Russia’s apparent response to the CIA circulating a video aimed at recruiting disaffected Kremlin informants is to blast out its own recruitment video targeting Americans fed up with the U.S. government.
The video, posted to the pro-Russia Siloviki Telegram channel and circulating among pro-Kremlin bloggers, shows clips of U.S. military personnel on patrols, protesters lighting fire to the American flag, and a protest against Planned Parenthood.
“Is this the life I dreamed of? The path that I have chosen for myself,” the narrator in the apparent Russian video states. “Why are the lives of some more valuable than the lives of others? And who decides?”
The video ends with footage of Joe Biden delivering a speech, with a bullseye overlaid on his head.
“This is my America, this will always be my America. We will stand. We will live with dignity because of my actions,” the video states. “I will raise the flags of our fathers again.”
“Write to us,” the video urges viewers, providing a link to instructions on how to get in touch with the SVR, Russia's federal foreign intelligence agency. The Daily Beast could independently verify that the agency was directly involved in the production of the video.
“If you want to help normalcy, help the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation,” an accompanying social media post states.
The Russia's foreign ministry will not leave the CIA recruitment video “without proper effective response,” spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Wednesday.
"Such malicious activities, including dissemination of inciting materials, will not be left without proper effective response. They know that we won’t keep them waiting,” she said, according to TASS.
The video comes after the CIA established its own Telegram channel and shared a recruitment video early this week, targeting Russians disillusionment with Moscow.
The battle for informed intelligence has grown even more urgent with Russia failing to achieve major gains in Ukraine in the last several months. Since the start of the invasion last year, the U.S. intelligence community has been working to take advantage of Russians who are interested in working against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war plans.
The FBI in the last several months, for instance, has been posting separate social media video recruitment ads on Twitter, Facebook, and Google targeting Russians with access to classified information who might be willing to share information with the bureau, as previously reported by The Daily Beast.
The video shows the path an individual working for the Russian government might take to reach the FBI in Washington, D.C. Last year, the FBI targeted ads around the area of the Russian embassy in Washington, D.C.
The CIA provided instructions in its video this week on how to share information with the U.S. intelligence community through secure and encrypted channels.
“CIA’s global mission requires that individuals be able to contact us securely from anywhere in the world. That’s why, for the first time, CIA is establishing a presence on Telegram—to reach those who feel compelled to engage CIA and ensure they know how to do so as securely as possible,” the agency said in its inaugural Telegram post. “If you’re considering reaching out to CIA, please review the materials on this channel: we value those willing to talk with us, and your safety is our priority.”
In the CIA video, individuals presumably working for the Russian government are shown pulling up pages with information how to contact the agency on their phones.
“Are you a military officer? Do you work in the field of intelligence, diplomacy, science, high technology, or do you deal with people who do this? Do you have information about the economy or the top leadership of the Russian Federation?,” the CIA wrote on Telegram. “Contact us. Perhaps the people around you don't want to hear the truth. We want.”
“This video shows fictitious Russians who made the difficult but important decision to quietly get in touch with the CIA through the anonymous information system Tor,” another CIA post says. “The CIA wants to know the truth about Russia, and we are looking for reliable people who know and can tell us this truth. Your information may be more valuable than you think.”
The apparent Russian video appears to be an attempt to mimic the CIA video.
“The people around you may not want the truth. We want,” the video states.