by Amna El Tawil
Russian security agents, Sergei Mikhailov and his deputy Dmitry Dokuchaev, have been accused of treason because they were cooperating with the CIA. The arrests of spy officials who worked for the KGB successor FSB’s Center for Information Security were first reported by Russian media earlier this month.
The accusations add further intrigue to a mysterious scandal that has had the Moscow rumor mill working in overdrive for the past week and come not long after US intelligence accused Russia of interfering in the US election and hacking the Democratic party’s servers.
Sergei Mikhailov was deputy head of the FSB security agency’s Centre for Information Security. His arrest was reported in a series of leaks over the past week, along with that of his deputy and several civilians, The Guardian reports. Dmitry Dokuchaev is cyber security expert who worked as a hacker under the alias “Forb” before joining the FSB. Also, Ruslan Stoyanov, a key cybercrime investigator at the Russian cyber security firm Kaspersky was arrested too.
“Sergei Mikhailov and his deputy, Dmitry Dokuchayev, are accused of betraying their oath and working with the CIA,” Interfax said, quoting a source familiar with the investigation.
It is unlikely the news agency would have published the story without official sanction, though this does not necessarily mean the information is true.
The story did not make it clear whether the pair were accused of being CIA agents or merely passing on information through intermediaries. Also, it was not immediately clear what the exact alleged conduct was, though U.S. intelligence agencies have accused the FSB of hacking U.S. targets and Russia’s other agency, the GRU, of releasing information to help the election of President Trump.
The Novaya Gazeta report said that Mikhailov is accused of passing on information regarding a breach of election systems in Arizona and Illinois last summer, which is not attributed in the U.S. intelligence hacking explained released earlier this month.
He was taken out of an FSB meeting in December with a bag over his head and has not been heard from since the independent newspaper reported.
by Amna El Tawil