On Thursday, the weekly Le Nouvel Observateur published a "bomb" about Russian spies. On the cover - headline "Putin's spies in France." We offer you a translation of a sensational article, in which we made only minor cuts.
"Exposing the Russian spies in France"
The man was too tactless. He was looking for an intimate information about an approximate to Francois Hollande man. He was interested in his private life, his friends, his connections. He is represented by the diplomats, deputy military air attache at the Embassy of Russia in France - but it was just a cover. In fact, Colonel Ilyushin worked for the GRU ... His mission - to introduce a mole in the heart of the French authorities.
Counterintelligence of DCRI1 Ilyushin watched for months. What they saw impressed them and worried. Thirty Colonel was not one of those post-Soviet spies who are tired of alcoholics, who worked in the 90s. He - a new generation of intelligence, of Putin's Russia, cold and efficient, as the master of the Kremlin. In Paris Ilyushin worked hard over IUry.
He has never sat in his office at the embassy ... Colonel Young was present at all the important events at the Military Academy in the Armed Institute or the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS) 2. There he tirelessly tried to "charm" of high-ranking military personnel, researchers and journalists. The goal: to "lift" the sources. It had turned out too well ...
"Before approaching them, he learned about them. Their family, their tastes, their weaknesses, "- says one man art. To catch them on the hook, he invited them to dinner every fifteen days, it is rule of Russian special services. And for a good snack, he gave them information about the Russian army or military relations between Paris and Moscow. At first, he did not ask for anything in return. Vice versa. To keep them even more, he handed them to "bait": Montblanc pen or a bottle of whiskey a good brand - standard gifts KGB, quite expensive to be a bit compromising and expensive enough to be considered as subjects of corruption. Then hefollowed by reaction. If the victim took a pen or a bottle, so it is ripe for phase 2: recruitment.
Since then the Ilyushin started asking for information, at first small, then all the more serious. He offered a few small articles - containing conceived in Moscow misinformation. In exchange, he gave gifts to more substantial: for example, a family trip to a sunny paradise. If the person taking the gift, he entered into a hideous world of espionage. And, as a textbook, Ilyushin proceeded to Phase 3: to "treatment" of his agent (using manipulation), with secret meetings abroad and piles of bills.
With one of the journalists, who happened to have the opportunity to provide intimate information about a close collaborator of François Hollande, the convergence (at the Ilyushin) has reached Phase 2. But when the reporter realized that I had become a paid Russian agent - that is, to engage in activities for which threatens many years prison - he turned in Levallois-Perret, the headquarters of the DCRI ... There he told all H4 team (service code number, engaged in Russian), which already knew the basics. Tak-called "deputy military air attache" was called to the counter-intelligence. "He was told that his antics spotted and asked to stop," says a reliable source. A few months ago, after a series of warnings, Colonel Ilyushin gathered belongings and departed to Moscow. In Moscow, he was appointed general.
The story of a young colonel just the tip of the iceberg of a massive offensive of Russian spies in Europe and especially in France. "Within a few years, especially after the return of Putin to the Kremlin, they are becoming more and they are more aggressive," says one senior source. "They are twice as active than during the Cold War" - confirms the other. They are interested in everything: politicians skrytnichanya, France intentions of NATO, the UN and the EU, the company's trade secrets AREVA3, Thales4 technology ... Ukrainian crisis has forced them to be more diligent. "From the beginning, we are in the highest degree of readiness", - says one official, and said that the team H4 service in recent weeks has been strengthened ...
coupleI am nostalgic for the Cold War? Obviously, no. Our source in Moscow, an important MP, a former KGB officer, confirms «Le Nouvel Observateur» French counterintelligence concerns: "In times of tension, as it is today, the intelligence can provide the advantage of determining one of the camps. That is why the West is trying to penetrate into the inner circle of Putin. And that is why our intelligence services are struggling to you and trying to increase the recruitment: they need new sources of information. "
In Paris, all potential "target" had been warned - from diplomats. "Last year, the DCRI explained particularly important employees of the Foreign Ministry, that there is a threat posed by the Russian special services, - tells our senior source. - They reminded them of the correct response in the case of attempts at rapprochement ... For example: "If you are invited for dinner someone from the Russian embassy, write the questions asked and do not assign other rendezvous without the consent of his superiors." It is for the violation of these rules was recently fired a colonel who worked in the apparatus of the representative of France in NATO. <br />
"The unenlightened sources"
Some politicians also called for order. "Within two or three years, many parliamentarians approached the Russian intelligence officers," - said one official. The National Assembly and the Senate, especially on defense and foreign affairs committees, the Kremlin spies are looking for in the first place "irresponsible sources" who talk too much. Vladimir F. was in Paris, one of the experts on "sensitive intelligence". He was presented as a press attaché. In reality, he was a young officer in the RAF. He, too, was forced to hastily return to Moscow. This repatriation took place in silence, while almost at the same time, Mikhail Repin, Vladimir colleague F., was expelled from London under the lens flare.
Among the deputies and senators of the SVR people trying to recruit informants, not only, but also the influence of these agents. And they achieve it. "Some MPs retransmit the information provided by spies, often without being aware of everything that is" useful idiots "- explains OfficioFlax face. There are more severe cases: "Some give their new" Russian friends "diplomatic cables."
The research institutes also serves counterintelligence alarms. «DGSI regularly come to us to question", - said Thomas Gomar from the French Institute of International Relations ... After several meetings with too assertive Russian "diplomats", Etienne de Durand, a respected expert on military matters, concluded that he tried "to persuade to the relationship" at least four times ...
