Kremlin informants “have largely gone silent” in reporting to United States’ intelligence agents, The New York Times reported Friday.
The “officials familiar with the intelligence” told the Times they do not believe the sources have been killed or compromised, but have “gone to ground” amidst aggressive counterintelligence.
However, actions by the Kremlin were not the only causes of America’s hindered intelligence collection.
“And officials also raised the possibility that the outing of an F.B.I. informant under scrutiny by the House intelligence committee — an examination encouraged by President Trump — has had a chilling effect on intelligence collection,” Times added.
Moscow’s expulsion of American intelligence officers was also cited as a cause of the diminished intel gathering.
“The Russians kicked out a whole bunch of our people,” ex-CIA agent John Sipher said. “Our station in Moscow is probably really small now and they are under incredible surveillance.”
“The Russians are very focused and upset,” Sipher added. “They have shown they are willing to kill sources.”