The video, which was posted on the CIA’s official YouTube channel and the Telegram app, features a male narrator who talks about the meaning of courage and resilience as scenes of solitary individuals making difficult choices are shown: a man walking in the snow, a woman looking out of a window.
“We often fall for lies. But we do know what our reality is. The reality we live in. And the reality we whisper about,” the voice says.
The video ends with a man and a woman separately reaching for their phones with a link saying “Contact CIA”.
“This is my Russia. This will always be my Russia. I will endure. My family will endure. We will live with dignity because of my actions,” the narrator says.
The text accompanying the video says the agency is interested in hearing from military officers, intelligence experts, diplomats, scientists and people with information about Russia’s economy and its leaders.
“Contact us. Maybe the people around you don’t want to hear the truth. We do,” the text says.
The video comes amid Moscow’s ongoing war with Ukraine, which has strained relations with Washington and its allies. President Vladimir Putin has warned Russians to beware of traitors, and lawmakers have recently increased the punishment for state treason from 20 years to life in prison.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had not paid attention to the video, but added: “I am sure that our special services are monitoring this space in the appropriate way.”
He also said: “We all know very well that the CIA and other Western intelligence services are not reducing their activity on our country’s territory.”
Some Russians expressed doubt about the video on social media, saying it looked like a “provocation” by Russia’s FSB security service.
The text accompanying the video says contact can be made securely via Tor, a system for anonymous online communication. It directs viewers to another video for instructions on how to use Tor.
“The CIA wants to know the truth about #Russia, and we are looking for trustworthy people who know and can tell us this truth,” it says.