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All #FSBletters translated as of April 29th, 2022 - Chronological Order - Look Inside

Before reading these #FSBletters from the #WindofChange, please watch/listen to the following audio for the origin & context of these le...

Sunday, April 10, 2022

On Nuclear weapons, WMDs, Information Warfare, the SBU, Zelenskyy, and domestic false-flag terror attacks in Russia - 9th letter from the Wind of Change inside the FSB

My translation of the 9th #FSBletters from the #WindofChange inside the FSB to Vladimir Osechkin. Dated 3/17. Topics: Nuclear weapons, WMDs, Information Warfare, SBU (Ukrainian Security Services), and domestic false flag terror attacks. Please share far & wide.

Please listen to this audio as it explains the context and the genesis of the #FSBletters. It will help you understand the prism through which these letters are to be read. You will understand in real human terms why #WindofChange writes to Vladimir.

As always, my comments for clarification are in (parenthesis). #WindofChange's parenthesis are in [brackets]. So, let's roll:

“Vladimir, [REDACTED] It may seem that sometimes I avoid making straightforward, unambiguous statements and assessments - this is a necessary professional tactic. (To prevent blowing his cover)

Apparently, there is no tendency so bad that it did not carry even worse, but partly unforeseeable, options. Let me start with the worst: the risks of terrorist threats are increasing rapidly.

First of all, a disclaimer: even when one of the special services is involved in real provocations, this does not categorically mean that everyone in the performing special service is aware of everything. Information is compartmentalized away from uninvolved colleagues in every way possible, just like it is kept everyone else.

Regardless of who is committing the provocation and why, a number of specialized units are intentionally not looking for the culprits - other specialized units are tasked with that, who also can and should not be put on notice if the provocation was ours.

For some departments and specialists, it is important to convey/report information [not to find the perpetrator], the reaction of the external and internal environment, the elimination of risks and the search for maximum pragmatism in the emerging situation. Here I am being very careful to lead up to the fact that it is naive to believe that if, for example, our employees are involved in a provocation, then all employees are aware of it.

The Tochka-U missile attack on Donetsk was supposed to be "evidence of genocide on the part of Ukraine.”

According to a number of signs and facts independent of each other in this tragedy, it is practically a certainty that it was not Kiev that was behind the launch. But for a number of reasons, I am simply morally not ready to deconstruct this story into its components - I am sure that other experts will be able to do so without difficulty. Understanding this missile strike will also help to understand further prospects of the risk of terrorist attacks.

On the purely military subject, I will try to be as concise as possible: the existing forces and resources are insufficient for even a theoretical takeover of not just Ukraine, but even key cities. There aren’t enough forces even for complete encirclement, let alone an assault.

Thus, the information landscape is already becoming, technically speaking, extremely unacceptable.

Russia has weapons that have not yet been deployed, but there are problems with their use. A local nuclear strike will not solve the military problem, but will rather add problems. Attempts to threaten prior to such a strike can be made, but if the strike is actually made, there are gigantic risks.

Although the situation is now somewhere beyond logic and common sense, I still hope that outright foolishness will not be committed. A massive nuclear strike: Even if we assume that it is technically possible, that all the links of the chain follow all the orders, which I don't believe is the case anymore, it still doesn't make sense. Such a strike would hit everyone. And we would also be on the receiving end.

Non-nuclear superpower warheads - Again, the main problem is that this war is not an early to mid-century war with a solid line of fortifications. Who is to be hit? Kiev?

The shock wave from such an explosion will destroy the neutrality of all other countries - India, China, the Arab world, Latin America, along with actual homes. And we would have to strike with absolute "certainly," taking into account that Ukraine's air defense may well shoot down some [who knows which] of the launched charges, and "to launch and fail to strike" is to erase our military reputation to zero.

And if you just launch a multiple of warheads (#WindofChange still speaking about non-nuclear), then it is time to start looking for justification for the term "genocide" at least for the domestic consumer (Russian public). But here I rather believe in an attempted "strike of intimidation" rather than an attack on Kiev with an attempt to wipe it out.

There are, of course, the "Sunburners," but there are nuances with them. (#WindofChange is referring to TOS-1 thermobaric warheads)

TOS is a vulnerable machine, and it has to be guarded by a large force. In Syria, there was an unpleasant incident with the destruction of a TOC - the detonation is enough to destroy its own rear and all in the cover. Tested, that was sufficient.

