All is fair in love and war, and that's how both the FSB and GRU roll in Russia. The two rivaling agencies either fight with or "make love" to each other, rocking the Kremlin towers hard.
It's a rather interesting and elaborate long-play scheme I've been witnessing unfolding in the camp of our hybrid neighbors. If you remember, just yesterday, in my piece "Who is exposing corrupt Russian politicians, and why" tried to figure out who stood behind the leak of a Metropol recording of secret negotiations between Italian politicians and Russian "investors" of 2018.
I should recall that U.S.-based BuzzFeed News has published a recording of secret talks deputies of the Italy's right-wing Lega Nord Party held with Russian officials regarding the shadow financing schemes involving the money drawn from the discount on Russian oil exports to the Italian company Eni. Moreover, this leak emerged precisely after the high-profile arrests of FSB operatives from the Alfa, Vympel, and K units, who, as it turned out, were engaged in armed robberies, including of former GRU men.
That is, the GRU guys set up FSB racketeers, while the FSB, in turn, retaliated by leaking the recordings of negotiations supervised by the GRU (after all, the talks were held in a hotel long monitored by – that's right – the FSB. But here's another thing.
Today the WarGonzo Telegram channel published a report stating that the FSB would attract to their internal investigations private detective agencies." And this happening because of the snowball effect of tit-for-tat spying efforts, carried out within the very FSB, targeting operatives from different units, or better say "clans". And this snowball has grown so big that the agency now finds itself lacking agents and resources, so therefore third-party firms will be involved.
And now goes the fun part. The WarGonzo telegram channel is an information platform affiliated with the GRU. Let me remind you that it was through this channel that some peculiar details of the unrest in France were leaked. It was right-wing radicals funded by Marin Le Pen, in turn, sponsored by Russia, who in the wake of the "yellow vests" rallies took informal lead of the protests.
Remarkably, it was the GRU that supervised radicalization of protests in France, as well as the majority of other foreign operations. I also wrote about this in the previous piece, emphasizing that the GRU's leading role in the foreign policy arena drives both the FSB and the SVR mad.
But, that's not what I'm focusing on right now. I note that the new spin by the Telegram channel, which regularly draws insights from a source who is part of the FSB's major rival, incites mistrust and friction in the FSB ranks. Moreover, this is happening against the background of the said scandal with the Italians, which might as well turn into another serious fiasco for GRU, perhaps the biggest one since Salisbury.
And in this context, I have only one question to which I can't find an answer yet. Namely: when will they finally start shooting each other? Indeed, why keep messing with each other in such a childish playground style, really?