Legacy of fear Key Putin ally com­mands force of 13,000

The Sunday Telegraph - - News -

Rus­sia’s SVR traces its roots to the foun­da­tion of the Soviet Union’s NKVD For­eign Depart­ment in 1920.

The NKVD be­came the KGB and left a legacy of tar­geted killings to un­der­mine for­eign gov­ern­ments and prac­tised mokroye delo, “wet af­fairs”, the spilling of blood, to take out “traitors” who had fled abroad.

The SVR split from the KGB – now the FSB – at the end of the Cold War and is seen as be­ing in com­pe­ti­tion with the mil­i­tary intelligence ser­vice, the GRU. SVR spies are trained in Moscow at an academy known as The In­sti­tute. Its most fa­mous grad­u­ate is Vladimir Putin who served as an agent in East Ger­many and was chair­man of the SVR for a decade.

Its head is key Putin ally Sergei Naryshkin, 64, who served as his chief of staff and chair­man of the Rus­sian par­lia­ment.

Mr Naryshkin, born in St Petersburg, is the sub­ject of fi­nan­cial sanc­tions by the UK, the EU and the US. Euro­pean diplo­mats say he com­mands a force of 13,000 staff and of­fi­cers around the world.

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