In Russia, signs have been spotted of a new round of inter-agency conflict between the SVR-FSB and the GRU.
The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), on October 20, quite unexpectedly accused the United States of plotting a "revolutionary" scenario in Moldova, where presidential elections will be held in November. The chief accuser is SVR head Sergei Naryshkin. This is not the first time the intelligence boss is acting as a TV anchor or press secretary, not as the leader of a major secret agency.
Back in September Sergei Naryshkin already accused Western powers of organizing protests in Belarus. That's despite the fact that a clear Russian trace was seen behind Belarus protests, the process of opposition formation, and all that ensued.
There is an impression that in the Moldova case, the SVR, eyeing the Belarus experience, decided in advance, via their "press secretary," to accuse the West of preparing some kind of a mess in Moldova. And this, in turn, suggests that preparations are indeed underway – on the part of Russia.
The thing is that on October 19, RISE Moldova and Dossier journalists' joint investigation conceived an article claiming Moldovan President Igor Dodon's career rise was due to his cooperation with former and active operatives of Russian intelligence, and that he is still being closely handled by Moscow.
This has long been no secret that Mr Dodon is a full-blown pro-Russian guy in Moldova's politics, but there's a certain quite interesting peculiarity in the piece, the release of which drove Naryshkin to act as his own agency's spox.
The article claims that there's a "Moldova Office" in the SVR department led by Vladimir Chernov. The Office chief is Igor Maslov, the report says. It is Maslov, journalists claim, who is Igor Dodon's personal handler, and it's through Chernov's Office that the documents are sent to the SVR HQ and to Deputy chief of Vladimir Putin's office Dmitry Kozak, who is now in charge of relations with the CIS countries and the Eurasian Economic Union.
So, in fact, RISE Moldova and Dossier, with their investigation, exposed the entire hierarchy of Igor Dodon's subordination to the SVR (read "FSB"). Much earlier, though, on September 2, the Dossier Group published a large report on how Mr Chernov of the SVR oversees the coming to power in Georgia of the pro-Russian "opposition".
What we see is that the Dossier project has exposed – one by one – almost all most significant SVR projects in the post-Soviet space.
Let me remind you that the Dossier project is supervised by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who, to put it mildly, closely cooperates with the Russian defense ministry, in particular, its Main Directorate of the Armed Forces' General Staff, traditionally referred to as the GRU. It was Dossier that conducted the highest-profile investigations into the FSB operations, including regarding Yevgeny Prigozhin's Wagner private military company.
Now, on the eve of the elections in Georgia and Moldova, investigators deliver a rather painful slap in the face to the SVR-FSB – so painful that Mr Naryshkin has to once again turn into a spokesman and personally fill the media space with the narrative of "revolutions" worldwide supervised by the United States.
Such a full-scale attack of the GRU resources on a rival agency can only be explained by one thing - the crew from Grizodubova Street, after the relative success of a number of operations, including within the framework of the Belarus project, intend to squeeze Lubyanka out of its positions. This is exactly why the FSB's asset network and promising projects are being exposed, which is fraught with another round of inter-agency confrontation.
Besides, neither the GRU nor defense minister Shoigu forgot that it was due to the FSB-SVR that the whole world learned who was behind the Skripals poisoning and other missions. This even led to yet another GRU chief Mr Korobov dying following a "long illness," just like his predecessor Mr Sergun...
So let's see how things will go from here!