Technology

Was Russia behind the sedition led by Carles Puigdemont?

Madrid

Publication: Friday October 30 2020 10:10

The last installment of Operation Voloh, in which the embezzlement of public funds to finance the process is investigated, has once again exposed the presence of Russian interests in Catalonia. Was Russia behind the sedition led by Carles Puigdemont? Several judicial inquiries are trying to find the answer.

The person who provided more details on the Russian interference in the process of independence of Catalonia is a businessman born in Reus (Tarragona) in 1962, very close to former President Carles Puigdemont, expert in international relations and partisan in his private conversations promoting a “war event” achieving the unilateral secession of Catalonia and, at the same time, “lowering the Spanish flag” at the Palau de la Generalitat “protecting the building of a peaceful appeal to the population ”.

Víctor Terradellas, former secretary of the International Zone of Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC) and chairman of the Catmon Foundation, had contacts in the environment of Russian President Vladimir Putin and bragged about it, according to conversations recorded by the Civil Guard and which are part of an investigation underway at the investigating court number 1 in Barcelona.

The objective of its leader, Judge Joaquín Aguirre, is to determine whether public institutions such as the Provincial Council of Barcelona or the Pro Seleccions Esportives Catalanes platform have funded the implementation of the Tsunami Democràtic and Picnic per la República, two of the movements that set alight in the streets of the main Catalan cities after October 14, 2019, the Supreme Court sentenced the prosecuted heads to terms of up to 13 years in prison.

Puigdemont’s emissary in Russia

Supporter of the internationalization of the Catalan conflict – “as long as it is an internal issue, no one from the international community will mediate”, he declared – Terradellas visited Moscow on 29 September 2017, four days before the illegal referendum opposed by the Constitutional Court. On his agenda, he had noted the name of Sergey Alexandrovich Markov, political scientist and influential former official deputy in the Kremlin who, in November 2019, had admitted, in an interview with El Periódico de Catalunya, that in the fall, he had met Puigdemont’s emissary three times. and that he gave him recognition of the Russian annexation of Crimea in exchange for support for unilateral independence.

What Russia allegedly gave him in return appears in a conversation Judge Aguirre reflected in the entry and registration documents he signed on Wednesday in an attempt to bolster his investigation: “Terradellas explained that the chief of the group had offered on October 24, 2017. to Carles Puigdemont to have 10,000 soldiers and pay all the Catalan debt (…) The Russian group wanted to make Catalonia a country like Switzerland. ”However, according to the conversations that took place, at the last moment, the then head of the Catalan government stepped back: “The former president is going to shit his shoes,” said the president of Catmon. Literally translated into Spanish, “he shit his pants”.

Judge Aguirre not only assumes this narrative, but also states that, had Puigdemont accepted the offer, “the events would likely have been tragic and would have sparked armed conflict in the state with an uncertain death toll.” In fact, he is convinced of the existence of a “strategy of destabilization” which included the participation of activists like Edward Snowden or Julian Assange, who came to meet the businessman Oriol Soler, also detained in the operation. this week.

The togado also points out that “the media controlled by the Kremlin, such as Russia Today and Sputnik” participated on the day of the referendum, along with the Catalan public media, in “an information war” to broadcast their “general discourse on the European Union”. on the verge of collapse. “To achieve this, false news and opinions were disseminated on social networks which aimed to make public opinion believe that the National Police and the Civil Guard have deployed” the worst violence (lived) in Europe since World War II “that day, or the idea that Spain is a country which” does not respect the fundamental freedoms to vote “.

Russian bots and spies investigated at National Court

The Aguirre investigation is not the only one to focus on the participation of elements from across the Kremlin in the Catalan separatist process. According to legal sources consulted by LaSexta, the judge of the High National Court Manuel García-Castellón keeps open a separate room of the case on the so-called defense committees of the Republic (CDR) in which he is investigating whether a campaign of disinformation was directed from Russia. , by the participation of robots and fake profiles on social networks, to destabilize Spanish democracy and promote independence interests.

The proceedings of the National Court, which is part of the investigation for crimes of terrorism which is initiated against the most radical militants of the CDR, and that of the Court of Barcelona, ​​which began following the fixed contract of which they would have benefited several pro-independence businessmen could end up joining the same procedure because both lead to the same trail of proper names: the pro-independence businessmen, the Russian media, Terradellas and Markov, who came to ensure that the Kremlin sent spies to Catalonia within days. key to the process.

“With all these Mandorrinos from Puigdemonts and Jordis Sánchez, we are not going anywhere, we have to kill them all”

One of these spies is also the subject of a secret investigation by Judge García-Castellón. This is Denis Vyacheslavovich Sergeev, code name Sergei Vyacheslavovich Fedotov, general of the Central Intelligence Department of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (GRU, in its original acronym). The GRU is an elite unit created in 1918 within the Red Army which, after the end of the Cold War, specialized in the destabilization of Western countries. The Russian secret spy was located in Barcelona on September 29, 2017, two days before the referendum and two days after Terradellas’ trip to Moscow.

In the end, all attempts, real or imagined, of Terradellas in Moscow failed. On October 26, 2017, three days before leaving his residence in Girona on the way to Belgium hidden in the trunk of a vehicle driven by a Mosso d’Esquadra, Puigdemont wrote: “I had no more room. And the scene was devastating. for Catalonia “.

The man from Puigdemont in Russia did not hide his disappointment and in his chimeras, which even Civil Guard reports consider should be taken with caution because of their relaxed tone, he proposed the creation of a new movement separatist with a former member of the organization. Terrorist Terra Lliure. “With all these Mandorrinos from Puigdemonts and Jordis Sánchez, we are not going anywhere, we have to kill them all,” he said.

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