Voices from Russia

Saturday, 15 June 2013

A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… Spy Scandal: Anything Goes

00 Sergei Yolkin. Old-School Spy Mania. 2013

Old-School Spy Mania

Sergei Yolkin



The recent seizure of a Moscow-based CIA spy who was caught trying to recruit a Russian as an agent received wide publicity in the press. Media outlets quickly picked up the story of the CIA agent’s clumsy work, but dropped it several days later after sneering at the white wig, the dark glasses, and other spy paraphernalia found on the scene. However, the most important fact regarding this ugly incident… the one that deserves particular attention… was missing from media reports. That was the time chosen by the unfortunate agent’s bosses for the operation. Shortly before the arrest of Ryan Fogle, US Secretary of State John Kerry handed President Putin a letter from US President Barack Obama. Putin’s reply was ready and his representative was ready to deliver it to the White House. Thus, the scandal broke at a time when political circles in Russia and the USA were busy discussing forthcoming meetings of Presidents Putin and Obama, which could bring a “whiff of fresh air” to rapidly deteriorating Russia-US relations. The spy scandal came right out of the blue, concocted right on the spot, and was ostensibly at odds with the emerging thaw in bilateral relations. This could hardly be a coincidence!

Evidently, some influential groups in Washington disapprove of President Obama’s tentative attempts to bring back the “reset”. As if by magic, domestic political scandals directed against the president have become particularly frequent recently, replacing one after another at an alarmingly fast pace. In a recent development, President Obama fired Steven Miller, the head of the Internal Revenue Service, over a high-profile scandal. Miller was one of the key figures in the US administration; he was a close presidential adviser. After the media reported that phone conversations of Associated Press employees were being hacked and someone was eavesdropping on them, the far-right press was quick to draw a parallel with the infamous Watergate scandal, which began with reports of interceptions of phone conversations and ended with the resignation of President Nixon.

However, this was not enough for the masterminds of anti-presidential scandals in the USA. As a result, they’ve brought old reports about the killing of the US ambassador in Libya back to newspapers and TV news. Republican leaders used the killing in an attempt to manipulate public opinion to prevent Obama’s reelection to a second term. Nonetheless, since then, even though there’s been no new information regarding the case, they’re using it again, to escalate their campaign against the president. Bogged down in political bickering, Washington’s ruling élite is obstructing the resolution of important political issues to the detriment of their country’s national interests. A turn for the better in US-Russia relations left the leaders of the military-industrial complex scared of losing their main asset… the so-called “image of a foe”, which is a source of hefty profits for the “Cannon Kings”. When profits are at stake, all means are good as long so they serve the purpose. Even the catching of a small-fish of an agent roaming the streets of Moscow in a white wig will do.

00 Valentin Sergeyevich Zorin. 26.04.131 June 2013

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service



Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Former CIA Analyst: “Elements in USA Want to End Moscow Ties”



Former senior CIA analyst David MacMichael told Press TV in regard to the recent spy row between Moscow and Washington that some speculations emerged that “elements in USA want to end Moscow ties”. When asked whether USA has a lot to lose by planting spies specifically at a time when the two countries are planning to cooperate and find a political solution on Syria, he said, “unfortunately, some will speculate that elements within the US Intelligence and security services that are opposed to rapprochement with Russia” did this in order to put an end to cooperation between Russia and USA.

20 May 2013

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

Do make a crucial distinction here. The “pros” in intel aren’t “opposed to rapprochement with Russia”… they’d like an easier life, and having good relations with Russia would mean that there’d be fewer chances of a fatal fuck-up. However, you can’t say the same of their political bosses and of the political hacks appointed to the higher reaches in both Langley and Fort Meade. Interestingly enough, both Republican neoconservatives and Democratic humanitarian interventionists converge as far as warfare in foreign parts is concerned… there’s not a tuppence worth of difference between them.

Who’s worse? The Republicans, at least, are open and unashamed grasping greedsters… the Democrats garb their nastiness in smarmy robes of “democracy” and “human rights” (the neocons use the former as much as the Democrats do, but the latter not as much). They’re both equally evil in terms of foreign policy (I vote Democratic because there IS a difference in their domestic policies, enough to matter). However, do note well that the Orthodox konvertsy and their enablers (especially, Potapov, Paffhausen, and Alexander Webster… also notice the SVS/Acton Institute Dixie Fry) cheerlead for the neocon warmongers… that’s not “consistent life ethics”, kids.

You see, if peace were to break out, the arms merchants would have no more orders for a while… and that can’t be! Poor babies! How will they afford their McMansions, wetback gardeners and nannies, holidays in Orlando, and country club dues? As General Smedley Butler put it so well in the ‘30s, “War is a racket”. Things haven’t changed, kids…


Saturday, 18 May 2013

18 May 2013. Sergei Yolkin’s World. Events of the Week in Cartoons: 13 to 17 May 2013

00 Sergei Yolkin. The Events of the Week in Cartoons... 13 to 17 May 2013. 2013

Events of the Week in Cartoons: 13 to 17 May 2013

Sergei Yolkin



The original in Russian had the CIA guy saying “No-o-o-o” in English, with the other two saying “Het” (Nyet) in Russian… just thought that you’d like to know that…


Sergei Yolkin summed up events that have been cooking for some time… the USA eliminated the Russian ice hockey team in the quarter-finals of World Cup, the FSB nicked a CIA agent in Moscow for espionage, and the maintenance man will turn off the hot water.

