New data on the “Havana syndrome” and links to Russian intelligence

Havana syndrome is a mysterious disease affecting Western diplomats and intelligence officers, and investigators believe the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) is responsible.

Starting in 2016, foreign ambassadors and special service personnel experienced a sickness with identical symptoms. The total number of victims is approximately 1000. Symptoms include ringing in the ears, followed by head pressure, nausea, migraines, and severe discomfort. 

A detailed study was carried out, and a comprehensive report was released in 2023. It adds that five different agencies worked on the probe, and all of them dismissed the use of any sophisticated weapon. However, certain queries went unanswered. For example, the number of new cases dropped significantly following Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Now, a year after their research was published in the Washington Post, prominent investigative journalists Michael Weiss, Christo Grozev, and Roman Dobrokhotov have discovered a remarkable finding. According to their data, the Russian GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate) has actually been involved in these cases, as its agents were physically present at the sites of the attacks. 

The journalists name identities, present pictures, itineraries, and other evidence to support their claim. But, probably most importantly, they provide their own perspective of what triggered the harm.

Joy was one of the most investigated cases of “Havana syndrome” consequences, with two clinics independently diagnosing bilateral semicircular canal divergence (Minor syndrome). This is a bone abnormality that causes small holes to grow in the semicircular canal of the inner ear.

The primary signs and symptoms are hyperacusis (when a person hears their own blinking or eyeball movement while reading), loss of balance, tinnitus, which patients describe as a “whistling” sound or a sound similar to the grinding of a cricket or grasshopper (as many Havana syndrome victims have reported), distorted consciousness, and migraines.

Minor’s syndrome is an incredibly unusual and poorly understood phenomenon that nearly no one has investigated in Russia, except for… Alexander Mishkin (one of the people participating in the investigation) graduated from the Kirov Military Medical Academy (VMEDA), where the professor is GRU doctor Sergei Chepur, a permanent consultant to General Averyanov. 

Alexandr Kovalchuk (“Kalinin”), who traveled to Europe for the Frankfurt operation in 2014, currently works for VMEDA. VMEDA and the Institute of Military Medicine, led by Chepur, are the primary testing facilities where the GRU investigates the effects of its medications and weaponry on humans and animals.

Given the discovery of numerous direct signs linking the occurrences to the operations of GRU military unit 29155, US authorities may reconsider their stance on the Havana Syndrome and conduct a thorough inquiry into the incidents.

The victims themselves hope for this, not only because they dislike being portrayed as insane but also because they understand that if the US authorities do not respond to these cases, they will persist.

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