So, in doing research for book two in the Lance Priest series, I have been reading up on the SVR – Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki – the evolution of the KGB is Russia after the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991. The SVR is Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service and is tasked with international espionage on behalf of the Motherland.
I wrote down in my notes their activities including planting long-term “illegals” or plants in American society. These agents were to assume normal identities and integrate into normal everyday life. This is reportedly different than the KGB model of putting resources in the field primarily affiliated with embassies, the media or other government covers.
And what do you know, news broke last week about 11 individuals arrested by the FBI for espionage. These people lived a variety of very boring, steady and otherwise unexceptional lives. These 11 spies were apparently tasked with learning what they could about US foreign policy decision-making. New articles are coming out daily about these folks. There is the “beautiful, Angelina Jolie/Salt-like femme fatal” the “goon” and others. They worked regular jobs, had kids and volunteered in their communities.
The question is — just how effective have these “deep-cover secret agents” been at learning America’s secrets? It is still early, but the initial reports don’t show a whole lot of intelligence coming out of the group. Stay tuned, I guess.