The fact that the ISAA prepare Grushnikov is an old bike, but there is no smoke without fire: many ISA officers become employees of the SVR. As well as graduates of MGIMO, MGLU and other civil universities with deep language training. Especially appreciated are those who have achieved success in the study of Oriental languages. At the final examination in the main eastern language, there is always a certain person in civilian clothes whom no student has ever seen before. At some point this one gets up and leaves without saying a word to anyone. After some time, the most capable graduates are invited to join the intelligence community.
Future candidates for service in the SVR are monitored while still studying, because, in addition to language skills, there are many criteria that the future intelligence officer must meet: a biography without “spots”, including several generations of ancestors, good health, psychological portrait, etc. There is no doubt that the SVR and the FSB know about everything that happens in these universities, since they are sources of personnel for foreign intelligence, even if they are additional.
You can, of course, refuse the "tempting" proposal. But by agreeing to become a personnel intelligence officer, you will have to perform the function of a screw in a state structure called "SVR" with all the ensuing consequences. Yes, housing will be provided. But big money in intelligence do not earn. Opportunities to satisfy their ambition are also few: often awarded either in secret orders, or posthumously. If you're lucky, you will visit 3 – 4 countries at public expense. In this case, all the time you will be under the control of their own colleagues. Of course, you can argue: what about Putin, Ivanov, Naryshkin, Yakunin, Lebedev? The answer is simple: well, well ...
By the way, in my life I intersected three times with the family of an Arabist intelligence officer, Lieutenant General Vadim Alekseevich Kirpichenko: with his granddaughter Xenia in lectures at the ISAA, with his daughter Ekaterina in the Russian-Arab Business Council and with his widow Valeria Nikolaevna in the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, where we worked for several years at the same time (I can’t say it together, because we worked in different departments). So, his son Sergei, Xenia’s father, graduated from MGIMO and became a “clean” diplomat (currently ambassador to Egypt), as well as his grandchildren. And parents, as you know, only wish their children good.
I don’t hide the fact that the intelligence problems interested me even before I, in 2003, after standing up for the competition in the Foreign Ministry, ended up at the Russian Embassy in Yemen and began to fulfill the tasks of the SVR resident. By the way, if one of the “clean” diplomats says that he worked in a foreign agency and did not cooperate with the special services, you can laugh in his face. It does not happen! All MFA members are somehow involved by residencies to cooperate and are used by residents for their own purposes.
Even at the history department of the University of Tver, I read the book Aquarium by Victor Suvorov (Vladimir Rezun). In it, the author has written a lot of any nonsense about the life of embassies, as I understood later, but there is no doubt about the following: “Both residents (GRU and SVR. - PG) are not subordinate to the ambassador. The ambassador was invented in order to only mask the existence of two strike groups in the Soviet (read - Russian. - PG) colony. Of course, in public both residents show the ambassador some respect, for both residents are high-ranking diplomats and they would stand out against the others by their disrespect to the ambassador. All respect for the ambassador ends with this respect. ” It would be more accurate to say, not the ambassador was invented, but the embassy. Working in Yemen, I learned from my own experience that the main purpose of any embassy is to be a “roof” for special services, and only then all this tinsel with diplomatic methods, warm handshakes, ornate phrases about friendship and cooperation, etc.
I was accepted for diplomatic work by Ambassador Alexander Sergeevich Zasypkin (now the Ambassador in Lebanon), with whom I had an interview during my internship at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Upon arrival at the Embassy, for obvious reasons, I wanted to give him the nickname “Griboedov”, but then, in order not to call trouble, I changed my mind: Yemeni, of course, are a friendly people of Russia, but you never know ...
Once, the adviser-envoy (the second person at the embassy, in fact, the deputy ambassador) told me that the MFA people are just postmen for diplomatic correspondence. Developing his thought, you come to the conclusion that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the main post office for official foreign correspondence, and the foreign agencies, in turn, are post offices in the field.
In the work of the guys from the "Office" is also a little romance. More precisely, the romantic mood quickly passes. I experienced this myself when Zasypkin suspected me of working with his “neighbors,” that is, with foreign intelligence, and began to carefully dodge me from them. Ask him openly about my affairs with the resident, and then questions could appear by the very end of Zasypkin. Since I continued to provide all possible assistance to the resident, including communicating with CIR officers at those diplomatic receptions where I should not have been (at prescribed diplomatic receptions you can communicate with anyone and as much as you like), I soon got into trouble at work. The fact is that the MFAs still want to consider themselves more important than any intelligence officers and are very jealous of their subordinates who follow the instructions of someone else, even in the interests of the state.
As for communicating with foreigners, the staff of the referentura and the office are strictly prohibited, and the rest of the embassies are required to report in writing to the security officer, that is, the FSB, with whom they communicated, when, under what circumstances, whose initiative and what they spoke. By the way, diplomats communicate with each other, as a rule, in the language of the host country.
I was surprised when I saw that the head of the referral duplicates the work of the security officer and even looks after the ambassador, trying to find out from me who Zasypkin meets with.
I must say that the embassy "checks for lice" at all and always, so I was not outraged when a resident did this to me. This should be treated with understanding, and it is best to pretend that he did not notice or understand.
It was a surprise for me when a security officer allowed me to take a picture of the Embassy and Sana from our water tower, the highest point of the Embassy. Of course, I did not miss this opportunity, but in gratitude I presented the security officer with a few photos with panoramic views of the city and the Embassy. By the way, the photos were taken in an ordinary city photo studio on at-Tahrir Square.
