the CIA Times: Putin’s Personal Plans to destabilize Europe

Please consider this as a bit of an entertainment break from the current very dark global zeitgeist.

‘Propaganda 101: The New York Times pumps another ‘evil Russia’ plot’, Finian Cunningham, Oct. 10, 2019,

“The “newspaper of record” New York Times arguably holds the record for peddling anti-Russia scare stories. This week the NY Times delivered yet another classic spook tale dressed as serious news.

Among its splash articles, under the headline ‘Top Secret Russian Unit Seeks to Destabilize Europe, Security Officials Say’, readers were told of an elite Russian spy team which has, allegedly, only recently been discovered.

It’s called “Unit 29155” and purportedly directed by the Kremlin to “destabilize Europe” with “subversion, sabotage and assassination.”

According to the NY Times, this crack squad of Russia’s most ruthless military intelligence agents were involved in an attempted assassination of an arms dealer in Bulgaria in 2015; the destabilization of Moldova; a failed coup against the Montenegrin government; and the alleged poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal in England last year.

The article states: “Western security officials have now concluded that these operations, and potentially many others, are part of a coordinated and ongoing campaign to destabilize Europe, executed by an elite unit inside the Russian intelligence system skilled in subversion, sabotage and assassination.

The NY Times adds: “The purpose of Unit 29155, which has not been previously reported, underscores the degree to which the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, is actively fighting the West with his brand of so-called hybrid warfare — a blend of propaganda, hacking attacks and disinformation — as well as open military confrontation.

This is all because, the readers are told, “The Kremlin sees Russia as being at war with a Western liberal order that it views as an existential threat.

In response, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed it as more of the “pulp fiction category” which Western news media have manufactured with seeming increasing intensity over recent years. Peskov pointed out that Moscow has repeatedly stated its desire to normalize relations with Western states and the European Union in particular, contradicting the theme of the NY Times’ piece.”

Indeed, the Russian Embassy in Britain recently published a compilation of false articles peddled by Western media over the past four years. The NY Times features prominently as one of the main purveyors of scare stories about alleged malign Russian activities, from hacking into presidential elections, to targeting American power grids, to covert collusion with President Donald Trump.

For students of Propaganda 101, this week’s tale makes a case study of how disinformation is disseminated in the guise of “news reporting.” [snip]

“Then, the usual giveaway that the NY Times is engaging in disinformation, it quotes anonymous security officials for apparent verification of its claims about “Unit 29155”. This is tacit admission of who the real authors are: Western spooks.” [large snip]

Cunningham writes that the author if the CIA Times exposé throws around some names that have zip to do with any of it in order for the ‘story’ to have some legs as far as #FakeVerisimilitue. 

“You may wonder, if the Cold War ended nearly 30 years ago when the Soviet Union dissolved, why then do the NY Times and other Western media outlets continue to pump out anti-Russian propaganda? But that assumes the Cold War was primarily about the US opposing the ideology of communism. It wasn’t. It was, and still is, all about imposing control over the masses so they don’t ever challenge the power structure that deprives them of full democratic rights and decent livelihoods. ” [snip]

“The Cold War continues, and anti-Russia hysteria is but a distraction, as was the anti-Soviet hysteria. The aim is to distract the public from the real Cold War which is a war by the elites against democracy ever being actually realized among the masses.”The rest, again, is here.

He forgets to remind readers that another huge reason is:  the epic and growing repurposed 2.0 NATO.

bernhard at Moon of Alabama has a bit of fun with the new CIA Slimes exposé:

“Top Secret” Russian Unit That “Destabilizes Europe” Is A Well Known Small Arms Training Base’, Oct. 10, 2019

“Two days ago the New York Times published a sensational story about alleged Russian fiendishness. It was headlined:

Top Secret Russian Unit Seeks to Destabilize Europe, Security Officials Say.” [snip]

“The author, Michael Schwirtz, promoted the story on Twitter:

Michael Schwirtz @mschwirtz – 15:57 UTC · Oct 8, 2019
The Russian operatives who poisoned Sergei Skripal with a nerve agent in Britain last year were members of a highly secretive spy unit that until recently was unknown to Western intelligence agencies. My latest dive into Russian spycraft.

