Russian officer lived for several years in Sweden with false documents. My Swedish friends he said that he is a biologist. In fact, he was a Colonel in the Russian armed forces. Last year in Russia, a man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for treason.
The Lefortovo prison, Moscow. The camera is sitting on the bed 50-year-old man. He has bright orange hair, beard, wearing a blue prison uniform. He lowered his face in his hands, and when you look at it in the camera, it seems that he’s crying. Saturday 24 October 2015.
The man’s name is Andrey V. Belyaev, he is a retired Colonel of the Russian defense Ministry, he has just been detained and accused of treason. Belyaev she’s very quiet and prefers to keep quiet. He lawyered up and is worried about what will happen to his wife and children. The youngest son is 12 years old.
Visitor Belyaev says he is a Colonel and a specialist of the Ministry of defence.
He betrayed his country. How and to whom — is unknown. The case examines the Russian security service, the FSB, classified as secret. Outside the notorious prison on detention then, nothing was known.
Only in December 2015 Lefortovo court issued a short press release. In the Russian media information about a suspected traitor is scarce, it is published not on the first page. But from publications becomes aware of some specific details: at the time of arrest Andrei Belyaev was a residence permit in Sweden, Swedish drivers license and car brand Mitsubishi.
The newspaper Dagens Nyheter investigated the case of a Russian officer from Sweden. In the archives of the Swedish authorities found his footprints and they lead to the street Hellewegen in the town of Rimbaud.
It was here, in a normal house from a silicate brick Colonel Andrey Belyaev lived with his wife and son. Wife taught Swedish, the son went to school, they played chess and got a cat.
What was he doing in Sweden? And why did they come here?
In the documents of the Migration Department name Belyaeva the first time occurred in December 2009 when he received a visitor visa to Sweden. Six months later, in July, the entire family was given two years permission to live and work in the country. Andrey Belyaev, according to his Russian passport, born in the city of Omsk, 270 miles from Moscow (the Swedish mile is equal to about 10 km — approx. TRANS.).
A Swedish family, with which it communicated, he said he was a biologist, and Sweden came as a researcher at the invitation of the University.
“Seemed to me somewhat strange that he couldn’t really explain what exactly does he never go into details about it. Said that goes into the woods and looking for stones that works in the natural reserve on the coastal strip,” — said the Swede.
No scholar, he was not. When DN decided to check the data at Uppsala University, it turned out that Andrey Belyaev never performed any tasks. Don’t know it either at the Agricultural University of Sweden (SLU), nor the Stockholm University.
© flickr.com Destination Apopcalypse Uppsala University, Sweden
Besides the work permit for a period of two years applies only to work at a chemical company in the North of Stockholm. A company owned by a Swedish owner, but a lot of the production is sold on the Russian market. After sending the request to the personnel Department the Executive Director of the company announced that Andrey Belyaev’s never worked.
According to one person who spoke with Andrey Belyaev when he came to Sweden in 2010, Belyaev spoke good Swedish. Although, according to official data of the Migration Department, he never before in the country visited.
The family of Belyaeva settled in Sweden in mid-summer 2010. They lived in a charming house of the XVIIth century deep in the woods under Osterbybruk.
In fact, the house was put up for sale, but buyers were not. The owners have decided to rent it “invited the Russian scientist.” Andrey Belyaev said that the family recently sold the apartment in Moscow and eventually wants to buy a house.
The family of Belyaeva changed the Windows and installed a fireplace. But life is far away in the forest was not as expected. My wife would have a driver’s license, and to the son, it was difficult to get to school. After one winter spent in the woods, in March 2011, the family moved to a house on Hellewegen in Rimbaud.
“In fact, Andrew wanted to stay, but his wife did not want to live so deep in the woods,” says one friend.
All who met Belyaev, talk about the fact that he took a great interest in nature and chess. His son also has a talent for this game, he participated in the school tournament. Father Andrey came to class and trained with the students.
