On Friday, a prosecutor from Norway’s domestic security service revealed the Russian name of a guy who entered the country as a Brazilian but is accused of spying for Russia.
Thomas Blom of Norway’s Security Service stated that the man’s name is Mikhail Mikushin and that investigators are “not quite convinced of his identification, but we are fairly certain he is not Brazilian.”
The man was arrested on Monday in Tromsoe, where he worked at the Arctic University of Norway. According to Norwegian media, he identified himself as Jose Assis Giammaria. According to Norwegian officials, he was 44 years old and was born in Russia in 1978.
A researcher at the investigative website Bellingcat claims that Mikushin is a senior Russian military intelligence officer.
Christo Grozev, a researcher at Bellingcat, tweeted, “Well done, Norway, you’ve apprehended a colonel from the GRU (Russia’s military intelligence organization)!”
Blom stated at a press conference that the suspect is facing a “preliminary” allegation of espionage, which is subject to change as the investigation into the case has only began. The individual risks up to three years in jail if proven guilty of violating Norway’s espionage rules. Initially, he was arrested with the intent of expelling him.
Blom explained why the suspect was kept for four weeks by stating, “There is an imminent threat of evidence tampering.”
His attorney in Oslo, Marijana Lozic, told the Norwegian news agency NTB on Friday that he rejects any wrongdoing.
Blom opined that the suspect’s mere access to certain research environments, which serve as a foundation for policy development by the government, is of great national importance.
According to the university rector’s statement to Norwegian television NRK, no data or information has been stolen or taken “This could be harmful to our study.
” However, “it could threaten the credibility of our professional environment “added Dag Rune Olsen.
Norwegian media report that the suspect arrived in Norway in 2021 and has conducted research on northern regions and hybrid dangers. The length of Norway’s Arctic border with Russia is 123 kilometers.
According to Canadian Press, the man identified himself as Jose Assis Giammaria in Canada, where he also studied.
According to the news agency, the University of Calgary reported that the individual graduated in the fall of 2018 with a master’s degree in strategic studies.
Canadian Press also reported that Giammaria received an honors bachelor of arts in political science with an emphasis in international relations from Ottawa’s Carleton University in 2015.
In addition to the accused spy, Norway has arrested nine Russian people in recent weeks.
They are suspected of violating a restriction on flying drones in Ukraine’s airspace or photographing critical sites in restricted zones.
Trawlers from Russia, which are still permitted to dock in several Norwegian ports despite an EU prohibition, as well as research vessels have sparked mistrust in Norway.
Since the war in Ukraine, Norway has surpassed Russia as Europe’s largest natural gas supplier, and has increased security at vital sites.
Following the suspected sabotage of Nord Stream’s two Baltic Sea pipelines, this measure was taken when unidentified drones were spotted near oil and gas sites.