Spy passions in honor of MID09.11.2010 | 20:49
As was expected, the fuss about the detention of "secret agents" made by the media at Tbilisi's instigation was aimed only to mar the long-lasting Russian holidays. This weekend, Georgia MIA came out with a whole series of accusations of espionage and the localTV even broadcasted a relevant film. However, the whole affair came to some Georgian periodicals' desire that MID (Main Intelligence Directorate) should "kill itself against a wall", which only confirmed the true grounds of the pseudo-sensation.
By the way, first messages about the detention of "Russian spies" in Georgia appeared in the media on October 29, on the birthday of former RF Prime Minister Eugeny Maximovitch Primakov who is not a stranger in Tbilisi, by the way. Mythic "agents 007" were accused of collecting information on the purchases made by Georgian MIA and Ministry of Defense, as well as of delivering the data on high-ranking officers of the local security agencies to Russia. The date of the "opening night" was also carefully chosen by the Georgian side: November 5 is the 92nd anniversary of the Soviet (now Russian) intelligence service.
On Friday, before dinner, Georgian MIA officers published a list of peopled detained on suspicion of spy activities in favor of Russia. For some reason, there turned out to be only four Russian citizens on the list instead of the earlier stated 20 people. They are Director General for Seybolt Georgian branch Armen Gevorkyan and his deputy Ruben Khikoyan, as well as businessmen Petre Devrishadze and "the suspected MID's messenger" Yury Skrylnikov. MIA of the republic has stated proudly that the "spy network" was discovered with the help of a planted former Soviet Army officer whom the Georgian counterintelligence department supplied with special equipment and software required for information decryption.
On the evening of November 5, one of the Georgian TV channels Rustavi-2 showed a whole documentary about the supposed Russian spy network. The central character of the 30-minute narration was a double agent nicknamed Enveri, Caucasus Online reports. By way of planting him in the Russian military intelligence, Georgia allegedly managed to reveal some agents and a tool "for decrypting all the materials". In an instant, the topic was taken on by the Georgian media: there appeared such titles as "MID should kill itself against the wall".
However, Russian side took Tbilisi's cries with reserved skepsis. Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin referred to the data about the detention of a group of people who were allegedly Russian spies as to "political farce". In his turn, Head of the State Duma Committee for International Affairs Konstantic Kosachev underlined that the Georgians detained the people that have nothing to do with the special services and have done nothing wrong to Georgia and who will again be proclaimed traitors. "Rumors about Russian spies in Georgia are nothing but provocation", - he said.
Neither have Russian political experts seen the true value of a spy action film shot by Georgian authorities. Head of the Caucasian Department at the Institute of CIS Countries Felix Stanevsky in his interview to GeorgiaTimes said that Georgia has deployed a real agent network in the territory of Russia in due time and in every way cajoled such militants as Ruslan Gelayev and Aslan Maskhadov. "Saakashvili wants to show that Georgia may treat Russia as a second-rate state, - Stanevsky added. - However, it has never been so and it will never be that way, which was again proved by the August 2008 events. One may only notice the absence of any constructive initiatives on the Georgian side".
It is interesting that the story about the intelligence officers told by Georgian MIA was not warmly welcomed by the Georgian experts either. "This fact seriously damaged the image of our Armed Forces", - stated security expert Irakly Sesiashvili, while former president of the Georgian Academy of Defense Georgy Tavdgiridze even supposed that now, after this spy scandal, the republic's defense administration has got no other way than to start self-reforming as a true samurai should do.
It is so far unclear whether the top Georgian officials will start thinking of changing the structure of the Ministry of Defense. Still, the "spy hunt" in Sakarvelo is sure to go on. There is a possibility that the whole affair will backfire at the representatives of the local opposition visiting Moscow from time to time. What could be easier than accusing Burjanadze and Nogaidely of espionage on the quiet? But let us see what the Georgian "denouncers" have got on their mind.