How did I “make friends” with a resident? My father’s last post in the army was “the chief of intelligence of an anti-aircraft missile regiment”. As a child, my father used to say to me in jest: “Do not forget, you are the son of a scout!” But these words sunk into my soul, and when the resident attracted me to cooperation, his grains fell on fertile soil, and I did not hesitate for a minute, not understanding that it can make life difficult for me. I also liked that the resident appreciated my interest in geography and geographic maps: my first task was to find Sanaha’s map in bookstores and buy it for residency, which I completed at the nearest exit to the city. Later it became clear to me that this was a psychological method of a resident, so that I would engage in cooperation. By the way, I also performed one cartographic task for the military attache, but in this case there was a personal request from the military attache to the ambassador, who, of course, deigned to provide his officer at the disposal of the "long-range", that is, military intelligence.
How do the “near” and “far” differ from each other? The first for the most part are intellectuals with whom it is pleasant and interesting to communicate. At the same time, one should not forget who is in front of you. The second for the most part behave as if they are all obliged by something, as if the rest of the embassy staff should be happy that Grushnikov condescend to communicate with them. In fairness, I must say that the military attaches themselves, with whom I had to communicate, were not snobby people. So, one of them explained to me who the regional military attaches are: they are persons accredited in several countries of a region at once.
It came to my mind to conditionally call Svschiki welders on the principle of phonetic similarity, and Grushnikov - loaders. So they also work: the welders are trying so that the weld will turn out neatly for years, but for loaders the main thing is not to break the load or not to break it at a given time, and the further fate of the load does not bother them at all.
Here I can not tell you about one illustrative case. On the instructions of the adviser-envoy, I translated the Charter of the Sanay Group of Cooperation for the Central Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And after a while, looking through the information materials of the Embassy, I found my translation, included in the certificate of one of the assistants of the military attache, as if he had done it. I never received a clear answer to my question about how this could happen. By the way, on my return from a business trip, as an author, I published the named translation in my book, The Republic of Yemen and Its Cities.
For the first time I encountered military intelligence "live" in the army in the middle of 90: in the part where I served, a "merchant" came from the Conservatory, as the Military Diplomatic Academy is called. The biennialists at the Conservatory are not invited, and I didn’t want to sign an 5-year contract with the Armed Forces for the illusive opportunity to be in the military intelligence ranks, where all the personnel officers rush from the routine of military service. “The merchant,” as the selected candidates told me, advised them to focus on stories and English. Of course, no one took their history and English exams in the ACA: no examinations are taken there without exams.
Let's return to overseas institutions. The question arises: why should "neighbors" attract "clean" diplomats to cooperate? First of all, they do not want to shine their people once more: let the TsIRushniki think that the “clean” is a SVRshchik. Secondly, the resident often lacks his own people. In addition, it is on the “net” that an initiative may emerge, which will later become a valuable agent, which will help the resident to move up the career ladder.
TsRUshniki at diplomatic receptions first go to contact. Charming smiles, shameless flattery, etc. should be alarming. It was evident that Tsrushnikov was impressed that I was a historian by my first education. In addition to other general questions - what he graduated from, what languages I speak, what countries I visited, whether I drink whiskey, etc. - asked about my specialization as a historian. Frankly, communication with tsrushnikami was interesting. They were surprised when they learned that baseball, their national sport, is about the same as Russian lapta. I remember how the face of one TsRUshnik stretched out, who told me that he hardly endured the heat above 80 degrees, and I immediately transferred this value to him from the Fahrenheit scale to the Celsius scale (approximately + 27 ° С).
Gradually tsrushniki still trying to assert their intellectual superiority. I managed to discourage them when we started talking about music, and I told them from Arabic: "I like it very much." None of my three interlocutors could answer me with this.
Not only TsRUshnikov, but also other foreigners are very interested in one question: how many employees work in the embassy. After I asked this question from one of the ambassadors while I was waiting for a meeting with Zasypkin, I began to bend my fingers, pretending to be in my mind, and so I “counted” until Zasypkin arrived.
The American topic and everything connected with it is the prerogative of the “neighbors”, so the ambassador was very annoyed when I, due to inexperience, touched on this topic on information readings, which are necessarily carried out by the embassy staff at the beginning of each week.
Everyone at the Embassy was delighted when they sent me a translation of the Constitution of Yemen into Russian: I multiplied it and handed it to the "right" people: the ambassador, the adviser, the envoy, the resident and the consul. Of course, with an authoritative translation of M.A. Sapronova was much more convenient to work with than the Arabic text.
I will not deny that the book "The Eastern Faculty of the Military Academy of the Red Army. Mv Frunze "I wrote under the impression of the same book Rezun. In the "Aquarium", let me remind you, it tells about the training at the Military Diplomatic Academy of the Soviet Army in the 70-s. My own task was to show how the training system of Soviet military intelligence officers began to take shape, which was so entertainingly described by Rezun. To do this, I had to show some perseverance in communicating with the staff of the Russian State Military Archive. By the way, in the RGVA, far from all cases are declassified, despite the fact that most of them are up to 1940.
Unfortunately, none of the teachers and graduates of Vostakakh survived for 2014, and nobody worked out this topic before me: there was only fragmentary information in books devoted to the AA to them. Frunze in general, and no interviews.
Maria Vodopyanova, the granddaughter of Lieutenant General Kochetkov, one of the chiefs of the AFA, told me that while he was working on the film “Kochetkov” in the “Descendants” series, he had studied his grandfather’s studies at Vostifak for three years. She could not remember anything more, although she remembers very well the details of her family life and her grandfather.