You have to imagine what must have happened Kyiv a few days before the invasion when nobody believed it Putin he would have attacked, but the FSB agents, ex-KGB, from Moscow were already giving coded instructions to their informants even within the Ukrainian services, even to those who are the heirs of the KGB. The reconstruction was prepared by the Washington Post in a lengthy report based on leaks by Western and Ukrainian intelligence agencies and a series of wiretaps that led to arrests (800 collaborators) and interrogations. “Have a good trip!”, a duty officer in Moscow wished a colleague who was leaving for Kyiv with the occupying power. But the dozens of agents dispatched to reshape the puppet regime linked to former President Yanukovych and oligarch Medvedchuk found themselves stuck like stationary tank columns at the gates of the capital.
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“Go away from Kyiv, but leave the keys in the apartments, and when you come back it will be different,” they told the invaders in Kyiv. In Moscow, preparations for relocation were made with instructions to set up safes and comfortable accommodation, whole offices would be relocated. It was months and years of work behind it. By 2019, the FSB unit dedicated to spreading moles among Ukrainian cadres had grown from 30 to 160. And perhaps this had led to the wrong prediction of a favorable reception towards the Russians. But nothing went as it should. In fact, at the beginning of the war, thanks to its subsidiary Myrotvorets, a code name meaning peacemaker, a Ukrainian non-governmental organization managed to publish a list of Russian agents with names, addresses and phone numbers. The simple dwellings have also been identified.
The most laborious work was to discover the moles. Difficult because, writes the WP, 27,000 worked in the Ukrainian services, the trap could be anywhere and it was necessary to hire undercover CIA agents to track it down. In addition, pro-Russian and pro-Zelensky networks branched out in high administration and in the political and industrial world. And in the end, instead of being dismantled, the current government’s network, that of Medvedchuk, the anti-Zelensky, who stayed in Ukraine (as opposed to Yanukovych, who hid and waited in Minsk), was routed. Many had to flee, others were arrested. Like Medvedchuk, a bite intended for the exchange of excellent prisoners. The paradox, notes the Washington Post, is that the heads of the Russian services kept their seats while Zelenskyy in Kyiv fired the SBU 007 chief’s childhood friend Ivan Bakanov.
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