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Putin showers Russia's military spy agency in praise, celebrates its ‘unique capabilities’ on 100th anniversary

Meduza

Vladimir Putin gave a speech on Friday at an event honoring the 100th anniversary of Russia’s “legendary Main Intelligence Directorate” — the same organization that has humiliated Moscow internationally over the past several months, as evidence accumulates that this spy agency is responsible for the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, England, and numerous hacking efforts targeting Western institutions.

Russian news organizations drew attention to the president’s promise to restore the directorate’s old name and initialism (GRU), but Putin’s very attendance and words of support are likely even more significant. “As supreme commander-in-chief, I certainly know your [...] unique capabilities,” Putin said, celebrating the GRU’s “special operations” and “high-quality intelligence and analysis.”