Today we report on a story which first broke October 5, 2011 dealing with the arrest of a Chinese spy in Russia:
"The investigation established that the Chinese national (was) working on assignment from the Ministry of Public Security of the People's Republic of China," FSB said in a statement.
The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) (Russian: ФСБ, Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации; Federal'naya sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsii) is the main domestic security agency of the Russian Federation and the main successor agency of the Soviet Committee of State Security (KGB). Its main responsibilities are counter-intelligence, internal and border security, counter-terrorism, and surveillance. Its headquarters are on Lubyanka Square, downtown Moscow.
The direct predecessor of the FSB was the Federal Counterintelligence Service (FSK). On 3 April 1995, Presidentsigned a law ordering a reorganisation of the FSK, which resulted in the creation of the FSB. In 2003, the FSB's responsibilities were widened with the integration of the Border Guard Service and a major part of the abolished Federal Agency of Government Communication and Information (FAPSI). The FSB was made subordinate to the Ministry of Justice by presidential decree on 9 March 2004. The Director of FSB, since 2008, is Aleksandr Bortnikov.
The incident come emerged just days before a visit to China by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin -- a former intelligence agent who plans to run for re-election to the Kremlin for up to 12 more years in power in March.
The FSB domestic security service said the case of Tong Shengyong was forwarded by prosecutors to the Moscow City Court on Tuesday. The espionage charge carries a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years.
It said Tong had "posed" as an interpreter for "official delegations" and tried to purchase data from Russian nationals.
The spy was after secrets relating to the S-300 system is an older version of Russian surface-to-air missiles probably relate to its rare repair technology and spare parts -- details that the Chinese suspect was allegedly looking into at the time of his arrest.
The S-300 is a series of Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems produced by NPO Almaz, all based on the initial S-300P version. The S-300 system was developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles for the Soviet Air Defence Forces. Subsequent variations were developed to intercept ballistic missiles. The S-300 was jointly produced by Almaz with Samsung Group of South Korea since 1993.
The S-300 system was first deployed by the Soviet Union in 1979, designed for the air defense of large industrial and administrative facilities, military bases, and control of airspace against enemy strike aircraft.
The project-managing developer of the S-300 is Russian Almaz corporation (government owned, aka "KB-1") which is currently a part of "Almaz-Antei" Air Defense Concern. S-300 uses missiles developed by MKB "Fakel" design bureau (a separate government corporation, aka "OKB-2").
The S-300 is regarded as one of the most potent anti-aircraft missile systems currently fielded. Its radars have the ability to simultaneously track up to 100 targets while engaging up to 12. S-300 deployment time is five minutes. The S-300 missiles are sealed rounds and require no maintenance over their lifetime.
An evolved version of the S-300 system is the S-400 (NATO reporting name SA-21), entering limited service in 2004. This is maybe what the spy was really after, specifically those modifcation or improvements made in the missile system.
The Chinese national was arrested several months after police in Saint Petersburg arrested two Russian rocket scientists on suspicion of trying to supply military secrets to Beijing. The presumed clients interested in intelligence on the S-300 are China’s Ministry of State Security...
Their case was submitted to a Saint Petersburg court for trial on September 5 but it remained unclear if it also involved the S-300s or had any other connection to the Moscow arrest.
People I talked to with the CIA are perplexed for two reasons
1) This doesn't sound like spying. China already has the S-300 and is licensed to produce it. 2) It makes no sense, when you think about it.
I think this is a ruse made up by a 3rd party trying to frame china and destabilize Russia-China relations
A ruse by China in attempt to further improve Russia-China military and/or technology cooperation while trying to frame a 3rd country. If this was the case it didn't work.
Putin however can work this to his advantage by "releasing the spy" as a gesture of good faith. Some in the Kremlin have even suggested this, according to anonymous sources.
It is unclear what will happen in this case.