Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Think Tank Used to Recruit Russian Spies?

A Russian woman named Natalia Burlinova held numerous meetings with American students and academics under the auspices of her think tank that were part of a years-long effort to influence the opinions of future leaders in the US on behalf of the Russian government, according to a US criminal complaint.

Here is more from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

In addition to the U.S. meetings, Burlinova and her organization, called Creative Diplomacy, or PICREADI, hosted dozens of young journalists, public policy specialists, and newly minted graduate students at annual events in Russia over the course of four years -- a program that "was funded in part by the FSB, a fact never disclosed to the public," according to the FBI. The organization's website prominently features an interview with a Russian couple who were kicked out of the United States in 2010 after the FBI identified them and eight others as "sleeper agents" for Russian intelligence.

"Burlinova provided extensive information to the FSB about the U.S. citizen participants in the Meeting Russia programs, including biographical information, their interests, and their political opinions," the FBI alleged. "The FSB subsequently monitored the career developments of these U.S. citizen participants with an aim that some would become influential public figures."


PICREADI was founded in 2010, and its website, which is still being updated, can be found here.