After one of the Russians entered an old military facility, two Ukrainians were taken into custody in Albania.
A host of Western media outlets reported on Sunday that a group of alleged “Kremlin spying” had been arrested in Albania, a NATO member state. On Saturday, Albanian police detained two Russians and a Ukrainian after one of them sought to gain entry to the grounds of a decommissioned military factory not far from the Balkan country’s capital of Tirana.
Refer to outlets such as Fox News, ABC and RFE/RL “alleged spies”Reporting the event on Sunday. Politico called three of the people detained “suspected Kremlin spies”In its headline, the British Daily Express even went so far as to have a headline reading “Putin humiliated after Russian spies caught red handed trying to enter weapons factory.”
The Albanian authorities are not yet able to assign blame for the incident. “the incident at the Gramsh plant.” Neither the country’s Defense Ministry nor the law enforcement authorities have officially labeled any suspect a ‘spy’. Niko Peleshi, Defense Minister and Edi Rama, Prime Minister of the Republic of Edi Rama urged media and public not to “rush to conclusions”Wait until all details are known.
According to the Albanian Defense Ministry’s statement issued on Sunday, a man “illegally crossed”A fence separated them from the Gramsh plant. It was a former factory for AK-47 assault rifles, before communism collapsed. Peleshi says that the Gramsh plant has been used since the 1990s to salvage or repair old assault rifles. “has not been in operation for years.”
The trespasser entered the factory’s grounds and was approached by two soldiers who were stationed at the base to protect it. “reacted violently”Used “a spray”The soldiers were left with nothing. “injured,”According to the ministry. Peleshi, who visited both of them in hospital Sunday afternoon, stated that they were “both very well.” “in good health.”
The police arrived on the scene quickly and immediately arrested the trespasser. According to the AP, he was a Russian citizen aged 24, and two other people who were also present at the time. “in a car”It is located not far from this plant. According to the AP, they were identified as a Russian women, aged 33 and a Ukrainian male, age 25.
Although the Defense Ministry declined to call any of those detained spy, it did say that they were not spying. Peleshi maintained that this event was legitimate. “cannot be passed off as an ordinary incident,”Given “the wider regional … and political context.” “We cannot rush to conclusions,”He stated that Albanian Military Intelligence (Albanian Military Police), Military Police, State Intelligence Service and a national police have opened a joint investigation into this incident.
“It is abnormal to treat such events as if they were everyday local politics,” Peleshi said, adding that the breach might yet turn out to be part of a “Much bigger problem.” Rama also thankedTwo injured guards from a factory were taken to hospital. “neutralizing the three individuals suspected of espionage.”
Western media used this opportunity to remind their readers that it was not the first time such an incident had occurred in Albania. Last summer, two Russian citizens were “caught”Politico stated that the suspects were carrying a drone near Albanian Kucova Air Base. The outlet stated that both suspects entered the country from abroad as tourists.