This story originally aired on KLAS-TV in Las Vegas during July, 2001.
MYSTERY WIRE — Intelligence agencies have warned that Russian spies are already working to influence or sabotage the November election. It isn’t a new strategy.
In 2001, one of the highest ranking Russian spies told Mystery Wire how his agents infiltrated social movements and spread disinformation.
The cold war between the United States and Russia was largely fought behind the scenes, with the recruitment of spies, assassinations, and devious schemes to spread propaganda and disinformation.
General Oleg Kalugin directed many of those efforts for the KGB. The KGB was the secret police force that was the main security agency for the Soviet Union from 1954 until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
When Vladimir Putin rose to power, Kalugin moved to the west.
In the early 2000’s he visited Las Vegas and shared some of his spymaster secrets, including how the KGB infiltrated and influenced social movements, including civil rights rivals of Martin Luther King Jr. “Some of our assets in the Civil Rights Movements wanted to tarnish Martin Luther King’s reputation because they wanted to take over themselves.”
KGB agents infiltrated the anti-war movement and environmental groups but also exploited violent radicals of the right to pit Americans against other Americans.
Former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s vow that his country would bury you was no idle boast. The Russians believed they would come out ahead, if not through force, then through any means necessary.
With elements of the KGB now in power again, Kalugin was accused of treason. In 2002 he was put on trial in absentia in Moscow and found guilty of spying for the West. He was sentenced to fifteen years in jail, but has never served any time because the U.S. and Russia have no extradition treaty.
According to the New Republic, in 2017 Kalugin was living in Rockville, Maryland and is now 85-years-old. He has written several books on his experiences and has appeared on many television news broadcasts such as C-Span and CNN.