Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Five books that show how Russia influences the world

Luke Harding is the author of Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win. At the Guardian he tagged five books that reveal how Russia influences the world, including:
Ben Macintyre’s The Spy and the Traitor tells the extraordinary story of Oleg Gordievsky, KGB officer and secret MI6 agent. As a member of the KGB’s London station Gordievsky was tasked with infiltrating the British establishment. The goal was to extract information from opinion-formers: politicians, journalists and others in positions of power. The KGB had a modest network of contacts and informants. Most were unaware that the charming Soviet diplomats who bought them lunch were actually KGB spies. Gordievsky’s attempts to get real intelligence were so unsuccessful that MI6 was forced to help. It gave him “chickenfeed” – real but low-grade material sent back to Moscow.

According to Macintyre, the dying USSR failed to recruit any significant British agents, but Putin’s modern espionage agencies may still try the same techniques. In autumn 2015 a Russian diplomat, Alexander Udod, invited [Arron Banks, a Brexit-backer who gave Leave.EU £8m, money that some allege came from Moscow, though Banks denies it] to meet Russia’s ambassador in London. The government subsequently expelled Udod for spying after the novichok case of Sergei Skripal.
Read about another book Harding tagged.

--Marshal Zeringue