A military award ceremony held by the communist Castro dictatorship revealed the identity of a Russian general in charge of an espionage operation in Cuba run by the Kremlin. Gen. Andrei Gushchin is apparently part of the elite Russian spy network operating out of the reestablished Lourdes base in Cuba, which has been known to be a center for international espionage by the Cuban regime and its communist allies.
Havana ceremony shines light on elite Russian spy group operating in Cuba
A Russian general was honored with a medal during a ceremony on the outskirts of Havana, illuminating his role in Cuba as part of a Kremlin espionage group that was secretly reassigned to the island.
Gen. Andrei Gushchin received the “Glory of Ossetia” Medal on Nov. 7 at the Memorial Cemetery of Soviet Internationalists, a graveyard located near the monument to Issa Pliyev, which was inaugurated in Cuba on May 9, 2020.
Pliyev became rose to fame in the West mainly because of his role in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Russia reportedly reactivated the Lourdes military base for espionage activities against the United States, according to an investigation published in June by Insider magazine.
Following the protests of July 11, 2021, Gushchin was dispatched to the island where he led a group of Russian GRU military intelligence specialists posing as diplomats.
The group also included graduates of technical universities specializing in missile defense, computer science, and mathematics.
Gushchin holds the title of “Hero of Russia” and commanded Russian Marines in Syria in 2016.
Andrei Gushchin, Head of the Working Group of the Ministry of Defense of Russia in Cuba | Alany TV
Sergey Menyailo, another Russian general who has been under sanctions from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) since June 2014, was also honored during the ceremony.
Menyailo was sanctioned as a result of his purported complicity in actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Menyailo was also sanctioned by the EU and the U.K. in October 2020 for his involvement in the Novichok poisoning of Alexey Navalny. He also inaugurated a Issa Pliyev monument in Cuba.
The spy group was discovered in June after they enrolled their children at the Russian embassy school in Cuba. An estimated 37 young students enrolled in the school, and it was revealed that the parents of these students were not listed as diplomats stationed on the island.
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