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Russian Women Spies – The Real Truth


Unless you’ve been under a rock the last few days you’ve undoubtedly heard about the FBI arresting ten so called Russian “spies” in the US.

The highest profile member of this band is Anna Chapman, a 28 year old “Femme Fatale” originally from Moscow but currently residing in New York until her arrest earlier this week.  The mainstream press, always hungry for headlines, has swooped on this to label her as a “Beautiful and Sexy Russian Spy”.

Damn that sounds good doesn’t it??

Popcorn anyone?

In any case this story seems to have more in common with the bumbling Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther than with any alluring and dangerous sirens in James Bond.

Here’s why….

When I first arrived in Russia one of the most common and serious question I got as an American was…

Why are you in Siberia?  ARE YOU A SPY?

My usual tongue-in-cheek reply would be..

Yes I am… I’m here to spy on your Beautiful Russian Women!

And with that reply we’d all get a good laugh and any lingering tension or suspicions was defused in an instant.

But a deeper point remained.

With near-total government control of the media and a country too often trying to deflect attention from its own problems with exaggerations of mostly-imagined foreign enemies…  Cold war and xenophobic suspicions of outsiders still unfortunately remain entrenched in the Former Soviet Union.

So let me get straight to the point…

Russia’s political mentality is still firmly stuck in the past.

The world is speeding along with the internet and ever-increasing levels of transparency but in Russia the political instinct is still regrettably primitive and backwards.

The concept of “transparency” is something that remains completely alien since Russian culture itself is often firmly fixated on its SECRECY.

And herein lies the core problem.

Russia simply has too many “secrets” for its own good.

And often what the Russian Government regards as “secrets” is already open knowledge.

In the information age ideas have to fiercely compete with each other for any bit of recognition.

Billions of dollars are invested in Search Engine Optimizations, Social Networks, Social Media, Podcasting, Tweets and much more.

And any group that tries to rely on “secrets” to gain influence will simply be wiped out by a tidal wave of open information.

(Imagine going to a shoe store where the store manager hides the shoes from you but swears that they are good.   This is not exactly a successful business model now is it?)

So how does this connect to our latest Russian Woman Spy?

Well let’s just say that the old political appointees who run the SVR (Russia’s External Intelligence Service) probably don’t use a PC let alone understand the value of the internet.   What is the evidence to support this?  Take a look at the following quotes from the UK-based Guardian:

What the alleged spy ring is demonstrating is something we already know: that the oldies are still the goodies. We have seen every wrench and spanner of the cold war toolkit on display – dead drops, maps with stamps on, code words and even a “C”.  OK, they embedded text in a website now and then. But the overall feeling seems to be one of the summer of 79.

Writers hoping the recent “spy ring” arrests would provide a few fresh ideas for their next book will be somewhat disappointed. The tactics employed by the 11 alleged Russian agents to infiltrate United States policy-making circles would be rejected by their publishers as too old-fashioned for modern-day audiences.
But according to the 55-page indictment put before the courts, the old tricks are still the best: memory sticks exchanged at “brush-passes” between agents on staircases, identical bags exchanged during “flash meetings” at train stations, envelopes covertly slipped between co-conspirators inside folded newspapers, and money buried in public parks to be dug up years later.
Technological advances brought a little more sophistication, however. The alleged spies are accused of having communicated with Moscow using radiograms – coded bursts of data sent by radio transmitters that can be picked up by a radio receiver set up to a specific frequency.
They are also said to have used steganography, enabling text documents or web addresses to be secreted in publicly-available websites – invisible to anyone without the software decryption program.

So Anna Chapman and her buddies were on the payroll for the KGB/SVR, who believe that the cold war is still on and that you can’t find anything useful on the internet.   So they pay tens of millions of dollars to up set Anna and her fellow spies with cushy jobs where they essentially gather no real intelligence and pretend to “play spy” for the benefit of their bosses back in Moscow.

Meanwhile the KGB bosses back in Moscow think they and their operation in the US look really cool and that they deserve big medals and fat paychecks.   All is going well until the FBI humiliates them so thoroughly with literally years of surveillance evidence that they can’t even play the old “the Russian Government will deny all ties with you if you get caught” card.

So who are the bad guys in all of this?

Is it Anna Chapman and her cohorts?

I don’t think so…  they had to know that they were working a BS  job but decided to take advantage of the gravy train coming from Moscow in the form of cash handed out by old Cold War guys who don’t know what a browser is.

And in all honesty I can’t really label these KGB bosses as bad guys either because frankly it takes more intelligence to be a bad guy.   No, what we have instead are a bunch of buffoons instead of bad guys who are in charge of the asylum and ultimately it’s the Russian people who suffer for their ignorance and backwardness.

Maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on these guys because perhaps it’s more than just a fault of human nature.

Because after all if you took two identical reports and labeled one “Compiled Analysis from Various Web Sources” and the other “TOP F***ING SECRET”, which one would you pay attention to?

But in a nutshell this is what this Russian Spy story is all about.

Old guys running the ship who won’t accept information or give promotions unless the information given to them comes from cloak and daggers methods.  Then you have the “Agents” who work for them trying to make a living and having no choice but to follow the directions of the blind.

