Oleg Kalugin is a retired Major General in the 1st Chief Directorate of the KGB. Early in his thirty-two year career, he worked undercover as a journalist while attending New York’s Columbia University and then conducted espionage and influence operations as a Radio Moscow correspondent with the United Nations. General Kalugin played a major role in the John Walker spy ring as Deputy Chief of the KGB station at the Soviet Embassy in Washington, DC. He was also an elected member of the Soviet parliament during Gorbachev’s administration and was one of the first reformers of the KGB. He is currently a professor at The Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies in Alexandria, Virginia.*
Russian Political Establishment Under President Putin
The transition from Yeltsin’s era of anarchy and corruption to Putin’s rule of “law and order” has led to partial de-privatization of the national economy and restriction of human rights. KGB and its successors stand behind the process. They remain, as in the old days, the pillars of current Russian political establishment. Oleg will discuss Russia’s future detailing the “sovereign democracy” that is promoted by the KGB and its successors creating a kind of national schizophrenia, a never ending conceptual conflict between East and West.
Russian Security and Intelligence Organization Today
Russian security and intelligence have undergone dramatic changes since the collapse of the USSR, and yet in substance they remained essentially the same. With Russia run by former KGB officials, driven by nostalgia for the old “glory days”, anti-Americanism, suspicion of all potential political dissidents and foreigners, including citizens from former Soviet republics permeate the activities of the domestic security service. Oleg will discuss the state of Russian security and intelligence organization today explaining the shift in foreign intelligence emphasis to economic, military and technological espionage with USA viewed officially as Priority #1 rather than Enemy #1.
Covert Actions and Disinformation in Modern Times
Promoting communist cause by way of subversion and massive disinformation has ceased since the demise of the Soviet Empire. But new Russia, with former KGB officials at the helm, is anxious to restore her status as a premier world power and eagerly resorts to tested Soviet methods of conducting influence operations. Oleg will discuss how the information age and modern communication capabilities have created more ways to spread concoctions, lies and rumors across borders to a countless number of people.
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