Turns out the U.S. is not the only country targeted by post-Cold War Russian spies. A Czech newspaper just reported that in 2009, three Czech generals were forced to leave the army as a result of the activities of a Russian spy who infiltrated their respective offices.
The Czech Republic, once a Soviet satellite state and now a member of NATO and the European Union, has noted the rise of Russian operatives in its midst. Indeed, last month the counterintelligence agency BIS reported that Russian spies are ever more active, with a focus on the energy sector, and that many can be found amongst academics and students.
The spy story just written about in the Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes, however, involved a state-employed Czech psychologist / Russian agent named Robert R., who, through his friendship with a female army major, succeeded in infiltrating the offices of three army generals, to whom the female army major served as head of staff.
The information came from an unrevealed source, and it is unclear whether the female army major knew Robert was a spy, what information she passed to him and whether her leaks threatened national security. Given that military intelligence agents were on the trail of Robert and his cohort for five years, surprisingly little has been revealed to the public about the spy plot.
The three generals involved held the following positions: Head of the President’s Military Office, the Czech Republic’s NATO Rep and the Deputy General for the Chief of Staff. The positions are senior, and indeed, this is the country’s largest reported case of military infiltration. Josef Sedlak, the NATO Rep, spoke up indignantly: “If some information existed showing one of my colleagues was connected to a spy then the agency should have told me to protect me. And not follow me like some villain.”
One of the other generals quit over internal military changes he disagreed with, and the third was not reachable by the newspaper for comment. Meanwhile, the Russian agent has fled back to mother Russia.