Whistleblower: Russia Planned to Attack Japan, Chose Ukraine Instead

By Matis Glenn

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting of the Government Coordination Council on the needs of Russia’s Armed Forces, Nov. 24, 2022. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

According to an anonymous whistleblower, Russia was preparing last year to invade Japan, Newsweek reported. In emails sent to exiled Russian human rights activist Vladmir Osechkin from an agent in the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), the informant says that in the summer of 2021, Russian President Vladmir Putin was planning to attack Japan.

Osechkin says that Putin was also planning on deploying the same propaganda that he is currently using against Ukraine, claiming that the country is run by Nazis and fascists.

Christo Grozev, a prominent Bulgarian journalist specializing in Russian issues, told Newsweek that he had shown a letter published by Osechkin “to two actual (current or former) FSB contacts” who had “no doubt it was written by a colleague.”

The correspondence between Osechkin and the informant, dubbed “Wind of Change,” began in early March, days after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Russia was “quite seriously preparing for a localized military conflict with Japan,” to be initiated in August of 2021, the agent said in an email to Osechkin in March of 2022.

Why Russia is said to have chosen Ukraine over Japan “is for others to answer,” the informant wrote.

Russia has invaded and seized land in Ukraine in the past, including the Crimea region in 2014.

Russia and Japan have had an uneasy relationship, primarily due to disputes over the Kuril Islands. The three islands were taken by the former Soviet Union after World War 2, and Japan has long stated that they are its “Northern Territory.”

As part of the Island nation’s unconditional surrender to the Allied forces after World War Two, Japan accepted a non-aggression clause in its constitution, forbidding it from waging war, with the exception of self-defense. The United States guarantees the security of Japan, so an attack on Japan would necessitate direct American military intervention.

The islands are of strategical value, as they are between the Japanese island of Hokkaido and the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia.

In what may have been part of a preparation for a propaganda machine, the FSB declassified information in August 2021, depicting in graphic detail the torture of Russian citizens Japanese special services during World War II.

“[It happened] abruptly, suddenly and almost unexpectedly,” the whistleblower wrote.

The whistleblower cited many pro-Russian news outlets which during the summer of 2021 described Japan’s plans during World War 2 to employ biological warfare.  

“The FSB had even declassified in a timely manner at the right time when this push was beginning…it was classified this entire time and then [Russia] declassified it right when all of this buildup was happening against Japan, and preparing the Russian population to start believing that Japanese are fascists,” Igor Sushko, who has been translating the correspondence between Osechkin and the whistleblower told Newsweek.

“They sort of swapped out Japan for Ukraine,” he added. “And both of them right, they’re just insane. Just take the things that Russia was considering [before] attacking Japan, it’s insane, as is the fact that Russia attacked Ukraine is insane. It’s insanity.”

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