Nuclear Proliferation

   A major responsibility for both the SVR (the Foreign Intelligence Service) and the FSB (the Federal Security Service) is nuclear proliferation. The SVR has publicly declared that proliferation is a major target of its foreign intelligence operations. The FSB has been given a far harder task—the protection of Russia’s nuclear installations from terrorists, smugglers, and enemy agents. The FSB works in concert with the Federal Agency for Atomic Energy and the Ministry of Defense to protect military bases, storage facilities, and power plants. The FSB has apparently had some successes: in 2002 the FSB announced that it had detained two Chechen terrorists in the act of reconnoitering a nuclear facility. Nevertheless, provincial FSB officers have publicly reported that weapons-grade material has disappeared. The Central Intelligence Agency’s National Intelligence Council noted in its pessimistic 2004 report to the U.S. Congress: “We assess that undetected smuggling has occurred, and we are concerned about the total amount of material that could have been diverted in the past 13 years.”

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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