Russians Training Secret
Army in US Defector Says
By Greta Guest
Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A former Soviet agent said Russian military intelligence is gathering information on President Bill Clinton, key congressional and military leaders and members of the cabinet for assassination squads.
Elite troops already are training in the United States and in the event of war "would try to assassinate as many American leaders as possible, as well as their families," Stanislav Lunev, a former colonel in Soviet and Russian military-intelligence service, asserted in a book published Wednesday.
They would also blow up power stations, telephone-switching systems and dams and target secret landing sites for Clinton's private airplane, wrote Lunev, who defected in 1992.
"The use of tactical nuclear weapons would be likely," he said.
Declaring he wants to use his experience "to warn America of the dirty tricks that can be played against her," the defector said Russian pilots are training for action against the United States and NATO.
In the book Through the Eyes of the Enemy and in an interview, Lunev said special agents are entering the United States as tourists on fake passports and elite troops are locating sites to deposit small nuclear devices, known as "suitcase bombs," in the Shenandoah Valley outside Washington and the Hudson Valley of New York state.
"Russia remains terrified of the power of America and Russian military intelligence does everything it can to prepare for a war that it considers inevitable," Lunev wrote.
CIA and FBI officials declined to discuss the former colonel or his assertions. On one of his central points, that Russian mobsters have considerable control over the Russian government, including espionage operations, CIA spokesperson Anya Guilsher said: "The Russian intelligence-security services have expressed public concern regarding Russian organized criminal ties to government officials. There is a determined effort under way to prosecute officials for criminal activity."
Guilsher also said: "The Russian mafia is something we continue to watch carefully."
Last September, a senior Russian Defence Ministry official denied the existence of suitcase-size nuclear bombs, saying such devices would be technically possible but too costly and inefficient to produce.
The statements by Lt.-Gen. Igor Volynkin disputed claims by former Russian government officials that Moscow possessed the miniature bombs and had lost track of some of them.
In the book, Lunev wrote: "America is facing a nation led by gangsters -- gangsters who have nuclear weapons. And some of these weapons are on American soil."
In a telephone interview, Lunev said the Russian government cannot account for about 100 nuclear devices and "it's possible" nuclear weapons already have been placed in the Shenandoah and Hudson valleys or elsewhere in the United States.
On the influence of Russian mobsters, he spoke without qualification.
"The mafia controls the government and the political establishment and as a result of this they have a huge influence over (President Boris) Yeltsin."
Lunev shied away from registering an opinion of Clinton's decision to go to Moscow in September for talks with Yeltsin.
"It's not my business," he said.
However, Lunev said it is more important to talk to the Russian president about the proliferation of missile technology, than to defer a summit until the Russian legislature approves the START II missile-reduction treaty.
Asked what his intentions are, Lunev said: "I wish America to take much more care about this country's national security because the Cold War is not finished."
Lunev went on: "There is no military confrontation between the two blocs but the Cold War is still in play and going on in much more dangerous ways. There is no open confrontation but a lot of activity from special services and criminals."
Insisting Russia is preparing for war with the United States, the former intelligence officer said: "Russian pilots are training for action against NATO and the U.S. military. Russia still consider the United States and NATO the main potential military adversaries."
Asked how U.S. officials responded to his allegations, Lunev replied: "They are very interested but they are professional and they cannot provide emotions."

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