17 May 2013

Sergei Yolkin



Friday, 17 May 2013

Russia “Outs” Alleged Moscow CIA Station Chief… “Unprecedented” CIA Moscow Chief Leak Puzzles Ex-Spies

squirrel spy


On Friday, the FSB publicly identified an individual it claims was the Moscow station chief of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as of late 2011… a move widely-seen as a breach of protocol in the intelligence community. A man identified as an FSB official named the alleged CIA station chief in an interview with state-run television, in which he gave new details about the agency’s highly-publicised detention of alleged American spy Ryan Fogle earlier this week. In the interview, the FSB official reiterated earlier claims that his agency explicitly asked the CIA to stop trying to recruit Russian security and intelligence officers. In late 2011, he added, the FSB formally warned the CIA station chief in Moscow, whom he identified by name, “In the event that provocative efforts to recruit employees of the Russian special services continue, the FSB … would take reciprocal measures against American intelligence officers”. The officer, his face blacked out, and voice altered, said that Fogle’s brief detention this week… reportedly preceded in January by the unpublicised ouster of another American diplomat suspected of spying… was made public because the CIA continued to disregard the warning.

The Daily Telegraph reported, “A diplomat of the same name [given by the FSB official] is listed as a Counsellor in the US Embassy in Moscow in the Autumn-Winter 2012-13 edition of a directory of foreign diplomatic, media, and business offices in the city”. It wasn’t clear whether the man identified as the station chief is still in Moscow. US Embassy officials weren’t immediately available for comment. On Friday, US State Department spokesman Jen Psaki told a news conference in Washington DC that she hadn’t seen the report and referred further questions to the CIA. On Friday afternoon, the CIA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

17 May 2013


On Friday, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers and security experts told RIA-Novosti that Russia’s decision to identify a purported top American spy in the country is an “unprecedented” move in relations between Moscow and Washington with no clear indication of how the USA will react. Peter Earnest, who operated intelligence collection and covert operations in Europe and the Middle East during a 35-year career with the CIA, said, “Certainly, throughout the Cold War, and even after that, there was a practise of not naming the head of the [spy agencies] in the respective countries”. Earnest and other security experts said that the television interview in which a man identified as an FSB officer named an alleged CIA station chief in Moscow puzzled them.

In the interview with state-run television, the FSB officer explained that his agency detained purported US spy Ryan Fogle in Moscow earlier this week because a request in late 2011 to the purported station chief, whom he identified by name, to halt “provocative” CIA efforts to recruit Russian intelligence agents went unheeded. The Daily Telegraph reported, “A diplomat of the same name [given by the FSB official] is listed as a Counsellor in the US Embassy in Moscow in the Autumn-Winter 2012-13 edition of a directory of foreign diplomatic, media, and business offices in the city”. On Friday, neither the US State Department nor the CIA responded to requests for comment.

Melvin Goodman, who served as division chief and senior analyst at the CIA’s Office of Soviet Affairs in the 1970s and 1980s, said, “The leak of the purported spy’s name represents a serious breach in protocol. These things are usually done quietly”. He added that the release of the name was “unprecedented” in the history of American relations with Russia and the USSR. Goodman pointed up that the disclosure of a CIA operative’s name in such a fashion is typically a death knell for the agent’s career, saying, “He could stay operational clandestinely, but I don’t see how they could send him out under any cover”.

Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russian security services at New York University, called the naming of the alleged station chief a “definite escalation” in the wake of Fogle’s brief detention and subsequent eviction from Russia, where he served as a third secretary in the political section at the US embassy. Galeotti told RIA-Novosti, “It’s almost as if the Russians are inviting the Americans to respond, but as it is, they seem to have Washington off balance”.

Earnest and Goodman both said that without the full picture of the circumstances surrounding Fogle’s detention and the public naming of the purported station chief, it’s difficult to predict how Washington might respond. Goodman said that if Russia’s reaction was indeed precipitated by CIA operatives’ aggressive attempts to recruit Russian intelligence officers, Washington “may just decide to let it go, but without knowing what some of the operational details are, I’d hesitate to speculate on this”.

It wasn’t the first time that the name of an alleged CIA station chief was publicly disclosed in recent years. In 2010 and early 2011, American officials accused Pakistani authorities of leaking the name of two CIA station chiefs in Islamabad to the country’s news media within five months. However, Earnest, the founding executive director of the International Spy Museum in Washington DC, noted that Washington’s relationship with Pakistan is considerably different than its relationship with Russia is, adding that there’s no formal protocol dictating how countries should respond in these cases. “It’s very situational, and the fact that you and I and the public don’t know what occasioned the takedown of Fogle means we don’t know what the signal [from Russia] was. That makes it doubly-hard to know the signal of this latest development is. It sort of deepens the mystery”.

Goodman, who spent 24 years as a CIA analyst specialising in Soviet affairs, said the spy spat surprised him given public overtures from both countries in recent weeks indicating they were interested in cooperating on the investigation of last month’s Boston Marathon bombings and ending the civil war in Syria, saying, “This past week suggests that something else is going on”.

18 May 2013 (MSK)

Carl Schreck





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