Russia was preparing to attack Japan in the summer of 2021, months before Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, an email containing a letter from a whistleblower in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) reveals. divided by Newsweek.
The email, dated March 17, was sent by the agent, called Wind of Change, to Vladimir Osechkin, a Russian human rights activist who runs the anti-corruption website Gulagu.net, and is now in exile in France.
The FSB agent writes regular messages to Osechkin, revealing anger and resentment within the service over the war that began when Putin invaded neighboring Ukraine on February 24.
Igor Sushko, executive director of the Washington-based nonprofit Wind of Change Research Group, has been translating the correspondence from Russian to English since it began on March 4. He has released all of the full emails to Newsweek, including the March 17 summary.
A letter authored by the whistleblower and published by Osechkin, has been analyzed by Christo Grozev, an expert at the FSB. He said he had shown the letter to “two current (current or former) FSB contacts” who had no doubt it was written by a colleague.
In August 2021, Russia was seriously preparing for a localized military conflict with Japan, the agent said.
The FSB agent suggested that Russia instead chose to invade Ukraine months later.
“The belief that the countries would enter the phase of acute confrontation, even war, was high. Why Ukraine was chosen for war in the end [skenari nuk u ndryshua shumë] it is for others to answer”, they wrote.
The whistleblower detailed the movements of electronic warfare helicopters targeting Japan, while the Russian propaganda machine was also initiated, with a major push to label the Japanese as “Nazis” and “fascists”.
A peace treaty officially ending World War II has never been signed by Russia and Japan, largely because of disputes over a group of islands claimed by Japan but occupied by Russia.
The Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and Habomai islands of the Kuril island chain were captured by the USSR at the end of World War II. Tokyo claims the islands as its “Northern Territories” and the issue has strained relations between Russia and Japan for decades.