Russian company records show that Mr. Budanov, who retired from espionage in 1992 after being upset by Russia’s path under its primary post-Soviet head, Boris N. Yeltsin, is certainly a ex – minority owner of at least three of Elite’s branches – in Moscow, in the Volga region and in western Russia. Information reveal that he no longer keeps any ownership stake, but Kommersant, a Russian organization newspaper, possesses reported that the company’s head office in Moscow is operate by his child, Dimitri.
Elite Reliability, reached by telephone found in Moscow, declined to comment on the role together with Mr. Budanov and his child.
Marines will continue to guard American diplomatic missions, but responsibilities previously handled by local guards hired directly by the embassy found in Moscow, like screening visitors, will be studied over Elite Security personnel. Hiring guards immediately allowed better monitoring of their backgrounds, but any Russian doing work for an American diplomatic objective, no matter how closely screened, is susceptible to pressure from Russia’s express security apparatus.
Native guards are mostly limited to the perimeter of diplomatic compounds and do not generally get access to secure areas.
The official note about the no-bid contract posted on a USA government website says that American companies had been contacted about dealing with the security job in Russia but that “zero U.S. firm has got been located with the requisite licensing or desire to operate in-region.” It added that, among Russian companies that could perform such work, only Elite Reliability had established procedures and licenses to operate in the four metropolitan areas where American missions needed guards.
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The note said that Russia’s decision to insist upon personnel cuts at American diplomatic missions in Moscow and elsewhere had created a “compelling urgency” to find new guards, and that doing so through a commercial contract was “the only available option.”
“This is very best for us,” said Mikhail Lyubimov, a former K.G.B. spy who knew Mr. Budanov from their period mutually in the Soviet intelligence service. “If I were the chief there, I’d never do that for a very clear reason,” he said, adding that the Russian Embassy in Washington would not put secureness in the hands of an American firm known to have got ties to the C.I.A.
Like many former Soviet secureness officers, Mr. Budanov proceeded to go into the private sector following the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union in 1991. He created a joint venture with Gerard P. Burke, who was once assistant director of the National Reliability Agency, and headed the Moscow workplace of Parvus International, a organization intelligence organization in Silver Planting season, Md., founded by Mr. Burke, that employed ex – C.I.A., K.G.B. and Soviet-bloc agents.
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Mr. Budanov began in Soviet intelligence in the 1960s as a lowly officer whose work included buying meals and other provisions for Kim Philby, the notorious British double agent who defected to Moscow in 1963 and died there in 1988.
In the late 1960s, Mr. Budanov was submitted by the K.G.B. to Britain, which expelled him in 1971 within a mass clean-out of those suspected of spying for the Soviet Union.
Then rose to mind the K Directorate of the K.G.B., a sprawling division that hunted for double agents recruited by the West and sought to penetrate the C.I.A. and other hostile foreign agencies. Toward the end of his espionage job, he worked well for the K.G.B. in East Germany, serving there during the same period as Mr. Putin, who was a junior K.G.B. officer in Dresden.
In interviews with Russian press, Mr. Budanov declined to discuss his time working with Mr. Putin but has voiced wonderful admiration for his ex – colleague’s subsequent position as president, crediting him with conserving Russia from the chaos of Mr. Yeltsin’s rule.
In a 2007 interview, Mr. Budanov claimed credit for helping to expose Oleg Gordievsky, a Soviet diplomat located in London, as a British spy, but he denied that the K.G.B. assassinated people suspected of being traitors during his time in services. Mr. Gordievsky, who was recalled to Russia in 1985 to face almost certain execution, escaped to the West while under investigation and after wrote a book where he referred to Mr. Budanov among the K.G.B.’s most dangerous men.
Mr. Budanov said that being referred to by doing so by “an enemy agent” had “helped me back then, and it still helps me do might work today.”