As with all things Ukraine war-related, disinformation is in full swing by all sides, and rumors are running wild. Still, there is credible reporting of an emerging Kremlin purge.
ADN recently reported that Vlad the Invader Putin may have fired up to eight generals and has been raging at his spy chiefs over the glaring failures in preparing him for the Ukraine war.
Now things are getting more interesting.
According to the Daily Mail, one respected Russian commentator and author based in Moscow claims Putin has placed the head of the FSB’s foreign service – Sergey Beseda – and his deputy Anatoly Bolyukh -under house arrest after blaming them for intelligence failings that saw his army handed a series of embarrassing defeats in Ukraine.
In tweet, Andrei Soldatov later said:
Putin appears to be truly unhappy with the FSB in Ukraine: he attacked the 5 Service SOiMS (FSB’s foreign Intelligence branch). Sergei Beseda, head of the Service, and his deputy Bolukh, head of the DOI, placed under house arrest, according to my sources inside.
While many understand that the SVR is the Russian Federation’s civilian foreign intelligence service, and the GRU (now known simply as GU) focuses on foreign military intelligence, the FSB which is primarily focused on domestic counterintelligence and counterterrorism, also has a less-known foreign branch, the 5th service.
This FSB foreign service focuses primarily on the former Soviet Republics, including Ukraine, since the SVR promised these new nations it wouldn’t spy on them.
Soldatov mentions this here in a tweet, which also links to an excellent backgrounder in The Daily Beast.
I see a lot of confusion around what the Fifth service is, and does the FSB run ops abroad. Yes it does. I’ve been reporting the activities of the foreign intel branch of the FSB since 2002. See my profile on the Fifth service in @thedailybeast
The FSB’s 5th service foreign branch is very strong interest to Putin and there may be more to these arrests than just incompetence. This apparently includes officials deliberately providing Putin false information about the political situation in Ukraine and the embezzlement of funds allocated for subversive and undercover work in Ukraine.
Stay tuned for more developments as Putin continues to lash out at his corrupt and incompetent cronies.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.