In a concerning development to come as Ukraine continues to fight back against Putin’s forces with the help of its Western allies and their weaponry and intelligence, Western powers suspect the Russian leader will soon change his tactics and start targeting those powers at home.
Even more concerning are the newfound fears Putin will launch “a wave of asymmetric chaos” across the West in the form of “political interference, cyberattacks, [and] assassinations.”
That is the shocking revelation shared by Puck’s Julia Ioffe this week after she spoke with a number of Western intelligence officials regarding Putin’s new plans of attack.
According to Ioffe, Putin is growing increasingly frustrated that his war against Ukraine has turned into a proxy war against the West – particularly after it was revealed Ukraine’s forces are armed with NATO weaponry, trained by NATO specialists and receiving intelligence from NATO and other Western intelligence agencies.
This has reportedly forced Putin to reconsider his current tactics in Ukraine and instead employ the “hybrid tactics” that could see Russia committing political interference, cyberattacks and assassinations in the Western powers’ own countries.
“The Russians wrote the book on this but they haven’t turned it on,” Marc Polymeropoulos , who formerly headed the CIA ’s operations across Europe , told Puck. “Why is that?”
But even more startling are reports Putin may have already started targeting NATO countries and other Western powers.
On Saturday, January 21, Danish-Swedish national named Rasmus Paludan reportedly set a Quran on fire outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.
It was later revealed Paludan was aided by a man with ties to Russian intelligence named Chang Frick , suggesting the incident was orchestrated by Russia in an effort to keep Turkey from allowing Sweden into NATO.
A series of other attacks against have reportedly been linked back to Russia and Russian intelligence, including two incidents in November and December 2022 in which a 74-year-old man mailed letter bombs containing animal eyeballs to the Spanish Prime Minister’s residence, Spain’s ministry of defense and Spain’s Ukrainian and American embassies in Madrid.
According to the New York Times , those attacks were reportedly directed by Russian intelligence via a radical, white nationalist group named the Russian Imperial Movement.
“The Russian services were used to kicking in the doors and doing whatever they wanted in Europe without consequence, but after the invasion of Ukraine, everything changed,” said Roman Dobrokhotov , a Russian journalist who studies Russian intelligence plots across Europe.
“After kicking out diplomats, we see that Russia is trying to return their people to Europe,” Dobrokhotov told Puck. “It turns out it was very painful for Russia. In those countries they were kicked out of, they’re trying to get them back in.”
Besides Putin’s recent turn to “hybrid tactics” against the West, world leaders are also concerned about the possibility Putin may eventually decide to launch nuclear weapons both against Ukraine and directly against NATO countries.
Although Putin’s allies like Xi Jinping in China and Narendra Modi in India have reportedly told the Russian leader they would desert him if he used nuclear weapons , intelligence officials emphasized that “you can’t rule anything out” when it comes to Putin and Russia.
“But you should never trust your gut feeling when talking about Russia,” Polymeropoulos told the outlet. “We can’t rule out anything, even the nuclear threat.”
“At the end of the day, Putin doesn’t care what India or China thinks,” he added. “At the end of the day, if he thinks that it is a good idea to do it, he won’t care what they say.”
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