Reprimand by Sarkozy
Of course, the targets are large enterprises, and for a long time. I stole plans "Concord" In the 60's the KGB. Tips used them to build a supersonic "Tupolev", strangely similar to "Concord" 5 ... Only thirty years later, in 1992, revealing a resident in Paris, DST6 was able to identify a network of French engineers, who provided those plans ... Today, the Russian special services in the field of economic intelligence are less effective than their Chinese and American counterparts. However, a year ago, andm able to crank out a beautiful operation: Rosatom was able to sell the reactor one European country, because the RAF was secretly informed about the Rosatom competitor / French company / Areva.
In this activity, which demonstrate the Russian spies in all directions, Nicolas Sarkozy, in his time he complained directly to Putin. "During one conversation, face to face in 2010, he threw him under the guise of a joke:" Instead of spying on us, you would be better engaged the terrorists, "- says a former employee of the former president.
Sarkozy spoke after a spying operation, done at Rocambole style. One so-called naval attache, Russian Deputy tried to bribe / French / naval officer. He was looking for an ultra-secret data about the loud order on French nuclear submarines. After several phases of "convergence", a spy came to the officer home with bag full of banknotes. The officer took the money, but the documents that he gave in return, were false, concocted staff DPSD (military counterintelligence). Navy Vice Attaché was declared persona non-grasand the one sent to Moscow. At that time, the Elysee Palace has chosen not to disclose this information.
Mysterious sleeping agents
Despite the reprimand, which Sarkozy made to Putin, the Russian special services did not disappeared over the horizon. Quite the contrary. Today, their battle formations in France are impressive. According to several sources, they have about five dozen intelligence officers under diplomatic cover - at the embassy and consulates in Nice, Marseille and Strasbourg. Forty people working for the SVR. Their chef in Paris (known in the jargon of "resident") is usually represented by the 3rd or 4th "adviser" of the embassy. Another dozen scouts refer to the GRU, their true patron in France is usually represented "a journalist" TASS (sic - Note the "New".) Or Naval Attaché. The rest belong to the FSB. But that is not all.
As in the Cold War, in France working "illegals" - spies, not protected by diplomatic immunity, and depending on the management SVR mysterious "C" ... Four or five officers, slavemelting under diplomatic cover in the Russian Embassy in Paris, constantly engaged in the support of their clandestine activities ...
H4 Service believes that today in French territory between ten and twenty Russian illegals ...
Discovered a few years ago illegals "now at the stage of establishment, - says our source (in DGSI), - We are constantly watching them. And push at the right time. "
Last exposing illegal activities of the network concerned Anna Chapman in France ... According to a senior French figure, the network was connected in Paris, who came up with a good "legend": it was a business coach, trained employees of large enterprises. "We found his apartment, which was a device for transmitting a signal. We did not have time to arrest him, he disappeared. But we passed the information to the Americans. "
Brussels, nest of spies
French counterintelligence constantly communicate not only with the US but also with their European counterparts. "Every time we find a Russian spy, especially" pezidenta ", we warn our friends in Berlin, London or Warsaw," said an official source. After several loud cases, the majority of European capitals, too, are in a "state of alarm". So, in April, the director of the BFV (German counterintelligence) Hans-Georg Maassen said that one-third of Russian diplomats in Berlin - spies ... According to him, every year is taken about a hundred attempts at rapprochement with the German "objectives" and the number of these attempts has increased September 2013, after the election / Bundestag / more than two hundred new members.
... Director of the British MI5 confirmed that SVR Activity in London exceeds the activity of the KGB during the Cold War, and that today, fifty spies working under diplomatic cover.
The head of the Belgian counterintelligence VSSE said in an interview that "hundreds" spies of different nationality - "and first of all Russian" - work in Brussels, where the building of the European Commission and NATO headquarters.
Rare fact, NATO's Rasmussen cartridge / ... / during the conference, which took place in andUna in Chatham House7 accused Russian secret services in carrying out - together with so-called NGOs - a disinformation campaign to discredit / prospects for production / shale gas, and "to support Europe's dependence on Russian gas." True or false, this accusation has caused a burst of laughter from the side of Greenpeace, which asked "what are they smoking at NATO headquarters" ...
The French authorities refuse to loudly accuse the secret services of Moscow. The last public affair dates back to ... 1992. While Francis Tampervill engineer CEA8 was arrested during the transmission of documents category "top secret" on the French nuclear tests. In 1997, he was sentenced to 9 years in prison for "treason". Since nothing.
All things under the carpet clap. This silence is due to several reasons. "How to explain to public opinion that we are threatened with Russian spies, and at the same time, it is necessary to put Moscow Mistral warships?" - Asks one official. Besides DGSI working closely with the Federal Security Service in the fight against terrorzmom. "As in France, 17,000 Chechens, we have good opportunities to them (the Russian security services) to help, - said one senior source. - These are good that we were able to tell them important information relating to the explosion (probably "explosions." - Note the "New") in the Moscow metro in March 2010. In exchange, they inform us of other threats. "
Another explanation for the French muteness suggested another expert: "We prefer to monitor them, to find out what they are looking for, rather than to destroy foot anthill."
The last explanation, the most recent: "After the annexation of Crimea diplomatic relations between the two countries almost came to naught, and the contacts between the intelligence services are useful for storing the communication channel."
And when the end of this omerta? Perhaps soon. According to one senior source, the major Western capitals, including Paris, may decide on the coordinated expulsion of Russian spies operating in their territory (a total of a few hundred), if Russia will take military intervention in Ukraine.