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Lessons to be learned from spy betrayal – Medvedev

A newspaper report detailing alleged treachery in the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service that blew the cover of Russian agents in the US was “no news” for Dmitry Medvedev.
“I knew about it on the day it happened, with all the attributes and accessories, but a proper investigation is needed here. We’ll wait and see. There are lessons to be learned from it,”

he said at a media briefing at the G20 summit.

The Russian president did not comment on how much truth there is in the report published on Thursday by Kommersant newspaper. The article put the blame for last summer’s spy scandal on the agents’ superior at the time. The article alleges that a Colonel Shcherbakov was the “traitor” who exposed Russian undercover “sleeper” agents working in the US.

Meanwhile, initial reactions to the article by the official bodies involved are skeptical. Kommersant claimed that Shcherbakov’s son had worked for Russia’s anti-drug agency. However, a source in the agency later told Interfax news service that was not the case.

An intelligence source told Moscovsky Komsomolets newspaper that they had no man named Shcherbakov. Another source confirmed that there was a traitor, but with a different name, and refused to elaborate.

Kommersant cites Deputy Head of the State Duma committee on security, Gennady Gudkov, as saying that he had known the story of Shcherbakov’s alleged betrayal from “former colleagues” for quite a long time. Gudkov served in the KGB for nine years.

“It’s a vibrant example of total moral degradation, when everything is bought and sold, and when get rich fast schemes become the prime goal for many Russians, both high-ranking and ordinary,” the retired colonel said.