London Diplomatic List - can you spot the expelled Russian diplomats ?

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We are still waiting for the Information Commissioner to rule on our Freedom of Information Act Request complaint, regarding the refusal by the Foreign & Commonwealtth Office to name the four Russian diplomats and possible SVR Russian Foreign Intelligence Service officers , who were expelled from the Russian Embassy in London in mid July 2007, following the failure of the UK Government to extradite Andrei Lugovoi or have him prosecuted in Russia, for the alleged murder of British citizen Alexader Litvinenko through radioactive Polonium 210 poisoning, in London, in November 2006.

The FCO has not named the 4 British diplomats expelled , tit-for-tat, from Moscow either. All this Cold War style secrecy is both pointless and insults the intelligence of the public.

Every foreign Embassy in London and in Moscow, and therefore every other Government and intelligence agency in the world, will have been informed, directly or indirectly which of their fellow accredited diplomats were expelled, if only for official protocol and seating arrangement purposes at formal functions and ceremonies

What then, is the point of keeping the British public in the dark about this still unresolved murder of a British citizen, using a method which put lots of innocent British bystanders at risk ?

See the correspondence so far regarding our Freedom of Information Act request - FCO diplomatic expulsions Polonium 210 murder affair blog category archive. It is not clear to us that the names of foreign accredited diplomats should be somehow be exempt from the UK Freedom of Information Act law, when such diplomats are not technically subject to most UK laws at all.

Anybody on the internet can compare last year's London Diplomatic List (published on 17th June 2007) with this year's version, published on 18th June 2008 and come up with a list of possible candidates for the 4 names of the expelled Russian diplomats or perhaps intelligence agents. None of these people is ever going to be sent to a major diplomatic posting "under diplomatic cover" again, so naming them is not going to increase the risk to their safety in any way.

You can open the full comparison the 2007 and 2008 versions of London Diplomatic List in a new window, together with links to the original sources and to mirror copies, which does not not fit neatly into this blog post format.

Russian Federation Diplomats on the 17th June 2007 London Diplomatic List, but not on the 18th June 2008 one

* = married but not accompanied by wife or husband
m = married

  1. Mr Sergey N. Goldin m Counsellor and Consul General
  2. Vladimir A. Samanov m Counsellor
  3. Mr Valery V. Rodichkin m Counsellor
  4. Mr Andrey S. Ochkov m Deputy Trade Representative
  5. Mr Oleg G. Erokhin m Deputy Trade Representative
  6. Mr Andrey S. Vinnik 1st Secretary
  7. Mr Igor N. Khotkin m 1st Secretary
  8. Colonel Evgeny V. Bobkin m Senior Assistant Defence and Military Attaché
  9. Commander Edward J. Belashev m Assistant Naval Attaché
  10. Mr Vladislav G. Novikov m 2nd Secretary
  11. Mr Gennady A Saenko m 2nd Secretary
  12. Mr Sergey V. Saveliev m 2nd Secretary
  13. Mr Mikhail V. Safronov m 2nd Secretary
  14. Mr Evgeny N. Gusev m 3rd Secretary
  15. Mr Ilya M. Lysenko m 3rd Secretary
  16. Mr Pavel V. Andreev 3rd Secretary
  17. Mr Sergey A. Askretkov Attaché
  18. Mr Alexander M. Batyaev m Attaché
  19. Mr Vladimir V. Barinov m Attaché
  20. Mr Andrey V. Gavrilov m Attaché
  21. Mr Alexey V. Mukhachev m Attaché

4 of these 21 people must presumably be the unnamed in public, diplomats and alleged intelligence officers, who were expelled from London in July 2007.

At a guess, the Consul General (Sergey N. Goldin ) is not likely to be an SVR intelligence officer (too senior and ceremonial a position)

Similarly the Military attaché (Colonel Evgeny V. Bobkin and Commander Edward J. Belashev), may well have military intelligence functions, but would not be SVR officers, caught up in the Litvinenko murder.

