Espionage: Scribal’s case floats to the surface

According to the Czech government, the two Russian agents are suspected of this To poison Sergei Skripal, a former intelligence agent Russian military, then British spy, in 2018 in the UK It is the cause of an explosion in 2014 in the east of the country. In response, Prague expelled 18 Russian diplomats.

On October 16, 2014, a massive eruption rocked the eastern Czech republic of Verbetes. About 58 tons of ammunition exploded in a warehouse rented by a private army company, blowing windows out of surrounding buildings and evacuating schools. Two men who were working on the site are dying. The source of the accident remained unknown until Saturday evening.

More than six years after the accident, the Czech authorities announced that they suspected the Russian military intelligence Tower crane. Prime Minister André Babis said he had “irrefutable evidence” of his involvement, thanks to the information received on Friday, the source of which is unknown. Meanwhile, the Czech government decided to expel 18 Russian embassy employees, identified by the intelligence services as belonging to the GRU and the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR). A new setback for Moscow that It was the subject of new sanctions from the United States last week.

Above all, the police named two suspects, two well-known Russian agents on European soil, who gave a whole new dimension to the Vrbetice explosion and allowed the linking of three dark cases. They are Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boucherov, the fictitious identities used by Russian military intelligence agents who poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, UK, in 2018. The latter survived, but a Briton died the following month by spraying a perfume bottle found in a garden containing poison. The same men are hiding behind the explosion: the passport photos used by the couple in the Czech Republic are identical to their photos in the UK.

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According to the site of the investigation BellingcatPetrov, who has conducted lengthy investigations into Skripal’s assassination attempt, is actually identified as Alexander Myshkin and his friend Anatoly Chipega. Both are part of Unit 29155 from GRU, even if they fend for themselves. During the moon “interview” It was given to the channel near the Kremlin RT.

Link to a Bulgarian case

After the attack on Salisbury, which led to a deterioration in relations between the Europeans and the Russians, the security services in the old continent decided to reopen the suspicious files. According to the BBCBy re-checking the items in their possession the Czechs advanced. They got an email sent to Imex, the company that stores ammunition at Vrbetice, asking two men to check out the site. The message was supposed to come from the Tajik National Guard and include the passports of those presumed to be Tajik and Moldovan citizens, along with their photos, which would thus allow them to get confused.

The two men arrived a few days before the explosion at Prague Airport. Then they booked accommodation from October 13 to 17 in Ostrava, near the ammunition site. On the sixteenth day of the explosion, they left the country for Vienna, before returning to Moscow. Boshirov / Chepiga was already reported in Prague on October 11, 2014, Without this being possible To confirm this with certainty.

Russia should abandon these actions that violate the most basic international standards

Even more interestingly, the Czech case may have something to do with the mysterious poisoning of a Bulgarian arms seller that happened a few months later. Emilian Gebrev had been storing ammunition in Vrbetice facilities awaiting sale, in particular for the Ukrainian army, which had just come into conflict with the pro-Russian separatists. In April 2015, the gunsmith fell seriously ill without a clear explanation. Even nothing will come of the investigation by the Bulgarian authorities What Bellingcat reports That a third Russian Military Intelligence agent, after orchestrating the attack on Skripal, was in Sofia when Gebrev’s torment began. Sergey Fedotov (real name Denis Vyacheslavovich Sergeev) rented a room in the same hotel and evaporated the same day. This scenario was repeated a month later, when Gebrev’s symptoms reappear. After reopening the investigation and suspicion of poisoning, possibly also novichok, the Bulgarian authorities sought help from the UK.

‘Retaliatory measures’

The progress of the Czech investigation has already sparked strong reactions. Moscow threatened Prague with “retaliatory measures.” This hostile step is a continuation of a series of anti-Russian measures taken by the Czech Republic in recent years. The Russian Foreign Ministry wrote in a statement. Washington has supported the Czech Republic, as has the United Kingdom: “We remain resolute and committed to bringing those responsible for the Salisbury attack to justice and welcome actions by the Czech authorities to do the same. The head of British diplomacy, Dominic Raab, declared that Russia should abandon these actions that violate the most important standards. The issue is scheduled to be discussed on Monday at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers.

Moscow retaliates in Prague and expels twenty Czech diplomats

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