Russian agent linked to U.S. Embassy blast

Allegations could disable ‘reset’ button with Moscow

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Yevgeny Khorishko, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Washington, dismissed the charges. “All these rounds of allegations are absolutely false and baseless,” he said.

Mr. Utiashvili said he traced the bombings in his country to Mr. Borisov after running checks on the temporary cellphones found from suspects arrested for placing the bombs.

“We have identified the terrorist phone numbers, from the suspects we have arrested,” he said. “Though these were temporary cellphones, they would always call the same number after every explosion. The phone number would be traced to an Abkhazia number belonging to an ethnic Georgian named Mukhran Tskhadaia who works for the GRU.”

Mr. Tskhadaia and Mr. Borisov have been sentenced in absentia to 30 years in prison for their roles in the bombings.

Mr. Utiashvili said that after receiving the call from the bomber, Mr. Tskhadaia would “call a number we know belongs to the GRU.”

“This is someone who is officially registered in the Russian Defense Ministry. He is the deputy to Maj. Yevgeny Borisov, who we believe is the real mastermind of the bombing campaign.”

Although the shooting war between the two countries has stopped, both sides have engaged in something of an intelligence war. Mr. Utiashvili said a recent operation uncovered a GRU-sponsored espionage ring that included the official photographers for the office of Georgian president and foreign minister.

Earlier this year, WikiLeaks disclosed a cable written in 2007 by the U.S. ambassador to Georgia at the time, John Tefft, that alleged Russian involvement in a 2004 car bomb attack in Georgia, bombings of the Georgian-Russian pipeline and a helicopter gunship attack in 2007.

“The cumulative weight of the evidence of the last few years suggests that the Russians are aggressively playing a high-stakes, covert game, and they consider few if any holds barred,” Mr. Tefft wrote.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to take up a resolution condemning Russia’s troop presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia later this month.

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