The Byzantine politics of the Kremlin are on full display to the world. Putin looks for moles and scapegoats while he purges the military and security services. The military and security services are starting to fight back and blame him for the Ukrainian debacle. A nuclear armed nation in domestic turmoil does not bode well for geopolitical stability. A Russian analyst fills in the details for us.
Putin's defence minister Sergei Shoigu has had a 'massive heart attack not from natural causes' https://t.co/8FXho6In5u
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FNC: “The West got it so right and Russia got it so wrong when it came to intelligence before the war in Ukraine. Now, according to an expert on Russian intelligence services, President Vladimir Putin is looking for the spy who shafted him.”
“We hear some new rumors and more information about an apparent hunt for a traitor inside the FSB, Russia’s federal security service, because lots of people are asking themselves right now in Moscow, why is it that US intelligence was so exact, so precise before the invasion,” said Andrei Soldatov, Russian expert and international security analyst.
“It’s a very Russian way to work on your problems, like if something went really, really wrong. It’s always good to blame a traitor because in this case, you are fine. You did nothing wrong. It’s all about some traitor.”
Former Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is kept under wraps. “The Russian prison system is very corrupt. So once you are inside, you can find a way to communicate with the outside world. You can get your iPhone and you can make a call. So everything, almost everything is possible, but not in Lefortovo. In Lefortovo people might be kept completely incommunicado. And as far as I know, basically he’s kept there under false name, and there will be no option for him to communicate with the outside world,” says Soldatov. It also looks like a “heart attack” could be blamed for his expected upcoming death. A further 20 generals have been arrested, charged in a massive embezzlement of military funds. Those charges are said to be accurate.
“In 2014 when we had the first stage of the invasion of Ukraine, everybody was happy with the way it was going…happy with Putin and on the same page.” Now “they blame Putin and the Fifth Service specifically for doing it in a way that caused so much problem and damage and casualties.” Does that mean, I ask, that they are ready to turn on Putin? “Right now, they’re building this distance between them and him. But it doesn’t mean that they’re ready to do something about him because there are so many things are against that. The lack of tradition. The KGB was never really good at plotting and conspiring. The only time they tried in 1991, it ended up with a disaster because the middle level officers didn’t support the leadership of the KGB to get rid of Gorbachev. For the army, it’s even worse,” Soldatov says.
“The most surprising thing is that Putin decided to attack his own people. He trusted these people for 20 years. Even before the war, he started by attacking and humiliating the chief of his foreign intelligence agency. Two weeks later, he attacked the FSB. Three weeks later, he attacked the National Guard. This is something completely unprecedented.”