Moscow’s spy resurgence in Europe

Russia's spy network mobilised

Russia's spy network mobilised. Credit: New Africa/

European intelligence services have issued a stark warning, claiming that the Kremlin is actively rebuilding its spy network across Europe, including Spain.

This resurgence is particularly alarming given the backdrop of over 600 agents who were expelled from European soil in the aftermath of the conflict in Ukraine.

Reportedly, Moscow’s new strategy involves recruiting individuals without any military background in order to avoid suspicion, a tactic confirmed by Spain’s National Intelligence Centre (CNI) which has observed Russian espionage activities intensifying since last summer, closely mirroring the war’s progression.

The case of Maxim Kuzminov

In a chilling development, the case of Maxim Kuzminov, a Russian pilot who defected and was later found dead in Alicante, has intensified the spotlight on these warnings.

Kuzminov was found dead in Villajoyosa, and had been living under a false Ukrainian identity on the Alicante coast for nearly three months. The investigation, now shrouded in secrecy, is seeking to determine if he was alone or accompanied by family members during his move to Spain.

Russian intelligence services are suspected of orchestrating the hit. Investigators believe the assassination was carried out by two hitmen, now believed to have fled Spain, using ammunition typically associated with professional killers.

Sources believe the main mistake that the pilot made, and that allowed his identification, was making a call to his ex-girlfriend, who resides in Russia and who could have been under surveillance.

Europe’s espionage dilemma

This resurgence of Russian espionage poses a complex challenge for European intelligence agencies. The strategic shift towards employing non-military individuals for spy work signifies a cunning adaptation by Moscow, necessitating a vigilant and sophisticated response from Europe and its individual member states, including Spain.

The implications of this evolving espionage landscape are profound, not only for national security but also for the safety of individuals who dare to defy the Kremlin.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.