Espionage episode brings memories of Cold War


Source: Associated Press

On the night of the 13th of May, Ryan Christopher Fogle, was arrested by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). The diplomat turned out to be a CIA agent, who was trying to buy confidential information from important personalities, specifically to a Russian official specialized in the fight against terrorism and security issues. Fogle was declared a “persona non grata” by the Russian government and was handed over to the American authorities after being ordered to leave Russia.

The American diplomat, who works for the US intelligence agency, found accused by the Russian government of espionage. His name is Ryan Christopher Fogle, he is a CIA agent and third Secretary of the US Embassy in Moscow. He was given the task to inform Washington about the foreign policy and defense of Russia.  Fogle’s department was dedicated to the analysis of the Russian policies, elections, freedom of speech  and issues related with human rights. Ryan Fogle  was stopped in Moscow, when according to the Russian authorities he was trying to recruit an agent of the secret Russian services. Fogle was arrested and interrogated, he was carrying special tools and written instructions for the Russian agent who was trying to recruit.

Fogle was caught red-handed with “the special equipment, written instructions for a recruited Russian citizen, a big sum of money and masking devices”- says the FSB Public Relations Center  Moreover, photos published by Russian authorities revealed the spy’s possessions: an RFID shield, a knife, a compass, a canister of mace, two wigs, a cell phone and huge amount of cash estimated to be close to $100,000. Among his belonging was a recruitment letter by the CIA offering the recruit around $1.000.000 a year for long term cooperation.

After the announcement of the capture of the American diplomat Ryan Fogle, several versions about the purpose of his task in Russia generated attention. Reuters reports that Russian officials state that Fogle was trying to recruit a Russian counter-terrorist agent in the Caucasus. It is well known that during the Cold War both sides used spies to gather information about the situation in the other side. Fogle hardly looked like a Cold War secret agent, in fact his disguise as cheap as it may have seemed was not the reason for arrest. This event raised doubts and questions about the relations that the United States and Russia nowadays share.

You may think that everything is going nice and smoothly between the US and Russia, but their relationship has in fact been tense, cold and rocky since the Cold War ended. The Cold War was the conflict between United States and USSR after the Second World War, the two superpowers competed to be the sole superpower and threatened each other to use their nuclear missiles, there was high tension but it didn’t end up in an actual war. According to U.S. State Department, despite recent cooperation some issues between the two still remains unsolved.

There have been complications with the cooperation of both countries  Latest events about tension between the US and Russia include the dispute about the CIA spy and issues related to the Syrian uprising, where the United States wants to Russia to stop selling weapons to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which Russia refused to do so. In December 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new controversial law that banned United States citizen from adopting Russian children, sending a clear message about the mistrust that exists among them.

Something that people think that has ceased to happen with the end of the Cold War is the espionage missions that the countries carry out, but in fact this mentality appears to continue as part of their foreign policies, and as Peter Earnest said, “The Cold War ended, the spying goes on.” Also, an FSB operative said that “the CIA has crossed a certain ‘red line’ in professional ethics of intelligence“.

Press the play button for a visual report on the case.

Written by Emanuele del Tufo, Heli Haapanen, Maria Torres, Izabela Łojewska and Dimitar Shadoura

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