In 2011 Andrey Belyaev began to work on a very successful Swedish entrepreneur, who owns large tracts of land on the coastal strip near norrtälje, including on the Islands of Blida and Furusund. This businessman at the age of seventy says he doesn’t remember exactly how have got acquainted with Andrey Belyaev.
As the official car Belyaev got four-wheel drive pickup truck Mitsubishi, he was paid a decent salary.
Belyaev and businessman often worked together in the forest. Belyaev worked a lot, but at the end of the day do not miss the chance to build a fire and roast shashlik. According to the businessman, he never mentioned about his past as a military.
“I would never have thought that he was the officer, he said he is a biologist,” says the man.
After little more than a year this Swedish entrepreneur, Andrey Belyaev quit. He started his own business, bought the tools and a pickup truck. According to the businessman, the reason for the dismissal was the project related to the nature reserve in the South of Blida.
“He wanted to take the case. I think he was trying to get this to work myself. But not received,” — says a Swedish businessman.
After leaving Belyaeva, they continued to maintain contact. According to the businessman, Belyaev called once a week to chat.
Friends of the family of Belyaeva describe how they tried to live the most that neither is a normal life — but it was still pretty lonely.
“They had not so many friends, so when they invited me, of course, we came, we sympathized with them. They gave us something in Russian, and we played chess. Had a good time,” says the man who came to visit them for dinner.
Another describes Belyaeva as a loner.
In 2014, with the family of Belyaeva something happened. Suddenly ceased to do regular tax payments, which previously were paid accurately each month. For the whole year Andrey Belyaev did not declare a single Krone of income. His wife did not work.
What did they do during the remainder of 2014 remains a mystery, they didn’t leave any traces.
In 2014, Russia shocked the world with his invasion of Ukraine. In February, Russian special forces first occupied the Parliament building in Simferopol on the Crimean Peninsula, and then began to encircle one military base after another. For several weeks they took the entire Ukrainian Peninsula under its control. Later in the spring and summer Russian forces in cooperation with local rebel groups began the war in the East of Ukraine.
In Sweden in the autumn began the most ambitious search for submarines since the cold war. In the annual report for 2014 the security police writes:
© AP Photo by Fredrik Sandberg/TT News Adipamide countermeasure ship HMS Kullen and a coast guard ship are searching for a submarine off the coast of Sweden
“For Sweden, the greatest threat comes from Russia. Russian espionage in Sweden and Sweden is very wide. In addition, it intensified in connection with the crisis in Ukraine. Illegal ways under the guise of diplomats Russian intelligence officers collect information on the Swedish defense, politics, Economics, science and political refugees. For example, military intelligence, the GRU, as a part of the Russian military forces.”
To the question why Russian officer, who is also fluent in Swedish, I decided to start clearing the forest in Roslagen, there is no clear answer.
According to Westerlund Fredrik (Fredrik Westerlund), a leading researcher at the Institute of total defence (FOI), it is likely that he worked for Russian intelligence.
“There are few prerequisites for Russian officer was able to learn such an unpopular language like Swedish, if he was not educated in the field of military intelligence, he says. — It looks like he was a GRU officer who was sent to Sweden”.
Probably Russian Colonel arrived in Sweden as an illegal Russian intelligence officer without diplomatic cover — “illegal”.
“Illegals can’t be anyone, that the officers, who have been educated specifically for this mission is to act as intelligence officer in another country,” reports Bengt Nylander (Bengt Nylander), which until 2005 was the head of the security police counter-espionage.
Over 25 years of service in the security police, Bengt Nylander sent out of the country many Russian spies. In all cases, then it was about the officers with diplomatic cover in the Embassy or trade mission. According to Nylander “illegals” show up very rarely
“Illegal alien” in the classical sense, according to Nylander, I would not use my real name, and if possible, would produce even their true nationality. According to Nylander, in this case speech could go about “budget” option.
