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Russia intended to attack Japan instead of Ukraine

Russia had planned to attack Japan in the summer of 2021, months before President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This was revealed by an email with a letter from an employee of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Newsweek reported.

The email, dated March 17, was sent by the agent with the pseudonym “Wind of Change” to Vladimir Osechkin, a Russian human rights activist who runs the anti-corruption website Gulagu.net and is currently in exile in France.

The FSB agent wrote to Osechkin regularly, expressing his anger and dissatisfaction with the war that began with Putin’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine on February 24.

Igor Sushko is the executive director of the Washington-based organization “Wind of Change Research Group”. Sushko translated the correspondence from Russian into English. He has shared all the emails with Newsweek.

The letter, written by the agent and published by Osechkin, was analyzed by Hristo Grozev, an FSB expert. He showed the letter “to two actual (current or former) employees of the FSB” who “have no doubt that it was written by their colleague”.

Military conflict

In August 2021, Russia is “seriously preparing for a local military conflict with Japan,” the informant said in an email to Osechkin in March.

The FSB agent suggests that Russia chose to invade Ukraine instead. This happened months later.

The Kuril Islands

Russia and Japan never signed a peace treaty to end World War II. The reason is disputes over a group of islands claimed by Japan but occupied by Russia.

According to the FSB agent, the Kuril Islands are the “main stumbling block” between Moscow and Tokyo.

For Moscow, the islands are a “bargaining coin”, continues the informant.

He notes that former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has placed a strong emphasis on attempts to “negotiate” with Russia over the Kuril Islands issue.

Declassified

In August 2021, the FSB declassified information about how Soviet citizens were tortured by Japanese special services during World War II.

The FSB informant said the service was tasked with launching an “information campaign against Japan in Russian society”.

The declassified materials include data from the interrogation of Otozo Yamada, a general in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.

“On August 16, the Russian media literally exploded at the same time, discussing the declassified documents in a completely different tone: The Japanese allegedly conducted terrible biological experiments on Soviet prisoners and treated Soviet prisoners extremely badly. Details were written everywhere about the plague lice that were used to torture the prisoners”.

A report published on August 20, 2021, citing declassified FSB documents, stated that experiments were conducted on prisoners in a concentration camp in the Harbin area and that during World War II, “the Japanese tested on them bacteriological weapons and “new chemical poisons”.

In August 2021, the FSB also released previously classified material that the service said showed Japan planned to use a bacteriological bomb in 1944.

“The FSB had even declassified the material in time and at the exact moment when this pressure started. It was classified all along and then Russia declassified it just as this whole building up of tension against Japan was happening and preparing the Russian population to believe, that the Japanese are fascists,” Sushko told Newsweek.

In his email, the whistleblower included multiple links from pro-Kremlin media outlets on the matter, including one titled “How the USSR saved the world from the biological warfare that Japan was preparing” and another titled “Evidence of Japan’s preparations for war with the USSR declassified.”

A report published on August 20, 2021, citing declassified FSB documents, stated that experiments were conducted on prisoners in a concentration camp in the Harbin area and that during World War II, “the Japanese tested on them bacteriological weapons and “new chemical poisons”.

In August 2021, the FSB also released previously classified material that the service said showed Japan planned to use a bacteriological bomb in 1944.

“They seem to have replaced Japan with Ukraine,” he added. “Both are right, they’re just crazy. Just look at the things Russia was thinking before attacking Japan, it’s crazy, just like Russia attacking Ukraine is crazy. It’s crazy.”

The informant stated that in the summer of 2021 there was “active pressure” against Japan in the Russian information space, Newsweek wrote.

In general, war was inevitable for Russia due to the maniacal desire for war on the part of the leadership. And now the majority of combat-capable units from this direction have been transferred to Ukraine,” the informant adds.

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