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Russia full of British spies, says security chief

FSB security service head Nikolai Patrushev says Russia is besieged by foreign spies, especially British ones, reports Fred Weir.
Hindustan Times | By Fred Weir, Moscow
UPDATED ON OCT 12, 2007 02:27 AM IST

Russia is besieged by foreign spies, especially British ones, who aim to undermine the country's security and steal its technologies, the head of the FSB security service Nikolai Patrushev has claimed in a rare interview.

"Politicians thinking in the categories of the Cold War still retain their influence in a number of Western nations," Patrushev told the ultra-popular weekly Argumenty i Fakty.

"They take credit for the collapse of the Soviet Union, and they are hatching plans aimed at dismembering Russia. They regard special services and their front groups as an efficient instrument for implementing (these designs)."

Over the past 4 years Russian counter-intelligence has caught more than 300 agents, including Russian citizens working for them, Patrushev said.

This year alone almost 50 espionage agents have been captured by the FSB, which signifies an intensification of activities against Russia, he added."

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