Investigator: The Kremlin has ordered GRU to terrorize Europe

Putin rewards former professional killers with promotion to governmental ranks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed GRU, the military intelligence and special operations service, to terrorize European countries that have offered support to Ukraine.

Although it’s not clear yet what can happen, GRU – assisted by local extremist groups – will most likely carry on bomb attacks at civilian infrastructure, a practice which Russian agents successfully employed in 2011 through 2014, a notorious Bulgarian investigative journalist says.

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Speaking to the YouTube news channel Popular Politics last week, Christo Grozev, an investigator at the collective investigative project Bellingcat, reminded that GRU and other Russian agencies intend to terrify the people and discredit the leaderships of the countries regarded by Moscow as “hostile” and “unfriendly”.
The persons responsible for the explosions at ammunition warehouses in Bulgaria and Czechia, and in other European NATO members have been rewarded with promotion to governmental ranks, now serving the Putin regime as governors, members of parliament of company board, aides to important figures, according to Grozev.


Cristo Grozev. Credit: Free Europe Radio

“They’ve been infiltrated there [in Europe] for a long period. They organized the blasts in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, and many innocent people lost their lives," the journalist noted.

He also emphasized that "Many persons who participated in those terrorist acts are today part of Putin’s political system in Russia. They were promoted with jobs in the presidential administration and are now his personal representatives in provinces. Turning professional killers and terrorists into presidential aides, inspectors, and assistants to governors is changing mentality about how this country is governed.” 

Expect more attacks

In an article published last week by The Insider, Cristo Grozev and Roman Dobrohotov, a Russian journalist, named the concrete GRU units behind the attacks. 

The two also identified the agents and their commanders who carried out terrorist acts, and reconstructed the operations.

Grozev fears that the Kremlin has planned more bomb attacks and could diversify the forms of terrorism, from sabotage to man-made industrial incidents.

Grozev led the Bellingcat team during the investigation of the 2014 Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 crash, which took about 300 lives. The passenger aircraft was shot down by the Russian military while flying over eastern Ukraine.

Grozev also investigated the poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny in 2020 by Russian intelligence agents with the Novichok nerve chemicals, which are banned worldwide.

He also uncovered the Russian spy network which participated in the poisoning of the Skripal family in the United Kingdom with the same prohibited chemical weapons.

The Russian security service FSB and the military intelligence GRU are hunting the Bulgarian journalist for his role in these investigations. Russia issued in 2022 an international arrest warrant on Grozev’s name, without stating the formal reasons for this decision.

Last February, he had to leave Austria, where he had lived for many years, over security concerns, saying that Vienna was “a nestle of Russian agents trying to kill me.” 


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