Since the beginning of the military operation in Ukraine, about 400 employees of Russian intelligence services have been expelled from European countries, who acted under diplomatic cover, says the head of MI6
About 400 Russian diplomats have been expelled from Europe since the beginning of the Russian military operation, who, according to the head of the British Foreign Intelligence Service (MI6), Richard Moore, worked in intelligence, reports The Guardian.
“All over Europe they sent about half of the— at last count, more than 400 Russian intelligence officers operating under diplomatic cover,— he said. According to Moore, this cut Russia's ability to “spy” in half; in the region.
Speaking at a security conference in Aspen, Colorado, Moore said that since late February, Western intelligence agencies have taken “reasonably coordinated” efforts to expose Russian intelligence agents.
According to Moore, several Russian spies have also been exposed and arrested in recent months, acting undercover and posing as civilians, CNN reports.
In connection with the Russian military operation, European countries expelled hundreds of Russian diplomats. Among them— Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Slovakia, France, Italy, Germany, the Baltic countries, Greece, Norway, Luxembourg and others. In June, Bulgaria decided to declare 70 employees of the Russian embassy persona non grata. According to Prime Minister Kirill Petkov, most of the diplomats worked for the special services, and their diplomatic work was a front.
The Russian embassy considered Bulgaria's actions “an unprecedented, slanderous, completely unfounded and provocative act.” and stated that Moscow is considering breaking off diplomatic relations with Sofia. The Russian Foreign Ministry considered the work of the diplomatic mission impossible and threatened with retaliatory actions. The Russian authorities have previously denied allegations of espionage against diplomats and called them baseless.
At the end of June, Switzerland's Federal Intelligence Service (NDB) warned of a “growing threat from Russian spies,” especially in cyberspace, amid the fighting in Ukraine. “We know that several dozen intelligence officers work in the diplomatic and consular missions of Russia in Geneva,” — said the head of the department, Christian Doussi.
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