Putin = War Criminal
- Apr 18, 2013
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
Russian Spies in Spotlight Over Ukraine Shortcomings - The Moscow Times
The stuttering progress of Russia's invasion of Ukraine has thrown an unwanted spotlight on the Russian intelligence services, who observers say failed to prepare the Kremlin for the realities of the assault.
The stuttering progress of Russia's invasion of Ukraine has thrown an unwanted spotlight on the Russian intelligence services, who observers say failed to prepare the Kremlin for the realities of the assault. Several reports have suggested that a shadowy section of Russia's powerful Federal Security Agency (FSB) has come under particular scrutiny with its leader interrogated and reportedly even under house arrest. This has led several commentators to question if all is well at the ominous headquarters of the FSB on Lubyanka Square in Moscow, once the home of the KGB in the U.S.S.R. Observers believe Russia had expected to make far more rapid progress in the invasion after it was launched on Feb. 24, with forces that were welcomed rather than face fierce resistance from Ukrainians. "People did not make clear to [President Vladimir] Putin the reality of the situation," said a French intelligence source, who asked not to be named. "The system is hardening up, bunkering down so that Putin does not receive too much bad news," added the source.
In a report first carried by Latvia-based Russian news site Meduza, Russian intelligence experts Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan wrote that the first consequences of the espionage failings were now being felt. The head of the so called 5th Service of the FSB, Sergei Beseda, and his deputy, Anatoly Bolukh, had both been placed under house arrest in an investigation, the report said. The 5th Service is a hugely powerful branch of the FSB which oversees its operations outside Russia, notably in ex-Soviet states such as Ukraine. It is distinct from Russia's specialist Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), headed by the longstanding Kremlin insider Sergei Naryshkin. Western sources say it appears incontestable that the strength of Ukrainian resistance and the unwillingness of local populations to welcome Russia took Moscow by surprise. "Before such an operation, you should start by looking at the state of the population, in what situation you are going to operate," said a high-ranking French official, asking not to be named. "There was a very poor analysis of the state of the morale of the Ukrainian and Ukraine as a whole," added the source.
Ultimately, it boils down to (a) does Putin truly believe his own historical revisionisms and disinformation about Ukraine and (b) did Russia's intelligence services simply tell Putin what he wanted to hear?