The Deputy Trade Representatives (Andrey S. Ochkov and Oleg G. Erokhin) do not seem to have been replaced by people using those same tiles, so, assuming that the SVR is trying to keep its "diplomatic cover" strength intact, perhaps they can be excluded as candidates as well.

Obviously we are not as suspicious and devious as Russian intelligence agencies and politicians, so all of this speculation could easily be wrong.

The following 13 people are new arrivals on the June 2008 London Diplomatic List, compared with last year.

  1. Mr Andrey Batmanov m Counsellor & Consul General
  2. Mr Alexander P. Zinovyev m Counsellor
  3. Mr Oleg Y. Sepelev Counsellor
  4. Mr Sergey Andriashin * First Secretary
  5. Mr Alexey A. Solvyev m 2nd Secretary
  6. Mr Anton Azarov m 2nd Secretary
  7. Mr Sergey V. Peresada m 2nd Secretary
  8. Mr Alexander B. Shoshnikov 2nd Secretary
  9. Mr Mikhail Repin m 3rd Secretary
  10. Mr Gleb V. Nazarov Attaché
  11. Mr Nikolay A. Gusev m Attaché
  12. Mr Viktor A. Koryagin m Attaché
  13. Mr Konstantin Nikitin m Attaché

Are any of these direct replacements for the 4 expelled diplomats, and possible SVR Russian Foreign Intelligence Service officers ?

UPDATE: 6th September 2008 - we have added in the names on list published as a printed document:

London Diplomatic List 2008 - published by The Stationary Office 14th January 2008, ISBN 10 0115917934, ISBN 13 9780115917936

The people listed both on the June 2007 list and on the January 2008 list, but not on the June 2008 list are:

Mr Sergey N. Goldin m Counsellor and Consul General
Mr Andrey S. Vinnik 1st Secretary
Mr Andrey V. Gavrilov m Attaché

This probably eliminates them as likely candidates for the 4 expelled diplomats, assuming that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office did not publish a false listing in the printed document on sale to the public via The Stationary Office.

Our Freedom of Information Act on this matter has been rejected by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, who seem to have managed to persuade the Information Commisioner's Office to find in their favour as well.

Some of the comments, reproduced in the Information Commissioner's Decision Notice, apparently from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office pooh poohing our legitimate Freedom of Information Act rights, are insulting.

Since we are not rich enough to pay for barristers to argue our case before the Information Tribunal, the bureaucracy seems to have won again, and only the British public is being kept in the dark, again - all the world's governments, intelligence agencies, terrorist organisations, organised criminals etc. know who these people are.

See: Information Commissioner decides in favour of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, refusing disclosure of the names and job titles of the Russian and UK diplomats expelled over the Alexander Litvinenko murder incident

4 Comments

The Daily Mail / Mail on Sunday newspaper has, during 2008, named three diplomats at the Russian Federation embassy in London as being likely SVR intelligence officers.

Back on 20th January 2008 they named

34 Russian spies - including diplomat who writes restaurants reviews

MI5 has helped draw up a list of suspected agents, including at least 34 diplomats in the Russian embassy, who could be targeted in a mass expulsion.

The Mail on Sunday has learned the list includes two of the most senior embassy officials, political section chief Alexander Sternik and senior counsellor Andrey Pritsepov, aide to the Russian ambassador and known as a 'gastronaut' for his reviews of London's finest restaurants.

The Daily Mail on 28th June 2008 also mentions another name:

Labour MP pulled before chief whip for inviting 'Russian spy' to tea in the Commons

Andrew MacKinlay, a Labour member of the powerful Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, was carpeted by Government Chief Whip Geoff Hoon after the intelligence services reported that he had tea with the agent at the House of Commons.

The man, Alexander Polyakov, works as a counsellor at the Russian Embassy in London but is thought to report back to the SVR - the infamous agency once known as the KGB.

