One of my best adds for “Following” on Twitter last week is this Russian-American race car driver, Igor Sushko, who has a friend deep inside Russia’s FSB (comparable to our CIA, it was Russia’s former KGB and its the agency Putin once headed back when it was first named and formed) giving him details of scuttlbebutt exchanged among agents working in the offices and out in the fields.
Sushko takes his friends missives and translates them from Russian into English.
Thus far, Sushko’s four (maybe its five) long threads (and in this current case, it grows) have given us incredible insight into the paranoia and fear ruling inside Russia’s own FSB, where the agents are seeing a different reality than what Vladimir Putin wants.
Earlier this week, Sushko’s friend made many points about how everyone in the FSB is wondering who will be arrested for daring to speak the truth to journalists and Western sources outside the ranks of Putin’s former iron grip on the intelligence services inside Russia.
Now we know.
This is getting serious. The arrest of the two highest positions in a certain sector of the FSB today by Federal police agents would be akin to our FBI walking into CIA heaquarters in Dulles and arresting some top tier directors. And more arrests were made inside 20 other branch offices:
On 3/11, The 5th Directorate of the FSB (Operational Information and International Relations), in charge of foreign intelligence of the FSB, incl. in Ukraine, has been raided by the both FSO, Federal Protective Service of the Russian Federation ??? – Putin’s own security service
along with the 9th Directorate of the FSB (Internal Security for the FSB). Head of the FSB’s 5th Directorate, Colonel General Sergei Beseda (born 1954), and his deputy, Anatoly Bolyukh (born 1956), have been arrested.
Raids by the 9th Directorate and the FSO also took place at over 20 other locations associated with the operatives inside the 5th Directorate who are suspected of having connections with journalists and human rights activists.
The raids, criminal investigations, and the arrests have taken place officially due to some trumped up accusations by the Kremlin against the 5th Directorate of corruption & bribery. The cover story for the raids is so ridiculous I won’t even go into further detail.
My English translations of the #FSBletters have now been read by over 30,000,000 people on Twitter alone. These raids and arrests are the Putin regime’s de-facto recognition of the authenticity of the #FSBletters and the immense damage they are causing Putin.
Vladimir Osechin has informed me that our FSB analyst has not been compromised. I cannot disclose the specifics. Our source sends his regards to everyone (THAT’S ALL OF US!) Message: “Our work continues.” #FSBletters
Igor links us to this Independent source of news from within Russia which carries more about this story.
You may have to use Google translate like I am doing:
The 5th service (officially called the Service of Operational Information and International Relations) oversees the FSB’s relations with foreign partners, including with US agencies. Inside the service, there is the infamous Department of Operational Information (DPI), which performs the functions of the FSB’s foreign intelligence.
The FSB acquired the right to conduct operations abroad in the late 1990s, when Vladimir Putin was the director of this special service. At the same time, a new department was formed within the FSB, which was instructed to conduct intelligence operations on the territory of the former USSR. (We have been following the activities of this FSB unit for a long time and write about it.)
When the “color revolutions” led to the fact that many pro-Kremlin leaders in the post-Soviet space lost power, the administration was given the task of doing everything to keep these countries in Russia’s sphere of influence.
In 2004, the department was upgraded in status, having been transformed into a full-fledged department - the Department of Operational Information. Soon he had a new leader - Sergei Beseda, who had previously served in the FSB department that oversaw the presidential administration of Russia, where he had excellent connections. Soon, DPI officers began to be noticed in Belarus, Moldova and Abkhazia. It turned out that their main task there was not classic espionage, but support for pro-Kremlin candidates in local elections. However, it was Ukraine in the entire post-Soviet space that occupied a special place in the priorities of the DPI.