SVR (Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki)
The Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation
In contrast to the FSB, the SVR is tasked with intelligence and espionage activities outside the Russian Federation. As an American this group concerns me deeply. I’m terrified by what they can do. When I was growing up I remember worrying about Gorbachev and the KGB, whereas nowadays I’m stressed out about Putin and the SVR. It’s the official foreign-operations successor to the Soviet-era intelligence agencies, ranging from the original Foreign Department under Lenin, to the NKVD of Stalin, and on to the First Chief Directorate of the KGB. The whole point I’m getting at is that there is still something for me to be afraid of to this very day.
In 1940 a prominent man named Leon Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico by members of the NKVD. He had been a Russian revolutionary, a Soviet politician, and a philosophical theorist. Later other agents provided information about American nuclear facilities to Russian scientists so they could build atomic bombs. Joseph Stalin then initiated a campaign in 1946 to thwart the American influence within the Soviet Union. By the 50's the NKVD had become the KGB, which Khrushchev then went on to use as front line troops in the Cold War.
Throughout his distinguished career, Vladimir Putin eventually became a member of the KGB, because of course he did. Then, after the Cold War ended in 1991 the geopolitical tension between powers in the Soviet Union and the United States subsided somewhat. Soon the KGB was replaced by the SVR, and the whole intelligence community changed. By 1998 Putin had become the Director of the FSB, which is said to currently have as many as 200,000 agents working in just that one group alone. So, presumably there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of operatives working for the SVR, and other agencies as well. One thing is for sure, I remember back in 2010 the FBI uncovered a group of spies who were all working for the SVR right here in the States.
Then, back in 2016 the Russian intelligence community, including agents from the FSB, GRU, and SVR all hacked the Democratic National Committee servers here in the United States during the presidential race in an effort to tamper with the election of the 45th Commander-in-chief. During that operation they stole tens of thousands of emails and thousands of attachments from the DNC. This was an act of retaliation against Hillary Clinton for having interfered with Putin’s campaign during his 2011 run for the presidency in his own country. More importantly this was done in an effort to destabilize the US as a global superpower, and to make Donald Trump even more beholden to Vladimir Putin than he already was. It’s all part of the ongoing collusion between the sitting President of the United States of America and that of the Russian Federation. Trump is playing right into Putin’s hand. I guess Donald really is the apprentice, of Vladimir.
I never thought I would say this, but I think the CIA is our only hope. As much as I hate the NSA spying on us, I am so glad that they are watching them. The SVR is an active threat that can and is being used to undermine core democratic values in our Republic. More to the point, Putin wants nothing more than for Russia to rule the world and Trump is definitely stupid enough to let that happen. Just because the Cold War ended and we don’t really have any reason to believe that Russia poses an actual nuclear threat to America, that doesn’t mean we are safe. Smart cities are on the rise and with them comes the increased possibility of evermore cyber attacks, the likes of which we have never seen before. SVR will be routinely hacking the water supply, the electrical grids, the traffic lights, and so much more in the not-too-distant future. Soon they will be able to just grind our lives to a halt with the press of a button. We are fighting far more modern kinds of battles with Russia than with North Korea. The problem is that they seem to be winning.