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Double Agent Uncovered 15 Russian Spies In Georgia: Russian Citizens, Georgian Citizens

Writers Articles And Opinions

07 November 2010

By Markaz Kavkaz

A spy ring in Georgia, which covertly gathered information for Russian military intelligence GRU, was uncovered mainly due to a double agent, a former Soviet Army officer, implanted into the GRU, the counter-intelligence department of the Georgian ministry of interior said in a statement released on Friday.

The large-scale operation against Russian intelligence network in Georgia was named "Enver".

"The counter-intelligence department completed a large special operation called "Enver". As a result, contacts were found between the GRU, and dozens of persons in Georgia", the statement said.

The department reported that "in the course of the operation, the Georgian counter-intelligence implanted a former Soviet Army officer into the GRU, who gained trust of the Russian military intelligence and started to work for this agency as a liaison officer".

"In order to carry out espionage activities, Russians gave him special hardware and software for encrypting the data exchange. This person handed over both hardware and software to the Department thereby made it possible to identify their functioning mechanisms", the Georgian counter-intelligence reported.

About 15 persons - nine Georgians and four Russian citizens - were arrested as a result of the operation. Two persons were released according to procedural agreements.

Georgian Citizens:

1. Bakur Kiguradze, founder of NGO "Globalization Institute", businessman.
- Charged with espionage according to article no. 314 of Georgian Criminal Code
- Reported secret information to the GRU on military cooperation between Georgia and other countries.

2. Viacheslav Pluzhnikov, pilot of Georgian Air Forces.
- Charged with espionage according to article no. 314 of Georgian Criminal Code
- Reported secret information to the GRU on the flight time-tables and pilots of Georgian Air Forces.

3. Gabriel Ustalishvili, pilot of Georgian Air Forces.
- Charged with espionage according to Article no. 314 of Georgian Criminal Code
- Reported secret information to the GRU on military readiness and mobilization resources of Georgian Armed Forces.

4. David Meskhidze, pilot of Georgian Air Forces.
- Charged with espionage according to Article no. 314 of Georgian Criminal Code
- Reported secret information to the GRU on military trainings and inspections in Georgian Armed Forces.

5. Gela Kakabadze, pilot of Georgian Air Forces.
- Charged with espionage according to Article no. 314 of Georgian Criminal Code
- Reported secret information to the GRU on the numbers of military personnel, weapons, military hardware and transport in Georgian Armed Forces.

6. Gocha Diasamidze, pilot of Georgian Air Forces.
- Charged with espionage according to Article no. 314 of Georgian Criminal Code
- Reported secret information to the GRU on the level of combat and operative readiness of Georgian Armed Forces.

7. Tariel Abashidze, pilot of Georgian Air Forces.
- Charged with espionage according to Article no. 314 of Georgian Criminal Code
- Reported secret information to the GRU on the working regime, structure and personnel of important military and civil facilities.

8. Ruslan Galogre, businessman.
- Charged with working on special service of a foreign country according to Article no. 311 of Georgian Criminal Code
- According to instructions from the GRU, conducted surveillance on certain individuals.

9. Eduard Abdulaev, sailor, radio specialist.
- Charged with espionage according to Article no. 314 of Georgian Criminal Code
- Reported secret information to the GRU on military communications and radio call signs.

Russian Citizens:

10. Armen Gevorkian, director of company "Saybolt Georgia."
- Charged with espionage according to Article no. 314 of Georgian Criminal Code
- Reported secret information to the GRU on the cooperation between the armed forces of Georgia and other countries.

11. Ruben Shikoian, deputy director of company "Saybolt Georgia."
- Charged with espionage according to Article no. 314 of Georgian Criminal Code
- Reported secret information to the GRU on the contracts signed between Georgian Ministry of Defense and foreign companies regarding military purchases.

12. Petre Devrishadze, businessman.
- Charged with working on special service of a foreign country according to Article no. 311 of Georgian Criminal Code
- According to instructions from the GRU, conducted surveillance on certain individuals.

13. Iuri Skrilnikov, GRU liaison officer.
- Charged with working on special service of a foreign country according to Article no. 311 of Georgian Criminal Code
- Organized meetings with GRU contacts on Georgian territory and transferred secret information abroad.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs published confessions of the two spies.

Increasing arrests of suspected of Russian spies indicate that "everything is not all right" with the secret services of the neighboring country, said a Georgian expert, Mamuka Areshidze.

"Recently, Russian spies were arrested in several countries, including Georgia. It suggests that everything is not all right with Russian special services, and agents easily fail.

It seems, they have serious problems, and their system is destroyed.

According to Russian political scientists and specialists, the situation, both within the GRU, as well as in the foreign intelligence SVR, is very bad", the expert said in an interview with the Georgian news agency GHN commenting on the arrest of Russian spies.

As for an expected reaction from Moscow, according to Areshidze, "in case of adequate Russian behavior, the arrest of spies should not cause much reaction. However, inadequate steps could be expected from Moscow".

"Everything that happens in Georgia and is connected with Russia in some context causes irritation of Moscow. So, it is difficult to predict their reaction, but clearly, they don't start a new war", the expert said.

 

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