Somewhat oddly, former GRU Chief, Army General Valentin Korabelnikov spoke to ITAR-TASS today on the 92nd anniversary of Soviet and Russian military intelligence, not its current boss General-Lieutenant Aleksandr Shlyakhturov. Korabelnikov remains in thrall, and apparently on call, as an ‘advisor’ to the Chief of the General Staff.
Shlyakhturov spoke for the GRU last year in a brief, and very, very similar (actually identical) setpiece interview filled with factoids.
Recall that the former 12-year-veteran chief, the 64-year-old Korabelnikov, retired, or was retired, in favor of 63-year-old Shlyakhturov in early spring 2009. Not exactly a youth movement.
Today Korabelnikov said the GRU is actively making a “preventative response to new challenges and threats for Russia, and also forecasting the development of the military-political and military-strategic situation in the world.”
It follows the “situation in the Near and Middle East, on the Korean peninsula and in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, issues of nuclear security, the situation in the Caucasus accounting for United States and NATO tendencies to draw Georgia into the North Atlantic alliance, U.S. plans and intentions to deploy elements of global missile defense.” Among other things, of course.
Korabelnikov said the GRU’s role is high-profile given the increased threat of international terrorism, proliferation of WMD, their components, missiles, and missile technology, growth in transborder crime, and the rise of piracy. And he noted:
“In the interests of countering these threats we cooperate with the special services of a number of foreign countries, including NATO, effectively exchanging intelligence data with them on terrorist plots, base locations, camps, training centers, channels for inserting combatants, weapons, narcotics, and finance means.”
All this, of course, was already said to ITAR-TASS on 5 November 2009. So the GRU’s world apparently didn’t change much this year.
Anybody have a picture of Shlyakhturov?