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Russian Iraqi perfidy: Condi not amused
Posted by: McQ on Monday, March 27, 2006

As we noted last week, documents coming out of Iraq and recently translated point to Russia having given US war plans to the Iraqi government prior to the 2003 invasion. Condi Rice commented on that during an appearance on Meet the Press:
Rice also addressed revelations, important but not surprising, that former Russian ambassador to Iraq, Vladimir Teterenko, passed the U.S. war plan to Iraq shortly before the war began. The charges, based largely on two Iraqi documents captured in postwar Iraq, came in a report issued by the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia, and released by the Pentagon late last week. Rice said she is not in a position to confirm or deny the claims but vowed to take "a hard look at the reports" of Russian betrayal.

The revelations about the Russians will be the subject of discussions this week between Bush administration officials and their Russian counterparts. "We will certainly raise it with the Russians," Rice said.
Of course the Russians completely deny it:
The Russian government has already denied the charges. "Similar, baseless accusations concerning Russia's intelligence have been made more than once," Russian Foreign Intelligence Service spokesman Boris Labusov said. "We don't consider it necessary to comment on such fabrications."
As the Weekly Standard article goes on to point out, despite the Russian denial, the most recent revelation seems in line with earlier charges of Russia aiding Iraq. From a SF Chronicle article from April 13, 2003:
A Moscow-based organization was training Iraqi intelligence agents as recently as last September—at the same time Russia was resisting the Bush administration's push for a tough stand against Saddam Hussein's regime, Iraqi documents discovered by The Chronicle show.

The documents found Thursday and Friday in a Baghdad office of the Mukhabarat, the Iraqi secret police, indicate that at least five agents graduated Sept. 15 from a two-week course in surveillance and eavesdropping techniques, according to certificates issued to the Iraqi agents by the "Special Training Center" in Moscow.
The "Moscow-based organization" turned out to be the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service or SVR. The Chronicle article continues:
Russian intelligence officials have confirmed that Iraqi spies received training in specialized counterintelligence techniques in Moscow last fall—training that appears to violate the United Nations resolution barring military and security assistance to Iraq.

A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Boris Labusov, acknowledged that Iraqi secret police agents had been trained by his agency but said the training was for nonmilitary purposes, such as fighting crime and terrorism.

Said Labusov: "The SVR does not refuse cooperation with secret services of different countries in the areas of counter-terrorism and war, fighting drug traffic and investigating the illegal trade of weapons."

However, it seems likely that the Iraqi agents who were trained at the Moscow center were using their skills for other purposes. Found in the same Mukhabarat office with their personnel files and graduation certificates were a host of other documents, including orders for wiretaps and for break-ins at such sites as the Iranian Embassy, the five-star al-Mansour Hotel and private doctors' offices.
Whatever the reason it is clear Russia had no problem helping Iraqi agents prepare to fight a looming invasion in contravention of the UN resolution against such training.

The question now is how the US will use such revelations to their advantage when dealing with Russia. In the world of realpolitik this sort of information/revelation is invaluable. Russia may never officially admit what it has done, but that doesn't mean the US can't use the information as leverage for gaining diplomatic help from Russia in dealing with Iran for instance. Because, you see, given Russia's role in Iraq (whether acknowledged or not), there's always Chechnya for the US, isn't there?

We owe them one ... and they know it.

UPDATE: Another possible topic of conversation between the US and Russia may concern this:
Seven people are being investigated over exports of German equipment to Iran via Russia. The equipment could be used for Iran’s nuclear program, prosecutors in Germany said.

Benedikt Welfens, spokesman for the prosecutors’ office in Potsdam, near Berlin, quoted by Reuters, said investigators wanted to question the seven, mostly Russians, after seizing cash, equipment and records in raids on 41 sites across Germany last week. They were not under arrest but declined to comment on their whereabouts.

