Reported detention of Russian spy boss shows tension over stalled Ukraine invasion, U.S. officials say

By | March 19, 2022

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Recriminations and finger-pointing have begun within Russia’s spy and defense agencies, as the campaign that Moscow expected to culminate in a lightning seizure of Ukraine’s capital has instead turned into a costly and embarrassing morass, U.S. officials said.

The blame game, which includes the detention of at least one senior Russian intelligence official, doesn’t appear to pose any immediate threat to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s iron grip on power, but the U.S. officials are watching the machinations closely.

A U.S. official described as credible reports that the commander of the FSB intelligence agency’s unit responsible for Ukraine had been placed under house arrest.

The official, in an interview, also said bickering had broken out between the FSB and the Russian Ministry of Defense, two of the principal government units responsible for the preparation of the Feb. 24 invasion.

Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns told Congress earlier this month that Mr. Putin had planned to seize Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv within two days, suggesting the Russian leader expected minimal resistance. [Continue reading…]

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