The Central Intelligence Agency is seeking to tap Russians as potential spies who are “disgusted” with Putin’s war in Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported this week, as part of a new push to bolster its ranks of Russian assets.
The CIA’s deputy director of intelligence David Marlowe, who has been in the post since June 2021, said in a rare speech at George Mason University’s Hayden Center that the CIA is “looking around the world” for Russian who are unhappy with the invasion of Ukraine. It was Marlowe’s first public appearance while at post as deputy director.
This is “because we’re open for business,” he underscored. The attempt to gain dependable assets is said to include military officers and even oligarchs who are angry at being impacted by Russia’s extreme economic and political isolation on the world stage.
Offering his assessment on how the war is going for the Russians, Marlowe described, “Putin was at his best moment the day before he invaded.” Speaking of the potential for the Russian leader to put pressure on neighboring Ukraine and NATO before the decision to invade, Marlowe added: “He squandered every single bit of that.”
At that point before the February 24 incursion, President Putin had “all the power that he is ever going to have,” according to the CIA #2 official.
Some international publications dubbed Marlowe’s speech, which happened last week but was first revealed on Tuesday, a “recruitment pitch”.
As The Moscow Times wrote:
Starting months ag