The article on January 25, 2017 noted that Sergei Mikhailov who served in the Russian Federal Security Service’s (FSB) cyber intelligence branch which has been implicated in the Russian hacking of the American election was arrested. He was a senior officer, the second-most senior figure in the Center for Information Security. Mikhailov reportedly was arrested while in the middle of a meeting, escorted out of the room with a bag thrown over his head. He was charged with treason.
The article is written by Andrew E. Kramer the New York Times Moscow correspondent. He speculated “the detention of an official who would have been in a position to engage in the election hacking in America could indicate a good-will gesture to the United States, which has penalized Russia for the electoral meddling.”
Of course that is nonsense. I suggest had Mikhailov been arrested as a “good-will gesture” he would not have been charged with treason. Kramer has been duped and is peddling a Russian lie.
Also arrested was Ruslan Stoyanov a senior employee at the Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab. He too was charged with treason. These arrests took place in December 2016.
One article noted: “many Russian media outlets now report that the men are suspected of leaking information to Western investigators . . . .” Another said: “A Russia-based information security source told FORBES the details of the case were likely to remain private. The case has been filed under article 275 of Russia’s criminal code, the source said, meaning it should result in a secret military tribunal. Article 275 allows the government to prosecute when an individual provides assistance to a foreign state or organization regarding “hostile activities to the detriment of the external security of the Russian Federation” (translation from source). According to the source, this can be applied broadly. For instance, furnishing the FBI with information on a botnet may amount to treason.” reported FORBES.”
On December 26, 2016, a former KGB chief Oleg Erovinkin was found dead in the back of his black Lexis in Moscow. “His body was sent to the morgue, which returned no cause of death.”
Some suggest he was murdered because he was the contact in Russia for M16 Christopher Steele who was behind the dossier on Trump with its lurid claims. Two arrests and one murder in Moscow in December which some suggest are related to giving information to the United States. Apparently up until that time these men were going about their business as usual. How then is it that the forces in the Kremlin suddenly discover that they may have been providing information to people outside of Russia?
I’d have to guess that these men were providing information to the CIA’s (or other American intelligence agency). That information showed that it was the Russians were doing the hacking of the matters involved in the 2016 presidential election and providing it to Wikileaks. Now the Russians knew all along that it had been suspected of doing this and despite its denial the CIA had the goods on them sufficient to convince President Obama to place sanctions on them.
Putin would be embarrassed that despite his denial there was solid proof of this. He would be very anxious to get the information on who was the source. In other words, he knew there had to be a leak in the FSB but did not know who it was.
Having dealt with leaks in the my prior career I know that one is aware they are happening and one may have some suspects but one cannot act unless he has a high degree of certainty. We know for a long time the identity of the CIA sources was a well-kept secret. Therefore at some point someone gained access to their identity to pass it on to Putin which gave him this certainty.
In detecting leaks one goes back. One knows up until such and such date certain people who had access to the information and it was secure. One knows that after that date it was compromised. One then asks did someone new get access to the information, someone who did not have access before.
Those in the CIA must know the answer to this question. Perhaps not the specific person but one of the new group that learned about it. My guess is that it has to be someone on Trump’s transition team who received the background briefing by the CIA. That person provided it to the Russians through a secretive means. Perhaps that is why Trump attacked the intelligence sources comparing them to Nazis in order to cover this up.
Since several new people received the information the CIA hands are tied because these guys work for Trump. There is no way Trump will let the CIA interrogate them. If my guess is right Putin has a spy or spies inserted at the highest level of our government. If so, all our undercover agents are at risk and in danger since their identities may be disclosed to Putin.
Even if my guess is wrong the coincidence must give anyone who is a CIA operative great pause who sees how Trump is cozying up to Putin. Would you want to be a spy for America knowing there’s a Russian friendly team in town and knowing what happened in Moscow in December?
These are the times that try men’s souls and test a country’s ability to survive.