The other day, The Insider investigative journalists published another shocking evidence of Russia's interference in the EU’s internal affairs through its intelligence agencies. I'm talking about those published documents The Insider got hold of, which the investigators say confirm the Kremlin’s close contacts with politicians supporting the Yellow Vests opposition movement in France and the far-right Alternative for Germany party.
The Insider has published letters by Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs, in which he recommends that the Russian consulate grant visas to European politicians from Germany and France, who are repeatedly noted by the pro-Russian stance. Besides, representatives of the French side in question were leaders of movements that took an active part in the radicalization of the Yellow Vests protests.
Actually, it might seem that The Insider simply did a great job in revealing yet another abscess on the EU body in the form of Kremlin influence. But, guess what, the fact that the Yellow Vests movement is a Russian project supervised by the GRU has long been known. And in this context, a little bit of nostalgic reminiscing won't hurt.
I'd like to remind you, dear readers, of the reports on radicalization of the Yellow Vests movement through cells controlled by the People's Front, whose leader is Russia-funded Marine Le Pen. Here it's worth recalling adepts of the "DPR" and the "Russian world" concept like Fabrice Sorlin, chairman of the far-right Doomsday movement (Marine Le Pen's party member), or head of the Katehon analytical center, whose supervisory board includes Russian propaganda mastermind Alexander Dugin and whose HQ is funded by the GRU, or Xavier Moreau, who played the role of international observer in pseudo-elections held in the occupied Donbas and authored a propaganda pamphlet "Ukraine. Why France is deceiving itself…" All of them took an active part in the Yellow Vests protests as media figures.
Also, we shouldn't forget that those protests were attended by some very infamous personalities who took part in Donbas hostilities on the side of the so-called "DPR". For example, Sergei Munier, an activist with the French "Anti-Maidan" movement and "Novopole", which is "Novorossia" representative office in France. He fought against the Ukraine Armed Forces in the Vostok battalion since 2014 and stormed Maryinka as part of the Piatnashka brigade. Or let's recall Viktor Lenta, the founder of the Continental Unity organization, which recruits and deploys French men to hot spots worldwide. He also sided with "DPR" terrorists and took an active part in the battles against Ukraine. There's also Christian Legrega, who in 2014-2015 was a blue-eyed-boy of Russian propaganda, as he opened fire at, and quite possibly, killed Ukrainian troops. The list doesn't end here, obviously...
The fact that the Yellow Vests protests were radicalized through the GRU operation and direct intervention by Russia was also confirmed by the late coordinator of the Information Resistance OSINT group, Dmytro Tymchuk.
An important circumstance for understanding the situation is that during his August visit to, Russian President Vladimir Putin laid out all his cards on the table just a few minutes before meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. These cards were speckled by "Yellow vests" blackmail, of which I wrote in my piece "Putin's Latent Freud-style blackmail of Macron." If someone didn't pay attention back then to this obvious detail... then, apparently, they aren't pay attention to how timely the latest investigation by The Insiders was released.
But why is something revealed over a year ago is receiving such wide and deep coverage precisely now? Indeed, the tune of the GRU being strongly affiliated with Yellow Vests has been played numerous times, and by no means was it The Insider's trumpet which played it.
It is noteworthy that The Insider gave birth to its "investigation" exactly after the Normandy Four summit was scheduled to be held on December 9. A volley of information artillery fire is clearly targeting the Champs Elysees, hinting that the French leader should not be trusted in the negotiation process. Besides, recalling all the latest ups and downs with the Nord Stream 2 project, the Chancellor of Germany shouldn't be trusted either, it is suggested.
But is this a warning to President Zelensky from some well-wishers with The Insider? Not at all...
The fact is that two intelligence agencies, claiming hegemony in the Donbas settlement issue – namely, the GRU and the FSB – have clashed in a major duel for this area of influence, especially in the wake of decisions taken in recent days. In particular, the Normandy Four summit scheduled for December 9 is an unconditional win for the GRU camp, represented by Vladislav Surkov. Here I should recall that Surkov sees a solution to the issue of the occupied territories of the East of Ukraine through the actual political sovereignty of Donbas from Ukraine, while Dmitry Kozak, representing the FSB team, is solely focused on settling economic issues.
And there's nothing surprising that amid Surkov’s success in this field, Yuri Ushakov, a Russian president's aide, raised his voice, too, saying he doesn't rule out the holding of the Normandy Four summit, although its date could be delayed beyond December 9 (the date confirmed by the competing team).
By the way, let's not forget that Yuri Ushakov works in tandem with foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and SVR foreign intelligence chief Sergey Naryshkin, thus representing the SVR-FSB camp in the Kremlin.
What's funny is that the when the row broke up with an uncovered CIA mole in the SVR ranks, Mr Oleg Smolenkov, The Insider was all mute, deaf and blind on the story. Indeed, almost all of The Insider's investigations concern the GRU in the first place, and almost never offend the FSB. What, you aren't supposed to piss off your employers, huh? But that's a whole different story so we'll stick to ours and just cross the t's and dot the i's.
And however hard some might want be to believe in the impartiality of certain media investigations, they should always look deeper into the core of the ongoing developments. In this case, the core is that the latest informational attack by The Insider is an attempt by one intelligence agency to seize from their competitor the initiative in the Normandy Four negotiation process, with the incidental discrediting of HUMINT network the GRU had long been developing in France and Germany.
Competition between the GRU and the FSB creates a "stick-in-a-wheel" effect for both, of which we can't but rejoice. However, the fact that so many people have blind faith in "prophets", who actually act on behalf of the evil, shapes up a dangerous precedent for the future.
And, yes, that's not all on The Insider for today, so stay tuned.