The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has launched a new initiative to recruit double agents within Russia, releasing a Russian-language video targeting intelligence employees who might feel disaffected by the ongoing war in Ukraine and perceived corruption within elite circles. CIA Director William Burns highlighted in July that the disaffection among some Russians over the war was creating a unique opportunity for intelligence recruitment, a chance the CIA is actively pursuing.
The CIA’s recent social media campaign involves a Russian-language video designed to attract disaffected Russian intelligence employees to work as double agents for the United States. The video targets patriotic Russian intelligence workers, portraying a fictional narrative of a disillusioned 35-year-old Russian military intelligence employee. It addresses the perceived betrayal by Russia’s corrupt leadership and the poor condition of the Russian armed forces.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the effectiveness of the campaign, noting the popularity of VKontakte over other social networks in Russia and the inaccessibility of some platforms like Facebook and X, which are blocked in the country. Despite these remarks, a CIA official claimed an increase in outreach from Russians as a result of these videos.
— CIA (@CIA) January 22, 2024