Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 90

The Russian mass media continue to discuss this month’s hot topic, the list of 2,200 prominent public figures of the new Russia which allegedly were secret informers of the KGB. According to this list, eleven active and former ministers, two nationally-known regional leaders, some leading Russian parliamentarians, television chiefs and famous journalists, diplomats, and the leaders of the biggest Russian banks were all former KGB informers.

The list was first mentioned in connection with the death in June of former Minister of Security Viktor Barannikov, who was allegedly responsible for leaking the list, and whose death is believed to be related to this fact. Most of the alleged informers were said to have belonged to the Fifth Main Administration of the KGB, which was responsible for the persecution of Soviet dissidents, and dealt mainly with the intelligentsia and the mass media. The list is also seen as connected with the report on the mysterious "Felix" Group of KGB and GRU veterans, which is thought to be responsible for the murders of several prominent Russian bankers. According to common supposition, many of the people killed by the "Felix" Group were on the list. Experts differ on whether this list is genuine or simply a stratagem for the parliamentary election campaign. The truth may lie somewhere in the middle; the list may indeed include some real KGB secret informers, whose exposure is timed for the election campaign. The journalist who obtained the list complains that although he did not reveal any of the names on the list, he is nevertheless under surveillance from private security services belonging to the biggest Russian banks. 7

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