US

Paul Whelan double-crossed by FSB agent he thought was a friend

Vladimir Putin claims Paul Whelan is a US spy caught red-handed in an attempt to steal a flash disk containing’state secrets.’ The flash drive was taken by the FSB in a Moscow hotel.

A former US Marine, Mr Whelan was actually found with an FSB officer and the drive along with $1,200 in cash at Moscow’s Metropol, near Moscow, in 2018 and was thrown into jail.

Mr Whelan claimed that he didn’t bribe Ilya Yatsenko. He thought he was a friend, who had just given him an external flash drive containing vacation pictures and was also reimbursing him to get a loan.  

Three days earlier, Mr Whelan took an image of Yatsenko at dinner. He titled it “comrades” when he posted it.

He They believed they We had been friends for ten year and we still are friends today. Even visited the Russian homeland.

Unfortunately, the friendship Whelan thought was blossoming was actually a ‘calf raising’ where intelligence officers wait to be culled.

Yatsenko, who was last reported as a Major, has been arrested.

Ilya Yatsenko, a FSB agent, was photographed while out for dinner with Paul Whelan days before his arrest.

After a two-week vacation to Russia while a US Marine, Mr Whelan became a fan. 

He fell in love with it and returned many, many times, befriending male members of Russia’s military via the VK social network, the country’s version of Facebook. 

According to emails that Whelan sent to his relatives, Whelan often told his parents of his friendship with Ilya Yatsenko who was a second lieutenant in FSB and who was once stationed at Crimea. 

Whelan posted a photo just three days prior to Yatsenko’s arrest while the two were out for dinner. The FSB agent smiles while enjoying a juicy steak and a glass wine. 

 The Michigan resident was visiting Moscow to attend the Russian wedding of a friend and former Marine. Whelan made multiple trips in Russia between 2007-2018, including a trip with both of his parents in 2009. 

Investigators claimed that he was a spy in military intelligence, a rank of colonel or above, and that he had been caught red-handed with classified information on a computer flash drive. 

Anonym sources in Russian media claimed that Whelan preferred friendships with young men to ‘pretty Russian women’. 

Whelan claims that he believed that the drive contained vacation photos and that his arrest was a sting. He was seen with friends taking a tour of Kremlin grounds hours before his arrest. 

He He was arrested at Metropol Hotel, the same hotel in which an elderly Norwegian man named Frodeberg was arrested and found guilty for giving cash to spy on assets in Moscow a year prior. 

Whelan And Yatsenko Pictured Together In An Undated Social Media Photo, When The Pair Met, Yatsenko Was A Low-Level Fsb Agent

Whelan & Yatsenko pictured together on an undated social media picture. Yatsenko was a low ranking FSB agent when they first met.

Paul Whelan Is A Former Us Marine Who Was Court-Martialed After He Was Accused Of Attempting To Steal $10,000

Paul Whelan, a former US Marine, was sentenced to court martial after he was charged with attempting to steal $10,000 

A former CIA official dismissed the notion that Whelan was participating in a similar operation for US intelligence services. BBC Reported in 2020. 

During his trial, the prosecutors delved into Whelan’s and Yatsenko’s relationship. Whelan had been brought by the agent to his home in Moscow’s outskirts for’saunas’ and ‘kebabs’ one year prior to the arrest. 

Whelan even gave Yatsenko $1,200 so that he could buy a gift to his wife. However, the flash drive was not paid for by Whelan according to prosecutors. 

According to the BBC’s reporting, Yatsenko was not typical spy behavior and the American spoke frequently about his friendship with Yatsenko. 

The New Yorker Reports state that Yatsenko was a low ranking member of the Russian security services when Whelan met him. But, by 2015, he was already a senior officer and working in the high-risk Crimea area, annexed to Russia in 2014.

Whelan wrote his parents: “That would be a nice spot to visit, if you were safe to go,” according to the magazine.  

Whelan Pictured With His Parents During A Visit To Russia In 2009, While There, The Couple Met Many Of The Former Marine'S Friends In Moscow

Whelan is pictured with his parents during his 2009 visit to Russia. While there, Whelan met many of his former Marine friends in Moscow.

In Addition To His Career In The Marines, Whelan Was Also A Police Officer In The Town Of Chelsea, Michigan

Whelan’s career in the Marines was not the only thing he did. He was also a Chelsea police officer, Michigan.

Whelan was at the time of his arrest head of global security for BorgWarner (a Michigan supplier of auto parts). 

Skotti Fietsam a former colleague told the BBC that Whelan would be escorted to her Mexican factory by armed guards when he visited. 

She He said, “I don’t know if that was machismo; it was to show off.” But it was very rare. 

