Technology 'Russia Might Have Caused Havana Syndrome'


‘Russia Might Have Caused Havana Syndrome’

‘Russia Might Have Caused Havana Syndrome’
An anonymous reader quotes an opinion piece from the Washington Post, published by the Editorial Board: A just-published investigation by Russian, American and German journalists has unearthed startling new information about the so-called Havana syndrome, or “Anomalous Health Incidents,” as the government calls the unexplained bouts of painful disorientation that U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers have suffered in recent years. The new information suggests but does not prove that Russia’s military intelligence agency is responsible. Earlier, agencies in the U.S. intelligence community had concluded that “it is very unlikely a foreign adversary is responsible.” They need to look again. […]

[T]he new investigation by the Insider, a Russian investigative news outlet, in collaboration with CBS’s “60 Minutes” and Germany’s Der Spiegel, paints a different picture. It identifies the possible culprit as Unit 29155, a “notorious assassination and sabotage squad” of the GRU, Moscow’s military intelligence service. Senior members of the unit received “awards and political promotions for work related to the development of ‘non-lethal acoustic weapons'” — a term used in the Russian military-scientific literature to describe both sound- and radiofrequency-based directed energy devices. The investigation found documentary evidence that Unit 29155 “has been experimenting with exactly the kind of weaponized technology” experts suggest is a plausible cause. Moreover, the Insider reported, geolocation data shows that operators attached to Unit 29155, traveling undercover, were present in places where Havana syndrome struck, just before the incidents took place.

Even more concerning, the investigation found that a commonality among the Americans targeted was their work history on Russia issues. This included CIA officers who were helping Ukraine build up its intelligence capabilities in the years before Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022. One veteran of the CIA Kyiv station was named the new chief of station in Vietnam and was hit there. A second veteran of the CIA in Ukraine was hit in his apartment in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Both these intelligence officers had to be medevaced and were treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The wife of a third CIA officer who had served in Kyiv was hit in London. “Of all the cases” examined by the news organizations, they said, “the most well-documented involve U.S. intelligence and diplomatic personnel with subject matter expertise in Russia or operational experience in countries such as Georgia and Ukraine,” both of which were the scene of popular pro-Western uprisings in the past two decades. The news organizations point out that Russian President Vladimir Putin has often blamed these “color revolutions” on the CIA and the State Department. They conclude, “Putin would have every interest in neutralizing scores of U.S. intelligence officers he deemed responsible for his loss of the former satellites.” The Editorial Board is advocating for a thorough and aggressive investigation by the U.S. intelligence community that “takes into account all aspects of the incidents.”

“If the incidents are a deliberate attack, the perpetrator must be identified and held to account. Along with sending a message to those who might harm American personnel, the United States needs to show all those who might join the diplomatic and intelligence services that the government will protect them abroad and at home from foreign adversaries, no matter what.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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