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Palestinian President May Once Have Been KGB Agent

Soviet document lists Mahmoud Abbas as agent code named 'Mole'

(Newser) - It appears Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, worked for the KGB during the Cold War, the New York Times reports. It's information that seems relevant now, as Vladimir Putin, a former KGB lieutenant colonel, and Russia are attempting to start new peace talks between Abbas and... More »

Why Putin Walks That Weird Walk

It may be because of his KGB weapons training: scientists

(Newser) - The peculiar walk of one Vladimir Putin (left arm swinging naturally, right arm stiff at his side) has been the subject of speculation, with guesses ranging from childhood illness to an in-utero stroke, Live Science reports. But a group of Dutch neuroscientists—or "movement disorder enthusiasts," as they... More »

Poisoned Spy on Deathbed: Putin Ordered My Murder

Litvinenko named Russian leader before death, public inquiry in Britain is told

(Newser) - Well, somebody put poison in Alexander Litvinenko's tea, and before he died, the former KGB agent told police in London that he had a pretty good idea who was behind it, reports the Guardian . And, yes, he named exactly who you think he named:
  • “Having knowledge of this
... More »

UK Opens Inquiry in Death of Poisoned Ex-KGB Spy

Alexander Litvinenko's widow 'delighted;' more bad news for Russia

(Newser) - The widow of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko has been pressing the UK government for nearly eight years to investigate his death. Today, Marina Litvinenko got her wish: Home Secretary Theresa May announced that London is opening an official inquiry into whether Russia was behind her husband’s fatal poisoning... More »

22 Years Later, KGB Secrets See Light of Day

KGB official Vasili Mitrokhin handed them to Britain in 1992

(Newser) - In 1992, senior KGB official Vasili Mitrokhin defected from Russia, and he didn't leave empty-handed. With him came documents that the AP calls "one of the biggest intelligence leaks in history—a who's who of Soviet spying." Two decades later, the first batch of them has... More »

Is Putin Nuts? Nope, Just KGB

Marc Champion: His Crimea strategy is out of the old playbook

(Newser) - Angela Merkel suggested last weekend after a phone call to Vladimir Putin that the Russian leader seemed out of touch, or "in another world," as quoted in the New York Times . And his "paranoid," rambling news conference this week sealed it for Julia Ioffe at the... More »

FBI: Demjanjuk's Nazi ID Likely a Soviet Fake

25-year-old report up-ends war crimes trial

(Newser) - In the midst of closing arguments in John Demjanjuk's Nazi war crimes trial in Munich, a shocking revelation: AP yesterday reported on the existence of a newly declassified FBI report that claims Demjanjuk's Nazi ID card was "quite likely fabricated" by the Soviet Union. Throughout three decades of hearings... More »

Russia Sends Hitman After Agent Who Outed Spies

'We know who he is and where he is,' Kremlin says

(Newser) - Russia has sent a hitman after the double agent who ratted out Anna Chapman and the other amateur spies the US caught this spring. “We know who he is, and where he is,” a high-ranking Kremlin source bragged to a Russian newspaper. “You can have no doubt—... More »

In Spy Swap, US Got the Pros

Russia gives up aging Cold War turncoat

(Newser) - The four spies Russia handed over to the US last night didn’t have much in common with the 10 spies they got back. The so-called “sleeper” agents that the US nabbed were mainly in the business of looking for government and think-tank contacts that Russia’s “professional”... More »

Beauty Spy's Dad 'Was KGB Agent'

Ex-hubby not surprised by Anna Chapman's bust

(Newser) - Alleged deep-cover Russian spy Anna Chapman may have been following in her father's footsteps, says her British ex-husband. The Russian-born beauty "told me her father had been high up in the ranks of the KGB," Alex Chapman tells the Telegraph . "She said he had been an agent... More »

Russian Sports, Concert Tycoon Gunned Down

Shabtai von Kalmanovic, 60, know for importing WNBA stars

(Newser) - A former KGB agent turned sports- and concert-promoter was gunned down today in Moscow, with the submachine gun-toting assailants pulling alongside Shabtai von Kalmanovic’s Mercedes and killing him nearly instantly in a hail of bullets. Kalmanovic, 60, brought stars of the WNBA to Russia during its off-season to play... More »

1988: Reagan, Right; Putin, Left

(Newser) - It’s 1988. President Ronald Reagan is making a visit to the Soviet Union, where he tours Moscow’s Red Square alongside Mikhail Gorbachev. He stops and takes questions from a group of tourists about human rights in the United States. Except they’re not tourists, Radio Free Europe reports.... More »

Want to Own a Newspaper? Got $1.50?

Russian oligarch buying iconic London paper for token sum

(Newser) - A Russian oligarch with a past in the KGB is set to buy one of London's most visible newspapers, at the knockdown price of just a buck and a half. Alexander Lebedev will acquire the Evening Standard for the token price—the cost of two copies—from a media conglomerate... More »

Head of Russian Orthodox Church Dead

Patriarch Alexiy unified denomination, was suspected of KGB ties

(Newser) - The iconic leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, who healed an 80-year rift in the church and restored its prominence in Russian society, died today, the Times of London reports. No official cause of death was given for Patriarch Alexiy, but the Kremlin’s first post-Soviet Orthodox leader had been... More »

KGB Radiation Poisoning Suspect Ready to Talk

Lugovoi offers to meet with UK investigators

(Newser) - A former KGB agent accused of poisoning a Russian dissident in England wants to clear his name, he tells the Times of London. Alexander Lugovoi has offered to send a friend to London to speak with investigators, and may travel to the UK himself if officials pledge not to arrest... More »

Russia Claims US Citizen Provoked War

Cites teacher's found passport as proof of meddling in Georgia

(Newser) - To support its claims that US intelligence agents played a role in the Georgian conflict, the Kremlin has produced a US passport belonging to an Army veteran from Texas, the Wall Street Journal reports. They say the passport was found in an outpost used by Georgian special forces. The alleged... More »

Brits: Russia Played Role in Ex-KGB Agent's London Murder

'Clear indications it was state action'

(Newser) - The murder of a former KGB agent in London 2 years ago was carried out with the support of the Russian government, British government sources have told the BBC. There are "very strong indications it was a state action," said one senior official. Alexander Litvinenko, who was mysteriously... More »

In Moscow the Beat Goes On

Second verse same as the first: Putin and protege celebrate win at concert

(Newser) - To no one's surprise, Russia's new president Dmitry Medvedev has promised to uphold the policies of his predecessor after yesterday's stage-managed transfer of power widely regarded as an election farce, reports Reuters. Medvedev has already chosen outgoing president Vladimir Putin, ineligible for another term, as prime minister. To underline their... More »

Medvedev Wins in a Landslide

Putin pupil has asked current prez to be PM

(Newser) - On par with expectations, Dmitry Medvedev has won Russia’s presidential election with 69.6% of the vote, an exit poll says. His closest rival took just 17.2%. The victory likely means little change for Russia, as Medvedev has asked current president Vladimir Putin to be his prime minister... More »

Belarus Merger Could Return Putin to Office

New constitution would give president new lease on power

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin may release a secret weapon this week: a Russian political union with neighboring Belarus that could extend his leadership indefinitely. As the ex-KGB operative’s presidential terms run out, observers look to a merger of nations—including currency, legal system, and armed forces—as an opportunity for a... More »

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