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Russia reshuffles foreign intelligence after spy scandal

MOSCOW, November 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's foreign intelligence service, the SVR, is holding a minor staff reshuffle following the recent Russian - U.S. spy scandal, SVR Director Mikhail Fradkov said.FSB Headquarters, Former KBG Headquarters

"We make constant changes to our personnel," Fradkov said. "Those who do not meet modern requirements are of course asked to leave quietly."

A spy row between Moscow and Washington broke out in late June when 10 alleged Russian spies were arrested in the United States. The spies were freed in a swap deal between the two countries.

Russian media reported that a man known only as Col. Shcherbakov, who was the chief of an SVR department handling all intelligence sources in the United States, was to blame for the exposure of the Russian intelligence officers working under assumed identities.

Fradvov agreed with comments made by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev earlier in November that the SVR must learn from the episode.

He also said the SVR would analyze documents leaked by the WikiLeaks whistleblowing website on Sunday.

"There is nothing good about these materials," Fradkov said.

The site disclosed a secret cable sent by the U.S. embassy in Moscow that said Medvedev "plays Robin" to his strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's "Batman."

The site also disclosed comments made at a meeting in Paris in February between U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and then French Foreign Minister Herve Morin. In it Gates describes Russia in blunt terms: "Russian democracy has disappeared and the government is an oligarchy run by the security services."

The main suspect in the leak of the documents, along with previous logs disclosed by the site, is jailed U.S. Private Bradley Manning, who had top-secret clearance as an intelligence analyst for the Army when he was stationed in Iraq.

The WikiLeaks website does not have a central office or any paid staff and its operations are run only by a small dedicated team and some 800 volunteers.

Wikileaks' founder, Australian activist Julian Assange, has no home address but he often pops up in Sweden and Iceland, where Internet anonymity is protected by law. He is being hunted by Pentagon investigators and is suspected of releasing confidential U.S. State Department documents.

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Russia, Espionage, Security Services, Spy Scandal, Wikileaks - Russia News - Russia - Johnson's Russia List

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