• Xi needed his own little victory to get re-elected: purported FSB whistleblower
  • Information supposedly revealed by head of Russian human rights group Gulagu Net 
  • The report has not been independently verified

Chinese President Xi Jinping had considered launching an invasion of Taiwan in the fall of this year but the "window of opportunity" closed with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a report in the Taiwan News, purportedly quoting a whistleblower from Russia's Federal Security Agency (FSB), said.

Taiwan News said that, according to the unnamed intelligence officer from an analytical unit of the FSB, Xi had been "considering taking over Taiwan in the fall." Because Xi "needs his own little victory to get re-elected for a third term." This is a reference to the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which will be held in the second half of this year. The analyst described it as a "colossal" power struggle among China's elite.

International Business Times could not independently verify the information in the supposedly leaked documents.

Newsweek reported that Taiwan's foreign minister Joseph Wu told lawmakers that he was aware of reports about the leaked document but he wasn't able to verify it.

China considers Taiwan a breakaway province, which it has vowed to reunify with the mainland. The United States has backed Taiwan's independence and matched China's military moves in the South China Sea with its own forces.

Taiwan News said the information was revealed by Vladimir Osechkin, the head of Russian human rights group Gulagu Net, on his Facebook page. Osechkin had earlier released documents supposedly containing Russian intelligence on the Ukraine invasion. Xi's purported timeline to attack Taiwan was included in one such document written by the above-mentioned FSB officer.

The FSB analyst wrote that China may give Russia an ultimatum to "end the war to stabilize oil prices." He said, given Russia's negative image due to the war, the U.S. will "easily sell sanctions against China, at least to Europeans, if (China) risks bypassing sanctions on Russia."

See posts, photos and more on Facebook.

Taiwan News also quoted Christo Grozev — a Bulgarian journalist whose profile on Bellingcat, a Netherlands-based investigative journalism group, says he is their lead Russia investigator — who cautioned on Twitter on March 6 that Ukraine had released fake FSB documents as part of its psyops strategy.

The Taiwanese outlet said Grozev "vouched for Osechkin as a reputable source" and that Grozev showed the document to two of his confirmed FSB contacts who "had no doubt it was written by a colleague." He said his FSB contacts did not agree with all of the analyst's conclusions, "but that's a different story."

Osechkin told Taiwan News that the FSB agent, who calls himself "Wind of Change," first began providing classified information to Gulagu Net from Oct. 21 last year. From giving detailed information about torture methods in Russian prisons, he went on to provide crucial intelligence on a wide range of topics and has continued to do so since the war in Ukraine started.

xi jingping
Chinese President Xi Jingping. Getty Images