For a Year, Russian Spy Has Been Living in Cyprus Hotel as Refugee for Free

Russian intelligence has taken a lot of work to rebuild its spy networks, which have suffered from a year of large-scale war against Ukraine, to gather information about the military build-up of the Ukrainian army. At the moment, the Kremlin is particularly interested in various information regarding the Ukrainian counter-offensive in Russian-occupied territories. Russian special services use various methods of obtaining this kind of information, SpeakerInfo publishes.

Ukrainian refugees in different countries are, oddly enough, one of the sources for Russian intelligence, who collect information about Ukrainian army units and its movement. Almost all refugees have relatives, friends and acquaintances who serve in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, work in military production or are located in the front-line areas. They receive first-hand information, which is of great interest to Russian intelligence. The refugees themselves are also a potential tool of blackmail to obtain the necessary information from relatives in Ukraine and a source of sensitive information.

The European Union provides support to Ukrainian refugees in the form of temporary protected status, movement within the EU, access to housing, healthcare, education and employment.

Protection for Ukrainian refugees has already been extended until March 2024 and may be extended until 2025.

Over a year, many Ukrainians have integrated into a new life in Cyprus — they are learning the Greek language, finding a job, starting a new business, renting a house in different cities of the country. For socially vulnerable groups of refugees, each case will be considered separately, it is stated. There are disabled people and elderly people among the refugees who are not able to work and take care of themselves.

Russia is sending spies into the EU under the guise of refugees. Among them are people from Crimea, Donbas and other occupied territories of Ukraine, who were recruited by Russian special services and included into migration flows. Their main task is to collect personal data of Ukrainians who fled the war. This primary information is used by Russian intelligence for various operations and activities.

Russian agents are also integrated into the flow of migrants from Russia, since the announcement of “partial mobilization” there last fall. Experts say that at least 10 % of Russians who left the Russian Federation over the past year work for the Russian special services.

Russian citizens who lived in Ukraine before the large-scale invasion of the Russian army in February last year and ended up in the EU under the guise of refugees have a special status.

One of these “refugees” was found in Cyprus, among other Ukrainian refugees, in one of the hotels in Ayia Napa. Since March last year, this small resort town on the island’s east coast has welcomed several thousand Ukrainians. Since March last year, all of them have been put free of charge in several hotels in the city.

Not everyone who lived for a year in hotels on the Mediterranean coast for free liked the decision of the government of the Republic of Cyprus to reduce a stay length in hotels and move from the coast to more remote areas. It caused outrage. Among them, fermentation began, rumors spread about an illegal eviction. The search for the guilty and attempts to influence the situation began. Someone skillfully escalated the situation, spreading of the most incredible rumors and gossip.

Suddenly, a man appeared who said that he knew what to do, promised to help everyone and skillfully led the movement for the right to stay in comfortable rooms.

In order not to bore the reader, let’s not go into details and talk about the main hero in this story.

The person who led the protest is Igor Vladimirovich Gurko. A citizen of Russia, was born on September 20, 1967, in the city of Mykolaiv, Ukrainian SSR. In 1989, he graduated from the Red Banner Military Institute of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR (VKIMO) as a military interpreter. Here it is necessary to clarify that VKIMO, which until 1974 was the Military Institute of Foreign Languages, is a structural subdivision of the GRU of the RF Ministry of Defense, or, in simple terms, the military intelligence of Russia. Graduates of this educational institution were at the disposal of the GRU. Igor Gurko is no exception. After the collapse of the USSR in 1992, he acquired Russian citizenship while serving abroad in one of the military intelligence units. It is known that from the mid-nineties of the last century until the beginning of the 2000s, Gurko had been living in Hungary, where he carried out the GRU’s tasks. He was seen several times in the company of the Russian military attache, which confirms his connections with military intelligence. In Hungary, Gurko had contacts with former servicemen of the army of the socialist Hungary- the Hungarian People’s Republic.

On January 10, 2000, at the Russian Embassy in Budapest, he received the passport of a citizen of the Russian Federation number 500285718.

Soon he moves to Kyiv, marries a citizen of Ukraine, receives a Ukrainian residence permit and lives like an ordinary citizen. A few days before the invasion, according to the testimony of people who know him well, he suddenly leaves for Cyprus. In April last year, Igor Gurko, as the holder of a Ukrainian residence permit, received temporary protected status and the right to free hotel accommodation.

Having led the protest movement of the inhabitants of hotels in Ayia Napa, Igor Gurko developed an unusually stormy, multi-vector activity. He announced the creation of a foundation to help Ukrainian refugees. For these purposes, a well-known Cypriot lawyer was involved. From among the residents of the hotels, he created something like a committee for the preparation of protest events and appointed assistants to himself, who, like him, tirelessly escalate tension among dissenting people. It got to the point that Gurko announced the need to hold a protest rally near the presidential palace in Nicosia, for which he was going to rent 5 buses. I would like to ask: “Wait a minute, who is paying for that?”

Gurko, allegedly collecting appeals to the Cypriot authorities, organized the collection of personal data of Ukrainian refugees, which include names, phone numbers and other information that Russian special services are hunting for.

And the most interesting, that Igor Gurko was seen entering the Russian embassy in Nicosia at least twice. The lawyer with whom he has established cooperation is known for his close ties with Russian government agencies and Russian businessmen.

In Limassol, Gurko met with Russians who had close ties to the Russian embassy and, consequently, to the special services.

Comparing all the facts of Gurko’s biography and his activities in Cyprus, one can easily guess who benefits from tarnishing Ukrainian refugees and doing irreparable harm to the image of Ukraine, turning the local population and the country’s authorities against all citizens of Ukraine living on the island.

In recent months, there has been an active spread of disinformation in the Russian media about the alleged bad behavior of Ukrainians in various EU countries, including Cyprus. Allegedly, the Cypriots are tired of their inappropriate behavior. This is another informational special operation of the Russian special services designed to cause additional tension between the EU countries and Ukraine and tarnish the reputation of Ukrainians in Europe.

The activity of a Russian citizen, Igor Gurko, affiliated with special services, leaves no doubt that he is one of the executors of this special operation.