GENERICO.ruRussiaThe Insider, Spiegel, Le Monde and Bellingcat: The GRU used the Silk Way Rally as an infrastructure for sabotage...

The Insider, Spiegel, Le Monde and Bellingcat: The GRU used the Silk Way Rally as an infrastructure for sabotage and poisoning in Europe

The leadership of the GRU is using the Silk Road international car rally project as an infrastructure for its secret agents. The Insider, Spiegel, Le Monde and Bellingcat write about this in a joint investigation.

Silk Road is an annual off-road race. According to internal documents, its goal is to strengthen the “soft power of Russia”, aimed at bringing the country closer to China, Iran, Qatar, Afghanistan, Syria, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan and other eastern states.

From the documents and telephone connections received by the journalists, it follows that the director of the Silk Road, Bulat Yanborisov, who has two citizenships – Russian and Cypriot – was in constant contact with the officers of military unit 29155. Investigators believe that they were engaged in sabotage and poisoning in Europe.

As the investigators found out, Yanborisov received from the hands of General Vladimir Alekseev the Order of Alexander Nevsky with the wording “for merits in strengthening the country's defense capability and for the successful solution of special tasks.”

Journalists write that on November 12, 2021, Yanborisov submitted a report to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu that describes the military goals of the Silk Road: the creation of new military-political alliances, arms control in Central Asia, and the search for new markets for the sale of Russian weapons. In it, the head of the Silk Road reports on established ties with the Crown Prince of Qatar, the Emir of Abu Dhabi, representatives of the ministries of China and Turkey.

As it became known to the investigators, only during 2022, Yanborisov made more than 60 phone calls to General Alekseev. They communicated with particular intensity shortly before and in the first months after the start of the war in Ukraine. In addition, as journalists write, he was in contact with at least 11 other officers of military unit 29155. Among them are GRU officers who allegedly participated in the Novichok poisoning of Skripals and Bulgarian businessman Emelyan Gebrev. They, according to investigators, organized sabotage at military warehouses in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

Journalists disclose the names of three of them – Rustam Jafarov, Oleg Martynov and Valery Chekalov. The first one came to Europe under the name Ruslan Jamalov. The number in his passport was only one digit different from the number of the Skripal poisoners Ruslan Boshirov (Anatoly Chepiga) and Alexander Petrov” (Alexander Mishkin). As the investigators write, Jafarov, together with Boshirov, flew to one of the cities of Central Europe in 2011, near which an ammunition depot exploded a few days later.

In addition, the alleged saboteur in 2021 was listed as an employee of the Silk Road, and before that he worked in the presidential affairs department as a representative of the president in the Far Eastern Federal District.

Oleg Martynov, according to investigators, was engaged in special operations in the GRU and interaction with private military companies. The third disclosed contact of Yanborisov is also connected with PMC Wagner – Yevgeny Prigozhin's ally Valery Chekalov.

After February 24, 2022, Yanborisov actively traveled around Europe and Asia, including visiting his apartment in Paris. Investigators suggest that it was used by the GRU as a safe house. According to the journalists of the four publications that prepared the material, Yanborisov was convenient for the Russian special services as a person capable of being in Europe without attracting too much attention.

In a conversation with The Insider, Yanborisov said that he had nothing to do with the GRU , and he received the Order of Alexander Nevsky allegedly for his help in the delivery of medical equipment from China. The head of the Silkway Rally claims that Ruslan Jafarov is his relative, and he did not communicate with General Alekseev after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


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