CIA Seeks to Flip Russian Spies

( – The United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has begun a new campaign to attract Russian spies to turn on their government. On January 22, the agency posted a video on X, formerly Twitter, featuring a man playing the role of an intelligence agent for the Russian military. A Russian-speaking narrator attempts to convince the spy that his government had sold out the nation to enrich itself while its “soldiers are chewing rotten potatoes and firing from prehistoric weapons.” The narrator continues, telling the man, “You are not powerless.” The man then asks himself whether he is courageous enough to take a stand.

He appears to make up his mind that his government is not working for him. The video then shifts to a clip of a Mercedes flying a Russian flag, with the occupants exiting to have dinner at a fancy establishment. The man leaves his home and ultimately takes out his phone to call the CIA. The agency posted a YouTube link that led to three additional videos included in its recruitment campaign. In one video, the agency said that it was providing a way for Russian spies who disagree with the war in Ukraine to contact the CIA without getting caught.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov brushed off the campaign, noting that the CIA was one of many intelligence agencies around the world to make such attempts. He said that the use of X to reach Russian spies was a waste of time, seeing that the app is banned in Russia. He suggested that the CIA instead use VKontakte, a Russian social media platform, if the agency would prefer a larger Russian audience. An official from the CIA told Newsweek that the videos had compelled Russians to reach out to the agency. CIA Deputy Director David Cohen spoke about the video during a speech at the International Spy Museum on January 22. He said that it was the CIA’s way of letting Russians know that reaching out could help change the future of their country.

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