The Kremlin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, mocked a Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) video aimed at recruiting Russian spies for the US as ineffective and poorly targeted. The video, released on Tuesday, features a fictional Russian intelligence officer disillusioned with the government and tempted to work for the United States.
“Somebody should tell the CIA that VKontakte is much more popular here than the banned social network site X and that VKontakte has a much larger audience,” Mr Peskov said, commenting on a video published by the CIA in Russian on the US social network in an effort to recruit Russian agents, according to news agency TASS.
The CIA video titled ‘Why did I contact the CIA: For the sake of the Motherland’ criticises the Russian government for corruption and the hardships faced by soldiers in Ukraine. It appeals to patriotic Russians who are dissatisfied with the current situation and encourages them to defect.
The video tries to appeal to what it suggests: Patriotic Russians working in intelligence agencies who may feel betrayed by what it calls corruption in elite circles and the poor way the Russian armed forces are equipped and supplied.
“Those around you may not want to hear the truth. But we do. You are not powerless,” The voiceover says in the video, the latest in a series of recruitment videos targeting Russia, before detailing ways to contact the CIA.
Accompanied by melancholy classical music, the video’s main, fictional character is an unnamed 35-year-old male employee of Russia’s military intelligence agency who casts himself as a patriot who loves Russia and once served as a paratrooper.
“Do I have enough courage to confront this betrayal?” The video shows him saying, before he says it, he has realised the real enemy is inside Russia in the form of corrupt leadership and elite.
“The top leadership has sold the country out for palaces and yachts at a time when our soldiers are chewing rotten potatoes and firing from prehistoric weapons. Our people are forced to give bribes to simply find work,” the man says as video clips of a bleak Russian winter are spliced with images of official limousines and wealthy Russians giving toasts.
“You know, this practice is quite common; intelligence agencies around the world very often use the media and social networks to recruit new employees. And they do it all the time; the CIA does it every year,” Mr Peskov said.
His response highlights the ongoing tensions between the US and Russia, particularly in the context of the ongoing war in Ukraine. His mocking tone suggests that the Kremlin views the CIA’s recruitment efforts as clumsy and ineffective. It also reflects the Russian government’s attempt to control the narrative and discredit Western intelligence agencies.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)