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Russian Military Intelligence Chief Visits Armenia


Russia -- Lieutenant General Igor Sergun, head of Russian Defence Ministry's Main Intelligence Department, better known under its Russian acronym of GRU, May 3, 2012

Russia -- Lieutenant General Igor Sergun, head of Russian Defence Ministry's Main Intelligence Department, better known under its Russian acronym of GRU, May 3, 2012

The head of Russia’s powerful military intelligence service began on Friday a visit to Armenia which the Defense Ministry in Yerevan said will focus on regional security and Russian-Armenian military ties.

In a short statement, the ministry said Colonel-General Igor Sergun will meet top Armenian defense officials to discuss “military-political topics of regional and international significance.” It said they will explore ways of boosting bilateral cooperation with the aim of “ensuring the security of the two countries in the existing geopolitical situation.”

No other details were reported.

Sergun runs the Russian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate, which is better known by its Russian acronym GRU. It has long been Russia’s biggest intelligence agency, boasting, according to espionage experts, a spy network abroad that is several times bigger than that of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, a former KGB di vision.

GRU is also charged with analyzing espionage information gathered by dozens of Russian military space satellites. In addition, GRU has several elite special forces units that fought in many post-World War Two conflicts, including Afghanistan and Chechnya.

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