“Western officials only recently discovered” the “highly secretive spy unit”. One wonders how they did that. The best guess is that they googled it:

Leonid Ragozin @leonidragozin – 1:31 UTC – 9 Oct 2019
One of Russia’s most prominent investigative journalists, Sergey Kanev, says there is nothing super-secret about unit 29155 of GRU which NYT reported on yesterday. When you google, the unit’s address and commander’s name pop up on numerous yellow pages type sites.

“If you searched the Internet better, you’d find his [commander Averyanov’s] home address, dacha near Istra and his car’s number plate. There is even his mobile phone, which you could call”, Kanev asks.

The Russian news outlet looked further into the story (machine translated):

The GRU military unit of military unit 29155, which was named in the publication of The New York Times by the secret elite unit of the GRU, which is destabilizing the situation in Europe, is an ordinary intelligence training course. Vedomosti was informed about this by a former intelligence officer and a person close to the intelligence agencies.

According to a person close to the special services, military unit 29155, also known as the 161st training center and located in the Moscow district of Izmailovo (in the east of the city), is short-term military intelligence training courses that have existed since the Soviet Union, where its military personnel improve their skills in shooting training, radio communications and other special disciplines – unlike the Military Diplomatic Academy, where scouts receive fundamental training. Judging by the information on the website on the history of special services “History of Russian special services and law enforcement agencies”, military unit 29155 functioned as a GRU training center back in the 60s.

A publicly well known unit, which for more than 50 years acted as a small arms training center, is now ‘destabilizing Europe’ with operations that were, like the Skripal affair, obviously made up by ‘western’ spy services, or failed amateur coups attempts like in Montenegro. Its commander’s personal data are available on the net.” [snip]

“How the laughable Skripal story the MI6 spread or the unsuccessful attempts to kill some Bulgarian weapons dealer are supposed to “destabilize Europe” is hard to understand. How a training unit with a well known commander,  which existed for more than 50 years and has pictures of its premises publicized, can be “top secret” is a mystery. But what is understandable is that some author writes 2,000 words of such nonsense. It obviously pays well.”

Whaddaya wanna bet that Maylasian Flight MH17 over Ukraine was shot down from Area 51 GRU military unit 29155?

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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edg's picture

Area 51 GRU military unit 29155

Unit 29155 has the numbers 1 and 5 in it. If you combine and reverse those, you get 51, which is the numeric portion of Area 51. It's obvious that Unit 29155 is the Evil Russian Twin of Area 51 (ERT-A51). You can tell, though, that it's still a work in progress since even 50+ years of practice resulted in a botched and amateurish assassination attempt against Skripal. Given another 50 years, ERT-A51 will like totally destabilize one or two small towns in England. Europe is DOOMED!!!!!

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wendy davis's picture


you got it, and i bleeping hadn't! it's kaballah! but srsly, my word program on which i compose, doesn't do strikeouts, and i'd meant to strikeout area 51 s i was publishing.

bless your heart; i reckon i'll just leave it as is, or no one will get your brilliance!

the independent uk played the psyop straight, with a photo that read:

'More is understood about Unit 29155 following their involvement in the poisioning of Sergei Skripal', lol.

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The NY Times features prominently as one of the main purveyors of scare stories about alleged malign Russian activities, from hacking into presidential elections, to targeting American power grids, to covert collusion with President Donald Trump.

I can no longer sit back and tolerate communist infiltration . . . and interference with our power grids and precious bodily fluids.

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wendy davis's picture

yep, it's them commies at work, not the cRapitalists!

