NewsBrazilian scientist' turned Russian spy. The dramatic unraveling of Mikhail Mikusin's double life in Norway

Brazilian scientist' turned Russian spy. The dramatic unraveling of Mikhail Mikusin's double life in Norway

Scientist José Assis Giammaria turned out to be a Russian spy, Mikhail Mikushin.
Scientist José Assis Giammaria turned out to be a Russian spy, Mikhail Mikushin.
Images source: © Licensor
10:58 AM EST, December 15, 2023

Joseph Assis Giammaria transformed from a Brazilian scientist to a Russian spy in Norway, working at the Polar University in Tromsø. He arrived in Scandinavia in 2021 but only impersonated a Brazilian citizen briefly. The special services (PST) became intrigued by him and exposed the Russian "illegal" a year ago.

He is currently in custody and has caught the attention of Americans. It's plausible that José Assis Giammaria or Mikhail Valeryevich Mikusin, will be involved in a spy exchange with spies detained by the GRU in Russia. Although a spy exchange has not been discussed, Mikusin has been charged with espionage.

The Russians have captured two Americans who may offer Mikusin as part of an exchange.

As reported by 'Verdens Gang', a popular Norwegian daily, the spy impersonated a Brazilian scientist using the pseudonym José Assis Giammaria. Following the weighty evidence collected by the Norwegians, he conceded in an Oslo court that he is indeed Russian and his real name is Mikhail Mikusin, a GRU officer.

Mikusin graduated from the Russian military intelligence GRU's spy school in 2006. He then obtained Brazilian citizenship, asserting that his mother was Brazilian. This facilitated the creation of a narrative about his South American origin, enabling him to operate as an "illegal".

This Russian intelligence officer has been exhaustively trained. Individuals are indoctrinated from a young age, and personae and false identities are created and maintained over the years. Then, they are positioned in environments where they gather information. The Russians have refined this grooming process for intelligence offices and established networks of couriers and contacts.

Mikhail Mikusin was unmasked in the fall of 2022 at the Polar University in Tromsø, where he was executing a research project. He was scientifically involved in various capacities, notably in the far north region and hybrid warfare – a topic of keen interest for the Russians in light of a dispute with Norway over Arctic resources.

Niklas Hafsmoe from the PST openly confessed that they discovered compelling evidence against the Russians. Interestingly, they even made contact with the Russian embassy to verify or deny the surname but received no response. This is the first time a Russian "illegal" has been apprehended in Norway.

Such spies operate in virtually every European country. The extent of Russian espionage activity in Poland is significant. Russian agents enjoy considerable latitude because counterintelligence has been in decline for years in Poland, revealed Colonel Grzegorz Małecki, the former head of the Intelligence Agency, in a TOK FM interview.

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