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Media: Official who gave Putin wrong intelligence on Ukraine war resigns

by Kateryna Hodunova June 22, 2024 3:33 PM 2 min read
A Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officer in assault gear in an undated photo. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Grigorenko/Getty Images)
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Sergei Beseda has resigned as head of the 5th Service of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), Russian investigative outlet Important Stories reported on June 22, citing its undisclosed sources.

The 5th Service is in charge of the FSB's relations with foreign partners and gathering intelligence in former Soviet countries, including Ukraine.

The service provided Russian dictator Vladimir Putin with information about political developments in Ukraine on the eve of the full-scale invasion, according to Important Stories.

The intelligence provided by the 5th Service turned out to be inaccurate in many ways when the all-out war started, Important Stories said. Based on this intelligence, the Russian authorities were confident that the Russian army would not meet serious resistance in Ukraine.

Beseda was replaced by Alexey Komkov and was appointed as an aide to Alexander Bortnikov, head of the FSB, according to Important Stories.

Important Stories reported that Beseda's formal reason for resigning was that he had turned 70, the age limit for service.

"However, this personnel decision is explained not only by formal reasons: inside the FSB, there is a fierce feud between various power groups for several high-ranking posts being vacated this year, including Bortnikov's job," the article read.

FSB's director will turn 73 this year, and Sergei Korolev, the first deputy head of the FSB, is being considered as a potential replacement, Important Stories reported.

In October 2023, Ukraine's military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov told Ukrainska Pravda that Beseda was "very problematic" for Ukraine.

Beseda had done "a lot of evil to Ukraine," Budanov said.

He was suspended at the beginning of the full-scale invasion but things "had gotten better" for him, Budanov added.

"Now (Beseda) is engaged in his work, unfortunately, not in favor of Ukraine. Active operations on the territory of Ukraine (are being carried out)," the military intelligence chief said.

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