Friday, July 2, 2010

Senior Ex-KGB Man Claims 400 Russian Spies In U.S.

A former senior agent with the Soviet KGB has suggested that the recent arrests of alleged Russian spies in the United States is just the tip of the espionage iceberg.

Oleg Gordiyevsky, a British-based former senior agent with the Russian Federal Security Service's (FSB) predecessor, told RFE/RL's Russian Service that he reckons Russia has hundreds of spies currently working in the United States.

A "conservative" estimate is that 400 or so spies are operating in the U.S. from embassies and other Russian governmental institutions, he said.

He put the number of deep-cover agents, or "illegals" like those in the recent case, at around 60.

Gordiyevsky estimated the number of U.S. spies in Moscow at 20-25, and said the British had two spies in the Russian capital.

He did not elaborate on how he arrived at such specific figures.