The CIA has posted a video on social media offering the Russians a secure way to communicate with them, vowing to protect their safety if they share secrets about the Ukraine war and other information with American spies.
«We want to reach out to those brave Russians who feel compelled by the Russian government’s unjust war to stand up to the CIA and ensure they do so in the safest way possible,» a CIA official said.
the russian language video was first published on the social networking site Telegram and has also appeared on YoutubeTwitter and Facebook.
“The people around you may not want to hear the truth,” says its narrator. “But we do. You are not powerless. Connect with us in a secure way.”
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said: «I am convinced that our special services are properly monitoring this space.» TO Spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry He called it «a very convenient resource for tracking applicants.»
The highly produced two-minute video set to dramatic music shows Russians looking out a window or from a park bench, apparently weighing a momentous decision. A man carrying a briefcase walks into a government building and shows his ID card. The fictional characters contemplate the family portraits, as if contemplating the future of their children. At the end of the video, the Russians contact the CIA on their phones.
The video shows “fictional Russian officials making the difficult but important decision to secretly contact the CIA using our dark web portal,” the CIA official said.
“In today’s Russia, it is still very difficult to speak and telling the truth often has serious consequences. The CIA wants to know the truth about Russia and we are looking for reliable people who can tell us and with whom we can communicate safely,» the official said.
The video, titled «Why I Contacted the CIA: My Decision,» tells the story of an apparent bureaucrat and his family as he contemplates his life and the path his country is taking. The man asks: «Is it the kind of life I dreamed of? The video appeals to Russian national identity, the desire for a better future and heroism: «To be a hero means to persevere, but to persevere does not mean to endure in vain.» .
The video is the latest effort by the US to recruit disgruntled Russians as Moscow wages war against Ukraine. More than a year ago, the CIA posted online instructions in Russian on how to contact her safely.
“I think it’s safe to say that we wouldn’t be following up and continuing this effort if it hadn’t worked,” the official said, without elaborating.
Current and former intelligence officials say Russia’s troubled war effort has provided a crucial opportunity for Western intelligence agencies to recruit Russians who are disenchanted with the invasion of Ukraine and the country’s state under Putin.
CIA director of operations David Marlowe said at George Mason University in November that Putin had squandered his country’s power and influence by sending Russian forces into Ukraine, and that the spy agency was ready to work with the Russians alienated by the Kremlin.
“We are looking around the world for Russians who are just as upset with it as we are,” he said. «Because we are open for business.»
CIA Director William Burns said in April at Rice University that «dissatisfaction with the war will continue to eat away at Russian leaders.»
Despite Washington’s disagreements with Putin, “America and the Russian people are not enemies. We admire the courage and determination of so many Russians determined to uphold Russia’s values and ideals,» the CIA official said.
The agency was interested in a variety of information from Russia and not simply narrowly defined intelligence or counterintelligence reports, the official said. “We are interested in advanced science, military and cyber technology, financial information, valuable data sources, and foreign policy secrets,” the official said.