Murder of Russian defector in Spain financed via Vienna

Murder of Russian defector in Spain financed via Vienna
Murder of Russian defector in Spain financed via Vienna

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) stated this at the end of last week in a major article about intelligence activities in Austria. These statements from anonymous sources in the US media cannot be confirmed. According to APA information, the Vienna public prosecutor’s office does not currently have any Spanish request for legal assistance.

“Russian agents based in Vienna are suspected of helping recruit and finance Russian operations to monitor Western arms shipments to Kiev in Poland or the murder of a Russian military helicopter pilot who defected to Ukraine and was living in Spain, Western intelligence officials say,” the newspaper wrote. The killers who shot Maksim Kuzminov five times in Villajoyosa, Spain, in February 2024 and then ran him over with an off-road sedan were criminals who were paid with cash provided by “Russian state employees” from Vienna, it said.

These funds come to Austria via Russia’s neighbouring countries such as Lithuania, and are then distributed throughout Europe by diplomats stationed in Vienna, often in diplomatic mail that cannot be opened by the police, the WSJ explained. In this context, the media outlet referred to demands from the Czech Republic, for example, that Russian diplomats in the EU should only be allowed to travel to those countries in which they are formally accredited.

No official confirmation from Austria

However, there is no official confirmation from Austria of this account or of Vienna’s role in a Spanish murder case. The Vienna public prosecutor’s office was unable to find any such request for legal assistance, said Nina Bussek, spokeswoman for the authority, to the APA on Monday afternoon. In the situation described, her authority would be responsible for any investigations into the Kusminow case in Austria.

The Austrian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday evening that no information was available on this case. In response to an APA query, the Interior Ministry stressed that the Directorate for State Protection and Intelligence (DSN) was not permitted to publicly disclose personal data and that internal processes and the communication of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution with foreign partner services would not be commented on.

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Source: Nachrichten

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