Russia: April 25, 2004


Vladimir Putin's re-election, by a landside, as leader of Russia, and his continued high poll ratings, have brought with it increased activity by military intelligence (the GRU) and overseas spying by the SVR (Foreign Intelligence Service, the Russian CIA). But this increased intelligence activity apparently brings with it the Soviet era fondness for "wet work" (assassination). Such Soviet era killings were only admitted after  the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. But now the intelligence agencies have regained control of the archives, and re-instituted the policy of stony silence on intelligence affairs. But it is suspected that the recent death in Qatar (by a car bomb) of another Chechen leader (who handled fund raising and logistics) in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar was the work of the GRU. The Russians are aware that the Chechen rebels keep going because of money raised from overseas Chechens, and Arab supporters in the Persian Gulf.  So the Russians may have sent the GRU to cut off this source of money.


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