Two men and a woman, apparently Bulgarian, have been arrested in Great Britain on suspicion of being spies for Russia. The illegal trio had been well established in Britain, where they had lived for 10 years, but were unmasked in February following a counter-terrorism investigation.
They are the latest red flag on the map of Europe that signals intense espionage from Moscow. The profiles discovered by the British media speak of a normal life, even the most important of the group had transparent contacts with Russia, in simple business relations.
Orlin Roussev (45 years old), who arrived on the island in 2009, is the owner of a company in the technology field and was previously involved in financial aspects. Moreover, in one of his public CVs, he specifies that he acted as a consultant for the Ministry of Energy in Sofia. His last residence in Britain was at Great Yarmouth.
On the other hand, Bizer Dzhambazov (41 years old) was a driver at a hospital and lived with his accomplice, the other suspect, Katrina Ivanova (31 years old) in Harroë, north-east London. The woman was also employed in the health sector, but privately. Both stayed on British soil for nearly ten years, starting work in an association that helped the Bulgarian community.
Among their tasks – according to the BBC – was to help compatriots familiarize themselves with the culture and rules, an undertaking that could possibly be useful in selecting future candidates for the Kremlin-run spy cell.
The BBC also revealed that Scotland Yard has seized a large number of counterfeit passports and identity cards from Bulgaria, France, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.
With them, the three detainees could move around the continent, establish relationships and arrive undetected in places where they would meet potential informants.
The other recurring aspect is related to the large time window. A lot of water flowed before the trio was identified. The “spies” may have started looking for information almost as soon as they entered Britain, but it would not be surprising if they had waited months, if not years, before becoming operatives.
It depends on the conditions and orders, taking into account the fact that a characteristic of Russians is patience, which is considered as an additional weapon for agents in real long-term investments.
The capture of the “Bulgarians” is the last link, as many other “illegals” have been detained in the West, from Italy to Slovenia, from Greece to the Netherlands, from Sweden to Norway. Hundreds of Russian officials have also been expelled, as NATO structures have raised the wall and opponents have become more daring after the invasion of Ukraine.
There is less “tolerance” and more contrast, with many shadows, starting with the explosions at the Nord Stream gas pipeline and earlier, the strange explosions at ammunition depots in Eastern Europe attributed to Putin’s men.