Putin and Vyacheslav Trubnikov (Office of the Russian President)
NPR: Russia's Ex-Spy Chief Shares Opinions Of His American Counterparts
It's not every day that the man who ran Russia's foreign espionage service offers to buy you a drink.
I'd been chasing Vyacheslav Trubnikov for an interview, when a message landed in my inbox: Hotel Metropol, 5 o'clock.
The Metropol is one of Moscow's grande dame hotels, just steps from Red Square, with polished dark wood, sparkling crystal decanters, velvet armchairs. Trubnikov settled in and ordered a double espresso.
He was born in Siberia and joined the Soviet KGB in 1967. He was immediately sent to Calcutta, India, under cover as a reporter. I asked him, did the other journalists know he was a spy?
"To be frank, everyone who was in Calcutta was considered to be a spy. Everyone. Every journalist," he said.
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WNU Editor: This is a fascinating article and discussion with Russia's former head of the SVR, or Foreign Intelligence Service (the equivalent of the CIA) .... and his insights on intelligence and the NSA are spot on. But the last paragraph of this report is what I felt while reading this brief but captivating post ....
Who would have imagined it, a generation ago: A Soviet spymaster talking tradecraft, with an American reporter not even born when he began stealing secrets for the KGB. And then the two of us shaking hands and going our separate ways, into the Moscow evening.