Europe kicked out Vladimir Putin’s spies. Now they’re back

Featured in The Financial Times

Russian Intelligence


Russia's GRU military intelligence unit has begun recruiting 'cleanskins', or agents without any military background, to cross undetected into target countries and establish personal contacts, according to a recent report by the Royal United Services Institute think-tank in London. "The Russians are still doing a lot of remote handling. But they perceive it as unreliable," said Jack Watling, one of the report's co-authors. "The aim now is to develop legitimate cover stories, or legends, so that agents can enter target countries."