The CIA uploaded a short video in Russian on YouTube and the Telegram messaging app, using them as platforms to recruit Russian spies.
After the US Central Intelligence Agency published a video encouraging Russians to make contact via a secure internet channel, the Kremlin said on Tuesday that its agencies were tracking Western spy activity.
The CIA’s short video in Russian was accompanied by a text saying the agency wanted to hear from military officers, intelligence specialists, diplomats, scientists and people with information about Russia’s economy and its leadership.
“Contact us. Perhaps the people around you don’t want to hear the truth. We want to,” the text said.
Published nearly 15 months into Moscow’s war with Ukraine, the video invites Russians to take a colossal risk.
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President Vladimir Putin has warned his compatriots to be on their guard against traitors, and parliament last month voted to increase the penalty for state treason from 20 years to life in prison.
In the video – published on the CIA’s official YouTube channel and the Telegram messaging app, popular in Russia – a male voice reflects on the meaning of heroism and endurance as lone individuals are seen weighing their decisions: a man trudging through snow, a woman staring through a window.
A director at a DRDO research unit based in Pune named Pradeep Kurulkar was arrested for sending crucial intelligence to Pakistan.