The Russian spy killed in the Berlin Embassy is “a message from Putin”


Correspondent in Berlin

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«A Russian agent is thrown out of a window of the Russian Embassy. One of the buildings with the highest security level in Berlin. And you leave it there, on the ground, until the German authorities find it. There is no doubt that Putin is sending a message “, translates a German journalist specializing in intelligence services about the murder of Kirill Zhalo, second secretary of the Russian Embassy in Berlin, which took place on October 19 and whose authorship remains unsolved.

The victim’s diplomatic passport prevents the German police from going further in the investigations, but for the German authorities it is no secret that, in addition to holding the position of second secretary, which he joined on June 14, 2019, the 35-year-old diplomat was an agent of the Office for the Protection of the Constitutional System of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB), intelligence body that responds directly to Putin, and also son of the vice president of the FSB, Lieutenant General Alexéi Zahlo, the person in charge of the fight against terrorism and commissioned killings.

The police have from the outset linked the death of Kirill Zahlo to a murder committed in Berlin by Russian intelligence in 2019, that of the Georgian of Chechen origin Zelimkhan Kahngoshvili. Zhalo was transferred from Vienna to Berlin in June of that year, along with his wife Alexandra Gordeeva. Only three months later, the Georgian veteran of the Chechen war Selimchan Changoshvili, a refugee in Germany, was shot dead in the Kleiner Tiergarten, a central park in the German capital, next to an ice cream parlor where families with children enjoyed the sunny afternoon.

The crime was committed by an FSB hitman who had received training and coverage from the Russian Embassy. He was arrested and his true identity was revealed by the German media, despite the fact that he had entered the country with a fake passport. The assassination has been the source of great tension between the governments of Germany and Russia, at key moments in the construction and opening of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, already ready to begin pumping Russian gas to the northern coasts of Germany but whose license to do so continues suspended in bureaucratic limbo. Germany has been demanding that heads roll for two years. The fact that Kirill Zahlo, a shadow organizer of that operation for the German security forces, has now been assassinated is read by experts in the field as a message from Putin, who “hands over his head but prefers to personally take care of cutting it off ».

The German security forces are also convinced that the murder of the Russian spy has as its background the internal struggle for power between the different secret services of Moscow. “The death of the son is also a message for the father,” say the same sources, “it is a casualty of that internal war and a public statement that Zahlo father is marked, he is no longer untouchable.” Alexéi Zahlo is considered by Western intelligence services like the man behind the sniper killings at the Maidan in Kiev in February 2014 and several poisonings, including that of Russian opponent Alexei Navalny.

According to the platforms ‘Bellingcat’ and ‘The Insider’, in the monitoring of Navalny since 2017 and attempted murder by poisoning in a plane flying from Tomsk, in Siberia, to Moscow, at least eight FSB agents participated in collaboration with the chemical laboratories of the Russian Novichok program. One of the FSB agents who participated in the operation, Alexej Alexandrov, was located in Novosibirsk in front of the Navalny hotel. From there he maintained repeated telephone connections with Moscow before moving, together with the rest of the team and after the assassination plan had failed, to the Siberian city of Gorno-Altajsk. That operation was a disaster and the world knew it, which for intelligence experts is reason enough for the person responsible to receive public punishment from the Kremlim.

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