Although I hardly have the highest opinion about the competence of Russia’s spy agencies, I thought this MUST be a fake when I saw it.
- Is there anyone who still uses TAXIS in Moscow in 2018? (apart from people over 60 who d0n’t know there are better, more reliable services such as Yandex Taxi or Uber which cost less and aren’t run by Armenian mafias).
- Is there any transport service that still fills out these receipts in PEN AND PAPER?
- Do spooks really have to submit the details of their expenses to their accountancy office for reimbursements?
- Are they really so damn lazy and incompetent that they can’t at least walk a few hundred meters from their workplace (Building #20 on Komsomolsky Prospekt) before calling a taxi?
Well, as it turns out, the answers to these questions are all yes: A Meduza call to the telephone listed under Alexey Morenets’ receipt, which belongs to the individual entrepreneur Benyamin Shaginyan, led to a confirmation that the receipt was genuine and the trip happened.
I suppose that also makes it much easier to understand why Petrov and Boshirov were given a single room in a bottom of the barrel hotel during their touristic sojourns.
PS. It doesn’t end here. Even as I wrote this, a new report has been released by The Insider and Bellingcat (yes, whatever) in which 305 (!) GRU employees where identified, including the aforementioned Morenets. How? Because their cars were registered with the traffic police at the location of said GRU building. This means that anybody with access to this database, and this is one of the most accessible databases in Russia, also had access to the GRU data.
If it wasn’t already, it is also now increasingly obvious why so many Russian spies were getting detained these past few months. They have less OPSEC than the security departments of many corporations.
With revelations of such magnitude, the viability of the GRU itself must also now be questioned. At this point many of their agents might as well walk around with loudspeakers announcing their missions.