Russia’s biggest spy agencies at war

Spy scandals reveal rivalry between Russian intelligences services.

From Andrew Osborn, the Telegraph:  According to Russian experts, the domestic FSB security service is trying to subsume the SVR foreign intelligence service in order to recreate a latter day KGB in all but name.

Supporters of the plan are seeking to capitalise on the SVR’s worst post-Soviet failure, the deportation of ten of its sleeper agents from the United States this summer, arguing that the debacle proved that the SVR had lost its way, it is claimed.

Pavel Felgenhauer, an intelligence agencies expert, said: "The mass collapse, arrest and subsequent deportation of ten Russian illegal agents from the USA has become a pretext for the FSB to start a campaign,"

The FSB was deliberately leaking details of the fiasco to the Russian press, he added, while its officers were anonymously heaping unprecedented criticism on the SVR.

"The aim of the leaks is to speed up a decision about the reorganisation of the SVR. We are talking about either a straight merger with the FSB or replacement of the current SVR leadership with ‘strong loyalists.’"

In the wake of the spy ring fiasco, President Dmitry Medvedev ordered an internal investigation at the SVR.  (graphic: Russia Today)

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