Havana syndrome: Media uncovers evidence linking Russian GRU to ‘strange’ illnesses among American officials

Russian GRU
Russian GRU

The Russian GRU military unit 29155, a notorious assassination and sabotage squad, may be involved in so-called Havana syndrome spreading among American diplomats, government officials, and intelligence officers for a decade, causing loss of concentration and severe migraines, The Insider, 60 minutes and Der Spiegel, said in their sensational joint investigation published on April 1.

The journalists discovered that the time and place of the attacks coincided with the GRU military unit 29155 representatives trips to different countries — to the EU, China, Georgia, and other regions.

Havana syndrome got its name after one of the largest incidents of 2016 took place in the Cuba’s capital, Havana, where many American and Canadian local consulate employees encountered a strange phenomenon: they suddenly felt sick, felt strong pressure, nausea and panic attacks, complained of strange sounds - symptoms persecuted them for years.

Doctors in at least dozens of cases proved injuries to areas of the brain. What causes this effect has not yet been established, but the main version is pulsed microwave radiation which may result from non-lethal acoustic weapons use, the article said.

Journalists managed to link several Havana syndrome cases with GRU employees trips.

<span class="copyright">The Insider</span>
The Insider

Two assassination Unit 29155 employees went to Prague in Jan. 2014 — Aleksandr Mishkin (Petrov surname in passport), and Denis Sergeev (Sergey Fedotov). They became famous throughout the world four years later as Skripal poisoners in Salisbury, but this time they had a different task. It is impossible to track their movement routes - they rented cars, turned off their phones, and rented different hotels. They stayed in the country until Feb. 2, marking, most likely, the beginning of “testing the waters”.

The main operation stage began in September, The Insider suggested. GRU group met in Geneva, and returned to Moscow only on Oct. 13 – each used different routes. Those involved in Omelyan Gebrev (Bulgarian businessman, owning Emco company – a major weapon supplier) Novichok-poisoning were among them.

The operation ended on Nov. 3 when all three members of 29155 departed at the same time, but via different airports. American consulate employees faced a series of strange attacks after that, on Nov. 4 in Frankfurt, Germany. They suddenly felt bad right in the consulate building – the symptoms included high pressure, dizziness, nausea, panic attacks, and loud noises in the head. One of the victims saw a suspicious man taking pictures of the consulate building a few days before. She recognized Egor Gordienko, one of the GRU officers in the photo, provided by the journalists.

American diplomats, in particular, in China, also began to report strange health problems since the summer of 2016. This period coincides with associated with unit 29155 Bulat Yanborisov’s visit to China, who is associated with military unit 29155. Employees of the American consulates in Beijing experienced severe dizziness, loss of balance, and pain.

Several victims appeared in Guangzhou at once in the summer of 2017, some of them saying they heard a strange high-pitched sound unlike anything else.

The wife of Justice Department attaché in the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi whose family moved to Georgia only in February, 2020 became another identified victim whose symptoms appearance coincided with GRU representative visit to Tbilisi. She recognized Albert Averyanov, the son of the Russian general and head of unit 29155 Andrey Averyanov in the photo provided by the journalists. She saw Albert outside her house the moment she felt sick. The symptoms were similar: loud noises, tinnitus and severe headache.

<span class="copyright">The Insider</span>
The Insider

Researchers has doubted Havana syndrome existence, attributing the symptoms to psychosomatics for a long time, but it is no longer possible to deny this phenomenon existence, analysts wrote. An overwhelming amount of data proves it: several dozen well-verified cases where brain damage is recorded have been established among hundreds of complaints.

Havana syndrome is caused by “a unique combination of characteristics that cannot be explained by known environmental or medical conditions and may be caused by external stimuli”, a group of US experts concluded. Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released a report calling it “highly unlikely” that Havana syndrome was caused by foreign adversary influence at the same time - hundreds of former and current diplomats, intelligence officers and their families who took the opposite view were totally staggered.

“Our investigation has uncovered evidence suggesting that unexplained anomalous health incidents, also known as Havana Syndrome, may have their origin in the use of directed energy weapons wielded by members of Russian GRU Unit 29155, the American authorities can rethink their attitude to it, and begin a full-fledged investigation of the incidents,” the investigators wrote.

It is not yet clear why the Kremlin might need such attacks. The Insider’s article indicates many employees stopped working with Russia-related directions, realizing that they could become disabled and at the same time not receive proper help - because often their complaints are taken for mental disorders.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine