Security at US embassy to be run by former head of KGB
THE US embassy in Moscow is to be guarded by a com- pany owned by a former head of KGB counter-intelligence who worked with Kim Philby, the British double agent, and a young Vladimir Putin, after cuts to US staff demanded by Russia.
Elite Security Holdings was awarded a $2.83million (£2.15 million) contract to provide “local guard services for US mission Russia”, which includes the Moscow embassy and consulates in St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok, according to a post on a US state procurement website.
The contract and background of the firm came to light in a Kommersant newspaper report yesterday.
Elite Security, a private company and the oldest part of the eponymous holding, was founded in 1997 by Viktor Budanov and his son
Dmitry, according to a Russian business registry.
A 2002 article posted on the site of Russia’s foreign intelligence service identified Mr Budanov as a major general in the agency who be- came a Soviet spy in 1966 and retired a year after the collapse of the USSR. His long work in Soviet and Russian intelligence could raise questions about whether the guard services contract poses a security or intelligence risk to the US mission. The US embassy referred
The Daily Telegraph to the state department, which did not respond to requests for comment.
Before his work in foreign intelligence, Mr Budanov was the director of KGB counter-intelligence, he has told Russian media. He was also head of the KGB branch in East Germany in the late Eighties, where a young Mr Putin served under him.
He has also said he worked with Philby, who defected to the USSR in 1963, and was once a guest at a private lunch given in Philby’s honour by Yury Andropov, the KGB head who became leader of the Soviet Union.