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Media: Russia's FSB recruits former ISIS militants to be agents in Ukraine

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 16, 2023 4:22 PM 1 min read
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Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) has been recruiting former ISIS fighters over the years as their "agents" in countries like Ukraine, independent Russian media outlet Meduza reported on May 16.

According to Meduza, Baurzhan Kultanov, a native of Russia who went to Syria to fight for the Islamic State, became disillusioned when he realized that it was not fighting for Muslims but "creating chaos."

After two attempts, Kultanov left Syria for Turkey. He tried to apply for political asylum but officials discovered his past involvement with ISIS, resulting in him being sent back to Russia.

Kultanov was given four years and four months in prison if he would cooperate with Russian intelligence, Meduza wrote.

Upon being released in 2019, Kultanov was told that he would be sent to Ukraine where they were "interested in having their agents." More specifically, Russian special services wanted him to infiltrate the Chechen and Tatar battalions fighting on the side of Ukraine.

Sources cited by Meduza said there are numerous cases of such "agents" in Ukraine and elsewhere where they are tasked with spying, trying to corrupt people of interest, or even committing contract killings.

Watch also our video on the growth of Russian 'PMCs'
Power Lines Ep. 9 – Russian intelligence services
For years, Russian President Vladimir Putin has used his intelligence, including the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (GRU), to try and understand Europe — what they are thinking, how they would react to a crisis of war. The fai…
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