FSB contra GRU or GRU contra FSB?

I decided not to republish such texts for a while. I waited for next events concerning the issue. But I broke my stance as worrisome premonition was knocking pushy within my head. But the seminal point was the tip from Stratfor about the place of Igor Sergun death.

The mysterious death raises questions in Russia
From: etoonda, 2016-01-07 18:03:00, Original: STRATFOR


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After the unexpected death of the chief of military intelligence Igor Sergun on Monday in the Kremlin erupted with a new force of intrigue. Sergun was a relatively unknown figure, avoided publicity throughout his 30-year career, despite the fact that the post of the head of the Main intelligence Directorate of the General staff of the armed forces (GRU) made him one of the most influential figures in the Russian intelligence services.


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Sergun took office in 2011, when the GRU was under pressure from the Federal security service (FSB) and foreign intelligence Service (SVR), which sought to put control of or at least get the opportunity to influence intelligence operations on the outskirts of Russia. Sargon managed to consolidate GRU and to strengthen the position of military intelligence among other security forces.

Different the Russian security services have long fought with each other for power. And although the President of Russia Vladimir Putin served in the FSB (once the KGB), he has not always supported this structure. Putin tried to maintain a balance between the different intelligence services — the complex art world of intrigue and espionage. This balance was upset two years ago, mainly because of the events in Ukraine. The responsibility for the failure of Moscow, failed to foresee the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the establishment of Pro-Western Ukrainian government in early 2014, lay on the FSB. According to some data, this organization was reorganized in mid-2014, and the GRU had more opportunities for intelligence operations in Ukraine is a slap in the face to the FSB. GRU and the FSB fought with each other at the end of 2014 and in 2015 for control of field exploration in Ukraine. Signs of this struggle were offset and changes in the leadership of Pro-Russian separatists in the East of Ukraine and the Ukrainian intelligence reports.

However, the current problem of the FSB not limited to Ukraine. Security service strives to preserve its position in Russia, particularly in Chechnya, and trying to keep afloat one of his most valuable companies “Rosneft”. Problems the FSB can be linked to the mysterious disappearance of Putin in March 2015 and with the murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

Recent developments give little information about the current power struggle. Four months ago in the Russian media appeared rumors that Vladislav Surkov, one of the main supporters of GRU, again lost “Ukrainian portfolio”. Marmots together with Sargunam played a big role in the so-called strategy of the Russian hybrid war in Eastern Ukraine and in the coordination of the leaders of the separatists during the last year. At the end of last week, a source in the Ukrainian intelligence reported that in Eastern Ukraine with separatists FSB is working again. This may indicate strengthening of the positions of the FSB.

With this in mind, the unexpected death of the head of the GRU, one of the major competing organizations of the FSB, raise some questions. First, the circumstances of the death of Sarguna. The Russian government reported that he died of a heart attack in Moscow on 4 January, but a Stratfor source has heard the message that Sargon died on New year’s day in Lebanon. If the information about the death of the head of the GRU in Lebanon is correct, then the question arises, what was he doing in a country where hard work, intelligence services from many countries, and why the Kremlin had concealed the fact of his death in another country.

The second question concerns possible changes in the character of the Russian operations in Ukraine. Presumably, although Sargon was one of the main developers of the doctrine of hybrid war, the FSB may continue in the same vein. It is also unclear whether the FSB and the Russian military to coordinate their actions in the East of Ukraine, if Russian military intelligence will weaken or crack.

It is also not clear whether it will maintain the GRU single structure under the new leadership, especially against the background of other intelligence agencies struggle for influence. Russian media are already discussing rumors about the successor of Sarguna — a curious development, given that he died just a day ago — the Kremlin and different browsers mention the names of non-military people that support personal relations with Putin. If instead of a military candidate Putin will appoint his own man, it will indicate its intention to put the intelligence Agency under strict personal control by creating a new layer of protect the President in case of dissatisfaction with the FSB and other security agencies.

You should monitor in the coming months, the FSB will try to use the shock in the GRU, caused by the death of Sarguna. Fighting between security forces in Russia are very concerned about the Kremlin, fearful of instability on the background of the upcoming elections. One of the main tasks of the FSB is to monitor and neutralize these trends, but the FSB took over other tasks in attempts to gain more power. Putin is probably also concerned with the struggle for power in the upcoming 2018 presidential elections, especially if it will take sides in this conflict. This struggle for power is one of the most dangerous potential threats to Russia in General and Putin in particular in the coming years.

Stratfor – A Mysterious Death Raise Questions in Russia

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