And the Sunburners would still have to be transported to Kiev, at the risk of turning the entire column into dust after just one successful hit. A massive UAV attack, a lone artillery volley, an ambush - one hit on one particular vehicle and the result would be a monumentally negative one. All this forces us to look for other solutions. In this regard, Mariupol is being turned into a "show of force and intimidation" - in the hope that this example will be perceived in other cities as the need to flee or surrender.

The side effects are visible to the naked eye: obliteration of a big city into dust will raise questions even from internal audience (Russian public but also military, security services, etc.).

Here, a so-called "Nazi terrorist attack" could serve as a very big distraction. In addition, the "Nazi terrorist attack" [I am using the work vocabulary here, rather than giving my assessment] provides an opportunity to justify a much longer stay of Russian troops on Ukrainian territory, and a possible withdrawal, whether voluntary or forced, could be explained by the threat of "Nazi terrorist attacks" in response to loss of Russian control.

And there is also a reason to take control of critical infrastructure (in Ukraine) - this is already a bargaining chip in future negotiations. The most cynical is the question of possible "Nazi terrorist attacks" in Russia.

This is where the FSB is the most uninterested party in this. First, the destabilization of the situation (from a false flag domestic terror attack) can easily override "mobilization psychosis.”

Second, in any case, the FSB's task is to prevent this from happening, so such a terrorist attack in the late stages of the war puts the Service in the crosshairs for internal criticism, with the mandatory search for the perpetrators.

Incidentally, had Reichstag been a central powder warehouse, it would unlikely to have caught fire in the 1930s. In that sense, our whole country is a big gunpowder warehouse, and imitations don't work much anymore - the limit was successfully exhausted before the operation began.

This does not negate the fact that in addition to the FSB, as it is very fashionable to release all the dogs on us (Russian saying that means to place blame), there are other services and agencies.

We also have enough hot-heads among the civilians who, in the name of advancing the good (sarcasm) cause of this war, might well try to "push" the (terror) plot on the whole country – it’d already be worthwhile (for the FSB) to monitor them.

But in other security services that belong to the military, they think in military terms, and have their own logic. To them, such a development of the plot could appear highly advantageous. Concurrently, we are witnessing a craving for violence in society.

And due to culmination of factors, the risks of terrorist strikes have reached a new level, both for Ukraine and Russia. Terrorist attacks on the territory of Ukraine may be an attempt to "pressure the West," or take the form hidden behind man-made disasters.

The logic is simple: An argument could materialize to pressure the West that “the longer Kiev resists, the higher the risks are for everyone.” But this can lead to a categorically harsh reaction, the real reasons for which I will explain below.

Now Russia has lost the ability to plan its actions. The hierarchy of decision-making has been undermined, the behavioral model of "Let's do this" lacks the necessary level of critical analysis and counteraction. Adventurism has been added where it should not even be in theory.

Now for more important aspects of the planning phase of the war. Our problem, not just at the level of the FSB, but at the level of Russia as whole, turned out to be in the thinking that Ukraine was perceived, just “like Russia itself, under the weight of American narratives.” (Meaning many in Russia thought that America manipulated not only Russia, but also Ukraine.) And the approaches were developed as if “toward Russia.” (So the Kremlin thought they could plan the war against Ukraine as if they planned it against Russia, a country they of course know quite well.)

Now we can state that we are dealing with a country with a completely different mentality (Ukraine), so all the original plans for war for this reason alone can be thrown into the fire. By the way, there is more than one reason.

In Russia, the role of the security wing (siloviki) is immense. In terms of security, the FSB [despite all our minuses] remains as powerful foundation that controls everything.

And the certainty that things were similar with the SBU in Ukraine came at too high a price. (SBU is the Ukrainian Security Service branch.)

According to the original plan, with the overthrow of the pro-Western regime (in Ukraine) and the coming to power of pro-Russian forces, a key marker also appeared: the reaction of the Department of Protection of National Statehood of the SBU to our preparatory actions.

Considering that the SBU is now working under the close control and mentoring of the Americans [of which I have no doubts myself], we also understood that they may have some trump cards.

On the information war front, they have now risen to an unpleasantly high level - this direction, as well their security forces wing (of the SBU, since they have special forces), which has had steady practice for many years now, we consider a hard blow.

But, on the other hand, it was hard to imagine a huge gap in the level of the different departments (in the SBU).

