Episode 141: Bill Kinane – FBI in Moscow, First Russian LEGAT

Retired agent Bill Kinane served in the FBI for 34 years. He spent most of his career in San Francisco, but also served in the Seattle, New York, and Chicago Divisions, and with the FBI in Moscow.

In this episode, Bill Kinane reviews the five years he served as the Assistant Legal Attaché (ALAT) and the Legal Attaché (LEGAT) of the FBI’s Office in Moscow, Russia, the first-ever official Bureau presence in the country.

The office was opened at the invitation of Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and Bill Kinane established a working relationship with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB).

At the time, current Russian President Vladimir Putin was the head of the FSB, and Bill Kinane met with him and his team weekly.

The Moscow LEGAT Office handled major investigations with a Russian nexus: Russian Organized Crime, money laundering, kidnappings of Americans in Russia, extortion, terrorism, movement of nuclear materials, and human trafficking.

Bill Kinane, who has an advanced degree in Soviet Area Studies, and learned Russian and Serbo-Croatian from the Defense Language Institute at Monterey, CA while serving in the Marine Corps, also provides a brief history of the period.

Upon his retirement, he went from working for the FBI in Moscow to working as a contract employee in Ukraine, Belarus and Albania. He later joined Guardsmark Corp. as a Senior VP. He now splits his time between California and Oregon.

UPDATE: Bill Kinane died on July 24, 2022. He was 80. May he rest in peace.

Special Agent (Retired)

Bill Kinane

1/3/1966 – 12/31/1999









“Putin would drop into our meetings unannounced and on a regular basis, pretty much as an observer. I think he was incredulous that the FBI was sitting in KGB headquarters discussing mutual cases of interest.”

Here’s a link to an article about Russia and the FBI in Moscow in which retired agents and former Moscow LEGATS  Bill Kinane and Tom Fuentes are quoted and a link to more info about the FBI in Moscow:

Philadelphia Inquirer – 7/4/1994:  FBI set to open first office in Moscow today

The Telegraph – 5/1/2013:  Old habits die hard: the FBI and the Russian security services

U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Russia – Federal Bureau of Investigation

Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.


  1. […] 141: Bill Kinane – FBI in Moscow, First Russian LEGAT  […]

  2. meditacijos kursaiOctober 8, 2019

    Thank you, I’ve just been searching for info about this subject for a while and yours is the greatest I’ve found out till now. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you positive in regards to the supply?

    1. Jerri WilliamsOctober 9, 2019

      Thanks for listening! I’m not sure I understand your question regarding the supply.

  3. Paul ZaferiouAugust 29, 2019

    Thank you for agreeing to participate in the Branch 134 SIR’s Foreign Affairs & Policy presentation and
    discussion group on 09/11. We look forward to your commentary pertinent to Russia and, especially,
    Vladimar Putin.

    As the Group’s coordinator, I ought to have the “bio” sent to Viv Pectol.
    Would you please, at your earliest convenience, send me the same ‘bio’.

    1. Jerri WilliamsAugust 29, 2019

      Bill Kinane probably won’t see your message to him here.

  4. zvodretiluretDecember 5, 2018

    Yeah bookmaking this wasn’t a bad conclusion outstanding post! .

  5. Eila FarncombeNovember 8, 2018

    Bill Kinase. Definitely one of my favourite interviews. Great Podcasts Jerri, so interesting to hear things from your side.

    1. Jerri WilliamsNovember 8, 2018

      I agree. Bill did a great job explaining what the Moscow LEGAT does.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top
Malcare WordPress Security