Russia stunned by extent U.S. intelligence has penetrated the Kremlin, says expert about intel leaks

20 April, 07:15 PM
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, April 12, 2023 (Photo:Sputnik/Sergei Karpukhin/Pool via REUTERS)

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, April 12, 2023 (Photo:Sputnik/Sergei Karpukhin/Pool via REUTERS)

Russian special services at first played along with the propaganda amid the recent leak of classified U.S. intelligence documents, until realizing that the documents showed the level of U.S. intelligence penetration into the Kremlin, Taras Zhovtenko, an international security expert at the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, told Radio NV on April 20.

“The main reason for these ‘roach races’ in the Russian special services is that, first of all, Russian counterintelligence is shocked by the extent to which the entire Russian decision-making system, as it is called, is in the palm of the U.S. opponents,” he said.

“It became clear after the leaks of the classified Pentagon documents that U.S. intelligence had penetrated almost all levels, except for the highest and narrowest circle (in the Kremlin). But everything below is (known) to U.S. intelligence and allies.”

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The leak of U.S. documents showed that Washington receives prompt information about almost all decisions made in Moscow, he believes.

“This leak, like no other, emphasized the fact that the United States actually receives information about what decisions are being made: starting with global ones and ending with what objects on the territory of Ukraine will be hit,” he added.

Russian propaganda initially tried to present this story as its own triumph, but it quickly became clear that the leak contained a lot of negative information for Russia, he said.

“It’s clear that such materials could not but cause concern among the ‘staff paranoiacs’ of the Russian special services, and it’s clear that the Russians began to deal with these documents and that they supposedly ‘confirm’ everything that Russian propaganda claimed,” the expert said.

“They tried to make a propaganda story out of it, but they read it to the point where it became clear to them that it was actually the United States that made it clear to the Russian regime that it was almost ‘scanned.’ And now Russian propaganda has made a 180-degree turn,” Zhovtenko said.

“It’s clear that the Russian special services will see inner sharp movements amid all of this to try to find out what happened and in the best Russian traditions – who is to blame?”

“So, these things are related to this story about the leaks.”

The Pentagon is investigating a leak of classified documents relating to U.S. and NATO efforts to prepare the Armed Forces of Ukraine for an expected counteroffensive, NYT reported on April 6, citing White House Sources.

Ukrainian Defense Intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov has said that the documents were forged by Russian special services, pointing out that the documents contain false data on combat losses for both sides, with some other information gathered from open sources.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said the documents contain “a mix of truth and lies.”

Another batch of secret documents that appear to detail U.S. national security secrets on Ukraine, the Middle East, and China surfaced online on April 7.

The number of leaked documents ranges from 50 to several hundred, and they are similar to information used for reports to senior management.

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