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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 Russia’s 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 FSB’s economic security department.

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

Igor Porshnev, head of the Kremlin’s 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 Kremlin’s 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 country’s 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 Council’s secretariat. Sergei Ivanov brought him to the Defense Ministry.

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

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Dec. 26


Celebrate Boxing Day by playing various tabletop games during the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening tonight at 5 p.m. Spread the Christmas cheer and goodwill by making other people regret their decision to come and try to match their intellectual prowess against yours.



Saturday, Dec. 27


Indulge cultural and material needs simultaneously during the free classical music concert at the Galeria shopping mall in the heart of the city. Starting at 7 p.m., shoppers and mallwalkers will be able to hear the sounds of Tchaikovsky and Strauss softly lilt over the constant buzz of people bustling from store to store, trying to get their shopping done before New Year.



Sunday, Dec. 28


Prepare for the holidays at the Russian Winter New Year’s Fair on Moskovskaya Ploshchad, which concludes today after starting on Dec. 22. Games and attractions as well as numerous performances will be on offer for those looking to get into the spirit while numerous vendors will help make sure you have something for everyone on your list.



Monday, Dec. 29


Learn how the Swedes observe Christmas, or Jul, in their land of ice and snow, during aSwedish Christmas celebration at the Lermontov Children’s Library this afternoon at 4 p.m. Activities explaining and demonstrating Sweden’s cultural traditions will be accompanied by traditional dishes and sweets.



Tuesday, Dec. 30


Today is the final day of the Christmas Market at the Europolis shopping center on Polyustrovsky prospekt. Indulge your holiday sweet tooth by tucking into some gingerbread men, or attend one of the master classes that will teach you about how to make beautiful, festive decorations for your tree using only your hands.



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