The spy director of the CIA appealed to potential agents at his first live public speech since taking the position last year, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Agency advertises that it is “open for business” and is looking to hire military officers, oligarchs, politicians, and businessmen.
CIA to Russian officers and oligarchs: ‘We are open for business
The Central Intelligence Agency’s deputy director of operations, David Marlowe, recently told a group of academics that Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been a colossal disaster and creates chances for Western intelligence services among dissatisfied Russians.
“Putin was at his best the day before he invaded,” said Mr. Marlowe at George Mason University’s Hayden Center, “when he still could coerce Ukraine, influence NATO, and demonstrate that Russia is a powerful nation.” “He squandered every single bit of that.”
According to Mr. Marlowe, the CIA is searching for Russians who share displeasure over Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. “Because we’re open for business”, he emphasized.
CIA appealed to Russians who fled Russia because of the war against Ukraine
Mr. Marlowe made his uncommon public statements last week in front of a small group of university faculty and personnel. Video of the meeting between Mr. Marlowe and Linda Weissgold, the CIA’s deputy director for analysis, whose division is in charge of creating intelligence assessments and briefing President Biden and other senior officials, was made available by the Hayden Center on November 21.
The discontent of Russians is an ideal environment for hiring agents
Marlowe’s comments support recent claims made by senior former CIA officers that the discontent of many Russians with the invasion of Ukraine provides an ideal environment for the recruitment of agents amongst disenchanted military officers, oligarchs who have seen their wealth diminished by sanctions, and other exiles.
Spy war in Europe
However, in addition to the military operations in Ukraine, there has been a visible intensification of the spy war in Europe and the surrounding region for months.
Hundreds of Russian diplomats have been deported from Europe due to spy allegations, and at least two “illegals”, Russian spies acting as people unrelated to the Moscow government, have also been detained.
On its side, the Kremlin has ordered reductions in U.S. diplomatic representation in Moscow and other Russian cities, significantly reducing prospects for spying.