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Cablegate: Extrancheck: Post-Shipment Verification:

VZCZCXYZ0012
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #1718/01 1061108
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161108Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9318
RHMFIUU/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS MOSCOW 001718

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

USDOC FOR 532/OEA/MHAMES/LRITTER
USDOC FOR 3150/USFCS/OIO/CEENIS/MCOSTA
USDOC FOR 532/OEE/MO'BRIEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: BEXP ETRD ETTC RS
SUBJECT: EXTRANCHECK: POST-SHIPMENT VERIFICATION:
TACTICA LTD., MOSCOW, RUSSIA, LICENSE NO. D358723

REFTEL: USDOC 02446

1. Unauthorized disclosure of the information provided
below is prohibited by Section 12C of the Export
Administration Act.

2. Reftel 1 requested a Post-shipment verification to
determine the legitimacy and reliability of the end-
user, Tactica Ltd., Moscow, Russia. The company is
listed on BIS license application D358723 as the
ultimate consignee of 60 holographic sights model:
552.A65, 180 holographic sights model: 551.A65, 120
holographic sightings model: 512.A65, 240 holographic
sights model: 511.A65 and 200 holographic sights
model: 551.D1. These items are controlled for firearms
convention, crime control, and UN sanctions reasons
under ECCN 0A987. The licensee is L-3 Communications,
1215 South Clark St., suite 1004, Arlington, VA 22202.

3. On March 27, 2007, Export Control Attache Donald
Pearce and FSN Natalya Shipitsina conducted the
requested post-shipment verification with Tactica
Ltd., 138 Varshavskoe Shosse, Moscow, Russia. The
export control team met with Sergey Korznikov,
Commercial Director and Alexander Zviagin, General
Director.

4. Tactica is a retail sporting goods and tactical
supplies store, specializing in optics. Mr.
Korznikov, a former member of the Federal Security
Service (Russian acronym FSB) Alfa Group, founded the
company in 2004. NOTE: FSB Alfa Group is a special
operations capable anti-terrorist unit. END NOTE. The
company started as an internet-based business, but
expanded within weeks to a showroom when Korznikov's
neighbor decided to invest 200,000 USD in the new
venture. Tactica imports 90% of its inventory from
the United States, and is a distributor for U.S.
manufacturers such as 5.11, Blackhawk, SureFire, and
others. In addition, Tactica is the official law
enforcement and military distributor for Leupold and
Stevens optics of Oregon. The company employs 11 and
operates from its showroom and office in a multi-
tenant commercial building in southern Moscow.

5. The 265 weapons sights in reftel paragraph 12 were
sold and transferred to law enforcement and military
end users in Russia. The team was allowed to examine
the purchase records, and was given copies of the end
use statements and invoices. The remainder of the
units requested in the license will be ordered over
the next year. Mr. Korznikov stated that it has been
difficult to keep these types of optics in stock for
more than a week, as the demand for them within the
military and law enforcement tactical units is high.
Mr. Korznikov noted that Alfa Group immediately
purchased the first 100 sights delivered for use in
counterterrorist operations. Stock is maintained in a
locked storeroom on site, and the store is protected
by an electronic alarm system with remote monitoring
by the security guards at the building complex.

6. According to Mr. Korznikov, units are going outside
of the normal procurement channels to directly
purchase these commodities, as similar optics from
Russia are not as good. Mr. Korznikov reports that
most of these purchases are guided from the field
officer level, as the staff officers are reluctant to
purchase western equipment. This is due principally
to a "KGB mentality" as Mr. Korznnikov labels it, that
is common among the Generals. The General Staff
believes that the field level operators are well
equipped; however most units in places like the
Caucuses are depending on Soviet-era tactical gear.

7. Often, former operators who have gone on to
successful positions in business will, as a
"humanitarian gesture" to their old units, finance the
purchase of western equipment that the official
Ministry of Defense supply chain will not. Mr.
Korznikov has worked closely with his former
colleagues to get the units better tactical load
bearing gear such as vests and rifle slings, as well
as optics. Mr. Korznikov assisted in arranging an
information exchange on hostage rescue tactics between
Alfa Group and the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, and is
hoping to arrange for additional training for Alfa

operators through U.S. contractor Blackwater.

8. Recommendations: Post recommends Tactica Ltd.,
Moscow, Russia as reliable recipients of sensitive
U.S. origin commodities.
(FCS MOSCOW/SBOZEK/DPEARCE)
BURNS

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