14:28 23 Jan 2023

NYT: GRU may be behind explosive packages incident in Spain

In the United States, it is believed that packages with explosives, which were received by the Embassy of Ukraine in Spain, several top officials, and institutions in November-December, were most likely sent by a russian group at the behest of curators from the GRU (main intelligence directorate of the russian federation — ed).

This was reported by The New York Times in its material based on communication with American officials who commented on the condition of anonymity, EP reports.

As far as they know, in recent weeks, investigators have been carefully investigating the involvement of the "russian Imperial Movement" (RIM) – far-right imperialist monarchists who have associates, including in Europe, and are believed to have ties to the russian GRU. It turned out that important group members had been to Spain, and local police tracked down that they had connections with far-right Spanish organizations.

American special services suspect that the russians who coordinated the action with "explosive gifts" in Spain belong to the Center for the Training of Special Purpose Specialists No. 161, whose headquarters in moscow include the special unit of the GRU 29155, which Western special services have repeatedly accused of working for destabilization in Europe.

However, it is not yet known to what extent the kremlin is directly involved in the special operation with "explosive gifts."

Officials in the US believe that the GRU officers behind the campaign may have hoped to catch European officials off guard with their actions and also "practiced" puppet groups in case they wanted to use them for escalation in the future. The probable purpose of the action was to send a signal that russia, with the help of its agents, could organize terrorist attacks in Europe and take revenge on countries that actively help Ukraine.

At the same time, there are still no signs that moscow is already preparing something similar — it is believed that russian officials are refraining from this, fearing NATO's reaction.

American interlocutors believe that putin may still think about such a pressure tool if russia continues to suffer major military setbacks in Ukraine.

The involvement of such organizations as RIM can be beneficial for the russian special services because, formally, they are not directly connected with state structures, and it is more difficult to place responsibility for their actions directly on the kremlin.

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