RUSSIAN TERRORISM FOR EXPORT04.09.2020
The Kremlin is once again at the center of a major international scandal: this summer, Russian intelligence, notably the GRU General Staff of the RF forces, was suspected of financing attacks on American soldiers in Afghanistan.
We recall that at the end of June the New York Times published an article claiming that the Russian military intelligence unit responsible for contract killings and other secret operations in Europe (carried out with the aim of destabilizing the West or revenge on defectors) had offered militants with the Taliban movement (recognized and banned in Russia as terrorist) , money for the assassinations and attacks on the US military and its allies in Afghanistan.
As expected, Russian President Dmitry Peskov’s press secretary called the published material a lie. Taliban officials also issued a statement under the guise of an agreement signed with the United States, categorically rejecting the agreement with the Kremlin (in February this year, the United States signed a peace agreement with the Taliban that Washington will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and stop fighting the Islamic Movement. The Afghan authorities will try to resolve the contradictions by political means).
The information published by the New York Times has resonated with the global community. And in the US itself – a reaction with elements of an internal political scandal. Several American publications immediately noted that US President Donald Trump had received written reports earlier this year that Russian military intelligence may have offered money to the Afghan Taliban for the killings of American soldiers. At the same time, the Associated Press claimed that the first such messages appeared in U.S. intelligence reports in early 2019. In this respect, the American public and politicians had a question: “Why did Trump not take punitive measures against Moscow?” And political opponents of the incumbent president, especially House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, called on Congress to impose sanctions on Russia “immediately.”
In response, White House officials and Donald Trump himself said the issue was not discussed with the president or vice president because trust in the accuracy of the intelligence community is not 100 percent.
Subsequently, the US National Intelligence Council (NIS) reported that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and senior counterterrorism officials did not rule out Russia’s participation in payments, but are currently admitting the lack of concrete evidence to support this fact.
The NIS memorandum states that the CIA and the National Counterterrorism Center rated the New York Times material as information about “medium reliability,” meaning there is currently no concrete evidence, according to American analysts, but the data looks reliable and plausible.
Despite the lack of specific evidence and facts, the issue remains open. The international community is interested in the possibility of secret cooperation between Russia and the Taliban on the basis of hatred against the West, against which the Kremlin is waging an undeclared war, using methods such as cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, interference in elections, support for extremists, bribery, contract killings … British Defence Minister Ben Wallace comments on news of russian intelligence’s possible cooperation with the Taliban. He said he was aware of the secret service but could not comment publicly on the work of the secret service. At the same time, the minister noted that Russia has “taken many subversive steps towards Britain” in the recent past. “The most obvious example of this is the story in Salisbury (where a retired GRU officer, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia were poisoned before they worked for British intelligence),” Wallace said at a meeting of a british parliament committee.
Against the background of this statement, the publication of the New York Times seems even more convincing. According to journalists, behind the deal with the Taliban is military intelligence unit, in Russia referred to as military reconnaissance unit No. 29155.
Reference. Military Unit No. 29155 or 161. Special Training Center for Special Forces of the General Staff of the RF Forces.
Location of the center: 141501, Moscow region, Solnechnogorsk district, Senezh.
Specialization of the Centre: special operations abroad, sabotage, destabilization of the internal political situation in certain countries of the world, uprisings, kidnapping of influential political persons, assassination of opponents of the Kremlin regime, etc.
Staff recruited for the center takes place at renowned military universities in Russia: Ryazan Guards Higher Airborne Command School(Sairazan Military College); Novosibirsk Higher Military Command School; Military Academy of Military Air Defense of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Marshal of the Soviet Union A.M. Vasilevsky.
Guided tour: Andrey Vladimirovich Averyanov, born on 29.09.1967, born Ashgabat, major general, hero of Russia. Received this title in January 2015, just during the height of the Russo-Ukrainian war.
Remarkable operations of the Center in recentyears:
The activity of this centre became known for the first time in 2016 after the failed coup in Montenegro (the officer of the centre, Vladimir Moiseev, who was born on 29 May 1980, acted under the guise of an employee of the publication “Marine Insurance”).
However, the extent of the activities of the 161st Centre in the West was not estimated in the UK until after the Poisoning of the Skripal in 2018. Due to the employees of this secret department of the Russian secret service, participation in the Russo-Ukrainian war, a destabilization campaign in Moldova, an attempt to destroy the life of Bulgarian businessman Emilian Gebrev, the owner of the EMCO arms factory in 2015, who, before the referendum on Catalan independence on 1 October 2017, destabilizes the internal political situation in Spain (the official of the centre Sergeev Denis appears under the cover documents issued for Sergey Fedotov).
In addition, in January this year in the French city of Lille, the officials of this centre were involved in the murder of chechen blogger Imran Aliyev, who criticized the pro-Moscow authorities in the Chechen Republic, the shooting in the center of Berlin by Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, who was fighting against the Russian authorities in Chechnya, the possible preparation of an assassination attempt on the mayor and one of the leaders of Prague administration in the spring of 2020.
The poisoning of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on 20 August this year, as shown by a joint investigation by journalists of the German editions The Insider, Der Spiegel and Bellingcat as well as the statement of the federal authorities in Germany, is also the task of the Russian military intelligence. The poisoning of Navalny with the military substance of the “Novichok” group was confirmed by the specialists of the Bundeswehr laboratory, who researched the analyses of Alexei Navalny with the permission of the doctors of the Berlin clinic “Charite”. It is possible that further details and specific facts will emerge in the near future, which demonstrate the direct involvement of the Russian military intelligence in the financing of the murders of American soldiers in Afghanistan. In recent years, attacks, intimidation, provocations, extortions and cyberattacks have become common practice in the activities of Russian special services on Russian and foreign territory. However, they are surprised and at the same time alarmed by the “lack of professionalism” and the obvious negligence with which they perform special operations. The details of many actions become known to the world community. It is possible that this is one of the main objectives.
Eerik-Niiles Kross, former director of the Estonian intelligence coordination office, believes that “this type of intelligence operation has become part of a psychological war. It’s not that they’ve become much more aggressive. They want to be “feeling”. It’s part of the game.’ At the same time, the Kremlin no longer seems to be afraid of the sanctions that might result from the disclosure. In the United States, the Republican Study Committee (RCC- one of the most authoritative associations of Republican politicians) presented a 120-page report to the House of Representatives in June this year: “Strengthening America and Countering Global Threats” as a starting point for discussions in the American political establishment on the subject of policy toward Moscow. The document states that all us authorities’ efforts to contain Russia have failed. Republican members of Congress, therefore, consider it necessary to introduce new “hellish” sanctions. In particular, the report proposes that Russia, like Iran, should be excluded from the Interbank SWIFT system earlier, that the Russian state development company VEB should be included in the sanctions list, that sanctions be imposed on Russian sovereign debt and that the list of persons subject to restrictions be considerably expanded. It is not excluded that the governments of the leading Western states, taking into account the poisoning of A. Navalny and the previous terrorist actions of officers of the Military Unit 29155 GRU of the General Staff of the RF Forces, will soon consider legislative acts recognizing Russia as a sponsor of terrorism. This will also happen when us intelligence agencies and their allies provide concrete evidence that the Russian Federation is cooperating with the Taliban. And if, in the end, it proves that at least one American citizen has been killed with Russian money, it will cause the most serious crisis in relations not only between the White House and the Kremlin, but also between the entire civilized world and Putin’s Russia.