An officer & a diplomat: The strange case of the GRU spy with a red notice

A clandestine GRU team was disclosed earmarked & trained for overseas disruptive operations & extraterritorial assassinations

In this investigation conducted jointly with our partners Tamedia (Switzerland) and The Insider (Russia), we identify a key member of the recently indicted trio who, following the two failed assassination attempts in Bulgaria in 2015, was accredited to a diplomatic post under his real name in Switzerland. From his new base in Geneva, he continued to work for GRU under diplomatic cover, likely assisted various secret service operations in Switzerland, and may have taken part in the preparation of the Skripal poisoning.

As he was accredited by Russia through the end of 2020, this marks the first known case when a Russian diplomat is simultaneously wanted for attempted murder under an Interpol Red Notice. This GRU officer departed Geneva urgently midway through his four-year mandate following Bellingcat’s disclosures and identifications of members of this GRU unit published in late 2018.

He traveled and worked undercover in the period 2008-2015 under the assumed name of Georgy Aleksandrovich Gorshkov, born 1977. In fact, his real name, under which he was accredited to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, is Egor Aleksandrovich Gordienko, born 1979.

Read more: bellingcat