“Creating a personality for the present illegals cost a lot of money and requires a lot of time. This is risky and can be costly. Therefore, they probably thought that since SEPO don’t work so hard, and Sweden is not the most important object, the most costly methods may not be necessary. You may be able to solve the problem and cheaper ways. That is, to send someone whose potential exposure will not result in any scandal to the world,” says Fredrik Westerlund.
However, much suggests that the Swedish intelligence knew about the past of this man.
December 28, 2014, the family suddenly disappeared from Rimbaud. One of the schoolmates of the son received an unexpected message that the family moved and did not return. Another friend says: “They appeared and then disappeared, and then suddenly just gone.”
The businessman, who worked Belyaev, says: “He mentioned that he was going to move to luleå to work there, but suddenly they went back home to Russia, this was not expected. As I understand it, it was hard for them to provide for themselves here, Andrew could not find work.”
On Monday, 12 January 2015, the first full week after the Christmas holidays, the Immigration Department has taken a formal decision to withdraw the permanent residence permit of the family. The reason given was that they no longer live in Sweden.
The sudden departure of the family home in late December, indicates that interfered with the Swedish security police. SEPO since the early 1980s has a tradition to send Russian spies December 20. On this day in the Soviet Union, and now Russia celebrates the Day of the chekist. On this day in 1917, founded the organization prior to the famous KGB, it was called the all-Russian extraordinary Commission (VCHK) for fighting counter-revolution and sabotage, abbreviated as CHK (check). This day SEPO chose particularly to attract the attention of Russian security services.
Usually send have a week to pack, according to the Bengt Nylander, who wrote about this tradition in his book about the life SEPO “what is not told” (Det som inte har berättats). The official decision is usually taken by the government.
And Andrey Belyaev and members of his family left Sweden on December 28.
But Bengt Nylander considers it unlikely that SEPO has decided to remain silent about the illegal detention of a Russian agent.
“My experience in the security police says that if they found such a person, it would be grabbed and sent to the Swedish court, and not sent quietly home.”
Fredrik Westerlund from the Institute of total defence believes, however, that the security police could release the man and without a trial.
“The main task of SAK is to protect Sweden from espionage, it is not necessarily their main interest is sending spies behind bars. It is first important to cease their activities. Moreover, in the course of the trial you need to present evidence, and therefore, there is a risk that disclosed the sources and methods of work. For long-term goals SEPO sometimes it may be better to just expel a person from the country.”
“This, of course, speculation, but I can imagine that he was contacted, and SEPO said, “If you don’t go home, we’ll put you on trial,” adds Fredrik Westerlund.
The security police refused to comment on the issue, saying that “not answering questions about individuals and specific cases.”
27 Oct 2016 Moscow state court has pronounced a sentence to Andrey Belyaev. The description of a Russian radio journalist who was present in the hall, the hands of the defendant was restrained with handcuffs behind his back, and he nervously looked around. A dozen men in suits took seats in the hall.
When the judge read the verdict, he asked Andrei Belyaev, I realized that what was going on. The penalty will be 12 years in prison and a year of probation with mandatory attendance. He also loses the officer’s rank “Colonel”. Pick-up Mitsubishi confiscated.
Belyayev was sentenced under article 275 of the Russian Criminal code. The crime consists in the transfer of sensitive information obtained in the service of a foreign government or its representative. 12 years — the minimum punishment.
After the trial of Andrey Belyayev was taken from Lefortovo to a colony somewhere in the vastness of Russia.
Where exactly remains a secret.
In written comments to DN, a Moscow court wrote that the case is classified as secret, and even the attitude of the defendant to the crime is kept secret. The verdict is not appealable, they write. DN requested review of the Russian Ministry of defense, and it promised to answer later, but still did not answer the questions of the newspaper.
DN has contacted a lawyer of Andrey Belyaev, but he refused to comment.