• CMTU History

Episode 33: Russians Among Us






When you think of spies, what comes to mind? Daniel Craig dressed in a tuxedo ordering a martini shaken, not stirred? Or perhaps Tom Cruise dangling from a wire in a pressure sensitive room? Today we are talking about the slightly less dramatic, but just as incredible history of real world espionage.


My guest today is BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera. Gordon studied modern history at Oxford and U.S. foreign policy at Harvard before becoming a reporter, a 20+ year career in which he has covered foreign affairs and security issues. He joins us today from the U.K. via Skype to discuss his latest book, Russians Among Us: Sleeper Cells, Ghost Stories, and the Hunt for Putin's Spies, which is an in-depth look at Russia's "Illegals Program" that survived the collapse of the Soviet Union and has evolved into Russia's high-tech foreign intelligence apparatus today.


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Key Points in Today's Podcast

Some of the major topics I discuss with Gordon in this episode are:


  • How the collapse of the Soviet Union affected Russian espionage

  • An overview of the Russian "Illegals Program"

  • How western intelligence services monitor and combat Russian spying

  • What the Russian espionage apparatus looks like in the 21st century


For the Ever Curious

If you are interested in reading more from Gordon Corera:



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