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Dear friends, we are finally witnessing a long-anticipated episode unfold in the protracted “Leak” series, which remains an interesting and relevant watch. The series involves the leaks on human assets, special operations and, as the latest developments show, senior GRU officials.
In the latest probe, Radio Liberty and the Bellingcat group rolled out a joint investigation, claiming Russian intelligence operative Anatoly Chepiga (aka Ruslan Boshirov, one of the Skripal posioners) has strong ties to GRU Major General Andrei Averyanov, Commander of military unit 29155, of which the New York edition wrote a hazy piece a week ago, branding it a place from where operations are launched to destabilize Europe.
It is this investigation that will probably mark the climax of the “Leak” season 2019, or, more precisely, the Leak operation – a large-scale, comprehensive and extremely well-thought-out mission to progressively and slowly murder the GRU, discrediting it before Russia’s top leadership through exposures in the international arena.
But, let’s review the latest “Wedding” episode point by point, as it has a rather entertaining background.
Let me remind you that the GRU wedding story was preceded by the publication in The New York Times of September 26, saying that the murderer of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in Berlin could be former Russian police officer Vladimir Stepanov, who was sentenced to 24 years in prison for contract hit in 2005. In its piece, NYT referred to an anonymous letter revealing the assassin’s identity.
Literally immediately, one of the “independent” investigators of the Khangoshvili murder, Roman Dobrokhotov of Russia’s The Insider, snapped at the allegations. According to Dobrokhotov, Stepanov has nothing to do with Khangoshvili’s murder.
And this is not surprising, because if one takes into account the NYT report, further probe by The Insider, which indirectly indicates a GRU special operation in Berlin, will fall into pieces like a house of cards.
Meanwhile, NYT moves on, and on October 8, an article is published about GRU’s secretive unit No 29155, which is engaged in destabilizing Europe. In this case, the publication no longer refers to an anonymous letter, but to certain sources in the relevant intelligence agencies.
And literally picking up the leitmotif of unit 29155, the aforementioned large-scale investigation on this unit is released with reference to the previous probe by the Dobrokhotov group on GRU special operations, in particular, an attempt to eliminate Sergey and Yulia Skripals in Salisbury and the foiled coup in Montenegro.
What is noteworthy, this investigation by Russian journalists, as well as a photo showing General Averyanov and intelligence operative Chepiga at a wedding event, prove that the find was not a result of deep analysis of open sources but rather a workpiece provided precisely by an organization structure that could gain access to such material regardless of the degree of secrecy.
The set of revealing reports published published by NYT, The Insider, and also RFE/RL not only once again undermined the layer of failed GRU special operations in Salisbury, Montenegro and other places, but also tied Major General Averyanov with the Balkans – an underbelly of Europe, historically controlled by the GRU.
Obviously, someone is trying to rewrite history, but let’s not get distracted and just move on.
As we can see, in both cases, NYT was used to warm up the topics – both on Berlin and on the secret military unit – with subsequent revealing investigations, which are traditionally focused on the GRU, without touching upon the FSB or the SVR. And to be more precise, these investigations even play in Lubyanka’s interests.
We can also see a pre-prepared soil for the “investigation”, well fertilized by facts and the corresponding photos and videos, for which the spin via NYT has become a trigger.
Actually, the GRU, like a year ago, will be marking its anniversary, drawn in a whirlwind of another major failure and scandal, which is exactly what their main rivals need. But the “Leak” series, or rather, operation, has not been completed and we are yet to witness plenty of interesting moves as part of this epic confrontation. Although, as for me, it is more like beating a baby as GRU’s powerlessness in this battle is indicative even despite their response in the form of a campaign unleashed by military intelligence around the Russian SVR turncoat and CIA asset Oleg Smolenkov.
Also, it is worth noting that all these spins via NYT and Radio Liberty as part of another GRU-related investigations serve the purpose of driving public attention from initially Russian sources of those leaks.