One of the Cold War's most famous defectors says Russia probably has about 50 deep-cover couples — and maybe even up to 60 of them — spying inside the United States.
Oleg Gordievsky, a former deputy head of the KGB in London who defected in 1985, said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev would know the number of illegal operatives in each target country.
The 71-year-old ex-double agent told The Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday that, based on his experience in Russian intelligence, "there's usually 40 to 50 couples, all illegal."
"The president will know the number, and in each country how many — but not their names," said Gordievsky, who said he spent nine years working in the KGB directorate in charge of illegal spy teams.
The FBI announced Monday the arrests of 10 alleged deep-cover Russian agents after tracking the suspects for years. They are accused of attempting to infiltrate U.S. policymaking circles while posing as ordinary citizens. All 10 are charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the U.S. attorney general — an offense that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
An 11th person allegedly involved in the Russian spy ring was arrested Tuesday in Cyprus.
Countries often have a number of intelligence officials whose identities are declared to their host nation, usually working in embassies, trade delegations and other official posts.
Gordievsky said he estimates there are 400 declared Russian intelligence officers in the U.S., as well as up to 50 couples charged with covertly cultivating military and diplomat officials as sources of information. He said the complexity involved in training and running undercover teams means Russia is unlikely to have significantly more operatives now than during his career.
"I understand the resources they have, and how many people they can train and send to other countries," Gordievsky said. "It is possible there may be more now, but not many more, and no more than 60 (couples)."
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Ex-KGB Agent: There Could Be 60 Russian Spy Couples
My question is how many of them are employed by the federal government and/or the Obama administration?