The Russian diplomatic corps, which I refer to as GRU or SVR officers, was deposed in several European embassies on Tuesday. Denmark was expelled with 15 Russian spy, Italy 30 and Spain 3, Latvia 13 and 25 respectively. Latvia and Estonia closed the Russian consulates they had in these countries. The Russian ambassador was expelled from Lithuania and Lithuania pulled its diplomat out of Moscow on Monday. An additional round of expulsions occurred earlier in the month involving Poland and Slovakia as well as Bulgaria and the Baltic States. (Poland Expels 45 Russian Spies posing as Diplomats to Fear Attacks on Ukraine Supply route Looms).
France: We have frozen Russian assets, and we expelled thirty diplomats.”
Germany: “We froze Russian assets, and expelled fifty diplomats.”
Ireland: “oh… Ehm… There might have been a little communication problem.. we expelled their assets and frozen their diplomats… ops…” https://t.co/6s4Uwa7aIT
— Putin is a Virus (@PutinIsAVirus) April 5, 2022
Since Putin unleashed the Russian Army to carry out his final solution to the Ukraine problem (Kremlin Newspaper and a Putin Confidant Endorse Genocide as Russia’s Final Solution to the Ukraine Problem), 309 Russian spies operating under diplomatic cover have been sent packing; 149 of those since the war crimes in Bucha have come to light (see The Ukrainian Army Liberates Territory From Russian Invaders and Discovers Murdered Civilians; Shocking Evidence of Mass-Scale Russian War Crimes Raises the Stakes in Ukraine, and Russian Torture Chamber Discovered in Liberated Ukraine Town as the Russian Army Continues to Do What It Is Good at Doing).
These expulsions cause extensive damage.
Russians face an extremely difficult dilemma when the GRU and SVR thugs are expelled. What do they do? Do they let these network operators go or abandon them? Or do you turn them over to another spy who wasn’t expelled? You will likely lose an agent or intelligence network. On the other hand, you will probably blow the cover of another operative of which the host country wasn’t aware. Expelled diplomats will be permanently marked as intelligence operatives and it will prove difficult for them to obtain a post in another embassy.
Some of those expelled Russians hold legitimate diplomatic positions. Moscow will be able to access a smaller number of sources and more quality information due to these expulsions. This is, however, a double-edged sword. There is a lot to be said for letting the other guy know what the red lines are so they don’t blunder across them.
This signals a longer-term problem. The Russian Embassy staff is not able to have social contact with host countries. For the Baltic States consulates that were serving the Russian community in the area have been closed. They may be reopened, it is possible. Russia is unable to share its story with the world due to lack of social contacts.
Russia vows to respond. They have already expelled four diplomats representing the Baltic States. Russian ex-president and deputy head of security council Dmitry Medvedev took some time out of his full-time occupation of normalizing genocide (see Kremlin Newspaper and a Putin Confidant Endorse Genocide as Russia’s Final Solution to the Ukraine Problem) to make threats.
“Everyone knows the answer: it will be symmetrical and destructive for bilateral relations,” Medvedev said in a posting on his Telegram channel.
“If this continues, it will be fitting, as I wrote back on 26th February – to slam shut the door on Western embassies,” Medvedev said. “It will be cheaper for everyone. And then we will end up just looking at each other in no other way than through gunsights.”
Fine. Whatever, dude.
Shutting down European embassies means that Russia’s will also be shut down. I’m not sure how he rates that as “retaliation.”
This coordinated flight of spy spies from European embassies may be the most important thing about it. It is also a sign of solidarity. I think Putin’s attack on Ukraine will not only be the source of immediate pain as his army is ground down. It will be the source of long-term pain as everyone has had a glimpse of the monstrous nature of Putin’s regime and is rejecting it.