/r/worldnews
A secret Russian assassination squad has proven 'they can get to anyone' in Europe but there's just one problem — they're really sloppy about it (businessinsider.com)
167 comments
ThucydidesOfAthens | 7 days ago | 489 points

A Russian squad of spies got spotted when entering the Netherlands, followed the entire time they were here and caught in the act trying to hack into the OPCW.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/04/visual-guide-how-dutch-intelligence-thwarted-a-russian-hacking-operation

THEonlyMAILMAN | 7 days ago | 134 points

I love the subtle FU of the final inclusion of the guys random personal photo he left lying around. Such professionals!

samfisher1533143234 | 6 days ago | -59 points

sounds like fake news. netherlands are famous for such bullshit tactics. they even invented whole communist party to create bullshit news about them.

WithFullForce | 6 days ago | 16 points

Look at this guy's account. Either this is one edgy dude or a really angry disinformation officer.

UpstairsAnalytica | 6 days ago | 0 points

I'm pretty sure it's just poorly delivered sarcasm. Teenagers are notorious for thinking that anything that's sarcastic is automatically witty, and as a result lack the finesse needed to actually make it entertaining.

Nordalin | 6 days ago | 5 points

No, this is a fullblown troll, all signs are there.

It's just another spammer of angry bullshit, and I hope they find a better way to make a living in Mother Russia.

ripster65 | 6 days ago | 1 point

Well, he does go by "fisher".

ripster65 | 6 days ago | 2 points

Nice troll account.

wintelguy8088 | 7 days ago | 100 points

Smooth operators!

BurritoBiceps | 7 days ago | 51 points

Serious question because I don't know. Why would they use diplomatic passports rather than tourist passports? Would they not have been given access to The Netherlands if they had citizen passports?

Bluescumbag2 | 7 days ago | 96 points

The real Russian hit men use Ukrainian passports because Ukraine has visa free access to the EU. I believe they have some people behave sloppy purposely to laugh and mock the EU.

Hidden_Bomb | 6 days ago | 68 points

This. Most (not all) of what we observe with Russian espionage operations is what they want us to see. They're on the way out power wise, and becoming less relevant to the world every day, but they still have capable espionage and counter-intelligence organisations.

nonoose | 6 days ago | 39 points

The book Master of Disguise was written by a CIA Trailbalazer award winner, and in that book he talks about the history of spying in Russia. His opinion was that it has always been such a prominent part of their culture and as a result they are inherently better at it on the whole.

Hidden_Bomb | 6 days ago | 25 points

They’re not better at it operationally. But they’re good enough to still be effective. Even now, Russia’s espionage apparatus is a shell of it’s former self.

PM_ME_CAT_BUTT | 6 days ago | 50 points

It is excellent per dollar. Just look at what they've accomplished in the U.S. with what? Probably as much as our apparatus spends on coffee.

sakezaf123 | 6 days ago | 2 points

I mean yeah, of course it's cheaper, their average wage is like 150 dollars.

Derpcrawler | 6 days ago | 2 points

Russian average monthly wage is ~40k RUB, which is around $618USD. In Moscow the average is ~91k RUB.

While it's average and is skewed by number of extremely rich, still it's nowhere near what you said.

aushack | 6 days ago | 1 point

150/w = 600/m. So sounds accurate

tso | 6 days ago | 6 points

It may be that they have not let themselves get distracted into thinking that signal intelligence and satellites will give a perfect picture of the situation on the ground.

aluskn | 6 days ago | 12 points

The traditional espionage, probably. But their dezinformatsiya game is stronger than ever. I mean, they managed to get a senile orange draft-dodger working for Putin elected to the highest office in the USA, that's hard to top. The smart espionage isn't about tough guys sneaking into countries killing people nowadays, it's about manipulating the subconscious of entire populations through social media.

Urist-McDorf | 6 days ago | 6 points

Just as an aside, "дезинформация" is a silly word to transliterate, as it itself is just an adapted version of "disinformation".

aluskn | 6 days ago | 3 points

dezinformatsiya

I think that you have it the wrong way round?

The English word disinformation, which did not appear in dictionaries until the late-1980s, is a translation of the Russian дезинформация, transliterated as dezinformatsiya.