Fietsam continued by saying that Whelan had told Fietsam that Russia was his ideal destination because he liked the cold there and had many friends there.  

After A trial that was held behind closed doors, which U.S diplomats claimed was unfair and opaque, Whelan convicted of spying in 2020 and sentenced to 16 year imprisonment in a maximum security prison. 

Whelan said to a BBC reporter following the verdict that he had known Yatsenko 10 years ago and that: “There’s absolutely nothing he should be in my room and he shouldn’t have given me any type of device.” 

He Currently being held in the IK-17 penal Colony in the Mordovia Region, east of Moscow. 

A Review Of Whelan'S Social Media Activity Showed That He Had Online Contact With More Than 20 Russians With Military Backgrounds

Whelan was found to have had more than 20 online contacts with Russians with military background, according to a review on his social media activity

Whelan Served With The Marine Corps Reserve From 2003-2008, Much Of The Time As An Administrative Clerk In Iraq

Whelan was an administrative clerk in Iraq for the Marine Corps Reserve between 2003 and 2008.

After being found to have attempted to steal $10,000, he was dishonorably dismissed in 2008 for larceny, and other lesser offenses. He also attempted to manipulate software to perform his own evaluations.   

Whelan was found to have had online contacts with more than 20 Russians from military backgrounds when he reviewed his social media activity. 

The analysis by Reuters shows that nearly half of Whelan’s 50 friends are Russian military veterans or have a history of service. VK is a popular Russian social networking site that resembles Facebook.

Open source information shows that at least 12 of his Russian friends received military education, while another 11 have completed national service.

Whelan’s list also contains about a fifth who have backgrounds in IT or engineering or civil aviation. Another quarter are not connected with the military or technical sectors and there is not much information. 

According to online information and photos, Whelan’s Russian military contacts are low-level. They come from different regions and have served in the army and airborne forces, as well as the navy.

Russia has a conscription system that allows men between 18 and 27 to join the military for one year. You can pursue a career in the military by enrolling at military academies.

When David, Whelan’s brother, was asked if he knew about Whelan’s Russian military contacts online. David replied: “I didn’t know that he had a VK Account before last week. But, I’m not surprised that his friends on social media, both Facebook, and VK, had military backgrounds as well as his.

Whelan Is Currently Being Held In The Ik-17 Penal Colony In The Mordovia Region, East Of Moscow

Whelan is currently being held in the IK-17 penal colony in the Mordovia region, east of Moscow

Whelan Is A Native Of Ottawa, Canada, Born To British Parents Of Irish Descent Who Moved To The Town Of Novi, Michigan In His Youth

Whelan, a native of Ottawa Canada, was born to Irish-Irish parents and moved to Michigan as a young man.

 Whelan is a native Canadian of Ottawa, Canada. He was born to Irish parents to British parents and moved to Michigan in his youth. 

Whelan was an administrative clerk in Iraq for the Marine Corps Reserve between 2003 and 2008. 

Whelan used a program that allowed military members to take two weeks off, all expenses paid, during his time in the military. The Michigan-man decided to go to Russia, saying it was perfect for a “single man” like him. 

His first trip in Russia was in 2007.  A Russian court denied his request to serve his sentence in America last November. 

Speaking To Cnn On The Day Of Griner'S Release, Whelan Said He Was Being Held As A 'Hostage' Of Russia And Pleaded For The White House To 'Do Everything They Could To Get Me Home'

Whelan spoke to CNN on the morning of Griner’s release and said that he was being held as an ‘hostage’ by Russia. He pleaded with the White House to do everything possible to bring him home.

Speaking to CNN on the day of Griner’s release, Whelan said he was being held as a ‘hostage’ of Russia and pleaded for the White House to ‘do everything they could to get me home’ as he faces another 12 years in a Russian penal colony on spying charges he says are bogus. 

Republicans have accused President Joe Biden for favoring celebrities over veterans. Whelan, who is being held in Russia on espionage accusations that his family and US government deny, is left to languish behind bars.

Whelan said that he was disappointed that not more had been done to secure his release, especially since the four-year anniversary of my arrest is approaching. Whelan spoke to CNN via phone from the remote Russian penal colony, where he is currently serving a 16 year sentence. “I was arrested because of a crime that never happened.” I don’t know why I’m still here.

Whelan stated that he hoped Biden’s administration would do all they could to get him home, regardless what price it might have to pay.

He stated, “I would like to send a message to President Biden that this is a precarious and urgent situation that needs to be addressed quickly.”

“My bags have been packed. I’m ready for home. Whelan added, “I just need an aircraft to come and take me.” “It is quite obvious that I am being held hostage.”

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Jacky

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