Russia’s FSB has been accused of covering up, rather than solving, crimes

Three days before Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, Moscow’s domestic intelligence service accused Ukraine of shelling a house used by Russian border guards and released a short video showing a building. destroyed dangling the Russian flag.

Request of Federal Security Service, or FSB, about an attack in Ukraine, quickly dismissed as a hoax. There are no craters in or around the building in the video, which looks more like an abandoned hut than a border guard shelter. The nearest Ukrainian army outpost is 25 km away.

The episode recalls a series of events in 1939, when the Soviet Union shelled a village on the border with Finland. The Soviet Union blamed Finland for the attack as a pretext to invade. That incident helps explain why, on Monday, skepticism welcomed the FSB’s claim that it had identified a Ukrainian woman as the perpetrator in a deadly car bomb attack near Moscow late last year. last week.

FSB seems to have solved it the murder of Daria Dugina, the daughter of a notorious extremist thinker, with extraordinary speed. But the agency is not more of a serious law enforcement agency than a political tool. And like its Soviet-era predecessor, the KGB, the FSB has been dogged for years by suspicions that they blame others for the crimes they committed or don’t really care about solving the problem. decided because they were related to well-connected Russians that they dared not touch.

The President of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, presided over one of the most murderous and infamous examples of this while serving as prime minister in 1999, when he blamed Chechen fighters for a series of bombings apartment buildings in Moscow killed more than 300 people.

Those allegations were seriously undermined when residents of an apartment complex in Ryazan, a town southeast of Moscow, found sacks that looked like explosives in their building. Turns out the sacks were placed there by the FSB, sorry and claimed that they had been placed there as part of a counterterrorism exercise and contained only sugar.

More than two decades later, the incident is still shrouded in mystery, though one thing is clear: The apartment bombings paved the way for a new Russian military offensive on Chechnya and the ascension to the throne. Putin’s – until it was a little-known bombing. KGB agent – to the Russian president just a few months later.

Chechens are also blamed by the FSB for the 2015 murder of Boris Y. Nemtsov, a prominent opposition politician. Many believe that his killing, on a bridge next to the Kremlin, was by the Kremlin or the Kremlin’s loyal security agencies ordered.

Another well-known critic of the Kremlin, Anna S. Politkovskaya, was assassinated in 2006. Several men have been found guilty in connection with her murder, but they do not include the man widely suspected. suspected staged: an FSB colonel.

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