Russian spies – short on intelligence



A degree of black comedy (very black) is emerging from the Sergei Skripal bungled novichok poisoning in Salisbury in March. The two GRU operatives (Russian foreign intelligence, the equivalent of CIA, MI6) have been identified by Bellingcat, a citizen journalist website, and appear to have been equally inefficient about hiding their identities. An irate Putin, according to reports, ticked off the GRU head personally.

One of the Salisbury poisoners, Alexander Mishkin, 13 July 1979, is a military doctor, who was given a Hero of Russia Award for his work in Crimea/Ukraine. He’s a Sun Cancer square Pluto trine Uranus, inconjunct Neptune; with an afflicted Mars in Gemini opposition Neptune, square Saturn North Node, trine Pluto and probably square a Pisces Moon – well-suited to tough conditions, cruelty and acting under orders.   Tr Pluto was exactly opposition his Sun in March when he came across to the UK and will be so again this December.

Anatoliy Chepiga, 5 April 1979, reportedly his partner in crime, is a colonel in the GRU, also highly awarded for his service in the Chechen War (which was very brutal) and in Crimea. He is a pro-active, controlling and ambitious Sun Aries opposition Pluto trine Neptune. His Mars in Pisces is trine Jupiter in Cancer trine Uranus and his Mars is opposition his Saturn/Pluto midpoint described by Ebertin as violence, ruthlessness.

Assuming it’s all true, it’s a humiliation for Putin, whose 4th Term chart, 7 May 2018 11.05 am Moscow, always did look crisis-ridden with Uranus Mercury on the midheaven square Mars Pluto – and that is being rattled this November and February 2019 as tr Uranus returns to its natal position; with considerable pressures, which mounted through this year, continuing and escalating in 2019/2020 as tr Pluto starts to square the Mars/Pluto midpoint for high frustration and rage; much worse in 2021/22 when tr Pluto is conjunct the Mars.

His own personal chart is being shaken at the moment with tr Pluto opposition his Uranus for the final time and in November to mid December squaring his Saturn/Neptune midpoint which is seriously depressive or ill. He also has another year of the confusing/devastating tr Pluto square his Neptune and ditto for the undermining tr Neptune square his Sun/Node midpoint; plus in 2019/2020 tr Pluto road-blocking a couple of his Mars midpoints; and worse in 2020/21 when tr Pluto squares his Mars/Pluto midpoint.  He looks hemmed in every which way. Though it won’t stop him meddling in Eastern Europe.


6 thoughts on “Russian spies – short on intelligence

  1. This Mars in Aquarius is nasty, and I can’t wait for this to be over, really! I don’t think things are going to be any better in Russia after Mars will go, but this overpouring is horrible.

    I can’t seem to locate the source, but I remember an article about an internal tension between two intelligence agencies, military intelligence agency GRU and civil intelligence agency FSB. FSB is, of course, Putin’s creation, and he sides with them. Therefore, he does not mind GRU looking bad after being caught trying to an-ex GRU agent, quite the contrary. Especially considering Litvinenko murder was a FSB job, and we still don’t know who did it.

    • From today’s Times. This is behind a paywall so have copied a chunk.
      ‘The GRU is everywhere, not just in Wiltshire but also Ukraine where both the newly exposed Dr Alexander Mishkin and his hit squad team-mate Anatoliy Chepiga were on active duty. In all the hotspots along Russia’s frontiers, in Damascus propping up Bashar al-Assad’s intelligence apparat, in every corner of Russia’s booming arms trade, in the chemical weapons business, in the hoovering up of scientific papers on the military uses of artificial intelligence, in the funding of insurgents, in the management of signals interception, in the manipulation of medical evidence, in the hacking of elections: the GRU has become the greedy Gargantua of geopolitics.
      The gereushniki, as they are known in Russian spook-slang, are beginning to make the old KGB look like rosy-cheeked Salvation Army soldiers. The GRU was the only big spy agency that stayed intact after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the rise of a former KGB officer to the presidency of Russia ensured that the FSB, successor to the KGB, was able to establish itself quickly. At home, the FSB asserted its primacy in the investigation of corruption, expanding Putin’s power to eliminate rivals. In Ukraine, however, it fumbled the defence of Viktor Yanukovich and the former president was forced to flee. Putin blamed the Ukrainian’s downfall on the FSB and the foreign intelligence unit, the SVR.
      That rebalancing worked to the advantage of the GRU. Its officers helped deliver Crimea. In eastern Ukraine, some separatist commanders were GRU. According to this week’s disclosures, both of Sergei Skripal’s poisoners were made Heroes of the Russian Federation by Putin, probably for their part in a special forces operation that lifted Yanukovich to a safe house in Russia.
      Four years on, the FSB is more than happy to see the gereushniki get their comeuppance. A purge is almost certainly on the way. After the Penkovsky affair Khrushchev installed a KGB counter-intelligence man, Pyotr Ivashutin, to sort out the GRU. Putin may try something similar. What we are witnessing is almost certainly the prelude to an overhaul of the intelligence establishment. As one Kremlin watcher put it to me, “Putin will be putting the heat under everybody, slicing up the agencies and serving them up like a cold cut.”
      Yet this is more than an internecine feud between intelligence rivals. The GRU is in many ways at war with itself. The dictates of hybrid warfare, of deniable action, of disinformation and of cyber-penetration have changed the old-school traditions of the agency. GRU hackers are often on contract, picked up perhaps because of criminal talent. Their demeanour is anything but military; their esprit de corps minimal.
      The Salisbury attackers were sent because they were Putin-ordained “heroes”, tasked with eliminating a “traitor”, but were not properly prepared by overstretched commanders and later were hung out to dry. The GRU has, quite plainly, been given too many missions, has been unable to integrate its diverse operatives and is struggling to save face. At military academy, Russian cadets are taught the story of the wartime GRU agent Richard Sorge and the lessons are always spelled out: self-discipline and strategic patience will defeat the enemy. That seems to have gone to the dogs.’

      • Thank you! Coincidently, they just started showing second season of TV series “Boardertown” here (the first one is on Netflix). It’s a bit silly sometimes, but the first two part story gave a backstory to a former female FSB agent, and it had, indeed, to do with GRU/FSB rivalry.

  2. Great analysis, thank you Marjorie.

    I also think this is one of this year’s classic Mars Rx backfires. Mars was also OOB just like Mr Putin’s natal Mars and we see this with him, don’t we? The way his aggression goes beyond the normal rules of engagement (and OOB Moon outside of the nation/home)

    Mars recently came out of the shadow period and squared Venus, which itself has just stationed on Putin’s natal Venus. Venus ruling 4 planets in Putin’s chart including the Sun, so a sensitive point. After the Rx period, Venus will station direct close to his Mercury/Neptune. His attempts to talk his way out of this and improve his image haven’t quite gone to plan either. Marjorie, this coincides with the Pluto transits you mentioned.

  3. I doubt the two would-be assassins will be around much longer. Putin is a very sinister
    man who doesn’t take failure very well.

    The brilliant black comedy “The Death Of Stalin” is a powerful reminder of how Russia
    deals with individuals who don’t co-operate within the party line.

    • Yes, a brilliant movie! Interestingly, many of the characters depicted in that movie lived to old age, Molotov even to 96, Malenkov to 87. I was honestly shocked to learn especially about Molotov, because I hadn’t given much thought about him after Stalin era. Mikoyan potreyed by Paul Whitehouse made it to 83, but most importantly, was a relevant politician from Lenin’s to Breznev’s time. Born November 25th 1895, I think I must look at his chart, as he seems to be the ultimate political survivor.

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