About agents in Moscow, the end of Putin, cards in the sleeve of Russia: an interview with ex-US intelligence officer Debatto


About agents in Moscow, the end of Putin, cards in Russia's sleeve: an interview with US ex-intelligence officer Debatto

Despite the fact that the world's leading intelligence agents gave Ukraine a few days, our country has not lost its statehood and continues to fight back the enemy. And now even the biggest skeptics believe in the victory of Ukraine and the crushing defeat of Russia.

David Debatto, a retired US military counterintelligence special agent, in an interview with 24 channel, he spoke about who is really behind the explosions on the Crimean Bridge and Nord Stream, what undercover games are developing in the Kremlin and why nuclear weapons are not the only trump card up the bloody dictator's sleeve.

How would you rate the level of professionalism of the Ukrainian special services – the SBU, military intelligence – over these 8 months of a full-scale war against Russia? Did your Ukrainian colleagues surprise you, or did you already know about such a high level of their training?

Good question. I am one of many American veterans of the special services who are not at all surprised by the very high level of training of the Ukrainian special services and the army. We knew that they were not only professional, but also very motivated, patriotic, and that they would never give up.

On the one hand, there is professionalism and motivation, and on the other – skills, experience and professionalism too.

Oh sure. Starting in 2014, when the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory began, which is not much mentioned in America today, but since then the US and EU countries have been training Ukrainian intelligence services. And they absorbed all this knowledge like a sponge. They are very capable students. Some of them studied in Europe, others in the USA, many of them received their knowledge from instructors in Ukraine.

The level of training of Ukrainian intelligence officers, counterintelligence officers, is simply incredible. A few levels above what Russia could prepare for a whole range of reasons that we could discuss with you later if you wanted to. That is, again – I'm not surprised by the level of training of Ukrainians, it is mega-powerful.

Let's talk about another incident, perhaps it was a special operation that took place in the Baltic Sea. I mean the attacks on the Nord Stream gas pipelines, there were several explosions on them. And now Russia says that it is the guilty Western countries, the USA, the Anglo-Saxons, as Putin said, in fact, he directly blamed Great Britain and the USA for this. Who is really behind this incident and who benefited from it?

Of course, Russia. I don't represent any party or government here, so I'll say it bluntly – Russia, its special services are to blame, there are no questions at all. Who benefits?

Here, of course, one can argue that Western European countries, Great Britain, could benefit, because in this way they could start negotiations with Russia and get their energy resources and spend this winter warm, it could be, but this is wrong.

For who will definitely benefit – Russia. By blowing up gas pipelines, they wanted Europe to return to them again and start asking for peace, as well as Ukraine, because no one wants to freeze this winter. Add to this the fact that Western Europe is on the verge of big inflation and no less economic problems, Russia knows all this, and for them it would be a very good reason to start negotiations. So, anyone with critical thinking and someone who knows Russia would understand that this is only beneficial for Russia. Of course, I can’t prove this, but when the investigation on the exploded gas pipeline is over, it will become known for sure that it was Russia.

How far can Putin go in his intentions to undermine European unity? Can he blow up, for example, the Ukrainian gas pipeline to completely cut off the Europeans from everything, what other cards does he have up his sleeve?

With the exception of the nuclear bomb, which everyone talks about all the time, he has quite a few options. Yes, it can completely cut off oil and gas supplies to Europe and Ukraine, it would be very difficult, and for the countries of Western Europe this is a very difficult issue. Putin is doing this now and will continue to attack the energy infrastructure of Ukraine, perhaps:

  • strike at your nuclear power plants,
  • try to plunge Ukraine and all of Europe into a cold and dark winter, destroying their economy, and again in order to draw them into the negotiations,
  • will try to completely block the entire Black Sea, but he will not succeed, because his Black Sea Fleet is not very capable now, but he can try.

Here you are dealing with a wounded animal, be it rational from the outset, he could completely block the supply of grain to the Middle East and Africa. That is, before using nuclear weapons, he still has a lot in store in his repertoire.

At what point in this war did the Biden administration and the US government begin to believe that the Ukrainian army could win this war? I think that from the very beginning of the Russian invasion after February 24, their views on the situation were different, that is, when they began to change, what was the turning point?

Things started to change, at least in the US and Western Europe, when you kept Kyiv. Believe it or not, everyone in the West was firmly convinced that Kyiv would fall in a week. I personally did not believe in this, and those who worked with me did not either, but the vast majority of the West, including our leaders, unfortunately believed in this.

So it was the successful defense of Kyiv in February and March 2022 that became exactly that turning point. This really shocked most people.

They began to think – perhaps the Russian army is not so strong, and not the second in the world at all, perhaps the Ukrainians will actually stand, perhaps we need to reconsider our approaches, and in general, your counter-offensives in the Kharkiv region and in the East of Ukraine became the point of no return. . Which means that the West and the US have decided to put everything at stake. And even the biggest skeptics, who could not be convinced, are now saying – yes, Ukraine will win, and Russia will lose, and it's only a matter of time – how soon this will happen, how soon the war will end.

But the defeat of Russia may entail unpredictable consequences, in particular geopolitical ones. And the US government adheres to the status quo – well, because Washington likes to control processes. And after the defeat of Russia in Ukraine, many unpredictable and uncontrollable processes can begin. And then the question arises – is the American government really interested in the victory of Ukraine in this war and what will the Americans do with Russia after this war? With the new Russia?

