The Russian think tank suspected of masterminding Russia’s election hacking efforts is a crackpot outfit, not a trusted institution.
At last, a smoking gun.
A Russian think tank known as the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies (RISI, in Russian), prepared and disseminated two reports to senior policy-making circles in Moscow as the 2016 U.S. presidential election drew to a close, Reuters reported Thursday. Those reports, which are classified, allegedly served as a playbook for Kremlin attempts to influence the U.S. election.
“Putin had that objective in mind all along,” one of the unidentified former intelligence officials was quoted as saying. “He asked [RISI] to draw him a roadmap.”
According to current and former U.S. intelligence officials cited by Reuters, the RISI documents were critical clues that lead the Obama administration to conclude the Kremlin attempted to undermine Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.
If this is how the U.S. intelligence community thinks, it explains a lot. There is another way to read these claims.
Ironically, RISI may have been more influential in Washington and Langley, Virginia than in the Kremlin. Allegations of Russian interference in the election are plausible, but claims of RISI’s role strain credibility. The idea of RISI influencing Russian policy is bunk, several foreign policy experts in Moscow – some with ties to the Foreign Ministry – told The Moscow Times.
“It is a retirement home for old intelligence officers and analysts” a source familiar with the situation at RISI said on a condition of anonymity. When a Federal Security Service (FSB) or Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) hand gets too old, they send them into “retirement” at a think tank.
“Some are sent to RISI,” the source says, “and the ones who end up there are old, have lost their grip on reality, and are sometimes crazy.”
Source By https://themoscowtimes.com