The top US intelligence agency has turned to Russia’s favorite social media platform known as Telegram to launch its latest recruiting effort and appeal to anti-war Russians in Ukraine.
On Monday evening, the CIA posted a recruiting video in Russian not only on Telegram, but also on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
“The CIA wants to know the truth about Russia, and we’re looking for reliable people who know and can tell us,” the agency said in a statement with the video posted on YouTube. “Your information may be more valuable than you think.”
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The US intelligence agency took similar steps last year when it appealed to Russian citizens disillusioned with the war in Ukraine and to President Vladimir Putin by launching a social media campaign. But now the CIA has gone one step further and created a Telegram channel titled “Contacting the CIA Safely.”
Last year’s CIA campaign was described by Fox News as ‘fruitful’ and the leading intelligence agency is seeking intelligence on numerous sectors within Russian society.
“Are you a military officer? Do you work in the field of intelligence, diplomacy, science, high technology or do you deal with people who do? Do you have information about the economy or the top leadership of the Russian Federation? Contact us”, the CIA appealed.
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The video, titled “Why I Contacted the CIA: My Decision,” depicts fictitious Russians who made the decision to contact the CIA and details how to safely get in touch with the agency.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Russian media on Tuesday that the Telegram channel – which already has more than 5,200 subscribers – is a “very convenient resource for tracking down those applying”.
But the CIA maintains that an individual can safely contact the agency through its “Tor hidden service” and has provided a link for instructions on how to do so safely.
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The agency also urged patience after a person made contact.
“Please be patient. We thank you for your courage,” the CIA said. “We carefully review the submitted documents in order to provide an adequate response and at the same time ensure your safety.”