Photo from open sources/Christo Grozev
Bellingcat Investigator Khristo Grozev Says Russia's FSB Statement About His Involvement in “Special Operation” Is Meaningful Ukrainian special services on the "hijacking of the Russian aircraft" and stated that the story actually took place, but in a completely different light for the Russian special services than they filed it.
“The truth is that I participated in this even crazier than FSB fiction story of triple agents, fake passports and fake girlfriends — as a director of documentaries. Yes, we were chronicling one of the most pointless counterintelligence operations of all time,” the journalist said.
He noted that although Russia presented the story as a victory for its own counterintelligence, in reality this operation was a serious mistake for the FSB, inadvertently revealing the identities of dozens of counterintelligence officers, their working methods and secret assets.
“Remember the Wagner operation in Belarus? Well, when Russia invaded Ukraine, some of the Ukrainian operatives behind the gamble decided to do it again: this time by urging Russian military pilots to surrender. A team of Ukrainian operatives decided to turn to Russian pilots with a proposal based on Ukrainian law. We learned about the initiative and secured the first places – make a documentary about this impudent operation,” Grozev wrote on Twitter.
According to him, some Russian pilots willingly made contact, but subsequently their tone changed, which indicated that FSB military contractors were in charge.
“A clear clue that the FSB had intercepted the connection appeared when one of the pilots suddenly announced that he wanted to take out of the country not his wife, but his mistress. It took me about 5 minutes to find out that the pilot's mistress was an FSB asset, she worked as a fitness trainer during the day, but worked as a hired FSB girl. Ukrainians also understood this. At the same time, the pilot did not know anything about the origin of his girlfriend. In particular, that she was in Istanbul a few months ago, and a year earlier in Barcelona,” the investigator pointed out the closeness of the Russian special services.
Another clue appeared when another pilot suddenly asked his Ukrainian “colleagues” for advice on “disabling” his co-pilot with a sedative.
Grozev says that the Ukrainian special services have begun to “feed” “pilots” — fake maps of their air defense deployment, as well as disinformation about operational airstrips. At the same time, the pilots sent, probably also fake, their own charts for landing and descent.
“This strange game of mutual deception ended when the FSB realized that no one would appear on any of the proposed meetings (the FSB really wanted to identify Ukrainian agents), and realizing that they were burned. And the Ukrainians realized that they probably wouldn’t get a real pilot either, – the journalist added.
Prepared by: Nina Petrovich