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Preemptive wildfire prevention or dress rehearsal? Corporate Psyops? Or, what?
@wendy davis
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wendy davis's picture


compiled, thanks; but the one true one is that the russians were likely correct in claiming that it was amerika that had cut the power grids in venezuela. the CIA has long wanted juan guaido to be King of VZ, and have played dark and dirty with maduro's 'criminal regime'.

we're watch a few MI-5 ('spooks' in england) and oh, my, the way they portray the kremlin! but then hollywood often acts to promote what the coucil on foreign relations knows as the truth of the world's bad actors. a dude named __ dyer has a site that's totally dedicated to his endeavors in that direction.

the link i'd grabbed yesterday to b's exposé i'd used in the OP misfired this a.m., and took me instead to a bing list featuring this from four fearless investigative journalists at...the Intercept.

‘Top-Secret NSA Report Details Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election’ Matthew Cole, Richard Esposito, Sam Biddle, Ryan Grim, ,June 5 2017, the Intercept

“The top-secret National Security Agency document, which was provided anonymously to The Intercept and independently authenticated, analyzes intelligence very recently acquired by the agency about a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure. The report, dated May 5, 2017, is the most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light.

While the document provides a rare window into the NSA’s understanding of the mechanics of Russian hacking, it does not show the underlying “raw” intelligence on which the analysis is based. A U.S. intelligence officer who declined to be identified cautioned against drawing too big a conclusion from the document because a single analysis is not necessarily definitive.

nice caveat in the above paragraph, and i didn't read it all, but that may have been the page reality winner had sent them. and of course, they burned their source, and she's in prison for five years or something.

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@wendy davis to regarding the widespread Russophobia check this out by the Russkies themselves.




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wendy davis's picture


and even with burned out eyes, i'm guesin' that it might be the pdf finian cunningham had linked to in the OP?

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After three years of this bullshit, I can only shake my head and consider Russian xenophobia as satire and black humor. What is surprising is how many intelligent accomplished people have fallen in states of what can only be described as clinical paranoia. In fact in a way mass hysteria. It is frightening in a way that some of the best and brightest have gone off the deep end.

And there is no logic nor common sense that can disabuse these people to even have some bit of skepticism of what they are claiming.

Here are two twitter accounts I follow via internet link which gives me a sense of the crazy in all of this. MacDonald is a Irishman living in Russia.

Bad USSR Takes

Bryan MacDonald

MacDonald will debunk a lot Russian xenophobia writings before they are shredded in the West.

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@MrWebster @MrWebster

Madam Secretary, Season 2, Episode 9 (November 30, 2015): "Russian Roulette"

A quick update from last week that’s important to remember: It was “confirmed” that Russia was behind the hacking of Air Force One (assumed to also be behind the hacking of Ukrainian President Bozek’s plane in a prior episode) and Dalton decided to hit them with a city-wide blackout in Moscow, to basically say, “Hey, don’t f— with America.”

Boy, did that turn out to be the wrong decision.

After the power turned back on in Moscow, Dalton had a little Skype session with Maria Ostrov and pretended America had nothing to do with the blackout. He said, just like Russia had nothing to do with the hacking, the U.S. had nothing to do with the blackout. He may as well have winked after he said it. Maria Ostrov was not going to look weak and promised that Russia will hit back.

[. . .]
So… Maria Ostrov retaliates, because why wouldn’t she? She turns off three pipelines that provide 40 percent of Western Europe’s gas supply, which causes Europe to reconsider their alliance with the U.S. Dalton’s response? “We need to retaliate and we need to hit them hard.” They are presented with options for retaliation, but Bess suggests going to the U.N. and laying all the cards out on the table and asking for their allies’ support. She wants to tell them about the Air Force One hacking, about George Lasco, and about the polonium and how Russia was behind it all.

