Even before the start of a full-scale invasion, Russia created an extensive network of secret agents in Ukraine, who had the task of helping the advance of Russian forces.
According to an Ukrinform correspondent, this is stated in the Reuters investigation.
“Long before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin was building a network of secret agents to facilitate its advance. The Reuters investigation shows that the infiltration was much deeper than previously thought.
It is noted that in the first two hours from the beginning of the invasion, a unit of almost 200 members of the National Guard of Ukraine, which was supposed to protect the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in full force laid down their arms without a fight. “The Reuters investigation proves that Russia’s success in Chernobyl was not accidental, but part of the Kremlin’s long operation to saturate the Ukrainian state with undercover agents,” the agency said.
According to five Reuters interlocutors informed about the Kremlin’s preparations for war, Putin’s circle was convinced that with the help of these agents, Russia would need only a few days and a small military contingent to force the Zelensky administration to resign, flee or capitulate.
In particular, the Reuters investigation mentions the head of the security service of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Valentin Viter, who could assist the Russians, and is now under arrest. One source with direct knowledge of the Kremlin’s invasion plans told Reuters that Russian agents were sent to Chernobyl last year to bribe officials and set the stage for a bloodless takeover. This claim has not been independently verified. However, the SBI said it was investigating former high-ranking intelligence official Andrei Naumov, who is suspected of treason, for passing Chernobyl security secrets to a foreign state.
The investigation also notes the role of the fugitive Oleg Tsarev, who was supposed to head a puppet government in Kyiv, as well as the notorious Viktor Medvedchuk, who had a secure line of communication with the Kremlin.
However, Russia’s plans for a lightning-fast invasion failed, among other things, due to the inability of its agents to complete their tasks. “People in the Kremlin were counting on their henchmen in Ukraine, who overestimated their influence for several years before the invasion,” says Reuters.
The only thing that the Russian intelligence network managed to do was to sow mistrust within Ukraine and demonstrate the shortcomings of the SBU.