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AGENTS IN POWER

Published: February 12, 2008 (Issue # 1347)


The number of current and former intelligence officers employed by the state has increased significantly under President Vladimir Putin. Here are some senior figures linked to the security services.

The Kremlin

Vladimir Putin, president, KGB lieutenant colonel. He was recruited by the KGB in 1975 and served in the First Department of the Leningrad Directorate (foreign intelligence) until 1983. He served as a spy in Dresden, East Germany, from 1985 to 1990.

Igor Sechin, Kremlin deputy chief of staff, Rosneft chairman. In what experts say was an undercover KGB job, he worked as a Portuguese translator in Mozambique. He is believed to have played a key role in the legal assault on Yukos, once Russias biggest oil company.

Viktor Ivanov, presidential aide; chairman of Aeroflot and Almaz-Antei, KGB colonel general. He has served as FSB deputy director and head of the FSBs economic security department.

Vladimir Osipov, head of the Kremlins personnel department. He formerly worked for the Federal Agency of Governmental Communication and Information, or FAPSI.

Igor Porshnev, head of the Kremlins information department. In what experts say was an undercover KGB job, he worked as a journalist for Gosteleradio (State Television and Radio) in India.

Alexei Gromov, head of the Kremlins press service, Channel One television board member. He is a career diplomat believed to have links to the security services.

The Government

Sergei Ivanov, first deputy prime minister; head of United Aircraft Corporation, the state aviation holding; controls the countrys military-industrial complex. He worked for Soviet foreign intelligence in Africa and Europe and served as FSB deputy director from August 1998 to March 2001. Defense minister from 2001 to 2007.

Nikolai Pankov, deputy defense minister. He graduated from the KGB Higher School in 1980 and served at the agency for many years. He headed the State Border Service in 1997 and 1998. In 2001, he was appointed head of the Security Councils secretariat. Sergei Ivanov brought him to the Defense Ministry.

Andrei Chobotov, head of the Defense Ministrys personnel department. He is a former KGB and FSB agent and a close ally of Sergei Ivanov.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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