Washington Post intelligence correspondent Jeff Stein provides some much needed follow-up on yesterday's strange piece in Kommersant promising revenge against the SVR colonel who betrayed the American "illegals." Two former spies, one American and one Russia, remember Colonel Aleksandr Vasilyevich Shcherbakov, thought to be the traitorous spymaster identified in the story. But the story still seems fishy:
Kommersant, said Dmitry Sidirov, the paper’s former Washington bureau chief, "is very close to the Kremlin." Its story, he speculated, was "an intentional leak," most likely a thinly-veiled attack on Mikhail Fradkov, head of the SVR, as the foreign intelligence service is known, since 2007, who had recently been "very much under attack" by rivals.
"The whole point of the story was to make the SVR a joke," Sidirov said.