Russian opposition leader, Alexey Navalny, spoofs call to his FSB assassin and he confesses

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Should we take bets on how soon Kudryavtsev will accidentally fall out of a window?

For getting punked like this, Putin is going to make sure extra knives are laid out on the ground.


I’m amazed that an FSB agent trusted the spoofed CLI. It seems exceedingly poor opsec to trust something well known to be easy to fake with access to the right equipment; to have no additional verification of who you are talking to; and finally to discuss something like that over a normal, unencrypted POTS telephone call.

Do the Russians not have their own equivalent of the American STU/STE telephones?


I hope all you guys are taking notes


he did resist speaking openly, and at one point recommended they move to some kind of secure facility. Fear of not getting his point through caused the breach, I think. Noted the others contacted did refuse to speak, it’s surprising they didn’t contact the team members and report the effort


The thug sounds very focused on the CYA factor, especially with Navalny doing a convincing impression of one of Putin’s minions and claiming that various other important names are impatiently awaiting the report as to why the operation failed.


In passing, sure. I still think it was a poor piece of opsec, since he kept talking - if he had some secure communications mechanism available, why didn’t he insist on moving to it? He didn’t even try to verify who he was talking to at all though, just took it at face value.

Yep, I think that this is a very well done piece of social engineering.


oh yes, no question, I even wondered for a moment if this was some kind of misdirection (“we were trying to find the real poisoners”). Clearly not, I should say.


Misha thinks there’s an issue with the FSB’s tradecraft here.


Makes sense. He is very well aware of the consequences of pissing off Putin. So covering your ass could be a matter of life and death.


Navalny made the point this is why you call early in the morning, when they’re not fully awake and had their coffee. It might have even been a bonus that he was in quarantine, which may have thrown his normal schedule out of whack.


Based on reports from company managers who have visited Russia on business, Navalny could have waited until 2PM Moscow time and been afforded an even more talkative, drunk, FSB assassin.


This is one of the most epic things ever done.

This is like Sacha Baron Cohen taken to the 100th level. The FSB got called by Borat and spilled the beans.


Navalny dropped some names that no one should have been able to know unless they were in the organization.

Or unless they had figured out who was in the org, but what are the odds of that?

AND, proving that “there are levels to this” the guy he called previously instantly said “I know exactly who you are” and hung up. Now that’s a spy.


Loved the questions about rating on a scale of 1 to 10. Just like a stereotypical Russian bureaucrat. And with full knowledge that anything less than 10 makes you into a rat that nobody who values their own life wants to work with. Then using the perfect ratings for everyone else to imply that he himself was the weak link, putting him on the hot seat.


So… if you substract the admitted stereotype, do you still believe that a state agency involved in a political assassination attempt would be more careless in covering their tracks than an average street thug? It’s certainly possible, but I won’t take it as a plain fact. A minimum standard of good journalism would be to tack an “allegedly” onto the allegations in this article. Sadly, it’s a long standing practice for the West in dealing with Russia to take allegations, suspicions and rumors as facts. Boingboing has been riding on that train again and again over the last years, I have to say that I’m not even disappointed any more, just worried. It’s Cold War 2.0 all over again, and I’m sad to see how the trust in our neighbors has eroded so dramatically, and we take every accusation against them as plain fact, when under other circumstances, or with another subject, we would demand proof. I got a final taste of the Cold War when I was a kid. I don’t want to see that shit again.

I’ve seen the video - instant classic.


Tell me some things they’ve done to earn any scrap of trust. Then look at all the things they’ve done to erode trust. Are you paid well for your defence of these thugs?


What do you think Russia has been up to for several years now - it’s basically been a continuation of the cold war, ever since Putin came to power. We have been seeing “that shit” for a long time now, so you are somewhat deluded if you think you had a final taste of it.


You can take past behavior into account when assessing current circumstances.


Why should we give the benefit of the doubt to a regime run by an ex-KGB operative that’s assassinated and poisoned numerous opponents over the years – especially since one of the assassins in this case was tricked by the victim into admitting it?

Nice try at winning Walter Duranty Memorial Bingo, but if you want to be a champ you need to misuse the term “McCarthyism” in addition to betraying an ignorance of Putin’s geopolitical goals vs. those of the Soviet Union during (and preceding) the Cold War 1.0.

Once again, BoingBoing is not a newspaper. It’s a group blog run by people with their own opinions. You don’t have to agree with those opinions and can contest them (as commenters do), but relying on BB as a primary news source is as silly as relying on social media for it.