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Collapse of Russian spy network

By Messenger Staff
Monday, November 8
On November 5, Russia celebrates KGB Day. On that day the Georgian counter espionage department of the Ministry of Interior held a press conference revealing details of a spy network of Russian special services operating in Georgia. Thus the speculation about Russian agents, which has been spreading in the Georgian media for the last week, received formal confirmation. So, Georgia ‘congratulated’ Moscow on KGB Day.

Moscow did not answer directly, though the irritation is clearly felt as Georgia’s move has been labeled as provocation and presumably the issue will rumble on, either from the Kremlin’s side or from Tbilisi which will possibly continue to reveal extra agents. Of the 13 suspects who were detained, four are Russian citizens and five are pilots and their operation started in 2006. Georgians managed to plant in ‘GRU’ a person who received trust from the Russian intelligence while working for Georgia. As it is known, in 2006 the Georgian government decided that if a person confesses about his/her contacts with the foreign special services voluntarily, he/she would be free from criminal liability. This eventually determined the success of the Georgian intelligence operation as the Georgian authorities claim to have destroyed the myth about the mighty KGB.

MP David Darchiashvili mentioned that Moscow has no resources to reproduce the same threat to Georgia which it managed to do in 2008. Georgia claims that it will not adopt any espionage methods against anybody. We can achieve better results with open policy against Russia, Darchiashvili says. Local analysts believe that the spy conspiracy revelation was down to the success of Georgian counter intelligence services. On the other hand, they express their regret that several pilots of the Georgian aviation system were involved in the matter.

The opposition suggests that the investigation over the spy network should be carried out in a competent way without populist moves motivated by PR. However they express concerns that this moves should not be used in the political battle and that the administration should not label opposition members as spies.

Russia officially denies any connection with detentions, saying that none of the persons involved were employed in the special services. Russians think that the spy network issue will put further distance between the two countries. The detained have no connection with Russian special services and Tbilisi should know that Moscow will never abandon its citizens in need, Russians claim.

However some Russian analysts highlight that, recently, Russian special services received several blows in different countries including the USA, and the latest issue exposes serious shortcomings in their special services.

Analysts suggest that Russia has a special interest towards Georgia and it will continue its attempts to enlarge its spy network in Georgia. There could be attempts made for agents to be planted in the high echelons of Georgian political establishment. So, beware of the Russian Spy, he or she might be next to you!

From Russia with love.