German-made electronic components, transformers and special cables and pumps worth $2.4 million to $3.6 million were found to have been delivered to Iran. “It’s not that much, but it may rise. We have to look at the information and data that we’ve found,” Welfens said.
Opportunists or agents of Mother Russia? Probably the former, but in order to go from point A to point B through Russia, one has to imagine government collusion at some point and some level.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

The US has been quietly supporting the Chechens since 1994, if anything its the Russians who owed us one. Prominent rebel leaders have been given asylum in the US and Britain, Russia has asked for their extradition, the US has denied all such requests. Akai Collins recieved a medal from the Clinton administration for fighting in Chechnya. American U2’s have attempted overflights of Chechnya, only to be met by MiG-29’s and escorted out of Russian airspace. Several Russian sources have claimed that the CIA provided Chechen rebels with satellite phones, which would make sense since sat phones are not exactly plentiful in Russia.

Written By: L
URL: http://
Because everyone knows Satellite ’phones are ALWAYS American...*Cough Inmarsat*Cough The Russians/Soviets are almost ALWAYS going to complain about "outside agitators" stirring up trouble in their otherwise idyllic nation. And until the most recent "unpleasantneses" involving Muslim extremists the Chechens had some justice on their side, and given the brutalisty and incompetence of the Russian responses in the various wars, I’m not surprised that the Russians don’t get a lot of sympathy on Chechnya.
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
The US has been quietly supporting the Chechens since 1994,
The US has also essentially be quite about Chechnya since then (a sort of "gentleman’s agreement"). That can change rather quickly, and raised visiblity would not be the best interest of Russia as most of us know.
Written By: McQ
Lets see,

The Germans who opposed our war on terror, had a spy in Bagdad giving us miliary information. The Russians who have been relatively supportive of us since we lumped the Chechnya in with Osama and Co, gave info to Saddem.

It looks to me like everybody was hedging their bets except us. Seems like we need a tutorial in risk management. We took all the risk. We absorb all the costs when it goes wrong. The Germans and Russians are still our allies but were covered had things gone differently.

Written By: cindy bravo
URL: http://
I think Cindy has hit upon something there...The Germans were in bed with Saddam but did want us to know that they were on our side "when it counted." And the Russians were in bed with Iraqi’s but wanted us to know they were on our side, too.
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Does America provide cooperation to the secret police of Saudi, Egyptian and Jordanian dictatorships?
Written By: Unaha-closp
URL: http://
Conflict of interests still exist between the Russians and the US.

What happened in the ’Orange Revolution’? Which side were we on?

Why is it that our vocal response (Media) to a terrorist strike in Beslan was more to do with the brute use of force and less to offer condolences? And why do we offer moral support for the Chechen rebels (terrorists)? We did the same with the Sikh terrorists in India (during the 1980s).

It’s just that we expect different rules to appluy for us or when we suffer losses in a terrorist strike. Now we entered Iraq with quasi-legal methods, false evidence and total arrogance defying the entire global community and we expect global support?

I think what we need is a serious discussion about the status of America in the new world order. We need to understand why an American life is worth so much more than a Russian or a Chinese life. Why is it that we can walk into two coutries touting evidence that they murdered 2500 of our citizens, but when someone else does the same, they are being Brutal.

What the Russians did in Beslan or the theater in Moscow was great and swift. At least their taxpayers did not pay $ 200 million to avenge every dead citizen ($ 500 billion cost / 2500 dead).
Written By: Raj
URL: http://
I haven’t read anywhere about just what sources in Central Command leaked all that information; did Russian nationals have access or was it US personnel who wrongfully gave the information to the Russians?
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Oh what a shock - the Russians looking after themselves?! What a yawner. We guessed years ago that it was Russia, possibly China too - there is simply too much at stake! I’m sure no one who matters is surprised.

Written By: Xtina
URL: http://
what a load of utter rubbish, Russians giving US war plans to Iraq... what were the Russians doing with US war plans?? it doesnt take the brains of an Archbishop to suss out how the US would invade Iraq...

and re this: -

Russian intelligence officials have confirmed that Iraqi spies received training in specialized counterintelligence techniques in Moscow last fall—training that appears to violate the United Nations resolution barring military and security assistance to Iraq.

hang on a second wasnt the whole Iraq invasion by the coalition contrary to UN resolutions and articles?... ever heard the term pot calling kettle black
Written By: Geo7863
URL: http://

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