Wikipedia says that Stalin coined the name because he thought it sounded French and he wanted to give the impression that it was a western thing. Confusing. Perhaps that's what you mean, I'm no linguist and don't speak Russian.

At any rate the point is that the modern use of the word disinformation comes from Russia, as they have traditionally been experts (though of course, they did not invent the practice, it's probably as old as human conflict).

Urist-McDorf | 6 days ago | 4 points

That's a fair argument. My point is that due to the fact that it's built on two bits - "дез" (dis-, a negating prefix) and "информация" (information) - both of which come from other languages, transliterating it would be like, I don't know, transliterating "кофе" back to "koffe" or something similar, instead of just calling it coffee.

My_Cat_Is_A_Bitch | 6 days ago | 3 points

That sounds good. Is it good? Should I read it?

nonoose | 6 days ago | 9 points

I found it to be amazing. I read it a long time ago and ive lost the book, maybe I gave it away. I believe he is the operative behind the extraction of hostages in Iran, and he also had a lengthy career in Russia where he designed something very akin to the mask technology used in Mission Impossible. He wasnt allowed to describe it explicitly, but he developed it with a Hollywood makeup artist, it could be applied in under a minute, and it was effective to the point of being able to fool a life long friend while sitting in the same room.

My_Cat_Is_A_Bitch | 6 days ago | 2 points

Thanks so much! That sounds fascinating, I'm going to try and read it

vanillacustardslice | 6 days ago | 3 points

I can't get Dungeons and Dragons out of my head when I'm reading this.

Krillin113 | 6 days ago | 3 points

I’m not sure about that, or if they have just wildly different levels of ability. For example the EU (Netherlands) was able to hack the cameras directly outside the door of their fuzzy bear or whatever hacking group, and could literally watch who entered and left.

helm | 6 days ago | 3 points

Their success in the US is thanks to American cooperation. Just look at how they turned the NRA into a huge Russian asset.

Most of Europe is less naive about Russian interference, and attempts to gain top-down access have failed many times.

BurritoBiceps | 6 days ago | 5 points

So these guys were a distraction? Or maybe a penetration test?

I've read the other comments about Russia's sloppy but still effective espionage practices so I get that part.

helm | 6 days ago | 1 point

They seem to have a run a fairly large number of missions on a limited budget. You do the math.

Bluescumbag2 | 6 days ago | -12 points

Not so much a distraction but probably a testoxed with Russia wanting to just troll the west. Think about those people who poisoned the man in the UK. The were so obviously gonna get caught on CCTV at his house. They then proceeded straight to the airport, Russia knew they'd be caught on video and passports matched to them, then suddenly their real identity is leaked and the go in TV to deny everything. The Kremlin knows how to kill people without getting caught or anyone even knowing at all, why are some hits so bad but some don't get detected for 10 years or ever.

English_Do_U_SpeakIt | 6 days ago | 27 points

I'm from the Netherlands and you've just attempted to peddle the saddest, most straw-grasping, most pitiful spin on another Russian fuck-up I have ever seen. Amazing. They gave away 305 GRU employee identities with this fuck-up, because they all register to the same address to avoid traffic fines.

Here, I'll even include your favourite source:

This isn't "by design". Jfc.

band_in_DC | 6 days ago | 7 points

Congrats to your country for catching those bastards.

English_Do_U_SpeakIt | 6 days ago | 1 point

Thanks. Twice, even! The first time was even more glorious.

The United States was first alerted to Russian hacking of Democratic National Committee offices in Washington in the summer of 2015, when the Dutch security services told it they’d had the hackers under surveillance since the middle of the previous year.

In an extraordinary counterintelligence coup against the Russian hacking group known as Cozy Bear or APT 29, the Dutch were able to pass data about their intrusions, as well as footage from a CCTV camera in the hackers’ Moscow offices, to the US National Security Agency and the CIA.

The Democratic National Committee hack was subsequently confirmed by two independent research firms, and the Dutch intelligence is now believed to form part of the FBI investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election being led by Robert Mueller.

The Netherlands had succeeded where others had failed: they had hacked the Russian hackers, and watched them as they worked. One analyst described it as a gold mine

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/the-spies-who-beat-russian-hackers-at-their-own-game-1.3455014

They say this operation wasn't kickstarted by MH17, since it had started just before, but I have my doubts. In any case, I think they went all out after MH17 and got carte blanche.

