Former FSB agents say they were in Georgia on special assignment
Former FSB agents in Georgia
Former agents of the Russian Federal Security Service admitted that they had been in Georgia on a special assignment. Two former Russian FSB agents, Mikhail Sokolov and Vsevolod Osipov, talked about this in an interview with CNN.
According to Sokolov, he joined the Russian Communist Party at the age of 19 and was investigating corrupt activity in local Russian governments, which led the FSB to investigate him, in turn, and accuse him of illegally evading compulsory military service.
According to Sokolov, the FSB agent informed him of this personally and gave him a choice – cooperation or two years in prison.
Fearing abuse in Russian prison, he agreed to work as an FSB spy, and in 2017 he began working as a volunteer in the anti-corruption campaign of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Sokolov passed important information on to the FSB.
After some time he was sent by the FSB to Georgia to observe and collect information on Russian citizens living and working in Georgia who had fled Russia.
“They thought the Georgian intelligence services were recruiting Russian dissidents on orders from the CIA,” Sokolov says.
Another agent, Vsevolod Osipov, told CNN that he was a member of the Russian Libertarian Party and was arrested in May 2021, at the age of 19, for participating in a protest against the arrest of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and was pressured to cooperate with the FSB.
“I had different tasks. I needed to meet and get to know specific people. For example, the leader of the Russian Libertarian Party, Yaroslav Konway, or the coordinator of the Free Russia Foundation in Georgia, Anton Mikhalchuk,” Osipov said.
According to Osipov, he was sent to Georgia to monitor and spy on Russians in Georgia, especially about their views on the ongoing war in Ukraine, and to collect information on how foreign countries and non-governmental organizations help Ukrainian refugees.
“As soon as the war started, my boss asked me to find out what the Russians in Georgia thought about the war in Ukraine. The FSB was also interested in any kind of cooperation with Western intelligence services or getting anyone any funding from foreign countries, ”Osipov said in an interview with CNN.
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On September 7, it also became known that Russian citizen Lana Satori, who was arrested in Albania and suspected of espionage, lived in Georgia. This was shared by Zurab Batiashvili, a researcher at the Rondeli Foundation.
“Do you remember that Russians who made their way to a military base in Albania were arrested on charges of espionage?
“Today, I accidentally discovered that at least one member of this group, a Russian citizen under the pseudonym Lana Satori, lived in Georgia for a long time before her arrest. In Georgia, she calmly walked around the villages, took a lot of pictures, met people, studied places, and no one suspected who she was and what she was doing in Georgia.
“If not for the failed operation in Albania, she would have continued her activities in Georgia and other places without hindrance. We live in such an ownerless country,” writes Batiashvili.
On an Instagram page under the name Lana Satori she published many photos taken in Georgia.
On August 21, two Russian citizens and one Ukrainian citizen were arrested trying to enter a military plant in Albania. According to the Prime Minister of Albania, those arrested, two Russians of 24 and 33 and a Ukrainian of 25, are suspected of espionage.
Former FSB agents in Georgia