SOFIA ($1=1.91 Bulgarian Levs) — Russia has accused Bulgarian investigative journalist and chief Bellingcat investigator Hristo Grozev of attempting to hijack a fighter jet from the inventory of the Russian Air Force. The operation was led by Ukrainian military intelligence, and Grozev participated in it, the Federal Security Service [FSS in English, FSB in Russian] of the Russian Federation claimed, accourding Bulgarian web site Dnes.bg.
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The FSB claims that the operation to hijack the Russian fighter jet was foiled and prevented in time by them.
What Russia claims?
What is circulating in Russia about the alleged involvement of Hristo Grozev is the following:
- The Russian TV channel Russia 24 has shown a fragment of Grozev’s correspondence with one of the participants in the operation [the name of the participant is not disclosed]
- According to Russian media reports, Grozev was supposed to hand over $4,000 to couriers [one of them a Russian from Moscow[ to give the money to a Russian fighter pilot who had already “preliminarily agreed to the hijacking” on the plane”. [BulgarianMilitary.com assumes that this is a plane that will be piloted by the mentioned Russian pilot in Ukraine, the name of the pilot is not given]
- Russian FSB official says on air that Russia “knows about Grozev’s involvement in MI6 [British foreign intelligence] not only from his statements”
- The same TV broadcasts material and an interview with the “courier coordinator” [the courier coordinator’s name is Dinar according to the material broadcast on Russian TV], who is detained in Kazan in his own apartment by the Russian FSB. The coordinator says: “Actually, I am very angry with Hristo Grozev. I can explain why. I trusted him as a person who would never deceive me… Therefore, I easily agreed to all this, because I was completely sure that nothing endangered anyone. I didn’t think there was such dirty work there.”
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