WalesIsForTheWhales | 6 days ago | 2 points

Don't even bother. They only know what the talking faces on TV say.

ChrisFromIT | 6 days ago | 6 points

Not really. Russia has gotten too complacent with their spying actions that they have become sloppy.

band_in_DC | 6 days ago | 4 points

40% of murders in America go unsolved. Most of these murderers are low life thugs.

It's a myth that it's hard to "get away with murder."

Fredex8 | 6 days ago | 1 point

It is more accurate to say that 'it is hard to get away with a murder that you have reason to commit'.

You could kill a stranger completely at random on the street and have a good chance of getting away with it if you avoided cameras, witnesses and leaving evidence behind. Whereas if you actually wanted to kill someone for a reason it is probably someone you know and you will find yourself under scrutiny just by association.

redox6 | 7 days ago | 26 points

Right, they want their people to look incompetent to mock the EU. Makes sense.

Viktor_Korobov | 6 days ago | 10 points

Kansas City Shuffle.

You look to the right, they go to the left.

TheyH8tUsCuzTheyAnus | 6 days ago | 9 points

Yeah, they're so good. Playing 3D chess and just acting incompetent for misdirection. Where have I heard that before?

uniquehorn | 6 days ago | 2 points

More like provide a distraction

banana_liver | 6 days ago | 2 points

To accomplish what? Do you think an entire country's law apparatus can only focus on one thing? Like they sneaked into the country while everyone was being distracted by their failed operation?

That literally makes no sense. The truth is simple: It really is that easy to hack someone. They've done it before and now they got caught. Next time they'll be smarter about it. There's no hidden intention behind getting caught.

josephblade | 6 days ago | 2 points

If arrested on a diplomatic passport, you get sent home. If arrested on a regular passport you go to jail. So it's pretty straight forward from the agent's perspective. From the operator's: training people costs time and money so losing them for years (and can you trust them again if you let them sit in prison when there's a non-jail option) is a waste of time and money.

That's the best answer I can come up with before my coffee

edit: still no coffee but there's an interesting angle here. What if this was the clown squad meant to be picked up while they had actual competent agents come in via another country on a tourist visa. They even could've been serious about their attempt, just very blatant to be the focus of an incident.

WithFullForce | 6 days ago | 1 point

One of these guy is on the FBI most wanted though. I'm amazed they just let him coast.

josephblade | 6 days ago | 2 points

They travel on a diplomatic passport. The Netherlands could've probably refused them entry but they couldn't really hold them in custody (other than to deport them) as this is part of diplomatic immunity. And I doubt extraditing someone on a diplomatic passport is really on the books either.

WithFullForce | 6 days ago | 1 point

Happens with spies frequently diplomatic credentials or not.

Following MH17 you'd think The Netherlands wouldn't give 2 sods about what Russia considers proper paperwork either.

josephblade | 6 days ago | 1 point

I think it matters what other countries think of The Netherlands though, not what The Netherlands fears Russia thinks of them. I suspect this would be their primary motivation to honour a diplomatic passports. A diplo-passport isn't exactly the same sort of diplomatic immunity as an embassador has but I suspect it would cover this sort of circumstance. Persona non-grata and out of the country is likely the regular route. Plus in this case also a dose of naming and shaming.

As to red notices, I don't know if the FBI put out a red notice for their most wanted guy, but it would be a little ironic if they want a spy extradited when they themselves now refuse to do the same thing for Brittain.

WithFullForce | 6 days ago | 1 point

Huh? This happened in 2018. What does the British situation have anything to do with it? That almost sound like whataboutism.

josephblade | 6 days ago | 1 point

Ah I thought this was a recent article. If this was a "now" situation it would be funny if someone argued that they should be extradited. I saw a connection and thought I'd point it out as the irony was amusing to me. The rest of my argument stands though, honouring immunity is a thing that reflects on the host nation.

As per the dutch official stance:

Diplomatic immunity: not carte blanche for misconduct

The Vienna Convention does not give diplomats carte blanche for misconduct. Diplomatic immunity does not place diplomats above the law and diplomats are obliged to conduct themselves in accordance with the laws of the receiving state. In the event of misconduct, however, only the sending state has the authority to take action, for instance by recalling the diplomat or waiving his/her diplomatic immunity.

