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‘You can’t trust them’ Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service Director accuses investigative journalists of working with Western spy agencies

Source: Meduza

In an exclusive interview with talk show host Vladimir Solovyov, the Director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (the SVR) Sergey Naryshkin claimed that a number of independent Russian news outlets are part of a “network” allegedly linked to Western intelligence services via the investigative outlet Bellingcat. Naryshkin also reiterated claims that the August 2020 poisoning of opposition politician Alexey Navalny was orchestrated by the West, and said that the SVR is anticipating “new provocations” in the lead up to Russia’s fall elections. Meduza summarizes Sergey Naryshkin’s “Solovyov Live” interview here.

Our intelligence knows part of the truth about the “Berlin patient” [opposition politician Alexey Navalny]. A year before the poisoning, we received information that a meeting involving NGOs and intelligence agencies was held in Europe, where the question of how to support the opposition movement was discussed. And the issue of needing sacrificial victims was discussed there. I don’t want to say anything, but some conclusions can be made. We expect new provocations ahead of the elections. We have information about which points will be hit, but we will not say anything publicly yet. The United States is looking for an external enemy, so they point the finger at us for hacker attacks — we’re not involved in them. We respect the CIA. They are, like us, one of the three best intelligence services in the world. They have much more funding, but, as you know, Russians win not by numbers but by skill. Bellingcat is needed to exert pressure, they use dishonest methods. The information they use in their investigations is false and unverified. This group also includes a number of former intelligence agents, you can’t trust them. They’re prepared to complete any task for money. Bellingcat, Navalny’s organizations, Proekt, iStories, The Insider — they’re all interconnected, it’s a complex production that requires great skill and great effort.

This is a short summary of Sergey Naryshkin’s interview with Vladimir Solovyov. First person quotes aren’t necessarily verbatim. You can watch the full interview in Russian here.

Cover photo: Artyom Geodakyan / TASS / Scanpix / LETA

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