Former head of FSB counterintelligence tells about fight against spies in military in 90s

Former head of FSB counterintelligence tells about fight against spies in military in 90s
Alexander Bezverkhny Photo: RIA Novosti

Russian counterintelligence in the 1990s revealed attempts to create a serious foreign intelligence network in the military, to which they responded with “steaming misinformation” and “setups,” the former head of the military counterintelligence of the FSB told.

Former head of the military counterintelligence department of the FSB, Colonel General Alexander Bezverkhny, spoke about how military counterintelligence in the 1990s counteracted the recruitment of foreign intelligence services in the Russian army. He spoke about this during the presentation of the book of the writer Alexander Bondarenko Military intelligence in the press center of Russia Today, RBC reports.

Bezverkhny called countering recruiting one of the priority areas of counterintelligence. According to him, in the 1990s counterintelligence revealed attempts by other countries to create a “serious” intelligence network in the Armed Forces. “Such a vivid example, and there was a popular opinion that on the shoulders of the army leaving the East Europe, the GDR, the special services will be able to recruit agents, create certain intelligence capabilities. I am deeply convinced that they did not succeed,” he added, referring to a strict system of counterintelligence measures.

“Using simple language, we did setups, steamed misinformation, distracted them [foreign intelligence services] from the possibilities to the operational situations that we created,” the former head of counterintelligence said. “At some stage they had the impression that they know and own everything.” 

Bezverkhny called the main methods of recruitment and intelligence activities of Western intelligence blackmail (creating incriminating situations for potential candidates) and offers of “big money.” He called betrayal the biggest crime and added that he personally conducted interrogations of ex-GRU employee Sergey Skripal in the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center. “The man has broken the lives of a huge number of people,” he summed up. Bezverkhny specified that during the selection for military counterintelligence, candidates undergo a complex system of examinations, tests, polygraphs, provide numerous recommendations, and immigrants from special services occupy positions in the country's leadership, including in presidential administrations. 

Colonel-General Bezverkhny headed the FSB military counterintelligence from 2000 to 2015, and worked in special services from the 1970s.

The book Military Intelligence tells the story of military counterintelligence: ChK – OGPU – NKVD – KGB – FSB. It contains stories of the service of people who at different times carried out counterintelligence activities in the troops, and stories about their work.

Tags: FSB
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