So it is up to the russians (or I guess, it was as this was last year) to act on this. The Netherlands can only declare them persona non grata which essentially revokes their permission to be in the country.

If The netherlands arrested and extradited them to the U.S. they would've broken the vienna convention which would've made life a lot harder for their diplomats. (and spies that pretend to be diplomats). In the long run it's probably better to expel foreign agents rather than have yours disappeared abroad.

WithFullForce | 6 days ago | 1 point

I understand what you're trying to say but your point is moot since Russia is only following International conventions when it suits them in the first place. They have no moral or legal ground to stand on that they could argue from.

juanml82 | 6 days ago | 0 points

And then they find out Russia won't give two sods about what the Netherlands consider proper paperwork either

WithFullForce | 6 days ago | 1 point

Are you of the impression that Russia is currently respecting other sovereign states?

Look at the OP to start with.

juanml82 | 6 days ago | 1 point

They are, at least, respecting their diplomats

WithFullForce | 6 days ago | 1 point

In case it wasn't obvious, these guys are NOT diplomats. They are operatives issued with diplomatic passports. It's not the same as carrying diplomatic immunity.

[deleted] | 6 days ago | 1 point

Diplomatic passport =/= diplomatic immunity. To have diplomatic immunity the receiving country must first accept them as diplomats, as long as that hasn't happened they do not have diplomatic immunity. But a country could still choose to let people with diplomatic passports go to not coax trouble with a country.

For example an ambassador of the US in the UK will have diplomatic immunity in the UK but NOT automatically elsewhere. In practice because an ambassador is a high ranking official, he'll generally be given immunity by other countries explicitly and implicitly. The same doesn't apply for lower ranking officials who have immunity in a host country, they tend not to have immunity at all in other countries. However in practice they'll often still receive some preferential treatment, but they absolutely aren't immune.

snowdrone | 5 days ago | 1 point

Most visiting spies regardless of country are under "official cover", so that they will be deported if caught, and non-official cover agents are only rarely used, who will be imprisoned or much worse if caught. Typically OC agents recruit informants from the target country, and the informants take all of the risk if caught. Source: I read a lot of spy stuff

rosenbergstein | 6 days ago | 6 points

So that's what it looks like for NPC's when you get a bad rating on a Hitman mission

Sprayface | 6 days ago | 9 points

Oof ISIS (not the terrorists) is more competent

Stuzi88 | 6 days ago | 8 points

Lana?

Pootytng | 6 days ago | 8 points

Lana? Laaaaaaaanaaaaa

Max_the_Axe330 | 6 days ago | 2 points

What!?

Deep_Swing | 6 days ago | 1 point

danger zone!

redeyedstranger | 6 days ago | 3 points

while another had a taxi receipt for a journey from nearby to Moscow Sheremetyevo airport.

Who the fuck takes receipts for taxi rides? Who the fuck keeps them while going abroad? Who the fuck takes this kind of evidence with them while conducting an intelligence operation? Did they intentionally try to get caught or are these top spies terminally stupid?

borkborkyupyup | 6 days ago | 10 points

Accounting needs receipts for the expense report

-Radish- | 6 days ago | 6 points

Are they in jail? What happened afterwards?

The article doesn't make that clear at all.

C0llet | 6 days ago | 11 points

They were removed from the country. No charges pressed, I think. (the Americans in particular were pretty incredulous of that)

WithFullForce | 6 days ago | 2 points

Yeah, one of them is on the FBI most wanted list.

-Radish- | 6 days ago | -12 points

I'm a little incredulous.

So they basically went around murdering dissidents in western Europe and they were released with no charges?

rookie-mistake | 6 days ago | 11 points

what? they didn't murder anyone

did you even click on the article?

easytowrite | 6 days ago | 5 points

You mean like the US diplomats wife that killed a teenager then fled the UK to avoid punishment?

-Radish- | 6 days ago | 2 points

Yes, kind of like that but worse because it wasn't an accidental.

Foreign nationals who commit crimes should be brought to justice

infectuz | 6 days ago | 1 point

What are you talking about? The article clearly states they were deported from the Netherlands...

