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The recent arrests of two alleged deep-cover Russian spies have caused a stir in the intelligence community. The two men, who are believed to have been operating undercover for decades, have been identified as Oleg Smirnov and Sergey Andreyev.
Smirnov and Andreyev are thought to have been operating in the US since the early 1990s, and are believed to have been tasked with gathering intelligence on the US government and military operations abroad.
What makes these arrests so unusual is the fact that the two men were operating as “illegals”—spies who operate without diplomatic immunity and are not tied to any government or intelligence agency. Instead, they use false identities and live in plain sight, often posing as businessmen or students.
The fact that Smirnov and Andreyev were able to maintain their cover for so long is remarkable. It suggests that they had a high level of training and skill in the art of espionage, as well as the ability to blend in and go unnoticed in American society.
But the most remarkable aspect of their story is that they were discovered not by US intelligence services, but by a civilian. According to reports, a tip from a concerned citizen led to their arrests.
This is not the first time that a civilian has discovered a Russian spy. Just a few months ago, a former US ambassador blew the whistle on a Russian diplomat who was working as a spy in the US.
These two arrests illustrate the importance of vigilance when it comes to national security. It is clear that the US must remain vigilant and that citizens should be on the lookout for suspicious activity. It is only through the collective efforts of citizens and the intelligence community that we can protect ourselves from foreign threats.