How Trump walked into Putin’s web

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The inside story of how a former British spy was hired to investigate Russia’s influence on Trump – and uncovered explosive evidence that Moscow had been cultivating Trump for years. By Luke Harding

Moscow, summer 1991. Mikhail Gorbachev is in power. Official relations with the west have softened, but the KGB still assumes all western embassy workers are spooks. The KGB agents assigned to them are easy to spot. They have a method. Sometimes they pursue targets on foot, sometimes in cars. The officers charged with keeping tabs on western diplomats are never subtle.

One of their specialities is breaking into Moscow apartments. The owners are always away, of course. The KGB leave a series of clues – stolen shoes, women’s tights knotted together, cigarette butts stomped out and left demonstratively on the floor. Or a surprise turd in the toilet, waiting in grim ambush. The message, crudely put, is this: we are the masters here! We can do what the fuck we please!

Related: Alexander Litvinenko: the man who solved his own murder | Luke Harding

Related: Inside the Kremlin’s hall of mirrors | Peter Pomerantsev

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