Three Kremlin ‘spies’ are arrested after ‘spraying chemicals in faces of soldiers when they were caught breaking into weapons factory in NATO member Albania’
- Three Kremlin spies arrested at NATO state arms factory, Albanian PM states
- Chemical spray used to knock out Albanian soldiers defending the site: MOD
- Two Russian men and one Ukrainian national used unknown material spray
- Potential uptick in NATO-Russia tensions comes after Putin ally ‘assassination’
Three alleged Kremlin spies caught breaking into an arms factory in Albania are accused of spraying chemicals into the faces of the soldiers who stopped them.
Two men with Russian passports and one Ukrainian national, most likely from one of the country’s Moscow-ruled breakaway republics, tried to enter the weapons factory tonight, the NATO country’s ministry of defence explosively claimed.
It added: ‘The officers who were guarding the plant reacted immediately, but during their efforts to stop the three foreign nationals, two of our soldiers were injured.’
Two Albanian soldiers defending the arms factory were hospitalised with chemical burns
A third officer appeared worse for wear after the ‘physical clash’ with the suspected spies
Factory director Lorenc Zani confirmed there was a ‘physical clash’, at which point the defending soldiers were sprayed with the unknown material, Albanian Daily News reported.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said the three individuals are ‘suspected of espionage.’
Officers arrested the three men, with the Albanian soldiers now hospitalised with illnesses arising from the apparent chemical poisoning.
They are said to be in a stable condition.
The defense ministry said one of the arrested, identified only as a Russian national MZ, 24 years old, entered the plant’s territory and was trying to take photos.
The soldiers are now said to be in a stable condition at the clinic in central Albania
Two others, a Russian woman identified as ST, 33, and Ukrainian man FA, 25, were also arrested nearby.
Gramsh military base in central Albania is an unusual location for foreign ‘tourists’ to visit.
Albania’s status as NATO member for more than a decade raising eyebrows.
It joined the western military alliance in 2009.
During communism, Gramsh was used to produce Russian AK-47 machine guns.
According to the ministry’s website, the plant today provides manufacturing services for the defense industry, without giving more details.
The latest potential escalation in NATO-Russia tensions comes as the daughter of Putin’s ‘Rasputin’ was allegedly assassinated in a car bomb ‘meant for her father’.
Darya Dugin was ‘blown to pieces’ in an elaborate ‘contract killing’ near the village of Bolshiye Vyazyomy, on the outskirts of Moscow on Saturday night.
The hit was reportedly meant for her father Alexander Dugin, 60, who had planned to travel back with her from a festival before deciding to take a separate car.
Denis Pushilin, head of the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, branded the authors of the apparent attack ‘vile villains’.
He added on Telegram: ‘The terrorists of the Ukrainian regime, trying to eliminate Alexander Dugin, blew up his daughter… In a car. Blessed memory of Daria, she is a real Russian girl!’
Russian forces today stepped up their battle to seize one of the dwindling number of cities in embattled eastern Ukraine not already under their control, while continuing to fire on towns and villages in the country’s north and south.
Ukrainian officials said on Saturday that Russian shelling had collapsed balconies and blown out windows in the southern region of Mikolayiv, injuring at least nine civilians.
A five-storey apartment building and private homes in the town of Voznesensk were badly damaged, the Black Sea region’s governor said.
Vitaliy Kim wrote in a Telegram post: ‘As of 1.30pm (local time) – nine wounded, including four children.
‘All children in a serious condition. Ages range from three to 17.’
He added that a young girl lost an eye as a result of Saturday’s attack.