Istanbul - Top Russian Spy's Body Washes Up In Turkey 'After Swimming Accident'
Istanbul, Turkey - The body of one of Russia’s top spies has washed up on the Turkish coast after he disappeared close to a sensitive Russian naval facility in neighbouring Syria.
Major-General Yuri Ivanov, 52, was the deputy head of Russia’s foreign military intelligence arm, known as the GRU and thought to operate the biggest network of foreign spies among all of Russia’s clandestine intelligence services.
His badly decomposed body was found earlier this month.
The circumstances of his death have fuelled theories that he may have been murdered in Syria and his body thrown into the Mediterranean.
The Kremlin says he was on holiday in Syria and died in a tragic swimming accident.
However, other reports have suggested he was on official business and disappeared near a strategically vital Russian naval facility in Syria’s Tartus port, which is being upgraded to service ships from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
The facility is Russia’s only foothold in the Mediterranean Sea and Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency, is known to be concerned that Moscow will use the upgraded facility as a base for spy ships and electronic espionage directed at the Middle East.
The port is also close to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, a terminal for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline which is seen as a lifeline for Georgia, against whom Russia fought a short war in 2008.
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