Earlier this month, more than fifty Russian spies graduated from the FSB Academy, destined for service in the Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB. Thrilled to pass the rigorous program, the newly minted secret agents brashly took to the streets of Moscow in more than three dozen Mercedes-Benz G500s, honking, hanging out of the sunroofs and windows and yelling at passersby.
Perhaps they collectively missed the academy's lessons on how to fly under the radar, because rolling deep in a convoy of blacked-out Gelandewagens attracted many eyeballs and even more cameras, especially in a country where ever-rolling dashcams are the norm. Further not helping matters was the photo of the group of grads uploaded to social media, where they’re all smiling and some are holding champagne flutes.
Heaps of footage of the spies’ drive was uploaded to YouTube and, presumably, made its way across Vladimir Putin’s desk. Putin, an erstwhile KGB agent who served undercover in East Germany, was reportedly angered by the shocking spectacle, though he declined to comment on the incident. The Kremlin, however, publicly demanded swift and harsh retribution.
Their call was answered this week when spy chiefs in Moscow handed down strict punishments in the form of two undesirable options: quit the secret service forever or be banished to Siberia, Russia’s remotest regions, for their postings. Nearly all chose Siberia and Life.ru reported that the bulk of the disgraced crop are destined for Chukotka and Kamchatka. Those desolate areas, closer to Alaska than the populated cities of the motherland, are unreachable by car, each requiring an eight hour flight from Moscow.
The FSB condemned the incident, deeming it “indecent and demonstrative” in a statement, and penalized senior staff from the academy with demotions or forced resignations. Veteran Russian spies who saw the footage called the shamed agents pompous and arrogant, and said that by revealing their identities, it could be classified as treason.
The FSB teaches fledgling spies foreign languages, investigative skills, cryptography, counterintelligence and a host of other James Bond-style skills, including weapons training, martial arts and close quarters fighting techniques. So, if you find yourself in Sibera in the near future, be on the lookout for highly-trained human killing machines, upset about their posting.