An officer in the Italian Navy was busted in the act of handing over heavily classified NATO intel to the Russian GRU. The Italians arrested the Russian diplomat over it but had to throw him back because of his hands-off political status. Diplomatic immunity doesn’t stop them from deporting him though, so they did, along with his boss.
One stop intel shopping
The BBC and Reuters have released a few of the bare and basic details but intel insiders have the real dirt on what happened. This may have happened in Italy but it affects every NATO country, including the U.S. but so far His Wisdom Joe Biden hasn’t said a word other than to remind everyone that well, “Putin is a killer.”
The MSM is grudgingly admitting that “an Italian naval officer was arrested trying to sell secrets to a Russian officer. That’s all the details they are willing to part with. They don’t even name names.
Reuters denied knowing anything, reporting that “they arrested the Russian diplomat” and the two individuals caught handing over cash for a flash drive “were not identified.” They were however, accused of “serious crimes tied to spying and state security.”
You betcha they were. The police say they were passing the intel during a meeting in Rome. “During a clandestine meeting between the two.” Italian special operations police dove in “immediately after the transfer of a document by the Italian officer in exchange for a sum of money.”
The Italian foreign ministry staff had smoke coming out of their ears when they “summoned Russian ambassador Sergey Razov.” Because of his political status there isn’t much they can do but they did send two Russian Officials back to Moscow.
The Italian captain caught in the intel stealing act, was identified as Walter Biot. He didn’t just hand over one document like the MSM wants you to think, he (allegedly) “handed over 181 documents to one of the Russian diplomats by taking pictures of classified information with his smartphone and saving all material in a pen drive.”
National security at risk
Police confirm that the flash drive contained “nine classified papers and 47 NATO documents.” He handed it over in exchange for “nearly $6000.” Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio called the intel leak an “extremely serious affair.”
The papers, one Italian site reported, “not only put national security at risk by sharing NATO secrets but also revealed military communications.” Even more troubling, the incident “was not an isolated one.” At Biot’s hearing the world learned “that he had also unscrupulously betrayed Italian institutions.”
Military focused ClearanceJobs adds even more specific detail on the major intel breach. On “the evening of March 30,” they write, “Walter Biot, a Navy frigate captain and member of the Chief of Defense staff and his Russian military intelligence (GRU) contact were meeting in car park in the south of Rome.”
Reuters won’t tell you that. Their little party was “interrupted by the Italian Carabinieri.”
Biot was with GRU officer Dmitry Ostroukhov, they add, describing him as “a military attache assigned to the Russian embassy in Rome.” Biot was arrested, and “Ostroukhov was released due to his diplomatic status.” Based on the seriousness of the intel stolen, “the Italian Foreign Minister expressed his anger directly to the Russian Ambassador and ordered the immediate expulsion of Ostroukhov and his supervisor, Alexei Nemudrov.”
Biot had a huge intel target value. “Biot is reported to have spent the early part of his career working on ships within the Navy. The past five years, however, he has been assigned to the office of the ‘Chief of the Defense Staff’ developing national security policy.” Now, he’s looking at “a minimum of 15 years imprisonment.”