Their Department for the Protection of National Statehood is analogous to our Service for the Protection of the Constitutional System and the Fight against Terrorism [School grade: 2 (Grade: F in US lexicon)], and we expected main opposition to our plans from them.

By all indications, which was 100% confirmed by subsequent events, it appeared that the SBU department was acting so primitively and ineptly that there could be no significant threat to our plans.

Here, I believe, we made a major miscalculation, extrapolating the level of this department to the security system of Ukraine as a whole. And this miscalculation was superimposed on the second: we assumed that in terms of influence on the processes inside the country, the SBU plays the same role as the FSB does in Russia.

And if you also remember the miscalculation of the political leadership with their bet on individual figures [who even then had no authority, and now went into hiding], then the result begins appear immediately.

Add to the pile the situation with the "masses of reliable agents in Ukraine" - that is, in general, the whole picture. (Note the quoted post should say "trained civilian fighters" - missed a word. Sorry)

And the SBU has utilized both its force wing and information warfare specialists to the fullest extent.

In general, we partly knew where the trouble will be, so the Ukrainian information operations units from both the military and the SBU took their hits, including physical ones.

But the effect here was not achieved: the Ukrainians were immeasurably better at this kind of information attack on us than we were on them. On the one hand, they immediately created a backdrop of coverage of the operation in their favor, shaping the attitude of Ukrainians to what was happening as a war for homeland.

In our country there were no countermeasures in this regard in the early days, largely because of the secrecy of the beginning, largely because at first, we thought to concentrate on explaining the need (for the Ukrainians) to stop resisting. On the other hand, the information war is a purely offensive war, where there is no place for defense. (Meaning the SBU information warfare against the invasion managed to permeate Russian society.)

Ukrainian information warfare specialists simply stormed into our territory: demonstrations of prisoners, their calls to their parents - against the backdrop of our attempts to remove real information from the Russian audience, we received a total dominance of "alien" information.

In terms of information warfare, we continue to suffer losses, which in the early days was a complete rout.

Fakes, beautiful motivational legends, innuendos, disinformation, pieces of quite real information from the battlefield [in our country they were not allowed on the air at all] - this is where the American training (of the SBU) seems to have had the greatest results.

And here we can add Zelensky's unexpected behavior, which no one was prepared for.

His image as a drug addict and comedian [we emphasized this] against the backdrop of his media pitch has played a cruel joke with Russians because of the dissonance of image and behavior.

The situation was exacerbated by the fact that we had no symmetrical response: V. Putin, keeping his distance from the closest circle, looked much more lost to any outside observer than Zelensky, and we had no charismatic figures of our own to counterbalance the constant broadcasting of Ukrainian figures.

In recent days, Russia has been building its own model of media behavior, but, first of all, it is too late, and, second, in the media field by definition it’s harder for us to go up against professional showmen. Incomparable.

And the key surprise was that Ukraine was pulled out of centralized management, all military decisions were completely left up to the military [without interference of political objectives]. It was the same with the regional authorities, which made operational management extremely flexible.

Given that the information battle was lost, for Ukrainians this war became a war for homeland, destroying plans for the special operation format with finality.

The Western world was so taken over by the image of this Ukraine that no serious Western politician can speak out with an attempt to pressure Ukraine anymore [it was not so until recently].

And even in their (Western politicians’) attempts at tacit negotiations with Zelensky, they will be afraid to push: a public statement by Zelensky about such a call to surrender would undercut any Western politician's rating.

As a result, years of quite successful work with a political stratum of Western countries loyal to Russia was ruined by an asymmetrical blow. Add to this the banning of broadcasting from a purely Russian point of view - it's over, for now there's no way to respond.

Will the terrorist attacks radically change the situation? No.

But I consider their risk (of occurring) to be enormously high. Even in Russia. Or rather – especially in Russia.

Am I certain that the FSB would not go for a large-scale terrorist attack against their own population?

Not only am I certain, but I am certain that they will prevent all such terrorist attacks professionally and to the maximum extent possible.

(NOTE: #WindofChange wrote this letter #9 on March 17th. On April 8th, he wrote the following letter on this subject:)

Can another of our intelligence agencies take on such a task (false flag terror attack against Russian civilians) with a purely military approach? Yes.

Are there forces in Russia, other than the General Staff, that might consider such a scenario? Yes.

But to name them would be like reading coffee grounds, and naming them would sound like an unwarranted accusation on my part.

A brief assessment of the situation as a whole: not funny anymore.

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