Ukraine: a perversely “good” war for the GRU

“It would seem on the surface that the GRU, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff–in other words, Russian military intelligence–is coming in for some flak for its operations in Ukraine. Kyiv has just outed and expelled a naval attache from the Russian embassy, Kirill Koliuchkin, as a lt. colonel in the GRU, while the GRU’s chief, Lt. General Igor Sergun, was on the latest EU sanctions list.”

In Moscow's Shadows

GRU logo It would seem on the surface that the GRU, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff–in other words, Russian military intelligence–is coming in for some flak for its operations in Ukraine. Kyiv has just outed and expelled a naval attache from the Russian embassy,  Kirill Koliuchkin, as a lt. colonel in the GRU, while the GRU’s chief, Lt. General Igor Sergun, was on the latest EU sanctions list.

Personally, I’d assume the ‘Aquarium’–the GRU’s headquarters at Khodinka–must be delighted.

After all, this was a service whose very status as a Main Directorate was until recently in question. Lest that sound like a trivial question of nomenclature, had the GRU become simply the RU, the General Staff’s Intelligence Directorate, it would have meant a massive diminution of the service’s prestige, access and, by extension, role and budget. As was, in 2009-11, it went through a savage round of cuts…

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