Russian Military Intelligence: Background and Issues for Congress [Updated November 15, 2021]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Summary: "Following Russia's occupation of Ukraine's Crimea region and invasion of eastern Ukraine in 2014, many observers have linked Russia to additional malicious acts abroad. U.S. and European officials and analysts have accused Russia of, among other things, interfering in U.S. elections in 2016; attempting a coup in Montenegro in 2016; conducting cyberattacks against the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in 2016 and 2018, respectively; attempting to assassinate Russian intelligence defector Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom in 2018; and offering 'bounties' to Taliban-linked fighters to attack U.S. personnel in Afghanistan. Implicated in all these activities is Russia's military intelligence agency, the Main Directorate of the General Staff (GU), also known as the GRU. [...] Congress and the executive branch continue to consider responses and countermeasures to malicious Russian activities. Because the GRU continues to conduct cyberattacks, election interference, assassinations, and disinformation, understanding the agency's structure and the position it occupies in Russian foreign and security policy can help identify what the GRU is capable of and why it conducts particular operations. Understanding the GRU also offers insight into Russia's wider use of cyber, disinformation, and influence operations and can inform broader discussions of potential U.S. responses and countermeasures. This report addresses Russian military intelligence, including organizational structure and activities, and related U.S. policy."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R46616
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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