Norway: Russian spy posing as Brazilian researcher arrested

Published on :

He pretended to be a Brazilian researcher, specialist in Arctic issues. Based in Tromsø in the far north of Norway, a Russian spy was arrested last Monday by the authorities. His identity is now confirmed. This ” illegal agentHe is remanded in custody for four weeks, pending deportation.

With our correspondent in Stockholm, Carlotta Morteo

The photos attest to this: José Assis Giammaria is in fact Mikhail Mikhushin, born in 1978, member of the GRU, the General Directorate of Intelligence of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.

From what we know, the spy took part in a seminar organized in Vilnius, a few days after the start of the gas leaks in the Baltic Sea which aimed to highlight vulnerabilities that adversaries of the European Union could exploit in hybrid warfare.

Arrived in Tromsø a year ago, Mikhail Mikhushin would have built up a network of informants able to provide him with details of interest to Russia on Norwegian policy in the Far North. The investigative site BellingCat in any case managed to dismantle his cover.

“Mikail the Invader”

Brazilian, because it is a country where the civil status is not centralized, it is relatively simple to appropriate an identity. The spy then spent several years in Canada, a quiet country where to polish his legend. But he left traces online that betrayed him. For a spy, it’s funny. The researcher had notably used for pseudo: Mikail the Invader, Mikhail the Invader.

The Moscow Embassy in Oslo denies and denounces the ” psychosis ” and ” spy which, according to her, has taken hold of Norway, the country having also arrested a dozen Russian citizens in recent weeks, accused of having flown drones over its territory.

Read also : Norway: in the Far North, the Russians do not scare anyone

Bellingcat, the hated investigation site of the Kremlin

Bellingcat has built a reputation for unearthing scoops in recent months by investigating in particular the abuses committed during the Ukrainian conflict, to the point of becoming an itch for the Kremlin. Its working method is based on the exploitation of data accessible to all online, the OSINT for “Open Source Intelligence”. The media, based in Amsterdam, was created in 2014 by Eliot Higgins, a 43-year-old Englishman. The collective is split in two, with on one side an NGO dedicated to the investigation of war crimes, and on the other an investigation site.

Bellingcat rose to prominence while investigating the 2014 crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. The site managed to demonstrate the responsibility of the Russian army and pro-Russian rebels of Donbass in the air accident. Bellingcat, which takes its name from a fable featuring mice helping each other to tie a bell around a cat, has around thirty employees and around fifty collaborators around the world.

Norway: Russian spy posing as Brazilian researcher arrested