One of two Russian diplomats expelled from Germany over the killing of a former Chechen rebel in Berlin has been identified as Yevgeny Sutsky, an officer in the GRU military intelligence agency, a report by the German tabloid Bild and the investigative outlet Bellingcat has said.
Germany sent the two unnamed Russian Embassy employees home earlier this month because it said Moscow did not sufficiently cooperate with its investigation into the August murder of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili. A Russian citizen arrested on suspicion of shooting the Georgian citizen on his way to a mosque in the German capital was reported to have received Russian state support.
Sutsky had worked at the Russian Embassy in Berlin as a military attache since 2017, Bild and Bellingcat said.
According to the outlets, Germany’s intelligence services began monitoring Sutsky this year over suspicions that he was trying to recruit German politicians to lobby for Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Reportedly born in southwest Russia in 1984, he studied at Moscow Mining University and transferred to the Defense Ministry’s academy where GRU officers are trained before moving to Berlin with his wife and their two children. Sutsky’s wife also works for the GRU, the outlets said.
President Vladimir Putin has described Khangoshvili as a "cruel and bloodthirsty person" who had fought on the side of anti-Moscow separatists in Russia's mainly Muslim north Caucasus region, and said Moscow's requests for his extradition had not been heeded ahead of Khangoshvili's murder.