All three are still listed on the current London Diplomatic List:

Alexander V. Polyakov - Counsellor
Andrey A. Pritsepov - Senior Counsellor
Alexander V. Sternik - Senior Counsellor

N.B. "reporting back" to the SVR is something which all Russian diplomats are likely to do, if they come across anything which might be useful to them, exactly like any other diplomats, of any nationality, will do with their own intelligence agencies. That is not the same as them being "legal" intelligence officers, working under diplomatic cover.


Written answers Monday, 23 July 2007

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Russia: Diplomatic Service

Andrew MacKinlay (Thurrock, Labour):

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will undertake to make a written statement to the House should the number of authorised Russian diplomats in London vary from the levels permitted following the decision to expel four Russian diplomats which he announced on 16 July 2007, Official Report, column 22.

Jim Murphy (Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office; Renfrewshire East, Labour)

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to him today (UIN 151252). I would also remind my hon. Friend that I provided an undertaking to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee that I would inform Parliament of any changes to the measures set out in my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's statement to the House on 16 July 2007, Official Report, columns 21-22.

and

Written answers Monday, 23 July 2007

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Russia: Diplomatic Service

Andrew MacKinlay (Thurrock, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many diplomats Russia was authorised to have in the United Kingdom or accredited to the Court of St James on 13 July; and how many there will be following the decision, announced on 16 July 2007, Official Report, column 22, to expel diplomats.

Jim Murphy (Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office; Renfrewshire East, Labour)

Seventy-seven Russians are currently notified to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) as being posted to the UK with diplomatic rank and are registered on the FCO Protocol database. I refer my hon. Friend to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary on 16 July 2007, Official Report, columns 27-22, in which he informed the House that four of these individuals have been asked to leave.

The June 2007 London Diplomatic List only includes sixty seven names, including that of the wife of the Ambassador i.e. 10 fewer than stated by the Minister in the is Written Answer.

The London Diplomatic List does include 2 other Russians accredited as Permanent Representatives to the International Maritime Organisation headquarters in London (part of the United Nations, and therefore also with diplomatic status).

Who are / were the other eight Russian diplomats ?

N.B. there now only sixty diplomats at the Russian Embassy etc. names on the current June 2008 version of the List, still with another couple of Permanent Representatives at the IMO.

Has there been an unpublicised further round of diplomatic expulsions, between London and Moscow, following the Russian harassment of the British Council and British Petroleum in Russia since last year ?

See former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray's blog article - Andrew Mackinlay - an Honest Man in Parliament

I wanna know that is Mr.Frances donald a london diplomat or not.

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Everyone’s Guide to By-Passing Internet Censorship for Citizens Worldwide (.pdf - 31 pages), by the Citizenlab at the University of Toronto.

Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents - March 2008 version - (2.2 Mb - 80 pages .pdf) by Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Guide to Covering the Beijing Olympics by Human Rights Watch.

A Practical Security Handbook for Activists and Campaigns (v 2.6) (.doc - 62 pages), by experienced UK direct action political activists

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No. 10 Downing Street Prime Minister's Official Spindoctors

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Bichard Inquiry delving into criminal records and "soft intelligence" policies highlighted by the Soham murders. (taken offline by the Home Office)

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BLOGDIAL

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Beau Bo D'Or blog by an increasingly famous digital political cartoonist.

Between Both Worlds - "Thoughts & Ideas that Reflect the Concerns of Our Conscious Evolution" - Kingsley Dennis

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Matt Wardman political blog analysis

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Head of Legal - Carl Gardner a former legal advisor to the Government

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World's First Fascist Democracy - blog with link to a Google map - "This map is an attempt to take a UK wide, geographical view, of both the public and the personal effect of State sponsored fear and distrust as seen through the twisted technological lens of petty officials and would be bureaucrats nationwide."

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No CCTV - The Campaign against CCTV

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notes from the ubiquitous surveillance society - blog by Dr. David Murakami Wood, editor of the online academic journal Surveillance and Society

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Armed and Dangerous - Sex, software, politics, and firearms. Life’s simple pleasures… - by Open Source Software advocate Eric S. Raymond.

