German lawmaker’s aide could be FSB agent - media

German lawmaker’s aide could be FSB agent - media

Russian intelligence could "direct" the activities of an aide to a Bundestag deputy with the right-wing Alternative for Germany party and thus promote Russia’s interests.

That’s according to a joint investigation by Spiegel and Insider, Ukrinform reports.

The inquiry focuses on Russian spin doctor of Ukrainian origin, Vladimir Sergienko, who has been living in Germany since 1991 and obtained citizenship of this country in 2022. As investigative journalists managed to find out, he was not just a Russian propagandist, but allegedly an agent recruited by the FSB’s Service 5.

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Sergienko is an aide to Alternative for Germany MP of Kazakh origin Eugen Schmidt, but he also worked with many other parliamentarians who in one way or another opposed aid to Ukraine. The activity of the "pundit" was active and quite effective. Thus, he contributed to the AfD parliamentary faction filing in July 2023 a lawsuit with the Federal Constitutional Court to stop the supply of weapons to Ukraine, which, they claimed, proceeds without the approval of the Bundestag.

Media outlets claim that many speeches by deputies of this party were drafted by Sergienko himself, and that he coordinated their text with his handler from the FSB. Among such speeches is the one by Bundestag deputy, member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Harald Weyel, delivered at the PACE session, where he stated that the Kyiv authorities openly persecute parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). Such statements are instantly picked up by the Kremlin media.

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The same handler who approved the texts also paid Sergienko for his activities, the media claim. However, they did not know with whom in the intelligence agencies Sergienko was in contact. And later, after studying metadata from the mobile numbers he called, it was established that they belong to Ilya Oleksandrovich Vechtomov, an employee from Directorate 9 of the Department of Operational Information of the FSB’s Service 5. Directorate 9 deals with Ukraine, and Sergienko likely found himself in the focus of this agency precisely as a Ukrainian national (he acquired Russian and German citizenship only in 2022).

Sergienko rejected all the accusations put forward against him. However, after the investigation came out, his pass to the Bundestag was blocked, Spiegel reports.

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