Thirty-fourth edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2001 16:10:37 +0100)

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Intelligence news

The British newspaper Sunday Times reported on 4 February that RUSSIA'S president, Putin, intends to merge his security bodies into one organization with powers similar to those of the former KGB. This would revert the break-up of the agency ordered by ex president Boris Yeltsin. Putin himself has been a spy for 16 years. According to several sources the FSB, the SVR, and FAPSI, would merge as early as March.

Control of other law enforcement units such as the organized crime squad, now under the interior ministry, could also switch to the security service.

According to the Sunday Times two veteran KGB men, both friends of Putin, are tipped to lead the service - Nikolai Patrushev, head of the FSB, and Sergei Ivanov, who runs Russia's powerful security council.


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