CIA Seeks to Recruit Dissatisfied Russians as Sources, Citing "Unique Opportunity"

news 02-Jul-2023 World News

Opportunity for Us at the CIA: Recruiting Dissatisfied Russians as Sources

The US foreign intelligence agency, the CIA, hopes to recruit dissatisfied Russians as sources. CIA Director Burns referred to the "undermining effect of the war" as a "unique opportunity." Telegram also plays a role in this endeavor.

The US foreign intelligence agency, the CIA, aims to capitalize on recent events in Russia. The actions of Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin serve as a "vivid reminder of the destabilizing effect of Putin's war on his own society and regime," said CIA Director William Burns at the annual Ditchley Foundation lecture in Oxfordshire, England.

Message Sent via Telegram

The discontent in Russia regarding the war in Ukraine provides new opportunities for gathering intelligence. "This dissatisfaction presents a unique opportunity for us at the CIA," Burns said, referring to the recruitment of agents. "We will not let this chance slip away."

Burns mentioned that the CIA recently sent a message to Russians on the online service Telegram. It informs them about how to contact the US intelligence agency in the so-called darknet, a hidden area of the internet. According to Burns, this message from his agency was viewed 2.5 million times in the first week.

Burns Denies Involvement in the Wagner Uprising

The consequences of the Wagner Group uprising are expected to reverberate through Russian society and the regime in Moscow for some time, Burns said. He described the mutiny as an "armed challenge to the Russian state." However, he emphasized that it was an internal Russian matter in which the US played no role.

According to a US official, Burns was in Ukraine shortly before the Wagner uprising. There, he met with intelligence personnel and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said the official to AFP. During his trip, Burns reaffirmed the exchange of intelligence information "to support Ukraine in defending against Russian aggression."

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