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Deeply tired of how little the SVR gets covered as a threat so let's rant about it. First and foremost, it's the successor to the First Chief Directorate (PGU) of the KGB. PGU was responsible for KGB foreign operations and was -no joke-. (1/9)
All those accounts you've read about the KGB manipulating governments, running major penetrations, conducting massive influence operations and other active measures abroad? All KGB PGU. Those assholes did not play. (2/9)
And they descended (mostly organizationally but sometimes genetically) from the people who ran the Trust op and all of whom bought/buy into Chekist humanism, a perverse moral structure that justifies just about any horrible act in the name of the state. (3/9)
In days of yore, PGU's Line PR (political intelligence) and Service A (active measures) would oversee the sorts of activities that Russians directed at the US surrounding the 2016 election. Descendants of these entities continue today inside the SVR. (4/9)
This means that while all we're hearing about is the GRU, it is almost statistically certain that the SVR was up to some shit related to 2016 and is up to similar shit related to 2020. USG probably isn't talking about it because it risks source and methods. (5/9)
SVR is also heir to the legacy of PGU's Directorate K (and it's Line KR) - maybe the most fearsome offensive foreign counterintelligence organization in modern history. This means they are adept at projecting degradation effects on opponents' CI capabilities from abroad. (6/9)
It's comparatively easy for the FSB to conduct degradation in Western services operating in Moscow or the GRU to do it against the SBU in Donbass. The SVR can, and does, that against security services on their home turfs - like Western metropolises. Let that sink in. (7/9)
This means while pursuing objectives like election interference, the SVR can simultaneously pose a real, active threat to our efforts to counter interference - such as by degrading the capabilities of orgs with defensive missions like the FBI or DHS or NSA. (8/9)
So please, tell me more about the GRU as the big bad Baba Yaga of election interference. (~Fin)
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