In the old days of the USSR when Yuri Andropov was the Director of the KGB he would insist that any “intelligence” which came to him had to match his paranoid view of the West.   Therefore any agent who delivered positive news about the USA or negative news about the USSR was either demoted or fired.  So naturally what did the KGB agents do?

They lied their butts off to Mr. Andropov and he absolutely disconnected from reality.

I wish this story was an old side note to cold war history… but unfortunately it still looks like it’s in play now.   Hopefully this scandal will wake some of the right people up so they can do some serious house cleaning.

BTW remember the old Mad Magazine cartoon “Spy vs. Spy?”

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4 Responses to Russian Women Spies – The Real Truth

  1. MilesN on 10/14/2010 at 8:32 am

    “Russia simply has too many “secrets” for it’s own good. ”

    Really? Consider it this way – if it weren’t for “closed-off” mentality of Russians, you would end up with Russian women being just as feminist as their NA counterparts. It’s simply long-term survival mechanism, nation-wide. Even if in short term it means hell of a turbulence, i . e., revolutions, dismemberent of the state etc., in long term it serves critical purpose – to preserve our core mental and moral values, the essence of our ways. The Russians can live on, changing names and regimes until those safeguards are in place. Yes, we’re mayy be “backward” in technolgy to the developed world, but least it’s WE who are backwards, not some distorted identity. Besides, the roots of those safeguards are pretty easy to discover – with such number of invasions that Russians lived through, it’s alredy in genetic code to be vary of strangers. Even if it affects effectivnes or functionality. Survival comes first. Some of your readers wondrerd how typical Russian girl could survive hardships and still be herself… well, just one example – during WW2 when industry was relocated behind the Urals, 45% of workers were women and children. War was swallowing up all able men. As previous wars on russian soil did too. So those hardships is just a business as usual.

    • rw_man on 10/16/2010 at 2:38 pm

      Hi MilesN.

      Please let me repeat myself..

      Russia DOES have too many secrets for it’s own good. Russia has good reason to respect its difficult past.. BUT NOT at the the expense of her future.

      An “invasion mentality” only works in wartime. And 65 years out from the end of WWII is a long time. When a person decides to take medicine when they are sick we call that healthy.. when they can’t quit the medicine afterwards we usually call that an addiction.

      Every species of animal either makes the right adjustments for a changing environment or they perish.

      We live in an incredibly fast moving age of transparency which is fundamental for the construction of any meaningful relationships or commerce. Russia’s old secret police mentality needs to die out fast because the paranoid are now in-charge and creating their own self-fulfilling prophecies by making enemies out of foreigners and citizens alike who try to bring in the necessary new ideas and techniques that your country needs to survive. The natural tendency of the Russian mentality is to immediately scorn these proven ideas no matter how successful they are in the rest of the world.

      For example, a local friend of mine just tried to import some professional cinema and video gear into the country and had to get clearance from both customs and the KGB / FSB for “security reasons” in order to do this when in fact this was just a way to force him to pay huge bribes to them.

      According to the world bank Russia is number 12 in GDP in the world which is really sad for a country with such huge intellectual talent and natural resources. Japan is a tiny country with no natural resources and roughly the same population scores #2. Frankly this is embarrassing beyond belief for Russia. Small countries like Japan, Italy, Spain and even France are literally kicking your country’s butt economically on the world stage for all to see.

      What “secrets” can Russia possibly wish to protect when it produces no internationally competitive or recognizable consumer or business products. No mobile phones, no computers or notebooks, no acceptable cars, no home appliances, no furniture, no engineering equipment, and the list goes on and on. This “secrecy” mentality is a bad joke especially when the only thing floating the Russian economy is crude oil and gas.

      “Secrecy” in Russia for the most part is a very bad and false ego trip.

      Russia’s greatest treasure is not your “secrecy”. It’s your incredible women who are unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my travels. Understand that the false “secrecy” that permeates Russian society is doing great damage to the welfare of all Russian people especially your women.

      Russian women deserve much more then what they are getting in life. And changing this “secrecy” mentality at the political, economic and various cultural levels would make a significant difference in helping Russia rise above its current situation.

      The current average wage in Russia is between $150 to $300 dollars per month. I don’t believe that increasing this will turn your women into feminists.. Feminism in our country was not so much a result of an expanding economy as it was a well planned and executed social engineering campaign designed to destroy relations between men and women and weaken American families.


      You can drop the secrecy.. expand your economy.. bring better lives to your people.. but still hold on to your precious cultural identity.. especially for your women..

      Just shift some of that suspicion and paranoia away from the things that will make your economy grow and start targeting any of the global elites like George Soros who have a long reputation for sowing social chaos.

      Understand who your real enemies are my friend.

      • Richard on 10/16/2010 at 3:16 pm

        I am already impressed by the stand you’ve taken as an ex-pat in a foreign land, particularly the way you defend the people in your new country, but these statements show even stronger resolve to promote and praise the place you now call home.
        Maybe I see most of what you talk about in a lighter position because it is focused on personal relationships rather than world affairs, though I know you aren’t afraid to speak on that as well, but this entry goes much farther to reach out for all of the social and political issues faced by the people there.
        From my armchair perspective, you have stated what may be obvious to much of the population there, even though its probably often kept for more private discussions. I think it speaks highly of you to take such a stand considering your country of origin.

        • rw_man on 10/16/2010 at 11:45 pm

          Thanks Richard..

          Just trying to put my 2 cents in.

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