A leaked U.S. diplomatic cable cites a Spanish prosecutor regarded as an authority on Russian organized crime as calling Russia a "virtual mafia state."
The document, dating from February and made public in the massive WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables, summarizes comments made by Jose Grinda Gonzalez who specializes in organized crime.
According to the cable from the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Grinda believes that Russia's Federal Security Service and military intelligence effectively control the Russian mafia.
The cable also says Grinda claims to have information that some Russian political parties work "hand in glove" with organized crime.
There was no official reaction Thursday from Russian authorities to the allegations.