Igor Sushko

The FSB agent exposing the secrets of Putin’s war from within

How powerful is Putin really?

Vladimir Putin (Credit: Getty images)

Deep inside Russia’s secret state an agent is working against Vladimir Putin. The FSB officer, dubbed the Wind of Change, writes regular dispatches revealing the truth about the barbarism being carried out in Russia’s name. The revelations within needed to be shared with the West. It fell to me to translate them.

In early March, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, I came across a Facebook post by Russian dissident exile Vladimir Osechkin. Osechkin had received an email in Russian from, he said, a source inside Russia’s intelligence agency, the FSB, laying out the anger and discontent inside the agency at the invasion.

The letter was deeply intimate; the source had already been corroborated – as much as that was possible – by experienced Bellingcat investigator Christo Grozev as authentic from previous content. On 5 March, referring to the first FSB letter from Wind of Change, Grozev stated: ‘I showed the letter to two actual (current or former) FSB contacts, and they had no doubt it was written by a colleague.’

As became evident, the writer of the letters is foremost a Russian patriot and cannot stand the horrors being enacted by Putin and the Kremlin, both against the Russian people and now against the sovereign nation of Ukraine. I decided to translate this first email received by Osechkin into English, to spread the important information it contained. Within days, my translation had attracted the attention of millions, including government officials, parliamentarians, and current and former diplomats. Osechkin and I made direct contact, and we started an active collaboration.

With every letter, Wind of Change reiterates several critical points: firstly, Putin is convinced that, no matter what he does, the West won’t respond militarily. The Wind of Change’s letters reveal that the Russian military has been planning its offensives on this basis.

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