From Russia With Lust

I can't wait for the movie. An aging Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament with a reputation as a womanizer meets a young blonde woman in Russia, hires her as a researcher, gives her access to confidential defense documents and then gets busted by MI-5. British officials wish this were just a script for a new spy thriller. The UK Daily Mail reports:

Liberal Democrat Mike Hancock, 64, was introduced to 25-year-old Katia Zatuliveter on one of his regular visits to the Eastern Bloc superpower.

He agreed to give a job and parliamentary pass to the blonde suspected agent-handing her at least three years access to official documents on defense policy.

Investigators believe that Hancock was targeted by the Russians because of his access to critical defense information and his reputation as a womanizer. Ms. Zatuliveter met Hancock during one his trips to Russia and he hired her as a research assistant shortly thereafter.

One Westminster source said: ‘She would walk around in very short skirts and high heels with Hancock and they would be seen having lunch together. Certainly some thought she was charming and intelligent.'

Miss Zatuliveter is suspected of working for Russia's foreign intelligence service, the SVR, as a ‘sleeper.'

British security officials do not believe that Hancock knew that his researcher was a spy, however during the past three years he did ask for a significant amount of sensitive information on a number of defense topics including Britain's nuclear weapons arsenal and the location of submarine bases around the globe. On Sunday it was learned that:

  • The suspected spy's father and sister are both recruiting Russian students to come to Britain.
  • She almost won a post with a large UK defense organisation until British security officials warned the firm off.
  • MPs expressed alarm that she got her job in the first place and appeared to have sidestepped vetting checks.
  • Security sources fear at least 20 similar spies could be working in Britain under false identities.

On Thursday morning Zatuliveter was apprehended by UK Border Agency officers after receiving the go-ahead from Home Secretary Theresa May. The suspected spy is being held in a secure location as she awaits deportation, Miss Zatuliveter is the first Russian agent to be discovered working in Parliament since the end of the Cold War.

The news of Zatuliveter's arrest on charges of spying for Russia, has prompted a call for more intense vetting of parliamentary assistants. Former Labour MP Kim Howells, who once headed the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee said that the Foreign Office and British Intelligence ‘are acutely aware' of the threat and will be looking at increased funding for security services to deal with the problem.

For his part Mike Hancock (who represents Portsmouth South) continues to deny that his assistant was involved in any wrongdoing.

‘She genuinely believes, and I back her 100 per cent, that she has nothing to hide and has done nothing wrong. She is not a Russian spy.'

Mr. Hancock is on police bail after being arrested over an alleged indecent assault on a female constituent earlier this year.

Remember, the Cold War is over and the Russians are our friends now. Meanwhile here in the United States, Mr. Obama continues to lobby the senate to ratify the New START treaty.
I can't wait for the movie. An aging Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament with a reputation as a womanizer meets a young blonde woman in Russia, hires her as a researcher, gives her access to confidential defense documents and then gets busted by MI-5. British officials wish this were just a script for a new spy thriller. The UK Daily Mail reports:

Liberal Democrat Mike Hancock, 64, was introduced to 25-year-old Katia Zatuliveter on one of his regular visits to the Eastern Bloc superpower.

He agreed to give a job and parliamentary pass to the blonde suspected agent-handing her at least three years access to official documents on defense policy.

Investigators believe that Hancock was targeted by the Russians because of his access to critical defense information and his reputation as a womanizer. Ms. Zatuliveter met Hancock during one his trips to Russia and he hired her as a research assistant shortly thereafter.

One Westminster source said: ‘She would walk around in very short skirts and high heels with Hancock and they would be seen having lunch together. Certainly some thought she was charming and intelligent.'

Miss Zatuliveter is suspected of working for Russia's foreign intelligence service, the SVR, as a ‘sleeper.'

British security officials do not believe that Hancock knew that his researcher was a spy, however during the past three years he did ask for a significant amount of sensitive information on a number of defense topics including Britain's nuclear weapons arsenal and the location of submarine bases around the globe. On Sunday it was learned that:

  • The suspected spy's father and sister are both recruiting Russian students to come to Britain.
  • She almost won a post with a large UK defense organisation until British security officials warned the firm off.
  • MPs expressed alarm that she got her job in the first place and appeared to have sidestepped vetting checks.
  • Security sources fear at least 20 similar spies could be working in Britain under false identities.

On Thursday morning Zatuliveter was apprehended by UK Border Agency officers after receiving the go-ahead from Home Secretary Theresa May. The suspected spy is being held in a secure location as she awaits deportation, Miss Zatuliveter is the first Russian agent to be discovered working in Parliament since the end of the Cold War.

The news of Zatuliveter's arrest on charges of spying for Russia, has prompted a call for more intense vetting of parliamentary assistants. Former Labour MP Kim Howells, who once headed the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee said that the Foreign Office and British Intelligence ‘are acutely aware' of the threat and will be looking at increased funding for security services to deal with the problem.

For his part Mike Hancock (who represents Portsmouth South) continues to deny that his assistant was involved in any wrongdoing.

‘She genuinely believes, and I back her 100 per cent, that she has nothing to hide and has done nothing wrong. She is not a Russian spy.'

Mr. Hancock is on police bail after being arrested over an alleged indecent assault on a female constituent earlier this year.

Remember, the Cold War is over and the Russians are our friends now. Meanwhile here in the United States, Mr. Obama continues to lobby the senate to ratify the New START treaty.

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