Christo Grozev left Austria because of a threat from Russian special services
Bellingcat director Christo Grozev has lived in Vienna for nearly 20 years. But it is flooded with representatives of the Russian special services, and the journalist was warned of the danger.
Vienna is known as a center of international espionage. According to some reports, up to 7,000 foreign intelligence officers may be in the city. Since Soviet times, the Russian special services feel comfortable there.
Bellingcat Bulgarian investigative journalist Christo Grozev is forced to move from Austria, where he lived for almost 20 years. This was the alleged threat from the Russian special services, whose representatives flooded Vienna.
The Moscow Times writes about this, citing an article by the Viennese daily Falter. “I suspect there are more Russian agents, informers and henchmen in the city than policemen,” Grozev told the publication.
The journalist was forced to cancel his planned return to Vienna after a trip to the US after intelligence sources warned him of the danger if he returned.
Bellingcat director Grozev has played a leading role in a number of Bellingcat’s most high-profile investigations, including that into the 2018 poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the British city of Salisbury, and the 2020 poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on a domestic flight in Siberia.
In December, Russia put Grozev on the wanted list, sparking outrage in the journalist’s home country of Bulgaria.
“I’m considered a criminal, but I can’t defend myself because I don’t know why. And apparently, they want to let [me] know that they know exactly where I live,” Grozev said in an interview with Falter.
In July, the Russian FSB said Grozev was involved in an alleged Ukrainian intelligence operation to hijack Russian warplanes but did not say whether it ultimately filed criminal charges against the journalist in absentia.
Grozev denied the allegations and accused Russian domestic intelligence of tampering with evidence to support his claims.
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