Kremlin gulag unrest: Spy boss reportedly arrested as Putin fumes over Ukraine invasion

A top commander of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) intelligence agency has been placed under house arrest amid unrest and infighting among officials amid President Vladimir Putin’s fury over the botched invasion of Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

The Russian commander, Colonel General Sergei Beseda, was responsible for the FSB operation in Ukraine, according to the Journal, citing a US official.

The unidentified US official also told the newspaper that “quarrels had broken out” between the FSB and the Russian Defense Ministry, which were the main government agencies planning the invasion.

The New York Times, citing Russian news sources, reported that a second FSB official was also under house arrest.

The Russian military operation did not go as well as expected. CIA Director William Burns told Congress earlier this month that Putin planned to seize the Ukrainian capital of kyiv within two days. Yet the city continues to push back Russian forces nearly a month after the invasion began. As many as five Russian generals were killed in the fighting, according to Ukraine.

This is bad news for officials surrounding Putin, observers warn.

“When it comes to this guy, clearly the culture of ‘someone is at fault and will pay’ is clearly still in effect,” said former CIA and National Security Council official Jeffrey Edmonds. the newspaper.

But the accusations and rising fear and discontent in the Kremlin could also be bad news for Putin.

Russian history scholar Stephen Kotkin said in a recent New Yorker interview that Putin only gets the information he “wants to hear.” In any case, he thinks he is superior and more intelligent. This is the problem of despotism,” he added. “That is why despotism, or even just authoritarianism, is all-powerful and fragile at the same time.”

Check out the full Wall Street Journal article here.


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