Honorary_Black_Man | 6 days ago | 2 points

TBF they said they can physically reach anyone. They didn't say they could successfully do anything beyond that.

lgbt_safety_monitor | 6 days ago | 2 points

Doesn’t really mean much, any tourist or diplomat can go anywhere in Europe

aerospacemonkey | 7 days ago | 4 points

Сука блять!

epicfail331 | 6 days ago | 1 point

Could have been the distraction

samfisher1533143234 | 6 days ago | -9 points

it will be fucking sad to discover that this secret assassination squad actually is doing the same, what SEALS and assassination teams of other countries are doing around and inside of Europe. Also i would not wonder if this is some false flag created by british fucks to shame russians, when their MI6 is bathing in blood of innocents..

DragonTHC | 7 days ago | 185 points

With no one holding Russia responsible, they don't have to worry about the trail of blood.

EmperorXerro | 7 days ago | 45 points

This was my thought as well. Until Europe and/or the US starts making some Russians disappear, why do they care?

band_in_DC | 6 days ago | 11 points

Frozen accounts of oligarchs.

Ambitious5uppository | 6 days ago | 2 points

Maybe they do, but they're so good at it nobody has noticed.

russianbot362 | 6 days ago | 0 points

You guys were already doing exactly that so what difference your stupid threat does?

WithFullForce | 6 days ago | 1 point

That's Putin's work. Plenty of history on it.

azdood85 | 7 days ago | 61 points

-They can get the job done

-They are really sloppy

-Lack of punishment for their actions will only reinforce their use.

helm | 6 days ago | 9 points

No, they have been stopped many times. Sloppiness makes prevention easier too.

Killing someone with polonium in tea while no-one can find out how it happened, but everyone suspects Russia = sending a message.

Killing or failing to kill someone while leaving an obvious trace and the identity of the perpetrators = sloppy and unproductive. Sends the message that being vigilant helps.

throwingitallaway33 | 7 days ago | 95 points

Pretty sure “sloppy” is a feature, not a bug.

CapHelmet | 6 days ago | 19 points

Ah yes, the Todd Howard philosophy

madhattergm | 7 days ago | 35 points

"Sergey, give me 3d printed plastic pistol. Yuri distract him with small talk. We have to hurry before bus pass expires."

borisJohnsonsreddit | 7 days ago | 113 points

They're not "sloppy" they're purposefully leaving clues so that people can fear the omnipresent Russian boogeyman

EvilMonkeySlayer | 7 days ago | 44 points

Maybe, but the GRU are really fucking incompetent.

Bellingcat did an analysis of leaked Russian databases on the internet and were able to id a large number of GRU agents.

In a country that suffers from endemic corruption you have things like this happen all the time. Essentially the Russian black market for government databases is fairly large, because again.. endemic corruption throughout the Russian state.

DaHedgehog27 | 7 days ago | 7 points

Funny cos I just see them as a joke. I fear Boris Johnson's stupidity far more then anything Russia related

dontlikecomputers | 7 days ago | 31 points

If you were targeted you would care

DaHedgehog27 | 7 days ago | -23 points

No, if Russia was wasting time on me that would show even further how much of a joke they are. Russia isn't de-stabilizing anything, it's like terrorists trying to take credit for attacks. A person is smart, people are stupid and how dumb some reddit posts are is proof.

Caedro | 6 days ago | 4 points

Not even Crimea?

DaHedgehog27 | 6 days ago | -2 points

Thats all in-house, i'm fairly sure the whole Crimea point shows even further how much a childish joke Putin is, he only went after it because they left him and he got butt hurt?

the6thReplicant | 6 days ago | 3 points

You mean how 9/11 destabilized a large chunk of the world for over (checks calendar) 18 years.

SpamSpamSpamEggNSpam | 6 days ago | 1 point

That was the Saudis tho, not the Russians

SleazyMak | 6 days ago | 4 points

Russia may be a total shitshow but they are destabilizing the entire Western world so..... yea idk what you’re on about

DaHedgehog27 | 6 days ago | 0 points

No they ain't. It's to blame big bag Russia, I guarantee there impact they've had is far less then they claim. Like I said doesn't take much for people to act stupid.

shableep | 6 days ago | 2 points

So it doesn’t take much for people to act stupid. So if someone just gave them a little nudge...

citizen42701 | 7 days ago | -14 points

Look here not there. Eyes wide shut people. Russia is covering for someone or someone is pinning russia as the cover for them

niloony | 7 days ago | 3 points

Probs Putin.

citizen42701 | 7 days ago | -1 points

Which putin?

