Judge of the Supreme court of Spain, Manuel Garcia-Castellon opened an investigation into the activities of the group of related persons, probably with the intelligence services of Russia. This activity was preceded by the failed referendum on the independence of Catalonia on 1 October 2017.
According to sources, El Pais, the emphasis in the inquiry made for the elite military group called unit “29155”, which the intelligence services of several countries associated with destabilizing activity in Europe.
The investigation unit of the Spanish police specializing in the fight against terrorism. Details of the investigation are kept secret.
El Pais notes that “the division 29155” has been implicated in failed coup in Montenegro in October 2016 and to campaign to destabilize the situation in Moldova.
October 1, 2017 in Catalonia held a referendum on independence. The constitutional court of Spain, declared the vote unconstitutional. Autonomy was then headed by Carles Pujdeme. Spanish authorities accuse policy in the embezzlement of state funds and sedition because of the referendum. A court in Spain issued a warrant for the arrest Pokdemon right after a real prison sentences received other Catalan politicians involved in the events around the referendum in Catalonia in October 2017.
Currently Pujdeme located in Belgium, reports “Interfax”. The Spanish authorities demand his extradition. In October of 2019, it was reported that the Brussels court agreed to the request of the defence Pokdemon about the transfer for December 16 hearing on the question of his extradition to Madrid.
According to the newspaper, the investigation was interested in the repeated arrival to Catalonia GRU officer Denis Sergeyev, who rode to Spain on a passport issued in the name of Sergey Fedotov. The first time he arrived in Barcelona, 5 November 2016 and six days later he returned to Moscow via Zurich. 29 September 2017 Sergeev-Fedotov again arrived in Catalonia. It happened two days before a referendum that Madrid has declared illegal. The Russian spy had been in Spain until October 9, and then returned to Moscow via Geneva.
Sergei Fedotov also “lit up” in the UK in the preparation of himataki in Salisbury, which was poisoned ex-GRU officer Sergey Skripal and his daughter.
Civil guard of Spain suspects in ties with Russian secret services of the former Secretary of the Democratic convergence of Catalonia (nationalist party, converted in 2016, Catalan, European democratic party) Victor Terradellas, which was close to Podemno and urged him to expedite the process of independence. However, Terradellas Pokdemon assured that he can rely in this case “to support the emissary of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin.”
Add, on military unit 29155, which is subordinated to the Main Directorate of the General staff of the armed forces (former GRU) in October drew the attention of the newspaper The New York Times. According to her, the servicemen of this unit are engaged in “destabilization of Europe.”
For the first time Western intelligence agencies drew attention to the division after a failed coup attempt in Montenegro in 2016, but to assess the scale of the activities started only in 2018 after poisoning Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia. Initially, the British authorities have identified two suspects – Anatoli Chapiha and Alexander Mishkin (also known as Alexander Petrov, and Ruslan Bashirov).
According to two sources, the newspaper the year before poisoning three employee units 29155 flew to the UK. It was Mishkin, and two individuals who traveled under the alias Sergei Pavlov and Sergey Fedotov. Later it turned out that Pavlov and Fedotov were participating in the operation, in which an attempt was made to poison a Bulgarian entrepreneur of Hebrew in 2015.
GRU officer, retired, familiar with the work of the unit 29155, confirmed that the profile of its employees – “sabotage” missions that occur in groups or one at a time, including “explosions and murder – anything”. “This is serious”, – he said. In 2012, the division 29155 became one of the three divisions, which was to obtain from the Ministry of defence bonuses for “special achievements in military service”. Among them was also a unit 74455, which the US accused of involvement in the intervention in the elections in 2016, and the division 99450, which the officers believed to be involved in actions in Crimea in 2014. As a result, Ukraine lost control over the Peninsula, after which there was organized a referendum that gave a formal basis to join the Crimea to Russia.
The Russian Ambassador called the fake information about the “Russian trace” in the events in Catalonia
Russian Ambassador in Spain Yuri Korchagin said that revolted with publications in the Spanish newspaper El Pais about Russia, including about the existence of some groups in Catalonia, which supposedly can be connected with the Russian special services. In one of the articles also stated that the Spanish authorities refused the offer of Russia to establish a joint group to ensure security in cyberspace.
“I read the article “Pais”, which somehow contained a fake news against Russia, and I can say that my reaction is outrage, – said the Ambassador. I read the publication in the newspaper “El Pais”, I’m not surprised that there are forces that want to undermine the positive dynamic for the past five centuries developing the friendly bilateral relations between Russia and Spain. I wonder how a respected newspaper goes on about these forces and actually cooperating with them by providing your page for all sorts of false news”.
According to the diplomat, this may be different explanations – maybe the newspaper is losing ranking and “so trying to earn the dubious attention” or is “successful operation of those destructive forces that are trying to destroy” the relations of Russia and Spain.
“And in the newspaper published several articles. Begin to write about a “poisoned offer” Russia to create a group on cybersecurity with the Spaniards, to hold consultations,” the diplomat said. “After all, in 2017, we talked about this only because the same paper had generated fictitious news about the alleged Russian interference in the Catalan process. It is for this and a proposal was made to convene experts, so they really looked at what was behind it.
I think that these are the generators of fake news are frightened by the possibility that will gather experts and find out who is really behind this, what they’re trying to pre-accuse the Russian and the Spanish side that they are trying a create group”, – said the Russian Ambassador in Madrid.
Commenting on the newspaper article about the existence of some group that supposedly can be connected with the Russian special services, Korchagin said: “We are absolutely not understand what was going on”. “In the media, especially Western Europe and the United States circulate to all sorts of fantasies about some groups,” he said.
The Russian diplomat urged the Spaniards to come to their senses. “It seems to me that the Spaniards, who do not suffer from political myopia, have to think that this promotion may have not only external but also internal projection, – said Pavel.
– In relation to the so-called intervention, I would like to remind you about the official position of Russia, formulated in a foreign Ministry statement in 2017, which says that the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, guided by the fundamental principles of international law, considering the events in Catalonia as an internal affair of Spain. It also said that Russia hopes that the situation will be resolved through dialogue strictly within the framework of the Spanish legislation in the interests of a United and prosperous Spain at observance of the guarantees of the rights and freedoms of all citizens of this country.”
The acting Spanish foreign Minister Josep Borrell called “pure fiction” of information that Madrid allegedly suspending cooperation with Moscow in the fight against misinformation. “Everything that is said in relation to the Ministry of foreign Affairs, is a pure invention,” said the diplomat. His words leads TASS.
As for the article about the existence of a group that allegedly could act in Catalonia Borrell said that “has no idea” about such information. Acting foreign Minister of Spain said that he did not know whether the author is so well informed, or it is a “figment of his imagination.”
At the end of last year the Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov after visit to Madrid, said that Russia has offered Spain to create a joint force to ensure security in cyberspace. “I thought our Spanish partners interested in the idea of creating a bilateral working group on cooperation in the field of cyber-security”, – said the Minister at a press conference with Borrell.