Ever since the first evidence emerged that the Western intelligence community is closely monitoring social media thus collecting some ‘useful details’ as a tool for cyber-attacks on Kremlin, the information on the Russian intrusion has been carefully monitored by many media.
According to DFC magazine, the news on the presence of Russian special forces on the Norwegian soil (its mainland and archipelago of Svalbard) was published on September 27 on the Norwegian portal AldriMer.
The portal said that the American reconnaissance aircrafts U-25 and RC-135V had discovered that the goal of the Russian intrusion was to ‘collect data on key infrastructure and location’, which drew strong reaction of Moscow.
The Embassy of Russia to Norway denied the claims on the very same day, while the spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms Maria Zakharova, denied the claims of the Norwegian portal several days later, noting that it was about ‘an anti-Russian sentiment and anti-Russian lobby in Norway, aiming to present Russia as an enemy’.
It’s interesting that the Norwegian government, as well as the Governor of Svalbard, made no comment on the matter even though according to the portal AldriMer, they were familiar with the presence of the Russian special forces on their territory, writes DFC magazine.
Not long after, according to DFC magazine, strong evidence on the Russian presence in Norway emerged and the same evidence was provided by the Russian soldiers themselves!
The Russian portal Novaya Gazeta analysed Instagram and on 1 October, it published proofs that the Flying Squad has been periodically present on the Norwegian territory since 2016.
Research of this Russian portal shows that on 2 March 2018, a photo of 10 persons in military uniforms standing in front of the airport in Grozny was posted. The comments below the photo revealed that a part of the group ‘was in Norway for business’.
A month earlier, in February of the same year, profile account @ akhaev_07_95 posted a photo of another member of the Flying Squad. In the background of the photo, one could clearly see a fuel tanker with an inscription ‘Svalbard lufthavn’ meaning ‘Svalbard Airport’.
In line with the Svalbard Treaty signed in 1920, the archipelago is a demilitarized zone under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Norway.
This is why the disclosure of the illegal intrusion of Russian soldiers was pretty embarrassing for Kremlin as it matched the information on ‘black operations’ of the Unit 29155, which operated in Europe, as well as in Montenegro in 2016.