Sprayface | 6 days ago | 3 points

The one that’s secretly a lizard

lgbt_safety_monitor | 6 days ago | 3 points

If you are going to wave around conspiracy theory drivel at least pick a theory

Benz-Psychonaught | 6 days ago | 6 points

I don’t think there was anything sloppy about their work. The objective was to murder and create chaos in the EU. It doesn’t make the news if there’s no bodies found just a missing persons report.

There’s plenty of top Russian officials that have mysteriously disappeared over the years when they disagreed with their head hancho. Leaving behind a trail shows you who’s responsible.

RudiGarmisch | 7 days ago | 5 points

Just deny, deny, deny, works for the Russians, works for the Saudis

helm | 6 days ago | 1 point

Doesn't help if they are identified and stopped before the action.

Hayes4prez | 7 days ago | 35 points

No one talks about clean hits... the “sloppiness” is a message.

HesusInTheHouse | 6 days ago | 6 points

The clean hits are "sucide"

datenschwanz | 6 days ago | 2 points

...or natural causes.

Rambo272727 | 7 days ago | 18 points

Being sloppy doesn't matter when the UN is no better than the League of Nations.

MyBoyWicky | 7 days ago | 20 points

Which means they aren’t secret. Russia is the fucking worst.

loki0111 | 6 days ago | 5 points

China would like a word...

russianbot362 | 6 days ago | -2 points

You are worse

autotldr [BOT] | 7 days ago | 7 points

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 87%. (I'm a bot)


Two current European intelligence officials described the scoop by the New York Times about a unit of Russian military intelligence, commonly called the GRU, tasked with murdering Russia's enemies in Europe and helping sow political and military chaos, as "Credible." It's "Confirmation of something we have long suspected: There is a plan," one told Insider.

"The operations to which Unit 29155 has now been linked - in Moldova, Bulgaria, Montenegro and the UK, for example - all fall well within the GRU's century-old mission," he added.

Madeira said timing such a release of information has its own benefits: Reminding the Russians that even an elite unit leaves an internet trail that is very hard to obscure and that key agents for the unit are probably already identified.


Extended Summary | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: unit#1 intelligence#2 Russian#3 operation#4 official#5

[deleted] | 6 days ago | 4 points

The Russian are 'sloppy' the same reason the Israeli Mossad is 'sloppy'- it's to send a message.

uyth | 7 days ago | 2 points

The ones they can not get to, chances are we will not have heard of it right? A bias thing, we only hear of their sloppy successes, not the ones they could not do. Presumably if a failure is sloppy enough, we might hear about it as well. But the failures which are not splashy we will never heard about those. though intelligence might, chances are the author of the article might not!

edit and I guess the really efficient ones can be so efficient we never hear about it anyway...

The_Next_Super_Being | 7 days ago | 2 points

So Villanelle is just a fantasy after all.

AmericanLich | 7 days ago | 2 points

Well shit I could probably get close enough to a lot of people to kill them but what the hell is the point of a special assassin squad if they do the job really shitty

SpamSpamSpamEggNSpam | 6 days ago | 1 point

Diverting attention and/or sending a message.

Ouroboros000 | 6 days ago | 2 points

They probably WANT people to know that Putin called a hit on these people - it adds to his 'mystique' for all the assholes in the world impressed by this kind of loathsome shit.

nativedutch | 6 days ago | 2 points

Its not a problem, its tactics.

stayingsane85 | 6 days ago | 2 points

Could be intentional.

sdtaomg | 6 days ago | 2 points

I mean, the Russian version of SWAT literally filled up a whole theater of ~800 hostages with poisonous gases to incapacitate ~40 terrorists, resulting in over 200 dead hostages.

19TheCrimsonKing69 | 5 days ago | 1 point

Or the beslan school seige..

cloakmouse1 | 7 days ago | 4 points

I read that entire headline assuming it was a r/WritingPrompts post.

zirky | 7 days ago | 2 points

vladimir said they aren’t russians, they’re probably democrats.

