My translation of the 4th letter in the series from an active FSB analyst to Vladimir Osechkin. Written March 9th. As consequential as the 1st translated letter. Buckle up for a long thread and definitely please share far & wide. The text is over 1200 words.
Vladimir, good afternoon!
This is probably the first time that I’ve been able to write to you in the daytime during a weekday – everything is upside down now.
Under different circumstance, this information would look like utter nonsense, but right now, I am afraid, this won’t be the end of it.
First, we (FSB) are seriously evaluating a version that the current events of war with Ukraine is a war between the US and China, in which the Americans simply set us up and are using us. Now I’ll try to explain succinctly & clearly.
(This is the new ‘nonsensical’ working theory that the FSB analysts are being tasked to work on)
A global clash between the USA and China was unavoidable. After the war started in Ukraine [at least here in this correspondence I don’t have to use the term “operation”] the cost of resources has risen globally, especially energy. The main casualty of these events is China and our side (Russia) provided China certain guarantees, which I can personally confirm – that everything will end quickly (invasion of Ukraine). Which is why China has been tolerating the situation. But this was before.
The American situation is such that owners of the industry and oil drilling are in essence the same corporations, and that helps with the internal balance: They make money on drilling when oil is expensive, and when it’s cheap – from industrial development. This is a bit blunt, but it provides the necessary insight into their approach.
And shales (oil fracking), unlike the classic method (of oil extraction), is easy to stop and start.
Now the US will make an agreement with Venezuela and Iran. They can buy out Venezuelan light crude with a crazy discount. And the opening of the Iranian oil (market) will obviously be perceived with hostility by Saudi Arabia and UEA. The Yemeni conflict is also relevant here, and a row of other factors which I will ignore for the sake of simplicity. But it all leads to the fact that the US had already made preparations for these negotiations in advance.
The US has basically set a trap for us, almost analogous to the trap set for Iraq in Kuwait, when Saddam Hussein was being convinced that for a “small conflict (incursion)” there will be no response. He entered Kuwait and “Dessert Storm” began. And that was the beginning of the end of Iraq.
We were receiving similar signs that the US will not get involved, which has been confirmed from a military perspective. China can absolutely give us a harsh ultimatum to end the war to stabilize the price of oil. If this happens, I don’t want to make predictions – it’d be on the horizon of catastrophic events.
Russia’s image is so negative in the eyes of so many countries because of the war, that the US can easily pressure the Europeans to impose sanctions against China in case China decides to maneuver around the current sanctions against Russia (to help Russia). China’s high dependence on exports coupled with its dependence on commodity prices would result in a fatal blow if the cost of commodities goes up because their domestic market will disappear (Chinese population can’t afford the increased price of goods).
Not only that, Xi Jing Ping was considering a takeover of Taiwan in autumn – he needs his own small victory to be re-elected for his 3rd term – there’s a colossal internal fight between the elites. Now after the events in Ukraine, the window of opportunity (to take Taiwan) has been closed. This gives the US an opportunity to blackmail Xi and also negotiate with his rivals on favorable terms.
In this instance, it is us (Russia) that set this trap for China through our actions (in Ukraine).
We won’t be able to admit this out loud, even an assessment of scenarios from current conditions is “not entirely appropriate.” Hence the desire that the secret becomes open: Yes, this is only a working version, but it exists in our structures (in the FSB).
Second – the evolution of the current situation.
Now about our other plans, which go beyond any boundaries of insanity. Sanctions against Russia have reached a level with no precedent in history. The only thing that Putin is right about – this is essentially equivalent to war. The current approach with sanctions leaves Russia without any chances.
Now the matter may not be limited to threatening Europe – the chance of hostilities, albeit of localized nature, can be considered to be historically high. Ukraine is a monstrously large front, there are smaller fronts. For example, if we were talking about Moldova, the military operations would really be limited to several hours. With the Baltics – several days, but there’d be artillery hits first.
Actual threats of conventional rocket strikes against Europe [not bluffs] in the event of further sanctions can no longer be dismissed. Supporters of such an approach, who exist among those with influence on the decision, muse that in a sordid case we will simply be crushed by waiting until an internal implosion and collapse from inside (in Russia).
In addition to the rockets, we have the capability to conduct a massive cyberwar – the internet can be shut down (by Russia inside Russia). Such a possibility exists and it’d be difficult (for the West) to respond symmetrically (since Russia won’t have internet anyway).
And the external war should reduce the internal tension and redirect the aggression outward. However “should” – doesn’t mean it’ll be so.
There’s also one that is rather realistic [but I can’t say it’s good] plans to start a massive disinformation campaign that we are prepared for the war and sanctions for years to come: This should pressure the Ukrainians psychologically – “It won’t end quickly, better to surrender” and also the West.
I suppose that various government powers (in Russia) could start pushing their own plans (on how to proceed). That will simply lead to even more chaos (in Russia).
I won’t talk about the economy – it’s like discussing the nuances of pacifism while being nuclear-bombed.
The terror has strengthened – there are no internal instruments to hold the situation inside the country.
But terror is a complicated and expensive thing – it should become temporary. It’s like holding your breath because the air is poisoned: If you can escape the area, then the action is justified. But if you hold your breath for “an hour” – you saved yourself from the poison but…
Systemic decisions with a positive outcome do not exist. There is no Ukrainian political power that we could delegate the authority just for the optics. If we show Yanukovich (former President of Ukraine that was Putin’s asset, who dismantled the Ukrainian military pre-2014), it will only expose how bad things really are here. No single strategically important city has been taken in Ukraine. Kherson and Kharkov were considered the most pro-Russian. Pro-Ukrainian protests are not dying down in Kherson despite the presence of our soldiers. In Khrakov things are much worse.
Just summarizing the gist without getting into the details.
There is another piece of information that is critical.
The “Plan for Victory” in the FSB is being painted as such:
Zelensky will be pressured into signing a fluff peace agreement recognizing Crimea as Russian, and Luhansk- and Donetsk-oblasts will become LDNR. LDNR will be the focus of our negotiators in terms of nuance, etc. But it’s just a distraction.
The key clause would be about demilitarization, which would essentially ban Ukrainian intelligence services, and most importantly counter-intelligence.
And here our people (FSB) already see the prognosis: Over a number of years, it would be possible for us (FSB) with some minimal help from the GRU (Russian Military Intelligence), to carry out a total cleansing of the socio-political field in Ukraine. And after all this, we could install any government in Kiev.
With high probability this plan will become dominant for the Kremlin with strategic correction, although the scenario is insane and aggression on other fronts is not being cancelled. In theory, the plan does have potential, but how it will be in practice is unknown. There will be no military victory, only something like this.
Lots of nuances, but most important – our side will be able to breach such agreements after they’re signed anytime, when there’s strength to turn the tide. Then it won’t be the military but the “black crows” who will be executing the “second phase,” arresting those accused of breaking the agreement from the Ukrainian side.
This scenario is not so crazy like the others, but it is completely contingent on the fact that Kiev can actually be pressured in the negotiations. We are now working the Western contacts at the highest levels – looking for countries who will support our position and to put pressure on Zelensky. It could be another bluff, it could be an analogue of Wenck’s army in our current reality. Overall, as I’ve been saying, the level of chaos here is quite high.
In economic terms, we are falling and everything is very predictable: the abyss is fervently winking at us.
We are limited in our ability to verify all data, but consider it important to disclose this information for the purpose of informing of the existing threats to global security. Нет войне! (No to War!)
END OF TRANSLATION
Source Igor Sushko