German police arrest Russian ‘spy’ at university

Federal prosecutor alleges that ‘Ilnur N’ passed on university information to Russian intelligence services in return for cash

June 25, 2021
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An alleged Russian spy working at a university in Germany has been arrested and stands accused of passing on institutional secrets for cash.

Earlier this week, Germany’s federal prosecutor announced that a Russian citizen named as “Ilnur N” had been arrested on 18 June and his residence and workplace searched.

It said he was working as a research assistant in a “scientific and technical” field at a German university, and had met with the Russian intelligence services at least three times since October 2020.

During at least two of these meetings, he passed on university information and received cash in return, the prosecutor said in a statement.

The prosecutor did not name the university involved, although multiple press reports suggest that the alleged spy worked at the University of Augsburg.

The university did not comment, but local press have raised questions over whether having increasingly international teams of researchers also raises the threat of scientific espionage.

david.matthews@timeshighereducation.com

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