For years, Russia has been creating a network of agents in Europe and across the world. When the invasion began, the network has been fully operational. Today we publish the third part of our series about Russian spies.
In today’s world, spies are not necessarily the one who extract information. Sometimes they can create it. If the former usually buy information, the latter distributes it. There are many channels for disseminating information in the modern world:
- We wrote about pseudo-journalists in Germany and actions in support of the invasion of Ukraine in Vienna in the first part.
- In the second part, we showed how they described in detail the “thought leaders” of Serbia and the activities of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Africa.
In this third article, we talk about Spain and Italy and a little bit about Austria again.
In Spain, the video blogger Liu Sivaya is noteworthy. The woman positions herself as a political scientist and works exclusively with the Spanish audience, and more precisely with those who come from Catalonia and the Basque Country.
Although starting February 2022, her entire YouTube channel is devoted to replicating Russian propaganda and shifting responsibility for the war in Ukraine to the West, her activities are directed not only against Kyiv but also against Madrid.
In her blogs, she talks not only about Ukraine, but also about Nazism in Madrid and Spanish censorship, and compares the situation in eastern Ukraine with Catalonia and the Basque Country. Although there were no separate people of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic” before 2014, as there was no struggle for their independence, the Kremlin invented these countries to justify the occupation of the region.
Liu Sivaya is fueling separatist sentiment in Spain threatening the official Madrid. Therefore, its activities are the subject of study for the Spanish counterintelligence.
It is also worth noting the increase in the number of pro-Russian events in the Basque Country. We saw actions in support of the organization “Vesta” and “Slavic House”, which are associated with the Russian Embassy. The leaders of the organization Larisa Vasenina and Alla Usanova have repeatedly participated in Russian propaganda events.
In particular, they were at the Congress of Compatriots of the Russian Federation together with Vladimir Putin. They also took part in organizing rallies in support of the Russian quasi-republics of the DPR and LPR in Spain, again rocking the issue of separatism in Spain.
Whereas in Spain the Russians act through the diaspora, the network of agents of influence is different in Italy. In particular, the picket “No to NATO war against Russia” will be held in Bellante on June 2. Why did the Italian provincial commune decide to protest against the non-existent war between the alliance and Russia?
Because the organizers of the action are Speranza, an NGO funded by the Russian Government, specifically by RosSotrudnichestvo. The latter is the Kremlin’s federal body, which is allegedly responsible for spreading the Russian culture and providing humanitarian aid to other countries. In fact, it is the Kremlin’s spy nest, which engages in so-called “soft diplomacy” and the creation of spy networks through the distribution of grants.
Another case is the pro-Russian writer and public figure Sarah Reginella, who, with the support of the Italian Communists, is holding presentations of her book Donbas. Ghost war in the heart of Europe throughout Italy. Also, her “achievement” is holding a conference “For a democratic Ukraine and a free Donbas.”
Until 2014, Sarah worked as a psychologist, and since 2014 she has been promoting Russian narratives in Italy. She gives interviews proactively to Russian and Chinese propaganda operatives. Also, she made a biased documentary about the war in Donbas. It completely replicates the Russian propaganda.
Now Sarah is actively promoting the same points as the other characters of our series: Western countries are to blame for the war, and sanctions against Russia must be lifted.