Kremlin spy: What awaits US intelligence agent for ‘betrayal of Putin’
How valuable to the CIA was the “mole” Smolenkov, who leaked Moscow’s interference in the U.S. election
The name of the former employee of the government apparatus Oleg Smolenkov became widely known in recent days – amid a new spy scandal. It was the American media that “declassified” him, despite the fact that the man left Russia in 2017, and now “unexpectedly” found in the United States in the quiet town of Stafford. The New York Times reported that the former official was “one of the CIA’s most valuable informants.” Smolenkov allegedly helped investigate the investigation into election meddling and the hacking of the servers of the Democratic National Committee. His recruitment took place many years ago while working at the Russian Embassy in Washington, but American intelligence waited until the informant would gain access to the Kremlin.
Smolenkov’s value to the CIA raises some doubts, especially given the official statements of Russian representatives. He served under Yuri Ushakov, Assistant to the President of Russia for International Affairs, and was allegedly responsible for procurement, travel and personal assignments of the leadership. In general, such a “boy on errands.” And even when the Smolenkov family (he himself, his wife and three children) disappeared in early September 2017 in Montenegro, where they went on vacation, there was no special noise. A murder case has been opened, but the investigation has stalled and the missing official has been forgotten for a while. However, being a confidant of the Assistant to the President for International Affairs, and even having a class rank of a valid state adviser of the 3rd class (according to the military rank of major general), he had access to the high offices of the Kremlin. And if he did not have an opportunity to look into Putin’s table, Chekov could have taken pictures of some documents. Again, the very fact of escape with his family in the U.S. looks suspicious (U.S. intelligence claims that it was a special operation), so the occasion was still. The latest argument is a three-story mansion he purchased in America in June 2018 worth nearly a million (925,000) dollars. The modest Kremlin employee could not save such funds and it can be assumed that he received the rewards due to the agent for the work done. And what kind of “job” was that then?
“The question of whether a former Kremlin official was as valuable as the Americans describe him, or whether he is as renegade as the Russians now claim, is a matter of paramount importance,” the New York Times suggests. “On his reputation, the issue at the heart of not only Washington’s relations with Moscow but also American policy is based on how accurate the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community, published in a declassified report in January 2017, was accurate, according to the report Putin personally “ordered” an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election and “showed a clear preference for President-elect Trump?”
The Americans believe that the informant, whoever Smolenkov was, played a crucial role in the case of the “hand of Moscow.” They no longer care what the Kremlin agent brought in the briefcase, the very fact of his “evacuation” should confirm Putin’s “atrocities”. And although there is a year left until the next US presidential election (they are scheduled for November 3, 2020), the hype around the “Russian spy” is already included in the election race. The first democratic presidential debates have already taken place in the United States, with clear critics of Donald Trump. It must be assumed that Smolenkov will not rust with “valuable information”.
What is known about Agent Smolenkov? It is known that Oleg Borisovich was born in 1969 in the city of Ivanovo and since the late 1990s worked in the apparatus of the Russian Foreign Ministry. In the mid-2000s he was appointed to the position of the second secretary of the Russian Embassy in Washington and dealt with financial and economic issues. It was in Washington that he was able to establish a trusting relationship with the then Ambassador to the United States, Yuri Ushakov, who was followed everywhere. In the government apparatus, Smolenkov served as chief adviser and then as a representative. After Ushakov, he moved to the foreign policy department of the presidential administration. After returning to Moscow, his wife Antonina also joined the government and worked for some time in the management of the president’s affairs. It can be assumed that the wife was aware of her husband’s contacts with the CIA, as she decided to flee the country with him.
And if Oleg Smolenkov really for a long time passed the secret information of the CIA, to which he had access, he falls into the category of traitors. If we recall the words of Vladimir Putin during the scandal with the arrest in the United States in 2011 of our scouts, who spoke about “werewolves” very specifically: “This is the result of betrayal, and traitors always end badly.” This is without any hints of Putin’s “order” to eliminate the resurrected Skripal, which was hinted at in London. On the one hand, there is no statute of limitations for treason and, although the official practice of killing defectors has long been abolished, former colleagues will not-
For example, in July 2010, defector Sergei Tretyakov of the Foreign Intelligence Service, who was directly involved in the failure of the so-called “Anna Chapman Group” in the United States, was very sophisticatedly eliminated. In a strange way, a 53-year-old man choked on roast beef as he left the restaurant. That is, he ate meat at the table, probably, that also drank it with wine or whiskey, but already fatally choked on the steps of the restaurant. Can features digestion, can spices. Nevertheless, the police and medics recorded a piece of meat in his larynx. What to say – pure work, mosquito nose will not sharpen.
Three years ago, they began to talk about the death of another traitor Alexander Poteyev, also known for his involvement in the failure of the Chapman Group, which surrendered it seven years ago. There was no official confirmation, but the fact remains that not only the media but also the special services started talking about it. And here, as usual, there is no smoke without fire. There is no confirmation of the traitor’s death, but professionals believe that the end of it was a foregone conclusion from the moment when the defector crossed the border of Russia.
There are cases in history when Soviet spies-traitors Vladimir Nesterovich, Ignatius Poretsky, Reino Heyhanen, apparently, were eliminated abroad. But all this has to do with the work of the KGB and the Soviet period when treason was punishable by the highest measure and a fair verdict, one way or another, overtook the defectors. Here we can remember the execution of Leo Trotsky in 1940, which was eliminated abroad by an ice pick. The executor of the sentence, which was allegedly sanctioned by Stalin himself, recruited a participant of the Spanish Civil War Ramon Mercader, after serving his sentence was able to escape to the USSR, where he was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
However, the fate of modern defectors is more prosperous, most of them are still alive, many died by their age. And, say, Yuri Nosenko, an employee of the Second Main Directorate of the KGB of the USSR, after whose escape in Geneva in 1964 was withdrawn from abroad about 400 illegal scouts, died safely in the United States in 2008. Well-known traitors such as Vladimir Rezun from the GRU (writer Victor Suvorov, author of the books “Icebreaker”, “Aquarium” etc.), Oleg Gordievsky from the First Main Directorate of the KGB (now The Foreign Intelligence Service), sentenced to death in the USSR for extradition 31 Scout. In this list Oleg Kalugin, Anatoly Golitsyn, Vladimir Petrov, Stanislav Levchenko, retribution for the betrayal of which did not follow.
Hardly anyone will try to punish Oleg Smolenkov. He lived in the United States for two years under his own name, bought a house and did not hide much from his neighbors. In Russia, he was not even convicted in absentia, no charges were brought. So he does not face a “bad end” from Putin.