Classified report: Russia tied to blast at U.S. embassy

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U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in a classified report late last year that Russia’s military intelligence was responsible for a bomb blast that occurred at an exterior wall of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, in September.

The highly classified report about the Sept. 22 incident was described to The Washington Times by two U.S. officials who have read it. They said the report supports the findings of the Georgian Interior Ministry, which traced the bombing to a Russian military intelligence officer.

The Times reported last week that Shota Utiashvili, director of information and analysis for the Georgian Interior Ministry, said the embassy blast and others in his country were the work of a Russian military intelligence officer named Maj. Yevgeny Borisov.

“It is written without hedges, and it confirms the Georgian account,” said one U.S. official familiar with the U.S. intelligence report.

This official added that it specifically says the Russian military intelligence, or GRU, coordinated the bombings.

Another official who read a three-page summary of the report said it mentions Maj. Borisov once and connects him to the bombings.

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

In 2008, Russian troops invaded the Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after skirmishes broke out between Georgian and Russian forces in South Ossetia. To this day, Russian troops remain in the provinces.

The report was drafted by the CIA and had input from the entire U.S. intelligence community. It examined the blast at the embassy as well as the string of bombings that have rocked Georgia since last summer.

The report was completed in December, and members and staff of the House and Senate intelligence committees were briefed on it in January.

The State Department has pressed the issue at the most senior levels of Russia’s Foreign Ministry, according to two Obama administration officials.

“Those events — the embassy bombing and other alleged bombings — have been raised with the Russians at a high level and they have been raised with the Georgians at a high level,” one administration official said. “It’s not necessarily pointing a finger, but part of a dialogue expressing our deep concerns.”

Some lawmakers have sought to learn more about the matter. Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the chamber’s Republican whip, said he sent a classified letter in June to the House and Senate intelligence committees asking them to investigate the incident and report back to members.

“Congress should investigate through the intelligence committees what has occurred and make the findings known to Congress,” Mr. Kyl said.

He said the report is important because the administration is pursuing Russia’s membership in the World Trade Organization and looking to seal a cooperative missile-defense agreement with Moscow.

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