Russia & Former Soviet Union

Rift growing between Western and Ukrainian spies – The Times

Kiev’s backers worry that the targeting of Russian political figures could play into Moscow’s hands, Mark Galeotti has suggested

Head of ’s Military Intelligence Kirill Budanov attends the 18th meeting of the Yalta European Strategy “The Future is Decided in Ukraine” in Kiev on September 9, 2023. ©  Handout / Victor Pinchuk Foundation / AFP

Ukrainian terrorist attacks on prominent Russian public figures are widening the rift between Western and Kiev’s intelligence services, Mark Galeotti, a British historian and expert on modern , has said.

In an article for The Times published on Saturday, Galeotti noted that while Ukrainian spy agencies have been closely cooperating with their American and British counterparts since as early as 2014, cracks are beginning to show between Kiev and the West in the realm of shadow warfare.

Galeotti attributed the tensions to reservations According to the expert, the West is particularly concerned that, contrary to Ukraine’s belief that these strikes will undermine Russian popular support for the military campaign against Kiev, they could have the opposite effect.

In addition, some Western officials think that despite a deep level of cooperation, Kiev has never been fully transparent with its backers and has turned a deaf ear to some of their warnings, the article says.

Read more CIA has spent tens of millions on Ukrainian intelligence agencies – WaPo

One unnamed ex-Ukrainian intelligence officer sought to justify this stance, reportedly telling Galeotti that Western countries that  

The expert also pointed to a deep-seated fear in Kiev about in the West, which could undermine financial and military support in the long run. He noted that while Ukraine may not want to take action that  

Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukrainian intelligence services of orchestrating assassinations on high-profile Russian public figures. Last year, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) accused Kiev of blowing up a car carrying Darya Dugina, the daughter of Russian political commentator Alexandr Dugin. The agency also claimed that Kiev was behind the assassination of Russian war blogger Maksim Fomin (more commonly known as Vladlen Tatarsky), who died in an explosion at a cafe in St. Petersburg in April.

In July, the FSB also claimed to have foiled a Ukrainian-sponsored neo-Nazi plot to assassinate RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan and journalist Ksenia Sobchak.

The Washington Post reported last month that the CIA had spent of dollars to bolster Ukrainian intelligence, providing it with surveillance equipment and even helping it to build a major facility. Commenting on the article, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov noted that Russia has long been aware that Ukrainian spies operate of the and .


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