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Latest Kgb Items
Russia has broadened the authority of the Federal Security Service, the KGB's main successor agency, giving it Soviet-style repressive powers in a move critics say could be used to stifle protests and intimidate government opponents.
The upper house of Russia's parliament on Monday passed a bill granting expanded powers to the country's main security agency, a move that critics say echoes the era of the Soviet KGB.
The swap of 10 Russian agents for four prisoners was the largest prisoner transfer of its kind since the 1980s, when U.S. and Soviet bloc spies and agents were traded over the bridge separating the American sector of West Berlin from communist East Germany.
Well, well, well - now it appears that even Soviet - strike that! - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is afflicted by the general mediocrity of the moment. There was never any reason to doubt that the Soviet grasp of the third-rate and meretricious should not survive into the Russian renaissance. A Zil, the cumbersome Soviet limousine, is still a Zil - and no one ever buys a Russian computer if there is one or a Russian hamburger.
U.S. intelligence agencies are on alert for retaliation by Moscow, including a mass arrest of U.S. diplomats or intelligence officers who could then be used in a swap for 10 people arrested on suspicion of roles as Russian deep-cover spies posing as Americans.
I've reviewed intelligence books for decades. "Spies" is truly the best read yet.
One of the more interesting figures in Washington's international intelligence community is a gregarious former KGB major general who spent much of his professional life trying to topple Western governments in favor of a Soviet dictatorship.
It is no exaggeration to declare that Vladimir Putin's Russia is a true "spookocracy," a government dominated by members and veterans of intelligence services, what Reuel Marc Gerecht calls a "unique corporate, capitalist police-state."