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Norwegian court exposes ‘Brazilian university professor’ as Russian spy

A man passing himself off as a ‘Brazilian university professor’ has been exposed as a Russian spy by a court in Norway.

 

A suspected Russian spy appeared in court in Norway on Friday, October 28, charged with espionage. It transpired that ‘Brazilian citizen Jose Assis Giammaria, born in 1984’, was in actual fact a Russian agent called Mikhail Valerievich Mikushyn, born on August 19, 1978.

The man had been arrested earlier this week on his way to work as a ‘professor’ at the Arctic University of Tromso. He had been successfully passing himself off at the facility under his other identity for several years.

Mikushyn’s identity and affiliation with the GRU were confirmed by Insider and Bellingcat projects. They had also studied his biography, concluding that the ‘professor’ did everything to fail. Just a month ago, he took part in training in Vilnius.

Even before the Norwegians published Mikushin’s real name, The Insider and Bellingcat believed that he was a GRU employee named Mikhail. The pseudo-professor apparently left enough of a digital trail for that conclusion to be reached.

For example, the password he used for his university account was used by several other people. Among those accounts, two were definitely his because they contained his Brazilian name. But, two others were interesting because they were registered at Russian addresses.

One – [email protected] – referred to a Brazilian TV series and probably also belonged to him. The other – [email protected] – gave a hint that the owner’s name is Mikhail. Invasor is translated from Portuguese as ‘invader’. Mikushin was missing only a parachute that stretches behind his back for his eventual exposure.

If nobody could guess that the ‘invader Mikhail’ is actually him, Mikushyn then also used another password, which incredibly contained his last name. Apparently, the mika-invasor email account was used by Mikushin for a very long time, as it was chosen for the creation of HL (now deleted and not preserved), and ICQ accounts.

The Insider and Bellingcat were able to obtain a photo from Mikushin’s driver’s license, which confirmed that Mikushin and Professor Jamaria were the same person. Mikhail Mikushyn was born in Yekaterinburg, lived on Malyshava street, and graduated from school in 1994.

At the age of 26, he moved to Moscow, where he lived in an officer’s dormitory at the Military and Diplomatic Academy (VDA) of the GRU at the address: 52 Narodnya Opalcheniya, building 4, sq. 45. GRU officers are registered in this dormitory building, who are trained at the 1st faculty of the VDA, which prepares GRU officers to work abroad as spies under diplomatic cover and illegal spies.

Officers of a rank not lower than captain and already with knowledge of a foreign language (in the case of Mikushin, it was Portuguese) are hired for this faculty of the VDA. It is very possible that his classmate was Olga Kolabova (Adela Kuhveld), because they are the same age.

In 2006, Mikushin graduated from the academy and was able to get a Brazilian passport on the grounds that he supposedly has a Brazilian mother. That is a classic trick of illegals from the GRU, which Olga Kolabova – who represented herself as Adela Kuhveld – tried unsuccessfully to use.

That same year, he bought an apartment in Moscow on the Novokurkinskaya highway and, apparently, stayed in Moscow for some time. Already an experienced hacker, in 2010 Mikushin started a VKontakte page under his real name, set Astap Bender as his user peak, and described his views as ‘ultraconservative’.

Mikushin had obviously already practiced enough in Portuguese by 2011 for legend and went to study in Canada at the University of Calgary. Unfortunately, to a foreign ear, Russian and Portuguese accents are very similar. Apparently, like Kolabava, he continued to travel to Russia although illegal immigrants were hardly allowed to do so during the Soviet era.

For some time, Mikushin was engaged in “research” work in Canada and in 2019 even published an article justifying the need for new military bases in the Arctic.

In 2021, Mikushin arrived in Norway for a research program at the University of Tromso, which, among other things, included the study of ‘hybrid threats’. His turbulent activity was not limited to Norway though.

For example, just one month ago, he took part in a training event in Vilnius, organised with the support of the EU and dedicated to ‘hybrid war’. One of the topics of the training was ‘how to react in case of sabotage on the Nord Stream gas pipeline’, indeed, a very relevant topic for the Kremlin.

On Tuesday, October 25, Mikushin was detained on the way to the university. His lawyer was informed that they were planning to deport him. However, deportation to Russia is unlikely to be possible if Mikushin is not recognised as a Russian citizen in Moscow. Meanwhile, the Russian embassy angrily rejected the accusations, accusing Norway of espionage, as reported by nashaniva.ru.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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