Ukraine Drops Alleged List Of Russian Spies
Ukraine Drops Alleged List Of Russian Spies
Ever since the invasion of Ukraine, it’s become increasingly clear that Russia does not have the logistical capability to actually conquer the country.
Between its sending of conscripts, and the wave of deaths among their generals because their communications are unsecured, the Russian military no longer looks like the professional fighting force that they were once assumed to be.
And now, Ukraine is releasing an alleged list of some 600 Russian spies to the public. If this list proves to be accurate, this would be devastating to the Russian spy infrastructure.
The intelligence wing of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine released the “list of employees of the FSB of the Russian Federation registered at the address: Moscow, St. Bolshaya Lubyanka” on Monday. The FSB is the successor agency to the KGB, Russia’s notorious spy arm.”
The list, released in Russian and apparently unavailable on the English version of the ministry’s website, provides names, phone numbers, passport numbers, “registration addresses,” license plate numbers and occasionally financial details for 620 alleged Russian spies. In a few cases, the list includes a home address.”
The FSB has not exactly covered itself in glory lately.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly put two FSB agents who reportedly scouted Ukraine on house arrest after Russia’s Ukraine invasion proved far more difficult than Putin appears to have considered at first.”
Since we don’t actually know what the FSB told Putin (obviously), it’s hard to say whether or not this was their screwup. It’s completely plausible that the FSB told Putin exactly what he wanted to hear – that the Russians would be welcomed with open arms in Ukraine. It’s also completely plausible that the FSB told Putin, in the words of Luke Skywalker in “The Last Jedi,” that “this will not go the way you think.” In either case, Putin now needs a scapegoat for the colossal failure of their invasion. Remember when everyone assumed Kyiv would fall (or in Joe Biden’s terms, be “sacked”) if Russia invaded, because the assumption was that the Russian military was just that good?
Yeah, about that…
Russia’s military announced Tuesday it will “fundamentally” scale back operations near Ukraine’s capital and a northern city, as talks brought the outlines of a possible deal to end the grinding war into view.”
Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said the move was meant to increase trust in the talks after several rounds of negotiations failed to halt what has devolved into a bloody campaign of attrition.”
The announcement was met with skepticism from the U.S. and others.”
While Russia portrayed it as a goodwill gesture, it comes as the Kremlin’s troops have become bogged down in the face of stiff Ukrainian resistance that has thwarted President Vladimir Putin’s hopes for a quick military victory. Late last week, and again on Tuesday, Russia seemed to roll back its war aims, saying its “main goal” now is gaining control of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.”
As the article points out, experts are not really seeing this as a major concession by Russia.
This sounds like more of an acknowledgement of the situation around Kyiv where Russia's advance has been stalled for weeks and Ukrainian forces have had recent successes. Russia doesn't have the forces to encircle the city. https://t.co/OjFdRnZ3B8
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) March 29, 2022
But is this the beginning of Russia realizing they need an offramp/reset of their “objectives” in order to save face? Leave aside the losses of generals – just how many troops have they lost? We know that Russia isn’t likely to be honest about those numbers, and Ukraine has said that the Russians aren’t dealing with their war dead in order to hide the true losses.
Meanwhile, turning loose a list of alleged Russian spies is a bold move by Ukraine. To reference another movie, it reminds me of the scenes in the James Bond film “Skyfall,” when the identities of spies are revealed off a list in order to get revenge. If this list is verifiable, then it could be a serious undermining of the FSB and the Russian spy network. You better bet that the entire thing has been downloaded, and Western intelligence is combing over these details. We already knew Russia had failed in its “quick” invasion and takeover of Ukraine. The loss of troops, generals, and now potentially the exposure of hundreds of spies could devastate the political landscape of Russia for a very long time. Will it be bad enough for Putin to be ousted? I doubt it, but at this point, a crippled Russia who gets to save face by retreating to the status quo of “occupying” the Donbass region would be the best outcome right now.