The Central Intelligence Agency of the United States redoubled its efforts to convince the Russians to leak their country’s secrets with an emotional video on Telegram, with voiceover and Russian-language subtitles, which appeals to the patriotism of people frustrated with the situation under the mandate of President Vladimir Putin.
The short video shows a Russian bureaucrat and a woman at home with a childboth apparently with problems in their lives, wondering if it’s what they dreamed of.
“Being a hero means enduring. But to put up with doesn’t mean to tolerate without meaning, right?”, questions the campaign.
It suggests that people can act to make things better –providing information to the CIA – and remain patriotic Russians.
“The people around you may not want to hear the truth. But we do. You are not powerless. Contact us through a secure method”, adds the video.
The accompanying text provides instructions on how to do it, using a Tor browser to access the “dark web” and encryption tools which, according to the CIA, will guarantee their protection.
“The CIA wants to know the truth about Russia, and we are looking for trusted people who can tell us this truth,” the agency writes. “Your information may be more valuable than you think”.
The agency explained that it hoped to contact people from intelligence, diplomacy, science and technology, as well as other fields, and that they were interested in all kinds of information, including political and economic.
An agency official told AFP that, although they had launched on other social networks before, now they were focusing on Telegram encrypted because it is the primary means for Russians to share and obtain information and news, on everything from politics to the war in Ukraine.
The CIA hopes that offering a simple but clear way to leak information via the dark web will convince wary Russians to take the next step.
“Our goal is to provide the safest avenues possible for them to contact us,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “We wanted to convey to the Russians in their own language that we know what they are going through,” he added.
The official stressed that the United States did not intend to provoke a revolt or regime change, but only hoped that some Russians would see it as a way to help their country move forward, in a context in which Vladimir Putin still enjoys high regard. support level.
The official said a similar campaign on other social networks, many of which are now blocked in Russia, had produced results.
“Get in touch with us,” the CIA urged. “Maybe the people around you don’t want the truth. We love her.”
Asked by the campaign, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov stated: “I am convinced that the intelligence services adequately monitor this space, based on the fact that the CIA and other Western intelligence services do not reduce their activities in our country.” .
However, the spokesman admitted that he is not aware of the CIA initiative. “Honestly speaking, we haven’t looked at that yet. I have no information about it, ”he said.
(With information from AFP and EFE)
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