According to Greece’s security agencies, a Russian spy operating in the nation under “deep cover” since 2018 was discovered.
Greek citizenship to operate throughout the EU
The foreign national, identified as “Irina A. S.” was employed as a photographer and, according to the National Intelligence Service (EYP), had acquired Greek citizenship and an identity card. She ran a shop selling handmade goods in Athens as well. She resided in Pagrati, a neighborhood close to the heart of the Greek city.
She introduced herself as “Maria Tsalla.” The EYP statement is silent on the spy’s country, although later sources claim she was a Russian spy with the actual name Irina Alexandrova Smireva. In January, she went back to her native country.
EYP claims that her disclosure began due to the discovery of a third country’s attempt to access the personal information of dead Greek nationals.
It also explains that “Maria Tsalla’s” activities were likely not exclusive to Greece. She would have been able to travel and work in numerous European nations as an EU citizen.
The spy used social media extensively, with Facebook being her primary platform. Hundreds of cat photographs may be found on her profile, and she copies cat adoption adverts from other users. She has spent the last five years creating a profile allowing her to blend in with other groups.
Two things stand out, though. One is that, despite having numerous images on her social media pages, she virtually always covers her face in them—either with knitting or a camera—and the other is that she opted to pay her rent in cash rather than using a bank account.
While she was a Greek citizen and possessed an identity card since 2018, “Irina A.S.” was a foreign national working in our nation covertly.
Following the discovery of a third country’s attempt to access the personal information of deceased Greek citizens—a globally recognized and accepted practice the intelligence services of a particular foreign country use to create a specialized category of spies known as “illegals”—the countdown to her exposure began.
Obviously, “T’s” activities were not confined to Greek soil. She would have been free to move around and pursue European employment as an EU citizen. Because of this, the success of EYP has an impact on all of Europe and transcends national boundaries.
Photo: Petr David Josek/AP