Russia overhauls security service after data leaks to Ukraine: report

Russia appears to be carrying out a large-scale overhaul of its domestic security service due to a leakage of data to Ukraine, according to a US think tank.

The FSB headquarters in Moscow.

The FSB headquarters in Moscow.RIA Novosti archive, image #143644 / Alexander Polyakov / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) made the assessment in its latest report on the war in Ukraine, published on Wednesday night. 

Experts from the Washington-based think tank wrote: “The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) appears to be conducting a large-scale overhaul of domestic security organs.”

The ISW added, citing a report on Wednesday by Russian state-controlled outlet TASS: “The FSB and the Main Directorate of the Security Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) have been conducting mass checks at the Moscow Central District Internal Affairs Directorate and several Moscow district police offices for the past several weeks due to ‘the leakage of data from Russian security forces at the request of Ukrainian citizens.’”

The suspected police officers “leaked personal data on Russian security forces to external individuals, some of whom are Ukrainian citizens,” according to Russian media, the ISW said.

Russia detains police officers over leaks to Ukraine

The FSB and MVD have already detained police officers as part of the investigation, the US think tank reported.

The ISW said the FSB and MVD raids on the Moscow police departments were reportedly taking place “against the backdrop of a series of arrests and dismissals of prominent members of Rosgvardia (Russian National Guard) leadership.”

According to the ISW,  such arrests and investigations may be designed by the Kremlin as a way “to conduct an overhaul of the domestic security apparatus to oust officials who have fallen out of Kremlin favor and consolidate further control over internal security organs.”

On Tuesday, a Russian lawmaker proposed a bill that „likely aims to rapidly expand the Russian National Guard by removing existing limits on contract conditions for its OMON and SOBR units,” The Kyiv Independent reported.

Ukraine repels ‘over 55’ Russian attacks in last 24 hours: officials

Meanwhile, Ukraine repelled “over 55 enemy attacks” in „various areas of the front” over the past 24 hours, as Russia continued its aggression, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in its latest update on Thursday morning.

Ukrainian air defence shot down 21 Shahed-136 unmanned aerial vehicles, out of 26 used by Russia to strike targets in Ukraine over the last 24 hours, Polish state news agency PAP reported. 

The Russian army is focusing its efforts on “conducting offensive operations in the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Mar’yinka, and Shakhtars’ke axes,” Ukraine’s General Staff said.

At the moment, “the fiercest battles are fought for Bakhmut and Mar’yinka,” in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, according to officials.


Source: PAPISWThe GuardianThe Kyiv IndependentGeneral Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine 

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