March 4, 2024

Brighton Journal

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The CIA continues its online campaign to recruit Russian spies, citing successes

The CIA continues its online campaign to recruit Russian spies, citing successes

The CIA released a third video It aims to recruit Russian officials disaffected with their political leadership and other domestic elites, a virtual effort that US intelligence officials say has been effective in helping the US spy agency contact potential sources inside Russia.

Speaking at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., on Monday, CIA Deputy Director David Cohen said the latest video was “essentially a showcase for people in Russia who are dissatisfied with the regime, who see a better future for Russia, which frankly is a future we can help them achieve.” Success if they work with us.”

“One of the questions is how we should go about recruiting Russians, so we asked the third question in a series of very successful videos,” Cohen continued.

A CIA spokesman said the videos were from two before Campaigns launched in 2022 and 2023 were viewed more than 2.1 million times across multiple online platforms, including Telegram, Facebook, Instagram and X.

“We want people to know about the CIA, our mission and our history, but we also try to connect directly with sources,” the spokesman said, adding that the videos had led to “outreach,” but declined to provide additional details about the scale or credibility of the response, or the resources required to produce the videos. .

Last video, narrated by a fictional Russian official who quotes Tolstoy and says he hopes to secure a better future for his son in Russia. It ends with instructions to contact the CIA securely over the Internet.

The CIA spokesman said all of the videos involved actors and depicted fictional narratives.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday rejected such efforts, saying that “intelligence agencies around the world often use media and social networks to recruit new employees,” according to the state-run TASS agency.

Peskov also downplayed the impact of placing the videos on major US platforms such as X, formerly known as Twitter, which is banned in Russia.

“Someone should tell the CIA that VKontakte in our country is more popular than the banned X and that VKontakte has a much larger audience,” Peskov said, referring to the Russian social media network.

The agency's campaign comes Like the war in Ukraine It is set to enter its third year, with little meaningful change on the front lines, in the form of US military aid to Kiev Stuck in the middle of a political battle In Congress.

CIA Director William Burns, who has traveled several times to Kiev since the 2022 Russian invasion, has previously visited Kiev. He said The conflict has created a “once-in-a-generation” recruitment opportunity in Russia, saying in public appearances abroad last year that the agency was “very open for business”.

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