Following Russia’s failure to invade Ukraine, reports have now surfaced that Russia’s Federal Security Agency (FSB) had been under scrutiny with news of its leaders being interrogated and detained. The news comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its third week, with the Russians not being able to take Kyiv as it had been hampered with logistical and morale challenges.

Sources had reported that Sergey Beseda, the head of the FSB’s foreign intelligence branch Fifth Service and his deputy, Anatoly Bolyukh, had been placed under house arrest for providing inaccurate intelligence reports on Ukraine prior to its invasion.

Anatoly Bolyukh, deputy head of the 5th FSB service (Olxpraca). Source:
Anatoly Bolyukh, deputy head of the 5th FSB service (Olxpraca)

Andrei Soldatov, Russian dissident and co-founder of Agentura, an investigative monitoring website that observes the FSB and other Russian agencies, has said that his inside sources within the FSB have confirmed the detainment of the two high-ranking officers. Exiled Russian human rights activist Vladimir Osechkin also confirmed the reports. According to him, FSB officials searched an additional 20 addresses of Beseda’s colleagues around Moscow who were under suspicion of contacting journalists.

“The formal basis for conducting these searches is the accusation of the embezzlement of funds earmarked for subversive activities in Ukraine,” Osechkin said. “The real reason is unreliable, incomplete and partially false information about the political situation in Ukraine.”