Russian Intelligence Services

Russian Intelligence Services

Russian Intelligence Services

Russian Intelligence Services

Synopsis

It's not known who the first Russian spy was, but Plougin (history, Moscow State U.) traces secret services in the region back to the 9th century through analysis of documents from Russia, Greece, Byzantium, and the Vatican library. He offers the facts as well as a narrative flavor of battle scenes

Excerpt

What trait in a person’s character do you, dear reader, find most appealing? I, for one, think, it is curiosity. That is the real engine of social development, the mother of sciences, arts, and crafts, midwife of intellectual and moral reflection. Unfortunately, curiosity is rather rarely found among men. “We are lazy and lack curiosity”, said the poet — and the more widespread that condition is, the more precious is the exception.

These sketches, offered to your attention are, to a certain extent, nothing more than an extended eulogy (there was such a genre in the ancient art of speech), that is, praise of those people for whom curiosity was the basic property of their nature and a tool that enabled them to serve their country, and make a living for themselves, and (in some cases) stand out as textbook cases of professionalism. As the reader may have guessed, we shall speak about intelligence agents in the broadest sense of the term.

The ancient history of the institutions where these people worked and are still working, that is, the secret and special services of Russia (political, economic and military reconnaissance services and the intelligence arm of the secret police and the diplomatic corps) has not been written and has not attracted much attention so far — even by the literature of the cold war. Only fiction writers have ventured from time to . . .

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