In a video that was posted on social networks, the CIA urged Russians in a new way to share their secrets regarding the Ukraine War.
The Russian language video was posted first on Telegram, a popular social media website used by both sides of the war. It has also been shared on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
A CIA official stated, “We want those brave Russians that feel compelled to engage CIA because of the Russian government’s unfair war and make sure they do it as safely as possible.”
The two-minute video, with its dramatic music and highly produced production values, is subtitled “Why I made contact to the CIA: my decision.”
The film appears to be a story about a bureaucrat, his family and Russians as they go about their everyday lives while weighing up whether or not to contact the CIA.
The video’s narration says that “people around you might not want to hear truth.”
But we do. You are not helpless. Connect to us safely.
“To be heroic means to endure, but it does not mean to endure in futility.”
In today’s Russia it is still very difficult to speak up and the truth can have serious consequences. CIA wants the truth about Russia. We are looking for people we can trust to tell us that truth and who we can safely communicate with.
A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson suggested that authorities in Russia could track people if the video instructions were followed.
She described the video as “a very useful resource for tracking candidates”.
Dmitry Peskov said, in response to this video, “I’m convinced that our special service is properly monitoring this area.”
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The US is using this video to try and recruit Russians who are disillusioned by the war in Ukraine.
The CIA posted online instructions in Russian about how to contact them securely.
The CIA official said that its actions were successful. “It’s safe for me to say we wouldn’t continue on and follow up with this effort if they hadn’t produced results.”
The agency stated that it was interested in “a wide range of information” from Russia, including “advanced technology, military and Cyber Technology, financial information and sources of valuable data”.