If there ever was doubt that the Trump administration is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s play toy, this has to be it. From the International Business Times:
A company headed by the former chief of KGB counterintelligence will provide security for U.S. embassies in Russia.
The firm, Elite Security Holdings, received a $2.83 million contract from the state department to provide “local guard services for US mission Russia,” according to the Telegraph Friday. The main U.S. embassy is in Moscow, and there are consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok.
Viktor Budanov and his son started the security company in 1997. Viktor Budanov was a longtime KGB agent; he headed KGB counterintelligence the KGB branch in East Germany in the late 1980s. While in East Germany Budanov supervised Vladimir Putin, who was then a KGB agent. Budanov joined the KGB in 1966 and retired one year after the Soviet Union fell. After his retirement, Budanov began working with Americans and other foreigners as a security and business intelligence consultant.
Budanov worked with British double agent Kim Philby, who fed British secrets to the Soviet Union before he defected there in 1963. Oleg Gordievsky, a KGB agent who became a double agent for the British in the 1970s and 80s said that Budanov had drugged and interrogated him under suspicion he was a double agent in a British court hearing in 1993. Gordievsky also testified that Budanov taught Bulgarian agents how to kill targets with poisonous umbrellas. Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissident, was killed by a poisonous umbrella in London in 1978. The mission was the work of the Bulgarian secret police working with the KGB.
In the past, Budanov has praised Putin’s leadership and warned that Russia can not bow down to the wished of the U.S.
I can’t imagine anyone in the State Department or any of our national intelligence agencies thinking this was a good idea, if they even knew about it before it was a done deal. If they did, Tillerson would have had to override their objections.
I strongly suspect that Trump and all his traitorous cronies will expect to find asylum in Russia.