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Fradkov Puts Stability Over Success

Mikhail Fradkov on Thursday defended his Foreign Intelligence Service, or SVR, saying that the stable inflow of classified information — not isolated operations — is the main criterion for evaluating the work of an intelligence service.

All successful operations remain classified for at least 30 years, said Fradkov, a former prime minister who has headed service since 2007. His agency keeps on obtaining “secret, authentic and pre-emptive information on matters pertaining to Russia's national interests,” he added.

Fradkov made the statement in a foreword for a special issue of the Rodina historical magazine, dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Foreign Intelligence Service. The body was formed Dec. 20, 1920, as part of a forerunner to the KGB.

The mammoth 300-page issue will list intelligence achievements from years past. The service declassified some documents and photos for the publication, including a picture of Nazi generals preparing to sign surrender documents in World War II in May 1945 and pencil sketches by famous spy Rudolf Abel.

Fradkov came under fire last month when media reported that 11 Russian spies busted in the United States — 10 of whom were extradited in a spy swap this summer — were betrayed by a mole in the service.

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