The paradox of Russian propaganda lies in the fact that when some agency fails, Moscow is not only trying to downgrade the importance, implying chaotic methods and thus doing more harm than good to the "legend", but also trying to tie to that failure completely unrelated mishaps. This is exactly the case with the story of Oleg Smolenkov.
As I earlier wrote, Russians first tried to portray CIA mole in the Kremlin, Oleg Smolenkov, as a low-class clerk with no access to classified info, at the same time highlighting his alleged vilified features such as alcoholism and adultery. Then came the reports claiming he was part of a gang robbing gang, which theunfortunate propagandists thought should explain where he got money for his $1 million home in the U.S.b At the same time, this didn't explain how he managed to book a house in a neighborhood predominantly inhabited by families of U.S. intelligence operatives.
Of course, this tactic was applied due to the fact that the Foreign Intelligence Service has indeed missed out on its employee's defection and that both the Lubyanka, Yasenevo, the presidential administration and the foreign ministry tried to portray Smolenkov as some guy with low morale, who is of no value to Russia or the U.S. In many respects, this may be due to the fact that in 2017, when Smolenkov vanished in Montenegro, no one reported the real situation to Putin and everything was hidden under the rug as if it was some ordinary clerk who went missing. Although Ushakov, Naryshkin, and Bortnikov had realized that this time bomb would one day blow up, and blow up bad.
As a result, when attempts to level out Smolenkov's significance ceased to be justified, versions that I had been waiting for finally began to surface. Namely, there came accusations that Smolenkov was to blame for various failures in Russia's military-industrial complex and other mishaps.
Now Russian media are already starting a test launch of spins alleging that Oleg Smolenkov is responsible for the disruption of production and delivery of T-14 Armata tanks to the troops.
Comments by some "experts" are now spreading, alleging that, having access to paperwork on the T-14 Armata project in the presidential administration, Oleg Smolenkov could have affected it by transmitting to the CIA plans and rates of rearmament of the Russian armored forces. Considering that the plans were "exposed", the Russian Defense Ministry had to urgently curtail the program, while Deputy Prime Minister for defense industry, Yuri Borisov, was forced to mumble something along the lines of T-72B3 tanks being no worse than the T-14 Armata, and also cheaper... Interestingly, Yuri Borisov uttered the same thing in the context of the abandonment of the Su-57 in favor of the Su-35.
I also think it is worth recalling the statements by CEO of Uralvagonzavod Oleg Sienko of 2015 regarding the fact that the company received an order for the manufacture of 2,300 T-14s before 2020. And it turns out that it was Oleg Smolenkov, not the dampness of the T-14 project, its high cost and the inability of the Russian military units to park these tanks in existing garages, which affected the failure of Armata deliveries to the Russian armed forces. What a mighty mole, indeed. Imagine, the CIA asset has managed to curtail production of T-14s from 2,300 to 20 units.
Well, in this case, I look forward to hearing that it was Oleg Smolenkov who frustrated the implementation of the Su-57 project and its export prospects to India, caused the failure of the Admiral Nakhimov and Admiral Kuznetsov warships' repairs and the construction of the Shtorm aircraft carrier, import substitution of Ukrainian gas turbine units on corvettes and missile ships, failure of the IL-112V project, the crash of the Russian Post's mail drone, and the buildup of fecal stalagmites in Russian apartment blocks.
Look how convenient, and to some extent, timely the story of Smolenkov turned out to be for Russian propaganda!