Suspected Russian spy allegedly befriended top Polish politicians
PR dla Zagranicy
A suspected Russian spy at Poland’s energy ministry allegedly ran a group on Facebook with over 600 members, many of them top Polish politicians, the Energetyka 24 energy news portal said on Tuesday.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The suspect, identified only as Marek W. was detained on Friday in a joint operation by Poland’s Internal Security Agency (ABW) and the security services of other European Union countries, the ABW said on Monday.
Marek W. was suspected of being in contact with Russian intelligence officers working under diplomatic cover at the Russian embassy in Warsaw, according to Polish state broadcaster TVP.
The suspect worked in Poland’s energy ministry and is believed to have passed on information to Russian intelligence officers about Polish government plans regarding blocking the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, according to TVP.
According to Energetyka 24, Marek W. used a modest Facebook profile, which included his basic personal details and one profile picture, to build a network of 400-450 “friends” from the energy sector.
Network of contacts
Among them were government ministers and deputy ministers, MPs and MEPs, employers of major energy companies, journalists and activists, Energetyka 24 said.
The Polish portal said many of those people never met Marek W. in real life.
Energetyka 24 also said that Marek W. ran two Facebook groups, one called Energy Insight and a smaller one called Geopolitical Insight.
The Polish portal said that Energy Insight had more than 600 members before Marek W. was detained, but that that number, like the number of his Facebook friends, had shrunk since.
Energetyka 24 said that Marek W. increased the credibility of his Facebook groups by keeping them very professional. But the website claimed that he discussed interesting topics in private online discussions, often asking for classified information.
The portal added that it did not know what kind of information he obtained in this way.
News of the alleged spy being held broke on the same day that Poland announced it would expel four Russian diplomats as part of a coordinated international response to a suspected attack by Moscow on an ex-agent in Britain.