The terrorist attack in Russia

Image: Spiridon Varfalameev


Would the US have been the first to learn about the Crocus terrorist attack by spying on Kiev?


O jornal The New York Times cited anonymous sources last Thursday to report that “the adversarial relationship between Washington and Moscow has prevented American officials from sharing any information about the plot (of the Crocus terrorist attack) beyond what was necessary, for fear that authorities Russians could discover their sources or methods of information.” This clears President Vladimir Putin, who, according to the West, claimed until now, had downplayed terrorist threats on the eve of one of the worst attacks of Russian history.

Lacking concrete information and aware only of the US's vague warning that large gatherings such as concerts could soon be the target of attacks, its security services were unable to stop the plotters, meaning that Washington is partly responsible for what happened by withholding specific information on the subject. Equally scandalous, this bomb also sparked speculation about the exact sources and methods that the United States employed to be the first to learn about this attack.

While it is possible that the United States learned of this case by spying on the radical Telegram channel, whose administrators allegedly recruited those responsible, as if the CIA had an infiltrator within the preacher's team, it is possible to argue convincingly that he actually could have been brought to his attention by spying on Kiev. Pentagon leaks last spring confirmed that the United States was spying on Volodymyr Zelensky, which Ukrainian officials told CNN, wasn’t “surprising,” but it left them “deeply frustrated.”

These documents also confirmed that the US also spied on the Ukrainian military intelligence service, the GUR, through which they became aware of a conspiracy to attack the Russian port of Novorossiysk on the first anniversary of Operação special, ordering them to withdraw to avoid provoking Moscow. Given that the The Washington Post reported, six months later, that the CIA had rebuilt the GUR from scratch after 2014, it is obvious that, from the beginning, they inserted informants within this institution.

They do not always know about terrorist plans in advance, as their infiltration of the GUR and other Ukrainian government agencies is not complete, but they are still usually able to conclude, some time later, that Kiev was responsible whenever an attack occurs. seriously in Russia. This is what happened last May, when the New York Times reported that Kiev was responsible for drone attack on the Kremlin, also reminding its readers that, until that moment, Kiev was behind other attacks.

Among them, the murders of Darya Dugina e Vladlen Tatarsky, cross-border terrorist attacks in Belgorod Russian region and the Nord Stream II bombing. Regarding the latter, the allegation of Ukrainian complicity may well be a previously planned distraction maneuver to divert attention from American involvement, after Seymour Hersh served as an intermediary for dissident members of the Information Community to communicate to the public that it was his country that ordered such an attack.

However, what is important to note in this broader narrative context is that the Wall Street Journal claimed last summer that the US learned of Ukraine's plans to blow up the gas pipeline from Dutch sources, and then told Kiev not to go ahead with the plan. Regardless of the question of whether Ukraine was actually involved and despite how the US allegedly obtained the information, not to mention whether it actually occurred, the issue is that the Intelligence Community wanted Americans to know that it had told Ukraine to stop.

O The Washington Post then reported last November that a former senior GUR officer coordinated the bombing of Nord Stream II with other senior officers, who allegedly received orders from former commander-in-chief Valery Zaluzhny, and that all of this allegedly took place behind their backs by Zelensky. It doesn't matter if all this is true, because what matters is the fact that the connection The Washington Post-Information Community introduced this narrative into the global discourse that ostensibly dissident members of the Ukrainian Information Community were planning such severe attacks.


To recap everything that has been shared so far by the traditional media: the US spied on Volodymyr Zelensky, the GUR and other Ukrainian institutions; they learned through these means that Kiev was responsible for previous terrorist attacks; sometimes they find out about them ahead of time and order their proxies to leave; which was successful in February 2023, when Ukraine decided not to attack Novorossiysk; but failed in the summer of 2022, after allegedly dissident members of the Ukrainian Information Community bombed Nord Stream II.

With this in mind, suspicions that the US withheld potentially actionable information about the then-imminent Crocus terrorist attack to avoid revealing its sources and methods in Ukraine make much more sense. You heads of the FSB and the Security Council already suspected Ukrainian involvement, President Putin informed the nation that terrorist contacts in that country had prepared a “window” to cross the border and investigators they just discovered evidence that Kiev paid them via cryptocurrency.

The vice president of Turkey's ruling party also recently stated that “it is obvious that it is impossible to carry out such a professional action without the support of the secret services of any State. These events always have sponsors, lobbies that want the (Ukrainian) war to continue.” Since your country is a member of NATO, arms Ukraine, votes against Russia at the UN and does not recognize the reunification of Crimea, there is no reason to suspect it has ulterior motives. Therefore, his words must be taken seriously.

Faced with these allegations, the United States fervently insisted on its claim that Ukraine was not responsible, which Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described as “suspiciously” “obsessive”. Her spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, had previously described the Bloomberg, according to which internal Kremlin sources doubted Ukraine’s involvement, which was arguably a narrative diversion planted by the Information Community, as “the mother of all lies”. The tendency is that the US is desperately trying to convince everyone that Kiev was not responsible.

All of this suggests that the US knows Ukraine was involved, but fears what Russia might do once the evidence becomes indisputable. For example, these could be shared with the world to justify the legal transformation of Russia's special operation into an all-out war, which could precede another offensive. Eventually there may be a breach in the defenses, with the government collapsing shortly afterwards, exactly as the Ukrainian Intelligence Committee warned at the end of February that it could happen this summer.

This perspective adds context to the bombshell New York Times, since the CIA may well have been aware of the Crocus conspiracy by spying on its GUR protégés, which, according to this analysis, explains how they could have orchestrated everything, but then told them to cancel it. Just as the GUR would have postponed the bombing of Nord Stream II, it also appears, in retrospect, to have postponed this bloodbath, only to carry out both later, even though they were formally approved or carried out by dissident members of the Intelligence Community.

This version of events explains why the US only conveyed vague information to Russia, since it assumed that the GUR would not pursue the Crocus conspiracy, but Washington still wanted to discredit its rival's government and security services, hence the warning provocative of his embassy at the time. After the terrorist attack occurred and evidence of Ukraine's involvement accumulated, the United States quickly stepped in on behalf of its proxies because it fears the consequences of a possible military reaction from Russia.

It is not clear what the members of the US Information Community who spoke to the New York Times, when they told this newspaper that their services withheld from Russia details of the then imminent terrorist attack on Crocus so as not to betray their sources and methods, but the wider narrative context in which this fundamental detail entered the global discourse casts further suspicion on Ukraine. It seems increasingly obvious that Kiev was involved, and it is likely only a matter of time before irrefutable proof is found.

*Andrew Korybko holds a master's degree in International Relations from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Book author Hybrid Wars: From Color Revolutions to Coups (popular expression). []

Translation: Fernando Lima das Neves.

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