In Ukraine, not everything is going “according to plan” for Vladimir Putin: After more than two weeks of aggressive war, the country is still more than just defensive against the Russian invaders, the Russian army has already had to accept heavy losses and increases with each passing day the West is putting pressure on Russia with ever new sanctions. Insiders as well as the Pentagon have been reporting for days that Putin is anything but “satisfied with the overall situation” – to put it mildly – and according to the latest information he is now taking this dissatisfaction out on one of his most loyal henchmen: his intelligence chief.
Sergey Beseda, who has headed the foreign espionage department of Putin’s FSB secret service, which was founded in the 1990s, since 2004, is said to have fallen out of favor with the Russian president as a result of developments in the Ukraine war. Beseda and his deputy Anatoly Boliuk have been placed under house arrest by Putin, according to several sources. The reason given for this step includes the alleged misuse of funds made available for operations related to the Ukraine invasion, but also the “delivery of bad information”.
So far, there has been no confirmation of the Kremlin’s claims. What is clear, however, is that Putin is extremely dissatisfied with his experts. Oleksi Danilov (59), head of Ukraine’s Security Council, says about eight Russian commanders have been dismissed since the conflict began. Putin is said to have accused the secret services of providing him with false information that Ukraine is weak and would easily give up if attacked.
Danilov also has another explanation for the apparent failure of the FSB: Most Russian agents would only be in this profession because their parents or grandparents were already agents. In contrast, Western intelligence agencies would typically recruit from elite universities to ensure they get “the best of the best.”