Germany’s domestic intelligence services arrested two deep cover spies working for the Russian foreign intelligence service (SVR) last year “after receiving information from the FBI in the US.”
The two spies were said to have been operating inside Germany for at least two decades. Some government sources indicate that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki or SVR) is Russia’s primary external intelligence agency. The SVR is the successor of the First Chief Directorate (PGU) of the KGB since December 1991.
The headquarters of SVR are in the Yasenevo District of Moscow.
The SVR is responsible for intelligence and espionage activities outside the Russian Federation.
The couple, only identified by their “aliases”, Andreas and Heidrun A, gained German citizenship after using “bogus Australian documentation”, according to a report from the Australian (see article: Suspected 20-year Russian spies held in Germanyhttp://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/suspected-20-year-russian-spies-held-in-germany/story-e6frg6so-1226483190199).
According to the article the two spies “had the task of gathering information about the political and military strategy of the EU (European Union) and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization),” the prosecutor’s office said.
See article: Germany charges 2 alleged Russian spies accused of snooping on EU, NATO strategy http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/germany-charges-2-alleged-russian-spies-accused-of-snooping-on-eu-nato-strategy/2012/09/27/47a935f6-08b0-11e2-9eea-333857f6a7bd_story.html
German sources indicated that the spies worked for SVR, Directorate “S” which manages illegal Intelligence.
Directorate “S” includes thirteen departments responsible for preparing and planting “illegal agents” abroad, conducting terror operations and sabotage in foreign countries, “biological espionage”, recruitment of foreign citizens on the Russian territory and other duties.
In terms of spy craft the pair maintained contact with the SVR, via satellite transmissions and “an Internet video portal”, according to the article.
Sources close to the investigation reveal that the Russian Embassy in Germany is a “hotbed” of spying activity in Europe – something we knew back in 2008 (see letter above).