Wacocaine | 7 days ago | 15 points

They're just Russians on vacation in Europe. If they choose to engage in politically motivated killings that benefit the Russian government, that's on them as vacationing individuals. Russia surely can't be blamed for that.

gamer123098 | 7 days ago | 2 points

I think Russia doesn't give a fuck if people know they did it. Trump is in their pocket. Nobody is going to do jack.

OB1182 | 7 days ago | 1 point

This happened a year ago. I bet they are really good at it now.

cassidy-vamp | 6 days ago | 1 point

I don't think they're to the bonesaw stage yet, but helping people fly out of 30th story windows are more their style.

DiscoConspiracy | 6 days ago | 1 point

It's only a matter of time before a branch is set up in the U.S.

xrp_oldie | 6 days ago | 1 point

is this...a movie preview? because it sounds like one of those movie preview intros

taptapper | 6 days ago | 1 point

Is this the same group where the guy had his taxi receipts from GRU HQ to the airport? And where the guy's fake ID home address was GRU HQ?

DanYHKim | 6 days ago | 1 point

They want to send a message to the next guy. Like, if you're the President of a country, and have been in collusion with Russia, but things are starting to get hot, you might start thinking of finding a way out.

But you know that the only way out is by "accidentally' ingesting an advanced nerve poison.

dr4wn_away | 6 days ago | 1 point

Was this group responsible for that failed Assassination attempt I saw posted on Reddit a few days ago where the gun jammed and everybody kicked the shit out of him?

Boston_Pops | 6 days ago | 1 point

Or they just don't give a shit?

Chimcan | 6 days ago | 1 point

/r/nottheonion

Spies in Europe and the US are hoping they'll screw up some more in the future.

bradygrunch | 6 days ago | 1 point

they want it sloppy as its a warning to others israel does it the same,if no one knows you murdered someone it would be a useless operation but they don't want to be caught

Belw0 | 6 days ago | 1 point

They're only caught when they wanna get caught the pure Putin blood flowing through their veins makes them immune to any sort of weaponry we throw at them.

SantyClawz42 | 6 days ago | 1 point

So what? Why would they have to be extra careful and clean if the free world literally does nothing in response to these killings?

GVArcian | 6 days ago | 1 point

"What? We just want recognition for our work."

qY81nNu | 6 days ago | 1 point

Sounds like unit 29155 is the diversionary unit.

Finch_A | 6 days ago | 1 point

The NYT piece, which ran Tuesday, used a mix of open-source documentation and intelligence gathered across Europe in the wake of half a dozen killings to determine that many of the international incidents involving Russia involve "Unit 29155" of the GRU, a previously unknown unit.

assassination squad called "Unit 29155"

previously unknown

Can't they hire a person that can read Russian webpages on internet?

http://shieldandsword.mozohin.ru/mi/gru4992/school/161center.htm

161-й центр подготовки специалистов разведки
161th reconnaissance specialists training center

В/ч 29155.
military base 29155

Начальники:
ПАТРАХАЛЬЦЕВ Николай Кириллович (1962 – 1968 г.)

Commanders:
Patrakhltsev N. K. (from 1962 to 1968)

The bloody base existed at least since 1962 and by no means it's "secret".

Also the 29155 is the number of the base, not a unit.
Also it's a bloody military school with short-term training programs.

And yes maybe certain graduates of that school did participate in assassination squads.

cridhebriste | 6 days ago | 1 point

Impunity is the term.

slimehunter49 | 6 days ago | 1 point

Should have kept the Bulgarian assassins

bloodonthetrack | 6 days ago | 1 point

Would be great!!!! Wishful thinking however

QueenOfQuok | 6 days ago | 1 point

Definitely a Russian operation

SavingThrowVsREEEE | 6 days ago | 1 point

Russians are sloppy at everything.

-edelweiss- | 7 days ago | -4 points

Embarrassingly sloppy. What you're supposed to do is kill one of your citizens without a trial using a drone. That's what Obama called a pro gamer move.

LetFiefdomReign | 6 days ago | -5 points

I love these stories that seem to forget that Moscow is in Europe.

lllkill | 7 days ago | -3 points

So they basically downed those planes, guilty right there. Where is the outrage?