According to a British journalist Ben Judah, the Federal Security Service of Russia is watching the opposition, the oligarchs, the British Government and representatives of the expert community, which fall into the Kremlin's eternal servitude for the sake of access to inside information, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to the Times.
Judah says that recently the Kremlin officials tried to force him to make "softer" publications in exchange for access to information, and one of his old friends in the media confessed to him that one-sixth of the funding he receives is from the FSS.
The journalist said that now the security services of the Russian Federation have more than 3 million people. 40% of the state budget in 2015 will be spent on security and defense – including maintaining extensive network of agents in London.
In addition, according to the British Secret Service, in London, there are more Russian spies now than during the Cold War. Judah also notes that there are about 100 agents, but there may be about a thousand of informants.
Judah states that primarily, the FSS is watching the opposition, since in London there are more its representatives than in St. Petersburg. Mikhail Khodorkovsky is considered "the enemy No1". Though he is living in Switzerland, he gathers his "government in exile" in London. According to those familiar with these gatherings, "at least a third of the present opposition leaders immediately sit down to write reports to Moscow," says Judah.
Secondly, it is watching the government, the parliament, the Foreign Office and retired politicians. Finally, the FSS does not leave the expert community without attention – the political observers and think tanks' staff that work on Russia and form its image abroad.
Often Russian agents and those they recruit intentionally gain the trust of leading analysts on Russia and the British establishment. Sometimes the agents pose themselves as journalists criticizing Putin or try to attract those who do criticize him by the promises to provide exclusive access to the Russian officials.