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In Moscow, The U.S. Embassy Hires Security Firm Owned By 'Former' KGB Agent

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia has hired a security firm owned by Vladimir Putin's former boss at the KGB according to the Telegraph. (photo credit: Kremlin)

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia has hired a security firm owned by Vladimir Putin's former boss at the KGB according to the Telegraph.

The US embassy in Moscow is to be guarded by a company owned by a former head of KGB counter-intelligence who worked with British double agent Kim Philby and young Vladimir Putin, after cuts to US staff demanded by Russia. Elite Security Holdings was awarded a $2.83 million contract to provide “local guard services for US mission Russia,” which includes the Moscow embassy and consulates in St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok, according to a post on a US state procurement website.

The owner of the security firm is a known Russian spy. In 2004, Vladimir Putin famously said, “there is no such thing as a former KGB man.”

A 2002 article posted on the site of Russia's foreign intelligence service identified Mr Budanov as a major general in the agency who became a Soviet spy in 1966 and retired a year after the collapse of the USSR. His long work in Soviet and Russian intelligence could raise questions about whether the guard services contract poses a security or intelligence risk to the US mission.

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