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15 Dec, 2023 04:47

Russia’s top spy warns of new CIA scheme

US spooks are considering the creation of a fake Russian government-in-exile, Sergey Naryshkin has claimed
Russia’s top spy warns of new CIA scheme

The US government allegedly plans to back the declaration of a new Russian nation-state and its self-proclaimed government, which would operate outside of the actual country, according to Sergey Naryshkin, the head of the Russian Foreign Security Service (SVR).

The senior intelligence official mentioned the purported scheme during a meeting with his counterparts from former Soviet nations in Minsk on Thursday, dismissing it as “absurd.”

“The CIA is considering a project of creation of a virtual supposedly legitimate state outside of Russian Federation, a so-called ‘Russian Republic’ headed by a so-called ‘interim administration’,” he explained.

The US goal is to destabilize the situation in the country ahead of next year’s presidential election, Naryshkin said. Self-exiled opposition forces will also try to “create a network of anti-government cells inside Russia” to further their ambitions, he added.

In the past, Washington has lent support to anti-government forces throughout the world. Relatively recent examples include armed groups of purported “moderate rebels” in Syria and Juan Guaido, the self-proclaimed president of Venezuela who failed to launch a coup.

Naryshkin did not specify which Russian opposition figures he expected to follow CIA guidance. Some have been acting along the lines he described for years, most notably members of the Free Russia Forum, which chess master Gary Kasparov created in 2016.

The operation holds biannual gatherings in Lithuania, and keeps a list of Russians whom it believes to be accomplices of President Vladimir Putin in the “illegal seizure of power” for future prosecution.

The forum, however, suffers from internal divisions. London-based businessman Yevgeny Chichvarkin, a regular participant, lamented in an interview in 2021 that organizers have an open doors policy for any person opposing Putin. The result, he said in an interview, is the prevalence of “political swindlers, windbags and actual schizoids” at the events.

In November, the forum reportedly fundraised some €50,000 ($55,000) for militant groups of Russian nationals that fight against Russian forces on behalf of Ukraine.

The recipients were behind the June raid on Russia’s Belgorod Region, in which they infamously used Western-made armored vehicles and weapons in apparent breach of Kiev’s promise not to use arms donated to it by the US and its allies to launch direct attacks on Russia.

Both the ‘Freedom of Russia Legion’ and the ‘Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK)’ – the two groups financially aided by the forum – have open neo-Nazis in their ranks.