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What we know about the six Russian spies expelled from France

Six Russian agents were expelled from the country for activities “contrary to our national interests”. after a lengthy investigation by the DGSI.

France has decided to expel six Russian spies who, according to the report, were operating under cover of their embassy in Paris and “whose activities have been proven to be contrary to our national interests”. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced this in a statement on Monday.

France Diplomacy speaks of a “clandestine operation carried out by the Russian intelligence services on our territory”, without, however, giving more information about these declared spies persona non grata on French territory, and their actions.

“Russian Clandestine Agents”

The press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs speaks of “six Russian agents under diplomatic cover”, i.e. people who are present in France for reasons other than those shown, “and whose activities have proven to be contrary to our national interests”.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin also spoke of a “network of Russian clandestine agents working against our interests”.

These names refer to espionage, but have already been used in recent weeks for the dismissal of other Russian diplomats. For example, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the expulsion on April 4. “Many Russian personnel with diplomatic status assigned to France whose activities conflict with our security interests.”

The press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasizes that these evictions are taking place after “a very long investigation” by the DGSI.

Indeed, according to a source familiar with the case at BFMTV, it is a lengthy operation in light of “very professional services that used very elaborate techniques”. This investigation therefore required “a lot of care and investment” from this French service, it is an “operation of a major obstacle against an espionage operation”.

· What are they accused of?

It’s hard to know what these six agents actually did to get deported. According to information from BFMTV, they are charged with an operation to capture information that the DGSI (General Directorate of Internal Security) detected and prevented.

“It could be a special Russian operation against the opposition Russians who are on French soil”, or “an operation of Russian interference in the French democratic process in the context of the presidential elections”, or even “a rather aggressive special operation in the context of the war in Ukraine and the French sanctions,” Sergei Jirnov, former KGB intelligence officer, explains on BFMTV. “Unfortunately, we will never know you and me”.

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