14 February 2017

The US National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, has resigned after information was revealed that he had misled US Vice President Pence about conversations with the Russian Ambassador to the US.  The US press has been all over this story, so I will not elaborate on the US side of the story.  But there is also a Russian side which has not been well reported.  There have been a number of deaths, arrests, and reshuffling within the Russian intelligence community, suggesting a great deal of unease in the Russian elite about the possibility of internal leaks.  Amy Knight has written a fascinating essay in The New York Review of Books which provides the context for these changes.  One paragraph in the essay reads as follows:

“At the time of the FSB [the Russian intelligence agency, once known as the KGB] arrests, memos from the Steele dossier had been circulating in the US intelligence community, and among members of Congress, for months. The Putin leadership was doubtless aware of the memos and furious that the material contained in them, including a possible Kremlin plan to use kompromat against Trump, had been leaked. If the information in the dossier is accurate, it could have been intended for various uses, including to exert pressure on Trump to cancel US sanctions against Russia. It is worth noting that the December arrests of FSB officials were not revealed publicly in Russia for several weeks, indicating that the Kremlin was trying to keep the purge under wraps.”

Not only should President Trump be concerned about the leaks, but President Putin should be feeling quite uncomfortable as well.

Posted February 14, 2017 by vferraro1971

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