In the photo: Mikhail Sokolov
The Federal Security Service tried through its informants to find evidence of a connection between the Russian opposition and the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies. Mikhail Sokolov, a former employee of the Izhevsk headquarters of Alexei Navalny, and Vsevolod Osipov, who is a member of the Libertarian Party of Russia, spoke about this in an interview with CNN.
“If they are to be believed, they really think that the CIA is trying to promote a revolution in Russia and that Navalny is a CIA agent,” Sokolov said. “They are using enormous resources and efforts to prevent a revolution in Russia. They are looking for an external enemy."
The FSB is also "obsessed" with who could replace Alexei Navalny as opposition leader, Sokolov said.
Osipov said that, on the instructions of the FSB, he met with the leader of the LPR, Yaroslav Konway, and the chief coordinator of the Free Russia Foundation in Georgia, Anton Mikhalchuk. “There were also more difficult tasks - to find out if there is cooperation with the West, or to find out what is happening behind the scenes in this or that organization, whether the opposition is working for American or other foreign intelligence services,” he said.
Mikhail Sokolov said in August that he had been an FSB agent for six years to avoid prison for draft evasion and asked for political asylum in the Netherlands. Vsevolod Osipov is a libertarian who was recruited by the Eshniks (counter-extremism officers) after being detained over the 2021 pro-Aleksey Navalny protests and sent to Georgia to monitor emigrants from Russia.