Did the Neighbours Czechs and the Neighbours Ukrainians ‘Leave the Door Ajar ‘to Europe for Russian KGB Servicemen?

On 23 April a piece of information struck the international public domain telling that Czech Security Information Service is protecting Zdeněk Hřib, the mayor of Prague, and Pavel Novotný and Ondřej Kolář, elders of two distr…

On 23 April a piece of information struck the international public domain telling that Czech Security Information Service is protecting Zdeněk Hřib, the mayor of Prague, and Pavel Novotný and Ondřej Kolář, elders of two districts of the capital of Czechia – Řepori and Prague-6 24 hours a day because of a risk to his life.
As the Check magazine that was the first to publish these news told, the risk increased after displacement of the monument to the Soviet general Ivan Konev (O.Kolář is one of the initiators to remove the monument to I. Konev) and the decision to attach a commemorative plague to soldiers of the Russian Liberation Army (RLA) under the control of the General Andrey Vlasov that was fighting on the side of Nazi (we have written about this in the article ‘Signs of Memory as a Nervous Indicator of the Growing Russian Imperialism’), which was done on 30 April.   
According to Respekt, O.Kolář has been threatened to be killed for some time and P.Novotný in his interview to the radio told that he has heard threats to be killed for years. Talking about the commemorative plague attached in his district, the elder emphasized that the plague contains just words Vlasovninks without any historical assessments – that in April 1945 when the uprising against Nazi started in Prague, chiefs of the RLA first division decided to join it. Without help of the soldiers the capital of Czechia would not be saved and 300 soldiers of Vlasovninks were killed during liberation of the city. In the historical assessment it was just mentioned that it was ambiguous.
According to the Czech Security Information Service they registered a Russian who arrived in the Václav Havel airport in Prague with a diplomatic passport at the beginning of April and who was met with a car that took him to the Russian embassy. The luggage of the arriver contained a small travelling bag and the Czech intelligence agents suspected that it contained a poisonous material castor. Thus, the arriver could cause danger to both the elders and mayor. Besides, the Czech Intelligence Services observed movement of a group of intelligence officers of Russia a month and half ago, which could be linked to the circumstances mentioned above.   
Information about arrest of Valeriy Shaitanov, the General Lieutenant of the Ukrainian Intelligence Service, who was the head of the A centre of special operations of the Service for a long time and who was suspected of spying to Russia by UIS that was published in the middle of April, can be included into this fragment. The portal The Insider (theins.ru/politika/215689) indicated that the Colonel Igor Egorov of the Russian Federal Security Office recruited one of the UIS already before aggression against Ukraine in 2014 during one of his frequent visits to Russia (he belonged to a common working group fighting against terrorism.
According to a common investigation of The Insider, and Der Spiegel I. Egorov, who comes from Stakhanov in Luhansk region in the east of Ukraine and who served in the Special Service unit of the FSC (operational call sign ) with officers Oleg Ivannikov and Nikolai Tkachev of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Russia (GRU) were the major curators of the Kremlin during aggression of Russia in the east of Ukraine.    
According to UIS, I. Egorov and V.Shaitanov projected a murderous attempt against Adam Osmayev, a Chechen refugee, who got asylum in Ukraine and who was leading the battalion of volunteers fighting against Russians in the east of Ukraine. In the record published by the Security Service of Ukraine you can hear that a potential hit man was offered 200 thousand dollar remuneration and a certificate of the Russian officer that secures a generous retirement pension. There were many murderous attempts against A. Osmayev. During one attempt his wife Amina Okueva was killed. Ukrainians also published a fragment of the video record when I. Egorov met a hit man in Hamburg. According to the information of UIS V. Shaitanov and he met in France and Croatia, too.    
According to The Insider and , also organized a homicide of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Chechen citizen of Georgia, in Berlin last August. The same as in the case of A. Osmayev, a Chechen who was attacked during participation in the war against Russia and whom Moscow officially accused of terrorism, however failed to submit evidence about his contribution to the terrorist act. The Insider does not exclude a possibility that a list of the Chechens sent to scaffold by CFS in Europe can be much longer.
It turned out that I. Egorov was a real KGB officer traveller, who used to fly almost to the Old Continent every month since 2014. He visited Germany 12 times, was in Croatia, France, Italy, Bulgaria and Montenegro (he went to the latter one month before the coup organized by GRU) and Israel until his patronized person failed in Kiev and became impassable. However, an officer of the Russian Special Services had a lot of chances to travel in Europe.   
This raises not very pleasant guest ions to European special services. Such as, how did the colonel of FSO manage to get a four- year visa to Europe under the false reason of ‘visiting relatives and friends’ and in 2019 nobody obtruded? Even when he became a suspect in Ukraine, I. Egorov visited Germany in February without any problems and without any consequences and only in March Germans were ready to arrest him, however the colonel cancelled his planned trip.
It seems that Russian spies prefer continuing the practice of terrorist voyages to Europe according to the algorithm that was ‘verified’ in the United Kingdom (UK) Salisbury (poisoning of the former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia), Berlin, Sophia (poisoning of the businessman Emilian Gebrev, who supplied armament to Ukraine, and his son) and in Montenegro. Now we almost had a terrorist act in Prague.
The French daily Le Monde revealed this method in the publication of December 4 (lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/12/04/la-haute-savoie-camp-de-base-d-espions-russes_6021648_3210.html) and indicated that the Russian military intelligence was using the Haute-Savoie region in France as a reserve base for operations in Europe. According to this publication special services of the France, UK, Switzerland and allies (including the USA) found out 15 officers of GRU who arrived in the base in 2014-2018 many times from London, Moscow, Spain, Switzerland and used to go to operations in other countries of Europe (but not in France) by rented cars.     
Western special services started the investigation after poisoning of Skripals. According to the informant from the French Intelligence Agency, this rather remote region of the Alps could be chosen because it was close to the border of Switzerland and also because it was often visited by wealthy Russians.  
The New York Times wrote about a secret subunit No. 29155 of the Intelligence Service of Russia that 15 agents mentioned here belong to, prior to Le Mond ((www.nytimes.com/2019/10/08/world/europe/unit-29155-russia-gru.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage)) as if its mission is to engage in destabilization in Europe. According to the daily, in case the previous acts of the Russian spies (poisonings and sabotage) were treated as individual and ‘autonomous’, now Western special services tend to treat them as a coordinated campaign.   
Marek Galeotti, coordinator of the European Security Centre of Prague International Institute indicated to the magazine NATO Review www.nato.int/docu/review/ru/articles/2019/04/26/rossijskaya-razvedka-menyaet-taktiku-no-ne-tseli/index.html.) that generously funded and aggressive special services of Russia play a major role in the political war of Moscow against the West. They think that they are already in the war status with the West and act accordingly. Besides, we can just regret that Europeans do not rush to prevent Russian terrorist acts, however sooner or later Russian spies shall be exposed in Czechia or Ukraine and ‘closed’ in the territory of the Russian Federation.   
Arūnas Spraunius

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