POTUS agrees to let Bess give the speech and she has 24 hours to prepare. Basically, she has to convince the entire world that they are justified and willing to go to war to contain Russian aggression. If the speech doesn’t work, there is no hope of negotiations after revealing all of their intel.

[ . . .]

NEXT: Whodunit?

Bess and Henry are now working together against the clock to find out who was really behind the attack. She heads to Cybercom, where she asks for the evidence they collected to prove that Russia hired George Lasco. They had an email from Lasco’s computer from a Russian bank associated with the GRU informing him of a wire transfer to a Cayman Islands account, but there was never any record of the wire transfer.

Elizabeth then says: “On the eve of my telling the entire world that Russia is behind the greatest cyber attack in human history, prompting actions which could lead us all into the greatest world conflict in human history, there’s a chance that all the evidence we have here is fake?”

West Wing, Season 7, Episode 19, "Transition" (April 23, 2006): THE PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENT-ELECT SEE FOREIGN POLICY DIFFERENTLY - A scandal is created when the President-elect Santos (Jimmy Smits) places a call to the President of China defusing a military confrontation engineered by outgoing President Bartlet (Martin Sheen). This episode ends with a group of NSC and national security officials discussing the contents of the President Elect Santos' Oval Office "secure" telephone call with the Chinese Premier. The outgoing National Security Advisor answers the outgoing President Bartlet's question, "Anything inappropriate?"

Bartlett and Santos are both in the same political party, and there's the suggestion they are playing good cop and bad cop to leverage the Chinese.

"Nothing inappropriate." Smiles all around. Fade out to last episode.

Guess that nobody in the incoming Trump Administration had watched the last season of West Wing. Episode 19 nicely illustrated how outgoing Presidents and their teams play political games with NSA monitoring of international communications, even those of the incoming President Elect.

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@leveymg Hollywood was after Russia before 2016. Maybe this is where Hillary got the Russian conspiracy.

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wendy davis's picture


you also may remember that while in office, saint obomba stole a hella lotta memes from the West Wing. 'big block of cheese day' was perhaps the most innocuous one, but there sure were others.

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snoopydawg's picture


She just won the presidency, but it appears that Iran interfered with the election and....

I like this show, but with Russia and now Iran being the bad guys...

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

wendy davis's picture


with you on this formula you've offered...:

It is frightening in a way that some of the best and brightest have gone off the deep end.

...but i can't. now it may be (subconscious or not) willful paranoia so many exhibit, but refusing to believe competing deconstructions isn't best or bright, imo. we've at least had bryan mcdonald, and yes, he writes at, and prof. stepehn cohen (putin's apologist) at that Nation and RT, and many other actual investigative journalists who do bring the truth (at their peril) about what nonsense the amerikan Imperialsts (and their puppets in the EU) catechize us to believe. and face it, many folks really love to be terrified, both by the daily news, as well as in films.

i will say that when i wrote for years bustin amerikan FP issues at firedoglake's readers diaries, all sorts of folks would tag me with passive aggressive bullshit like: 'wd, you're smarter than that!' lol: guess not!

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wendy davis's picture

as at chez davis we wake at about 3:30. wundeground was right, and it was 17 degrees this a.m. believing in this *particular* forecast, mr. wd harvested all the remaining flowers, tomatoes, and japanese cucumbers, so i've been taking care of some them all today, more tomorrow.

as snoopy said, iran (more on iran another day) and russia but add in the chinese tariffs and the Big Deal: huawei 5G, which the NSA can't bust) aren't just the 'great competitors', but 'the enemies'.

but for the papers of record in the UK and amerika who bring 'the stories and indictments' against all three: what they sincerely fear, thus claim to believe is a multi-polar world. to them i dedicate this song: get ready for a multi-polar world, based on shared influence and respect or get ready for the consequences.

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dervish's picture

and now my cat is pregnant.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

wendy davis's picture


lol. thank you. ; )

on edit: dang; it just occurred to me: the kittens'll prolly be Red!

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