Bulgaria bans entry of alleged Russian “illegals” on espionage suspicions

Bulgaria bans entry of alleged Russian “illegals” on espionage suspicions

In a move aimed at safeguarding national security, Bulgaria’s State Agency National Security (SANS) has slapped an entry ban on two individuals suspected of espionage on behalf Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

That’s according to Novinite, Ukrinform reports.

The Russian spies, identified by SANS as Vladimir Nikolayevich Gorochkin and Tatiana Anatolievna Gorochkina, have undergone significant visual alterations, as evident from photos available to BNT.

Under the false identities of “Denis Rashkov” and “Diana Rashkova”, the couple, aged 39 and 37 respectively, had resided in Bulgaria undetected until recently. However, sources assure they posed no immediate threat to national security.

Read also: Bulgaria, Ukraine discuss signing security agreement - Prime Minister

Both were operating as “illegals”, which is Russia’s elite category of spies traditionally posing as host or their country’s nationals, handled by the Foreign Intelligence Service. Their primary objective in Bulgaria was to acquire authentic Bulgarian IDs and establish a credible background to facilitate clandestine operations outside Bulgaria’s borders.

The entry ban comes after evidence surfaced suggesting that the individuals had been conducting intelligence activities within Bulgaria. Their true identities were uncovered by SANS, prompting immediate action to prevent further espionage efforts.

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