 10 Aug. 1999.

Mufson, Steven. "Kremlin Turnover Harms U.S. Hopes, Analysts Say." Washington Post, 10 Aug. 1999, A16.

New York Times. "[Editorial:] Russia's Parade of Prime Ministers." 10 Aug. 1999.

Sands, David R. "Putin A Selection of Necessity for President's Inner Circle." Washington Times, 10 Aug. 1999.

Washington Post. "[Editorial:] Prime Minister No. 5." 10 Aug. 1999, A18.

Washington Times. "[Editorial:] Russia's Political Chaos." 10 Aug. 1999.

Williams, Daniel. "Yeltsin Sacks Another Premier." Washington Post, 10 Aug. 1999, A1.

Franchetti, Mark. "Spymasters Vie For Kremlin: Yeltsin's Courtiers Fight to Keep Power." Sunday Times (London), 15 Aug. 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

"'Putin is tough, decisive and never thinks twice about carrying out orders,' said one senior former intelligence officer. 'You can be sure that he will use all his KGB contacts to dig up as much dirt on Yeltsin's opponents as possible. If he fails, Yeltsin will just sack him.'"

Reynolds, Maura. "For Yeltsin Heir, Challenge Is to Move Out of Shadows." Los Angeles Times, 16 Aug. 1999.

"[F]or all the speculation, Putin remains a cipher -- yet one who may hold the key to his country's future."

Wolf, Markus. "From Spy to Statesman." New York Times, 4 Sep.1999. [http://www. nytimes.com]

"Can a former spy make a good prime minister? As the longtime head of East Germany's foreign intelligence service, my answer is yes. In any case, all of us should hope I'm right, since Vladimir Putin, Russia's latest Prime Minister, is, like the two who immediately preceded him, a former intelligence operative."

Andrew, Christopher. "Waging War Against the Dissidents." Times (London), 16 Sep. 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

The SVR "proudly proclaims itself the heir to the KGB's foreign intelligence arm, the First Chief Directorate (FCD).... The SVR maintains that the FCD had nothing to do with the abuses of human rights perpetrated by the KGB's internal directorates. The top-secret files in the Mitrokhin Archive show that this claim is nonsense. The FCD was up to its neck in the war against the dissidents. It had no higher priority than crushing 'ideological subversion' wherever it raised its head."

Pincus, Walter. "Russian Spies on Rise Here: Administration Worried About 'Aggressive' Economic Espionage." Washington Post, 21 Sep. 1999, A3. [http://www.washingtonpost. com]

"Three years ago, there was an unexplained increase in the number of Russian intelligence officers operating in this country, according to administration and congressional sources. The increase, which has not abated, reversed the almost 30 percent decline in the number of Russian operatives in the United States that had taken place after the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, the sources said. Much of the increase appears to be among Russian military intelligence officers who are engaged in economic espionage."

Pincus, Walter. "20 Years of Back Channels Between Intelligence Agencies." Washington Post, 21 Sep. 1999, A3. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"For more than 20 years, the CIA and Russian intelligence agencies have had a back-channel relationship, much like the one U.S. officials are now using to reduce the number of Russian agents in this country."

Coughlin, Con. "Russian Space Pictures Enable Saddam to Target Gulf States." Telegraph (London), 10 Oct. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

"Iraq has signed an agreement to buy satellite intelligence photographs from Russian firms that will enable Saddam Hussein to target his missiles at neighbouring oil-rich Gulf states."

Warren, Marcus. "Former Spy Blake Helps Primakov in Push for Power." Telegraph (London), 13 Oct. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

George Blake "has emerged to sing the praises of Yevgeny Primakov, the former KGB spy chief and presidential hopeful. Blake's admiration for Mr Primakov was one of the few details to emerge about a semi-secret trip by Blake to Vladivostok, the Pacific port and reported home of the KGB officers who recruited him during the Korean War."

Hoffman, David. "Russia Detains Arms Expert, Two Others Searched Over Possible Secrets Leak." Washington Post, 31 Oct. 1999, A32. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"The Russian Federal Security Service [FSB] has searched and interrogated three arms control and nuclear weapons specialists -- two Russians and one American -- and one of the Russians has been detained, the specialists said [on 30 October 1999].... The [Russian] investigators have been asking questions about a possible leak of classified information."

A follow-on story, David Hoffman, "Russian Arms Researcher Charged With Spying for U.S.," Washington Post, 18 Nov. 1999, A35, quotes "sources" for the information that the chief of the section on military technological research at the Institute for the Study of the United States and Canada, Igor Sutyagin, was arrested by the Federal Security Service on 27 October 1999 and charged with "spying for the United States."

Ahrens, Frank. "Espionage, Adding Spies to Life: Flurry of Snooping Warms Up Cold Warriors." Washington Post, 11 Dec. 1999, C1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 8 December 1999, Stanislav Borisovich Gusev, a technical expert with the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, was caught by the FBI while eavesdropping on the U.S. State Department. Gusev "aroused suspicion by circling the State Department,... looking for a spot [to park] to pick up transmissions from a sophisticated listening device mysteriously planted inside State's most sacrosanct chambers."

Price, Joyce Howard. "Top Russians Suspected in Bugging: Device Placement Seen as Inside Job." Washington Times, 13 Dec. 1999, 1.

HPSCI Chairman Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-FL) told NBC's "Meet the Press" on 12 December 1999 that "officials at the 'very highest levels of the Russian government . . . probably signed off' on the listening device found in the wooden molding of a wall inside the U.S. State Department.... Virtually everyone questioned about the episode expressed certainty it was an inside job."

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