In wake of Ukraine war, U.S. and allies are hunting down Russian spies

By | February 17, 2023

The Washington Post reports:

Among the slumbering passengers on an overnight flight from Miami to Munich last month were two travelers on opposing sides of an espionage takedown.

In one seat was a German citizen who would be arrested upon arrival and charged with treason for helping Russia recruit and run a Kremlin mole in the upper ranks of Germany’s intelligence service. Seated nearby was an FBI agent who had boarded the flight to surreptitiously monitor the suspected operative, according to Western security officials, and make sure that he was taken into custody by German authorities.

The Jan. 21 arrest of Arthur Eller — based largely on evidence that the FBI had assembled during the suspect’s stay in Florida — was the latest salvo in a shadow war against Russia’s intelligence services.

Over the past year, as Western governments have ramped up weapons deliveries to Ukraine and economic sanctions against Moscow, U.S. and European security services have been waging a parallel if less visible campaign to cripple Russian spy networks. The German case, which also involved the arrest of a senior official in the BND, Germany’s foreign intelligence service, followed roll-ups of suspected Russian operatives in the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Poland and Slovenia.

The moves amount to precision strikes against Russian agents still in Europe after the mass expulsion of more than 400 suspected Russian intelligence officers from Moscow’s embassies across the continent last year. [Continue reading…]

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