An alleged “too hot” FSB “rental girlfriend” is at the center of an espionage operation in which both Russian and Ukrainian intelligence agents apparently tried to outsmart each other.
Russia went public today, claiming it had foiled a daring plot to trick Vladimir Putin’s air force pilots into defecting and flying their warplanes to Ukraine.
The FSB claimed the plan was hatched by British and Ukrainian intelligence agencies to embarrass the Kremlin.
But a new claim from a respected media researcher who says he was following the operation for a documentary is that the Russians suffered a significant failure.
Maria, an alleged Russian plant who found out about her being too attractive, pictured during a shoot
The sudden appearance of Maria – an alleged “too hot” factory by the FSB – proved to Ukrainians that a clumsy Lubyanka sting operation was underway, says journalist Christo Grozev, a lead investigator for British internet research firm Bellingcat.
Military intelligence officers in Kiev “tried to recruit Russian military pilots for monetary rewards and guarantees to obtain citizenship of one of the EU countries,” the FSB, once led by Putin, said.