On September 21, 2023, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in the UK announced that it had authorized charges against five Bulgarian nationals for spying for Russia. The charges relate to alleged offences that took place between August 2020 and February 2023.
The five suspects are:
All five suspects are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on September 26, 2023.
The CPS has not released any further details about the case, but it is understood that the suspects are accused of collecting and passing on information that could be useful to Russia.
The UK has been increasingly concerned about Russian espionage in recent years. In 2018, the UK government expelled 23 Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.
The charges against the five Bulgarian nationals are a sign that the UK is taking the threat of Russian espionage very seriously. The case is also a reminder that Russia is willing to use espionage to advance its interests around the world.