Little-known Russian spy unit is behind alleged Ukraine ‘kill/capture list’

FSB - JFA LITTLE KNOWN SPY unit, which experts have described as a mysterious “third espionage agency” inside the Russian intelligence apparatus, is said to be behind a “kill/capture list” that Moscow allegedly plans to put to use in Ukraine. United States government officials insisted on Monday that such a list exists, despite strong denials from Russia. American officials claimed that the purpose of the list is to minimize popular resistance by Ukrainians to an invading Russian army, and to destabilize the government in Kiev, so that a pro-Russian government can eventually replace it.

The alleged list reportedly contains the names of senior Ukrainian politicians, Ukraine-based critics of the Russian and Belarusian governments, journalists and other activists. These individuals are to be captured or killed in the event of an invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, according to Washington. Speaking on Monday on behalf of the Kremlin, Russian spokesperson Dmitry Peskov called the list “a fake” and insisted that it does not exist. Moscow also stressed that the United States did not provide details about the alleged list, nor did it cite the sources of its information.

According to the United States government, the alleged kill/capture list is maintained by the foreign intelligence arm of the Russia’s Federal Security Service. Known as FSB, the agency’s primary mission is to carry out counterintelligence and counterterrorism tasks inside the borders of the Russian Federation. But the FSB includes a little-known intelligence unit, known as the Service for Operational Information and International Communications—or the Fifth Service, in short.

The Fifth Service was created in 1992 to fill the vacuum left by a host of no-spy agreements, which were signed between Moscow and the governments of former Soviet Republics. These agreements prevent Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) to spy inside the territories of former Soviet states. By 1995, the Fifth Service had become known as the foreign spy wing of the FSB. It grew in size drastically after 1999, and some claim that it “graduated into [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s imperial gendarme”. Today it is led by close Putin ally Sergei Beseda, who is a colonel general in the FSB. Its Ukraine wing is believed to have grown to over 200 officers in recent years.

The main task of the Fifth Service is political action of a covert nature, aimed at electoral subversion, political influence campaigns, psychological operations, and the undermining of groups or movements that oppose Russia’s continuing influence in the territories of the former Soviet Union. Some Western news sources have recently alleged that the Fifth Service has been tasked with coordinating activities between the Russian government and pro-Russian groups inside Ukraine, as well as “engineering [mini] coups in Ukraine’s major cities”.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 22 February 2022 | Permalink

One Response to Little-known Russian spy unit is behind alleged Ukraine ‘kill/capture list’

  1. Gert Pretorius says:

    There is lessons to be learned from the Czechoslovakia invasion by the Warsaw/Russian forces in 1968. The Soviets did exactly that which is now leaking out about their plans to subvert the Ukrainian government. They will use there Spesnaz forces to execute their plans.

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