Putin expert and biographer Boris Reitschuster claims in his new book Putin’s Hidden War that secret ‘battle groups’ are trained in the Russian ‘Systema’ techniques of martial arts and knife fighting as taught to his country’s special forces units. This ‘army’ which is being formed in western countries including Germany is ready to activate at a moment’s notice, Reitschuster states.
He also claims to have seen the reports of a western European intelligence service detailing the covert groups spread across the continent. The prominent journalist who has worked in Russia for 16 years granted an interview to Belsat TV program ‘World and Us’ (‘Prasvet’).
Your book is called Putin’s Hidden War. Against whom is it (the war) being waged and what are its goals?
It is being waged against the West, its purpose is to destabilize the West. And in many ways it’s just inertia. For me, the most amazing thing was that there seems to be nothing new when one starts to investigate into the problem.
These are the old methods of the KGB, the Stasi, and Putin just made them a bit more modern. But there is nothing new, except for the stupidity and blindness in the West. we have forgotten our history, we have forgotten how to see through it – but we had been able to do it over the decades of the Cold War.
Well, what is going on?
A lot of things that come from a group of special forces soldiers who are working here under the guise of being engaged in martial arts, their number reaches 250-300 people. They aim to cooperate with locate organizations that are opposed to the system in Germany, in particular, radical right-wing associations.
There is much circumstantial evidence for their supporting such parties as Alternative for Germany (AfD). They also continue their traditional cooperation with a left-wing party which was formerly called The United Socialist Party of Germany, come into contact with the politicians, etc. All these things are done to destabilize our system.
In my opinion, Putin thinks that the West is waging a hidden war against him, it is not quite a serious assessment of the situation, but it exists. He believes that the West has nothing to do except plotting how to overthrow Putin and that it is the Americans who are to blame for the revolution in Ukraine. <..> But he overestimates the West’s influence on Russia.
In your book ‘battle groups’ were mentioned. What do you mean?
Such groups were established in the times of the GDR as well. Then, in East Berlin Stasi formed groups which, however, were assigned to the Communist Party in West Germany. These groups consisted of about 200 persons who took part in specific trainings, e.g. diversion, use of explosives and firearms. These moles lived in West Germany and waited for orders. The security services never exposed them. Only after the fall of the Berlin Wall these documents were published. When I was writing my book, it did not know that the same situation was in the UK.
At the present day such undercover unions sprout like mushrooms after the summer rain, 99.99% of their members are ordinary people who go in for sports, but some of them do get through special training.
Interviewed by Jeanna Kroemer, Berlin, Belsat TV