Russia still actively spying on the U.S.
The U.S. Justice Department announced the arrest of three Russians for espionage on Sunday, February 1st, and highlighted that the case is proof that Russia still has an active spying program 35 years after the end of the Cold War.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich responded by claiming that the U.S. was manufacturing a spy scandal as a continuation of its ‘anti-Russian campaign.’
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Statement from former federal prosecutor
According to Annemarie McAvoy, a Fordham Law professor and former federal prosecutor, the latest case indicates Russia is still undertaking “economic warfare” against America.
‘We have to be concerned about the economic warfare end of this. That’s what worries me,’ she explained, referring to the serious cyberattack on Sony Pictures involving the movie ‘The Interview.’
McAvoy also noted the arrests are another sign the that the spy game has changed as nations are looking for information to use to attack businesses and/or the economy of another nation. ‘It’s not looking for military secrets. That’s almost passe now,’ McAvoy said.
More on Russia spy case
The arrests of Russians Evgeny Buryakov, Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy comes less than five years after 10 covert agents (a sleeper cell referred to as ‘The Illegals’ by Russian intellgence) who led apparently ordinary lives in the U.S. for a number of years using false identities. They pled guilty to conspiracy charges and were ordered out of the country as part of a spy swap for four people convicted in Russia of spying for America.
Federal authorities broke another case of Russian spying back in 2013. Alexander Fishenko, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Kazakhstan who became wealthy running an export firm, has been alleged to be an gent for the Russian military. Fishenko’s espionage trial will begin later this year.
The latest investigation involved espionage by both Sporyshev and Podobnyy, low-level diplomatic employees, and Buryakov, a Bronx resident legally living in the U.S., who was employed in the Manhattan branch of a Russian bank.