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It said Col. Poteyev had sought to hamper the agents’ work by forcing them to meet in unsafe places and providing them with inferior equipment.

The CIA may have recruited Col. Poteyev in the 1990s when he did two stints at Russian diplomatic missions in the United States, the newspaper Izvestia reported.

Col. Poteyev was a veteran of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, where he served with an elite KGB commando team code-named “Zenith” in the 1980s.