An excellent question, one of those that the West must ask itself and answer itself. I would divide my answer into 2 parts.

  • When Russia loses and Ukraine wins, there will be a modern Marshall Plan. That is, the West, led by the United States, will rebuild Ukraine. And it will become even better than it was before, it takes time and money, but still.
  • As for Russia, it all depends on who becomes in power after Putin, there will be this post-Putin period when he loses. I will not tell you anything surprising, you yourself know this – he will not survive. None of the Russian leaders survived the Russian military defeat. And he will be no exception.

But who will inherit power after him is a very good question. If there is someone even worse than him – this is a problem, and not only for Russia, but also for the West – what will he do? If someone is the same as Putin, then you already mentioned this – a new parade of sovereignties will begin in Russia, when all these minorities, oppressed for centuries, rise up, they feel weakness in the Kremlin, and there is weakness there. What the West and America do about it will depend on how powerful these uprisings are.

In your opinion, how well informed is the Biden administration about what is really going on inside the Kremlin, in Putin's team? Do they change moods? Are they starting to oppose Putin? Because there are already certain sources of information in the American media that such processes are taking place there, but we believe that American intelligence is very professional and has its reliable sources of information and its agents everywhere – even in Moscow. How informed do you think they are?

What you're talking about is about agents, that's what I've done before. Intelligence works very well, but, I must stress, not as well as it used to work. Why? Because the United States in recent years has decided to give preference to electronic intelligence as opposed to agents, talking about satellites and so on. But we have a lot of agents in Moscow.

And now the following is happening – behind Putin's back, they actually begin to share power, and those who know that Putin is not eternal, begin to think about their own future, that is, the data comes from these people, which never happened 2 or 3 years ago.

That is, we get quite good data from insiders, and what sometimes gets into the press, it’s so – trifles, compared to what we know, but even what appears in the media gets there from reliable sources, about which we know.

Let's talk about another great geopolitical power, it's about China. Is China now on the Russian side, or is it trying to distance itself and see what happens with this war, and only then will they decide how to intervene in this conflict?

China has always been and will always be on its own side. The Chinese are friends with Russia when it is beneficial for them, then they are allies, and when it is not beneficial, goodbye, friendship, the Chinese are always in the middle. They are watching. What happens to Russia is important for China, but what happened to the US and Europe is much more important.

Russia is not a major trading partner for China – and Western Europe is. The same with America. The United States, like Russia, has strategic nuclear weapons, but the Chinese are not interested in strategic nuclear weapons, but in the economy. They think about what will happen to China if Russia succeeds in defeating the US and Western Europe. And for China, nothing good shines here. And if Russia is stupid enough to use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, as it was said earlier, the consequences for Russia will be horrendous.

In this case, Russia will be left without allies at all ? Without any? What about Iran, for example, or someone else, North Korea?

Yes, of course, they will turn to Iran and North Korea, you are now shooting down Iranian drones right and left, and God help you in this. As for the DPRK, this man needs a normal tailor, he does not know how to dress. And in general – if someone turns to the DPRK for help – this means that he is on his knees. That is, it is unrealistic.

The Russians still have a lot of cards up their sleeve, with the exception of nuclear weapons, let's not kid ourselves, they have huge stockpiles of Soviet weapons, not endless, of course, but they are enough to make the life of Ukrainians rather mournful, they can bomb constantly for several weeks but then it's all over. And here they will not do anything, because there simply will not be anywhere to get weapons from.

And as long as Putin is in power, they will not surrender, but they have no other choice but to surrender , because the whole world is essentially against them, with sanctions and the like, and for Putin there is no other way out at all. Even if he uses tactical nuclear weapons, things will get much worse. For Russia, the only way out is to surrender or lose.

On October 10, Russia massively fired rockets at Ukrainian cities, at critical infrastructure facilities – power plants and substations, this led to blackouts and power outages in some parts of Ukraine, we felt it, it was painful, but we do not give up and continue to fight, and this pissed us off even more. You said that they could still bomb us for a few weeks. So how long exactly will they be able to maintain this level of pressure on Ukraine with these missiles?

Western intelligence does not have a precise figure on the number of conventional weapons that Russia has in its arsenals. But according to their data, if they continue like this, then the reserves will last for 2 to 3 months. Although, for example, I don’t believe in this either, and I think that until the end of the year, and we are now in the middle of October, and therefore I think that it’s about 2 months. But now we see how this level of firepower decreases daily , we see that the number of missiles they fire is decreasing…

Yes, it has tripled. There were 84 rockets on Monday.

Yes, but whether it will fall 2-3 times a day, we do not know. But until the end of the year – and I guarantee this for sure – it will be very, very small. In my opinion, they have almost completely exhausted their stocks of missiles, they will now use everything they have left from the Soviet period, all kinds of rags, the Black Sea Fleet here, for example, is incapacitated. There are, of course, submarines, but they also need missiles, but this mobilization of them is just some kind of mockery, these untrained unarmed soldiers who are sent to the front line – they will be killed by tens of thousands, they go there without first-aid kits, some don't even have shoes.

It will be a very difficult winter for the Russian army, for the Ukrainian army too, I don’t scare you, but it will be so, but for the Russians it will all be much worse, and Putin does not reduce rates, he only raises them until he will leave and not disappear – in a physical or political sense, this will all continue. Until the Russians run out of missiles altogether. And the Russian army will revolt en masse, before that, in my opinion, there is not much time left.

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