Detained in October, an employee of the Norwegian Arctic University of Tromsø, who presented himself as a professor from Brazil, Jose Assis Giammaria, is in fact a Russian citizen Mikhail Mikushin, a GRU intelligence officer. This was discovered by investigative portals Bellingcat and The Insider.
Mikushin was trained to work abroad as a spy under diplomatic cover
Investigators learned that Mikushin was born in Yekaterinburg and graduated from high school in 1994. At the age of 26, he moved to Moscow, where he lived in an officer’s dormitory at the GRU Military Diplomatic Academy, in a building where officers registered who are studying at the 1st faculty of the academy. This institution trains officers to work abroad as spies under diplomatic cover and illegal spies.
In 2006 Mikushin graduated from the academy and was able to obtain a Brazilian passport because he allegedly had a Brazilian mother. Mikushin learned Portuguese.
In 2011 Mikushin went to study in Canada at the University of Calgary. For some time Mikushin was engaged in “research” work in Canada and in 2019 even published an article proving the need for new military bases in the Arctic.
Mikushin got Brizalian papers, and lived in Canada
In 2021, Mikushin arrived in Norway for a research program at the University of Tromsø, which, among other things, included the study of “hybrid threats”. But his turbulent activities were not limited to Norway. For example, only a month ago he participated in an EU-supported training in Vilnius on “hybrid warfare”. One of the topics of the training was, for example, “how to react in case of sabotage on the Nord Stream gas pipeline”.
On Tuesday, October 25, Mikushin was detained on his way to the university. His lawyer was informed that the authorities plan to deport him.
However, deportation to Russia is unlikely to be possible unless Moscow recognizes Mikushin as a Russian citizen. So far, the Russian embassy has angrily rejected the charges, accusing Norway of espionage.
Norwegian court accused Mikushin of espionage
The Norwegian intelligence service believes that this man has an illegal status, being a person who has built his identity as an ordinary citizen, while he quietly works for foreign intelligence.
“We have asked for the expulsion of a Brazilian researcher from the University of Tromsø, Norway’s Arctic university because we believe that he poses a threat to fundamental national interests,” said PST assistant director Hedvig Moe.
The Norwegian intelligence service believes that this man is a Russian citizen who performs tasks for Russia under the cover of Brazil.
In recent weeks, several Russian citizens with drones have been arrested in Norway. Due to sanctions against Russia, Russian citizens are not allowed to operate drones on Norwegian territory.
Suspicious drone flights and Russian church’s real estate in Norway
Also, Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store blamed “foreign intelligence” services for being responsible for a recent spate of “unacceptable” drone flights in the country, indirectly accusing Russia.
Norway was also worried by another Russian interference. Recently, local media reported that representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church are buying houses overlooking Norwegian military bases. There are suspicions, Russia even uses priests as spies.