The man reported to Moscow shortly before the military operation in Ukraine began, Austria’s Interior Ministry claims
FILE PHOTO: Vienna, Austria. © Getty Images / Siegfried Layda
A Greek citizen living in Vienna is suspected of spying for Russia’s military intelligence service, the GRU, the Austrian Interior Ministry said on Monday. ‘GRU’ is an acronym previously used by the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.
According to a statement on the Austrian Interior Ministry’s website, the suspect is now at large. He was described as the 39-year-old son of a former Russian military intelligence officer who was stationed in the past as a diplomat in Germany and Austria.
“There is a suspicion that he was used as a source for information on foreign policy, society as a whole, and security policy discussions within the Austrian population,” the statement said.
Equipment capable of detecting wiretapping devices and hidden cameras was discovered on the suspect’s properties, as well as a flak jacket, according to the Interior Ministry. It added that cell phones, laptops and tablets were seized during the searches.
“The 39-year-old, who is believed to have received specialized military training in Russia, was in contact with diplomats and intelligence officers from various countries and was in Moscow shortly before and during the military invasion of Ukraine by the Russian forces,” the Interior Ministry said. It stated that the suspect’s report was “delivered to Moscow in order to assess possible reactions from abroad in the run-up to the military operation” in Ukraine.