Putin seems to be convinced that he’s the best informed of any world leader. But Putin’s grasp of what’s happening both near and far is bent because he expects and allows only good news.
Just as he distorts history, he welcomes misrepresentations of current reality. And, according to accounts from Western intelligence sources, the FSB – Federal Security Service, the main inheritor of the KGB – should bear the brunt of the blame for their misguidance.
The FSB was saddled both with overconfidence and incompetence. Deciphered Intercepts from senior officers of the FSB’s Department of Operational Information revealed that Russian handlers of their intelligence assets in Ukraine instructed them to arrange for safe houses in Kiev for the imminent arrival of Moscow’s operatives, after Russia’s lightning fast military victory and overthrow of the Ukrainian government. In fact their self-confidence was so misplaced that some resident Russian informants were told to vacate their apartments and leave the keys so that new FSB arrivals could use them as residences, safe houses or bases for operations.
Laas Leivat, Toronto