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Great Russian TV Segment Explains: Recent Yahoo 'Scoop' About Spies in US is 'Ridiculous'

Under Obama, Washington seized Russian diplomatic facilities that they claimed were spying on the US. As it turns out, several US intelligence agencies were spying on those very same Russians.

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

In December 2016, the Obama administration expelled 30-some Russian diplomats and siezed several properties in the US owned by the Russian government. This was all a retaliation for Russia's supposed cyber-meddling in the 2016 election, an allegation that has yet to be substantiated.


The Russian embassy in the US intends to get explanations from the State Department, regarding a new spying scandal concerning our diplomats. Yahoo! News published a whole detective story that says that members of Russian December 2016 legation were allegedly involved in intercepting FBI data. Without proof, the authors claim that Russians were bugging from diplomatic estates in New York and Maryland. The ones that America itself seized, but under a different pretext. Under the pretext of Russia's mythical interference in the American elections.

Here's Denis Davydov, reporting on a succession of mismatches and manipulations.

The road to the former estate of the Russian embassy is unobstructed, but at the gate, the freedom ends. There are several off-road vehicles onsite, armed men in black reach for their holsters as soon as they see a stranger.

- Hi, I'm a Russian journalist and we'd like to film here.

- I don't think so, present your documents and I'll check.

He asks for documents and spent a long time on the phone. It's clear that for the three years when Russians weren't here, the territory was guarded, but not taken care of. The grass is waist-high, the window frames are crooked.

"They just told me that you can't film here."

The people now guarding the territory of the Russian embassy estate are security men from the State Department. At least, they had exactly those patches. They didn't allow us to film, even beyond the area at the gate, without explaining the reason. Until 2017, a Russian embassy estate was here. In the summer, children were brought here, just like in a camp.

"Hello, Neptune!"

A house in the forest on the bay shore. Diplomats went fishing here. But the authors need readers to believe: 7-8 years ago, they were allegedly fishing for something else. There are zero facts in the news, but as many as 50, mainly anonymous, so to say, made-up, sources. They say the territory was full of equipment for intercepting radio traffic of FBI and CIA agents.

Vladimir Grachev, USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs officer 1975-1988: "As a man who's worked long years in both New York and Washington, I can say it's ridiculous. Because these estates, like any Russian property, any abroad facilities are under the most watchful eye of not one, but several American intelligence agencies."

The American news agency states that back in 2016, Obama's decision to deport tens of diplomats was made exactly because of the estate, which was set for bugging, according to the US counterintelligence.

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Maria Zakharova, Russian MFA spokesperson: "We're entering a very interesting period, which is called "there's a year until the US presidential elections". Unfortunately, during this period we'll hear a lot of fantastic stories, sudden revelations, amazing insights or, vice versa, some diggings of the past."

The Russian Washington-based embassy said that the article isn't just a provocation. According to diplomats, such information is a threat to security for everyone in the diplomatic mission. A demand for an explanation has already been sent to the State Department.

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