From The Daily News.
The Cold War remains alive and well in New York City, where a trio of Russian nationals were acting as spies, federal investigators said Monday.
“The arrest of Evgeny Buryakov and the charges against him and his co-defendants make clear that – more than two decades after the presumptive end of the Cold War – Russian spies continue to seek to operate in our midst under cover of secrecy,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.
Buryakov, aka “Zhenya,” was busted for posing as a banker to gather information, court papers contend.
Prosecutor Adam Fee said the evidence against Buryakov is “overwhelming.”
On “dozens if not hundreds” of recordings he was “caught doing the work of a spy” with his co-conspirators for the purpose of sending intelligence back to Moscow.
Fee said he spied in another country, also posing as a banker, before coming here.
“These recordings caught them red-handed, so to speak. They are talking about working as spies, explicitly talking about their efforts to recruit intelligence sources,” Fee said.
Buryakov was working for SVR, the Russian spy agency, gathering information on potential U.S. sanctions against Russian banks and U.S. efforts to develop alternative energy resources, court filings claim.
His alleged co-conspirators both had diplomatic jobs and can’t be prosecuted because of diplomatic immunity, the feds said.
Unlike sexy secret agent Anna Chapman, who became an international sensation as a sleeper spy for the Russians, these guy were practically falling asleep due to the mundane tasks.
…… In secretly recorded conversations, Sporyshev and a third alleged agent, Victor Podobnyy, also chewed the fat about the difficulties of recruiting sources in New York City.
Sporyshev wasn’t getting anywhere with a young woman at a city university and explained why.
“They don’t allow you to get close enough,” he said, “and in order to be close you either need to f— them or use other levers to influence them … it’s very rare that something workable will come of it.”
Sporyshev also tried to recruit a man who worked as a consultant, but the guy seemed to be more interested in making lots of money at a Russian energy company.
In spite of the clownish, unsuccessful efforts to recruit spies, the fact remains that the Cold War is not over and industrial espionage is still quite active. Who knows how many of these Russian agents haven’t been caught.