US “dachas” of Russian diplomats served as base for Russian spies
The spies were to hamper the bureau’s ability to track Russian spies on U.S. soil and force the FBI and CIA to cease contact with some of their Russian assets.
Some of the 35 Russian diplomats expelled from the United States had participated in Russia’s counterintelligence operation, Yahoo News says with reference to former employees of the American intelligence services. The publication claims that they used the vacation spots of the Permanent Mission of Russia, which were seized in 2016 by then-President Barack Obama.
The spies were to hamper the bureau’s ability to track Russian spies on U.S. soil and force the FBI and CIA to cease contact with some of their Russian assets. They successfully decrypted some of the channels of secure communication of the American special services and tracked secret devices from the compounds of the permanent mission. Russian agents allegedly invented new methods of intercepting U.S. intelligence messages, including hacking computers not connected to the Internet.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with Kommersant FM radio station that such reports were associated with the start of the new electoral cycle in the United States and the agency would give an expert assessment of the situation.
The Russian Embassy in the United States stated that the Yahoo News publication “poses a direct threat to the security” of diplomats and their families and said the material was “fiction”. “The artificial and purely domestic smear campaign to denigrate Russia is apparent  The authors never named a single incidence or evidence of a violation of US norms and laws by Russian citizens,” the embassy said on its official Facebook page. The diplomats intend to seek explanations from the State Department.