CIA Launches Russian Spy Recruitment Video

CIA Launches Russian Spy Recruitment Video
  • The CIA relies on spies to help with gathering information.
  • The agency recruits using multiple avenues.
  • It is now recruiting in Russia.
  • The agency has released recruiting videos on streaming platforms.

( – The CIA is one of the top intelligence agencies in the world. In addition to its officers, the agency also uses spies for intelligence-gathering purposes. In recent years, it has turned to more mainstream measures of recruiting these assets, including using social media and running ads on streaming platforms. The agency recently released a new recruiting video aimed at Russians.

Recruiting Russians

On Tuesday, May 16, the CIA released a new video on its YouTube channel. The message is entirely in Russian and gives instructions on how to report information to the agency. It’s particularly aimed at those who work in a variety of fields, such as cybersecurity, diplomacy, military, banking, and tech and may have access to important information that could help the US, which “may be more valuable than [they] think.”

According to a press release, the CIA created its own Telegram channel where it released the video for those “who have no access to other social media or independent media.” Director of Public Affairs Tammy Kupperman Thorp said the platform is “an additional tool to communicate.”

The CIA saw a measure of success when it ran its first ad of this type last year following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While it often recruits through various channels, such as science fairs, radio advertisements, and Ivy League schools, the agency has also focused on adjusting its policies to fit modern times. In 2020, it released its first TV ad for streaming platforms. It also has a strong presence on social media, including Instagram. Potential informants are directed on various ways to securely submit information.

Russian Ire

Naturally, when Russian officials got wind of the recruiting efforts, they had a lot to say. Maria Zakharova, the Kremlin’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, called the actions “malicious” and said the US is participating in the “distribution of inflammatory materials” that will not slide by “without a proper effective response,” according to ABC News. She further accused the US of “attempt[ing] to destabilize the situation” in Russia.

Noticeably absent from the recruiting videos is any mention of the war in Ukraine. This was intentional, according to Darrell Blocker, former deputy director of the CIA’s counterterrorism unit. Doing so “could be seen as a provocation.” Instead, the agency is just looking to build up its network for gathering intelligence over time.

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