MOSCOW, October 19. The head of the presidential administration of Russia Sergei Ivanov admitted that previous work in the secret services had taught him well to understand people and develop the speed of reaction. In an interview he said that during service he was a neighbor to classrooms with Vladimir Putin, about the character and what people think about working in the intelligence George Bush and Henry Kissinger.
“I was engaged in political intelligence and for the most part worked in the field, finished the foreign service portion of the resident. Here: had to blindly trust the friends, because there was no possibility to double-check. And to suspect its not, it’s even worse and more dangerous. The spy mania and fear of betrayal will only hinder and harm the business. Another question, it is necessary to understand people, to know who decided to rely on,” – said Ivanov.
Still, the service has developed other quality. “The ability to switch from one to another, speed of reaction,” lists Ivanov. Still, he admitted that he doesn’t like, “when a simple question to answer long, tedious and not in the case”. “In the exploration of your own clarity and concreteness. When a person is half an hour long, monotone about something argues, but in the end nothing can be understood from the above, and you might start to get annoyed. Why not honestly confess that don’t know the answer and so I draw circles in the air?” – surprised the head of the presidential administration of the Russian Federation.
Ivanov noted and some other skills, partly to help in his current job, for example, the English language, which, according to the head of the presidential administration, helps when discussing international issues.
“White spots” in his career
In an interview with Ivanov clarified some “white spots” of his career. In his official biography on the Kremlin website noted that in 1981-1998 year he “worked his way up from security officer of the KGB of the USSR to the first Deputy chief of a Department in the Russian foreign intelligence service” and that “he was in three long missions abroad in the Nordic countries and Africa”. “My direction was political intelligence, I specialized on the Westerners. Overseas he finished his resident, then worked for several years as first Deputy head of European intelligence SVR”, – said Ivanov.
To the question why he does not name the countries in which he served as head of the administration noted that “now, of course, this is not such a mystery, but certain ethics has not been canceled”. “By law, all the secrets in the intelligence disclosed only seventy-five years after the event. My period has not happened”, – he explained. Ivanov has specified that “observed mountain (Kilimanjaro) on both sides (Kenya and Tanzania)”, but to the top was not raised. “Still, I worked there and not a tourist was”, he added. “Where I worked and that’s, excuse me, not for printing”, – said Ivanov.
A neighbor of the study – Putin
Remembering the years of work in intelligence, the head of the administration mentioned a curious fact: while working in the Leningrad Directorate of the KGB by its neighbor to the office was Vladimir Putin. During his visit to St. Petersburg in 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush, when the members of the delegation were near this building, and Ivanov, according to him, showed the American President “a window on the seventh floor, where the office where we are with Putin young operatives began a professional career”. What Bush recalled the words of his father – George Bush Sr., who worked from the presidency to head the CIA: “the Most interesting period of his life – not the White House and in Langley (headquarters of the CIA – approx.TASS),” he said. “Work in intelligence I really liked, and seems to have worked, although, of course, it is better that evaluations are given. But, between us speaking, in forty-five years by the generals in the intelligence become very rare,” admitted Ivanov.
The head of administration said that retired in 2000 before the appointment in the war office, because it was considered unethical, if General intelligence is headed by the Ministry of defence. So in forty-seven years, he became a military pensioner and remains so to this day, receiving a pension. “Good. Along with the salary of an official of the presidential administration,” he assessed.
As previously explained, the press Secretary of the head of state, Dmitry Peskov, during the year the pension Ivanova is on the order of 2 million roubles, and about 11 million roubles of the annual salary.
“Every decent young man will begin his career with the army or special services”
The head of the Kremlin administration cited former Secretary of state and former assistant to the President for national security Henry Kissinger: “Every decent young man will begin his career with the army or special services.” Ivanov with great respect said about Kissinger, noting that he tries at every opportunity to see him. “But about intelligence, of course, we are not talking” – said the head of the administration.
92-year-old Kissinger, who directed U.S. diplomacy in 1973-1977, was the initiator of the policy of ‘détente’ in relations between the US and USSR, in 1973 received the Nobel peace prize.
Returning to the conversation about what service in intelligence taught him to understand people, Ivanov has shared another “recipe” of how to judge the interlocutors: “When someone claims that he has no flaws, I was wary. Like in real life. So people err on your account or wants to hide something. Suspicious situation, will agree.”
As Ivanov suffered from the traitor in the intelligence
The head of presidential administration of Russia said that during his service in the Soviet intelligence, like many of his colleagues, suffered from the betrayals of KGB officer Oleg Gordievsky, who worked for Britain.
“Since the change, I’m with particular disgust,” admitted Ivanov.
“Now we can tell. I was familiar with a man by the name Gordievsky. If it can be called a man. I can’t say that his infamous treason and siding with the British intelligence broke my life, but some problems with the service arise, the fact. Roughly speaking, Gordievsky me laid”, – said Ivanov. He said that after the incident, “went on foreign trips, but for other geographical areas”.
Oleg Gordievsky, a former Colonel in the first chief Directorate of the KGB, known for betrayal. In 1966-1970 he undercover employee of the consular Department of the USSR Embassy in Denmark served as the intelligence officer of the KGB, then in 1982-1985 worked in the UK. However, it was later revealed that Gordievsky since 1974 also secretly worked for British intelligence. In 1985 he came under suspicion by the KGB. Under the pretext of improvement, Gordievsky was summoned to Moscow and interrogated for about five hours. The KGB left him under house arrest, under which he managed to escape, after letting the signal officer of the British intelligence services at the Embassy in Moscow. 20 July 1985, Gordievsky passed to the border with Finland, where it is “picked up” British diplomats and smuggled across the Soviet border in the trunk of a diplomatic car. In September of 1985 with the filing of Gordievsky the government of Margaret Thatcher had sent 31 working under diplomatic cover agent of the KGB and the GRU, the Soviet Union sent 25 British diplomats. It was the largest since 1971, the mutual expulsion from the UK and the USSR. 14 November 1985 Gordievsky was sentenced in absentia for treason the death penalty with confiscation of property. Gordievsky became the victims of more than 80 Soviet spies.
According to Ivanov, “in the early 90’s were betrayals in intelligence.” “And recently suffered a group of our illegals. In fairness, I note that in the CIA and FBI have met the deserters, passing to our side. Intelligence never asleep”, – says the head of the Kremlin administration.
An “expulsion” from the UK
However, Ivanov told a funny story associated with his name and former place of work: “when the defense Minister of Russia, in the beginning I repeatedly arrived in London, and British journalists every time he asked me a question: “You were expelled from England?” I sincerely had to wonder wasn’t this. Then he understood: indeed, were expelled. Sergei Ivanov. But born in 1952. And I’m 53. My namesake got under distribution in Britain. Bit of a coincidence.”
Full text of the interview