Wednesday, July 19, 2023

The Russian spy network caught in Poland planned blowing up trains

 Polish Gazette (Gazeta Polska): The Russian intelligence network operating in Poland, broken up by the National Prosecutor's Office and the Internal Security Agency, planned wide-spread sabotage and blowing up trains with weapons and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.

Internal Security Agency (ABW) says that it's their biggest success ever. In total, from March to July, 15 people were detained on charges of spying for the Russian military intelligence service GRU. They are citizens of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine and face up to 10 years in prison. The risk of attacks was too great to continue to observe the group.

According to the findings of Gazeta Polska, the spy network was established at the beginning of this year, less than a year after the Russian attack on Ukraine. It was led by an experienced GRU officer (the ABW determined his exact personal details) staying in Moscow. Everything was done remotely: recruiting, briefing, handing over tasks, and then sending the salary. Initially, people selected by the GRU performed simple missions, such as painting slogans on the walls that hit the Polish government or fueled anti-Ukrainian and anti-NATO sentiments. For each such task, the Russians paid in cryptocurrencies to mask the source of the funds.

The Russians used the energy infrastructure to collect information and photograph the indicated military facilities, as well as seaports. However, the GRU especially wanted to know the schedule and routes of trains with arms and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. 

For this purpose, members of the network purchased the necessary equipment, including cameras and GPS devices. Some of the equipment has been installed on routes leading to Ukraine and, among others, in to the Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport. It was from there, last December, that the plane with Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, took off to meet the president of the United States. There are also railway routes through Podkarpacie, which are used to transport armaments and equipment for Ukraine.