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Big Brother Watch - well connected with the mainstream media, this is a campaign blog by the TaxPayersAlliance, which thankfully does not seem to have spawned Yet Another Campaign Organisation as many Civil Liberties groups had feared.

Spy on Moseley - "Sparkbrook, Springfield, Washwood Heath and Bordesley Green. An MI5 Intelligence-gathering operation to spy on Muslim communities in Birmingham is taking liberties in every sense" - about 150 ANPR CCTV cameras funded by Home Office via the secretive Terrorism and Allied Matters (TAM) section of ACPO.

FitWatch blog - keeps an eye on the activities of some of the controversial Police Forward Intelligence Teams, who supposedly only target "known troublemakers" for photo and video surveillance, at otherwise legal, peaceful protests and demonstrations.

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  • kazi iftekhar: I wanna know that is Mr.Frances donald a london diplomat read more
  • wtwu: See former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray's blog article read more
  • wtwu: Written answers Monday, 23 July 2007 Foreign and Commonwealth read more
  • wtwu: The Daily Mail / Mail on Sunday newspaper has, during read more

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UK Legislation

The United Kingdom suffers from tens of thousands of pages of complicated criminal laws, and thousands of new, often unenforceable criminal offences, which have been created as a "Pretend to be Seen to Be Doing Something" response to tabloid media hype and hysteria, and political social engineering dogmas. These overbroad, catch-all laws, which remove the scope for any judicial appeals process, have been rubber stamped, often without being read, let alone properly understood, by Members of Parliament.

The text of many of these Acts of Parliament are now online, but it is still too difficult for most people, including the police and criminal justice system, to work out the cumulative effect of all the amendments, even for the most serious offences involving national security or terrorism or serious crime.

Many MPs do not seem to bother to even to actually read the details of the legislation which they vote to inflict on us.

UK Legislation Links

UK Statute Law Database - is the official revised edition of the primary legislation of the United Kingdom made available online, but it is not yet up to date.

UK Commissioners

UK Commissioners some of whom are meant to protect your privacy and investigate abuses by the bureaucrats.

UK Intelligence Agencies

Intelligence and Security Committee - the supposedly independent Parliamentary watchdog which issues an annual, heavily censored Report every year or so. Currently chaired by the Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Why should either the intelligence agencies or the public trust this committee, when the untrustworthy ex-Labour Minister Hazel Blears is a member ?

Anti-terrorism hotline - links removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

MI5 Security Service
MI5 Security Service - links to encrypted reporting form removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

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Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

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Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - "CPNI provides expert advice to the critical national infrastructure on physical, personnel and information security, to protect against terrorism and other threats."

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Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

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Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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National Crime Agency - the replacement for the Serious Organised Crime Agency

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Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

Foreign Spies / Intelliegence Agencies in the UK

It is not just the UK government which tries to snoop on British companies, organisations and individuals, the rest of the world is constantly trying to do the same, regardless of the mixed efforts of our own UK Intelligence Agencies who are paid to supposedly protect us from them.

For no good reason, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office only keeps the current version of the London Diplomatic List of accredited Diplomats (including some Foreign Intelligence Agency operatives) online.

Presumably every mainstream media organisation, intelligence agency, serious organised crime or terrorist gang keeps historical copies, so here are some older versions of the London Diplomatic List, for the benefit of web search engine queries, for those people who do not want their visits to appear in the FCO web server logfiles or those whose censored internet feeds block access to UK Government websites.

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

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FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution - Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

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Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

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Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

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BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

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Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

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Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

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Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

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Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

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No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV

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I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !

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Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign

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Cracking the Black Box - "aims to expose technology that is being used in inappropriate ways. We hope to bring together the insights of experts and whistleblowers to shine a light into the dark recesses of systems that are responsible for causing many of the privacy problems faced by millions of people."

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Open Rights Group - Petition against the renewal of the Interception Modernisation Programme

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WhistleblowersUK.org - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers