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A former head of the Soviet KGB foreign intelligence branch, Leonid Shebarshin, has apparently shot himself dead aged 77, Russian prosecutors and police say.
Leonid Shebarshin (seen here in 1991) recently celebrated his 77th birthday
Shebarshin was found dead with a gunshot wound at his flat in central Moscow, a ceremonial pistol by his side, police told news agencies.
A suicide note was reportedly also found at the scene.
A veteran of Soviet intelligence in South Asia and Iran, he led the KGB's First Chief Directorate from 1989-91. In 1991, he replaced coup plotter Vladimir Kryuchkov for two days as overall head of the KGB before he resigned himself, as the new post-Communist authorities set about dismantling the organisation.
As head of KGB operations in post-revolutionary Iran, he was expelled along with fellow officers in 1983. Previously he had served in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Russian media reports say.
A former head of Russian Intelligence has put it on the table: he states that the US has been using the War on Terror global initiative as a cover to seize the world's oil rich regions, and thus control the world's primary energy resource. There have been Russian mumblings about this before, but here is a prominent figure stating it in very clear terms.
The matter-of-fact style in which the former spy chief makes supporting observations suggests that the counter planning is in the works.