Bellingcat’s Christo Grozev: ‘Prigozhin will either be dead or there will be a second coup’

By | August 11, 2023

Edward Luce interviewed Christo Grozev in Aspen in July:

How does it feel, I ask, to be here in absentia? Grozev laughs. After the Russians indicted him “in absentia”, he posted a selfie video from Palm Beach, Florida, against a sunset backdrop. “I said, ‘If this is absentia, it’s a pretty great place to be.’”

Is Austria the least safe European country? “Yes,” he replies. “While we [Bellingcat] were investigating the Austrians, they were surveilling me and I wasn’t aware of that at the time. They were doing so explicitly at the request of the Russians. That is deep penetration.”

He says the Germans advised him not to settle in Germany. He last visited Germany in 2020 under heavy guard as a witness in the prosecution of a Russian who had assassinated a Chechen exile. “We are also investigating examples of Russian security services penetrating German political circles,” he says. “France, I would not trust them: they don’t even trust themselves. The only place in Europe I can come to safely nowadays is the UK.”

He is still angry, however, at London’s Metropolitan Police for cancelling his and his family’s attendance at the Bafta film awards this year. “Hearing it through the grapevine was offensive,” he says. “If there is also a risk to my family, they should tell me directly.”

Both Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, which is teeming with Russians, are off-limits, he adds. “Dubai is Vienna on the Gulf,” he says. “I have heard this warning from both the Emirates and Turkey — ‘Do not come here. We will try to protect you. We will never extradite you [to Russia]. But we can’t guarantee your safety.’” [Continue reading…]

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