Bellingcat head says Russian intelligence obtained his personal data via Austrian security officer

Investigative journalist and head of Bellingcat, a Netherlands-based investigative journalism group, Christo Grozev who earlier had to leave Austria due to safety concerns told the Financial Times that the Russian intelligence had obtained his personal information.

“My personal data has been accessed by a now ex-officer of [the] Austrian security service at the behest of Russian intelligence,” he said.

Vienna authorities concluded that it was not safe for Grozev to remain in the country. He has now relocated to North America.

Christo Grozev joined forces with Russian politician Alexey Navalny’s team to investigate his poisoning. Bellingcat, The Insider, CNN, and Der Spiegel discovered that an FSB group was spying on Navalny and could be involved in the attempt on his life.

Earlier, Grozev was forced to flee Vienna following 20 years in the country due to potential safety concerns.

“I suspect there are more Russian agents, spies and henchman in the city than police officers,” Grozev said.

Russia has launched a criminal case against the journalist for “fakes” about the Russian army. In July, the FSB accused him of working with Ukrainian intelligence which allegedly plotted to hijack Russian military planes. The Russian security service claimed that Ukraine was attempting to “recruit Russian pilots”: they were promised around $2 million and an EU citizenship for switching allegiance. The Russian Interior Ministry put Grozev on a wanted list in December 2022.

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