‘Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity’: CIA Chief Burns Says U.S. Recruiting Spies in Russia

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The U.S. and allies are looking to exploit Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “weakness” by recruiting high-level spies in Russia, according to CIA Director William Burns.

Burns explained that an internal schism in Putin’s circle brought about by the failed rebellion of Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin presents a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to recruit spies among the Russian elite.

“I think Putin is already a little bit uneasy as he looks over his shoulder,” Burns said at the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday. 

“Putin has constructed his image around the notion that he is the arbiter of order in the Russian system. What we saw was Russian security services, the Russian military, Russian decision-makers adrift, or they appeared to be adrift, for those 36 hours. The question was, ‘Does the emperor have no clothes?’ Or at least, ‘Why is it taking so long for him to get dressed?’” Burns asked.

“What was remarkable to me was the way in which Putin felt compelled to do a deal with his former caterer,” he added.

The failed Wagner rebellion and growing discontent of the war within Russia is creating an ideal environment for spy recruiting, Burns claimed.

“It would be crazy for us not to take advantage of what is, in effect, a once-in-a-generation opportunity for a human intelligence service,” he said, adding the CIA’s call to action on Telegram received millions of views.

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“So the truth is, there’s a lot of disaffection in Russia, in the elite and outside it, in Russia right now,” he said.

The U.K’s MI6 has also put out a call to Russians who are “appalled” by Putin’s actions in Ukraine.

“You know the address – come and talk to us… our door is always open… our loyalty to our agents is lifelong… our gratitude eternal… Their secrets will always be safe with us,” said MI6 chief Richard Moore said in a Wednesday speech in Prague.

​​”I invite them to do what others have already done this past 18 months and join hands with us,” he added.

Burns’ remarks come as the U.S. and NATO allies begin to acknowledge that Ukraine’s much-touted counteroffensive is not going as well as they hoped.

They also comes as Joe Biden elevated Burns to become member of his Cabinet on Friday.

This post ‘Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity’: CIA Chief Burns Says U.S. Recruiting Spies in Russia appeared first on NewsWars.com.

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