Europeans recruited for Putin’s hybrid struggle –


European nations are on excessive alert for Russian spies of their navy, intelligence providers and different state businesses following a rising variety of espionage scandals which have triggered blushes from Bulgaria to Berlin.

On Thursday (19 January), a Swedish courtroom sentenced a former intelligence agent to life in jail and his brother to 10 years behind bars for passing delicate info to Russia’s navy intelligence service, GRU.

Swedish residents Peyman Kia, 42, and Payam Kia, 35, have been detained final 12 months and had denied all of the allegations.

“The brothers have collectively and in session, with out authorisation and to help Russia and the GRU, acquired, forwarded and shared info the disclosure of which to a international energy could possibly be detrimental to Sweden’s safety,” Stockholm district courtroom stated in a press release.

The pair have been convicted of aggravated espionage and the older brother was additionally discovered responsible of the unauthorised dealing with of categorised info.

Listed below are another circumstances of Europeans caught up in Russian spying scandals lately:

German double agent

German police in December 2022 arrest a suspected double agent throughout the BND international intelligence company for allegedly sharing state secrets and techniques with Russia.

The arrest of the person, recognized solely as Carsten L., comes a month after a German man was given a suspended jail sentence for passing info to Russian intelligence providers whereas working as a reserve officer for the German military between 2014 and 2020.

Italian captain

In March 2021, an Italian navy captain and father of 4 is arrested after being caught handing over a reminiscence card containing 181 photos of confidential paperwork to a Russian navy officer.

Walter Biot, who labored within the workplace of the Chief of the Defence Workers and had entry to categorised paperwork, was allegedly paid 5,000 euros.

His spouse tells the Corriere della Sera newspaper he was “determined” for cash to assist his household.

Bulgarian defence officers

In March 2021, Bulgarian authorities break up a suspected Russian spy ring comprising a number of defence ministry officers.

The ring is allegedly led by a former intelligence officer whose Russian-Bulgarian spouse performed the function of middleman with the Russian embassy.

Two Russian diplomats are expelled over the affair.

Austrian colonel

In 2018, a retired Austrian military colonel is arrested on fees of spying for Russia for many years, beginning within the Nineteen Nineties.

Below questioning he reveals the Russians wished details about weapons programs and the migrant disaster in Europe. In 2020, he’s sentenced to a few years in jail.

Polish vitality official

In March 2018, a Polish vitality ministry official is arrested for passing info to Russia about Poland’s stance on the Nord Stream 2 fuel pipeline undertaking.

Poland staunchly opposed the pipeline constructed to move Russian fuel via the Baltic Sea to Western Europe, bypassing transit nations Poland and Ukraine.

The official is sentenced to a few years in jail.

Hungarian MEP

In 2017, a Hungarian member of the European Parliament from the nationalist Jobbik social gathering, Bela Kovacs, is charged with spying on the EU for Russia.

Kovacs, whose father was Russian, was a frequent customer to Moscow, the place is now believed to be residing.

He’s sentenced in absentia to 5 years in jail in September 2022.

Former Moldovan lawmaker

A former MP within the former Soviet republic of Moldova, Iurie Bolboceanu, is arrested in March 2017 on fees of usually promoting info to Russia.

Moldova has been pushing to rid itself of Moscow’s affect.

Bolboceanu is sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for treason.

Latvian railway employee

In late 2016, Latvian railway employee Aleksandrs Krasnopjorovs is arrested for recording movies of NATO troops and cargo being moved by rail after which sending them to contacts in Russia.

An ethnic Russian and former Soviet Crimson Military soldier who served in Afghanistan in the course of the Nineteen Eighties, he’s sentenced to 18 months behind bars.

(Edited by Georgi Gotev)

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