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A lifetime of innovation

CIA Will Continue Search for New Russian Technologies
16 April 2002

Russias Federal Security Service (FSB) said April 10 that it had blocked a CIA intelligence operation aimed at penetrating Russias missile-design program, Russian media and the BBC reported. The FSB said CIA officers posing as embassy officials in Russia and another former Soviet state tried to recruit an employee at a secret Russian Defense Ministry installation, slipping him psychotropic drugs in attempts to get information from him. CIA and U.S. Embassy officials in Moscow refused to comment.

As STRATFOR has previously said, the end of the Cold War has done nothing to halt espionage activities. The current case suggests that even the budding friendship between Moscow and Washington cannot stop intelligence-gathering. There is still something in Russia that the United States considers to be worth spying on: new military technologies.

Despite Russias financial and military declines in recent years, its scientific and technology potential remains formidable. The country remains a scientific power for two reasons: First, several experimental and research schools in the defense sector have survived in the post-Soviet era; and second, Russia has always had strong intellectual potential, which has been widely used for defense purposes. This remains in spite of the brain-drain created by better wages offered to scientists in the United States and other countries.

The current spy scandal involved a scientist working in a secret research center near Zhukovsky air base, the Russian air forces top test center, near Moscow. To STRATFORs knowledge, this center is designing new air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. The distinctive characteristics of these missiles include supersonic speed, low flight altitude, new elements of stealth technology and extremely accurate guidance systems. The United States currently lacks a reliable defense against these weapons, and its own versions of the missiles lack some advantages.


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