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COLUMN ONE; The KGB Rises Again in Russia; Putin's spy past raises fears of return to repression. To some, he typifies leadership qualities agency instills.
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Subjects: Leadership; Politics; Civil rights; Democracy; Espionage; Government agencies
Author: Paddock, Richard C
Date: Jan 12, 2000
Start Page: 1
Section: PART- A; PART-; Foreign Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

"The KGB has risen from the ashes and come to power in Russia," said Sergei I. Grigoryants, a human rights activist arrested twice in the 1970s and '80s by the KGB and imprisoned for nine years for publishing anti-Soviet literature. "It is the logical outcome of the process that has been unfolding for the past decade."

During the [Boris N.] Yeltsin era, the KGB was broken up into smaller agencies and its main department was recast as the FSB, short for Federal Security Service. Biding its time, the FSB played a more subtle role, gathering strength and information while infiltrating businesses, government agencies and other institutions of the changing society. In 1998, Yeltsin named Putin to head the FSB, then appointed him prime minister in August.

Since becoming acting president, Putin has moved former KGB colleagues into top posts in his administration. "Putin's appointment is the culmination of the KGB's crusade for power," said Konstantin N. Borovoi, an outgoing independent deputy in the Duma, the lower house of parliament. "This is its finale. Now the KGB runs the country."

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