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WorldAsiaIn Slovenia, a family has been arrested, whom they consider to be...

In Slovenia, a family has been arrested, whom they consider to be “sleeping” illegal spies from Russia


A married couple with children arrived in the country from Argentina.

In early December 2022, Russian citizen spouses were arrested in Ljubljana. This was told to The Guardian by Slovenian Foreign Minister Tania Fayon. She claims that the spouses with children under the guise of Argentine citizens worked illegally for the Russian foreign intelligence service.

The publication reports that Maria Mayer and Ludwig Gish decided to move with their two children from Argentina to Slovenia in 2017 due to high crime in the South American country. The couple moved to Ljubljana and lived according to the “legend”. Mayer opened an online art gallery and her husband Gish launched an IT startup.

“In interviews with a dozen people who knew one or both of the couple, two words kept coming up: ‘regular’ and ‘cute.’ Neighbors said they were a regular family and said the children could often be heard playing in the garden and shouting in Spanish.

The house in Ljubljana where Ludwig Gish, Maria Mayer and their two children lived. Photo: The Guardian. Apparently, the Slovenian special services managed to figure out the Russian agents thanks to a tip from foreign intelligence. Which one exactly is not specified. During a search of the house of the spouses, a cache containing a large amount of money was found. According to local counterintelligence officials, this money was used by spies to settle accounts with Russian agents or informants.

“The suspects are members of the foreign intelligence service who used illegally obtained foreign identity documents to live and work in Slovenia under false identities and secretly collect information,” said the Slovenian police spokesman, Drago Menegalia.

The Guardian notes that unlike the “legal” Russian intelligence officers, the illegals are the intelligence elite and operate without any visible connection to the center. They are trained for years to impersonate foreigners and then sent to different countries for intelligence information.

The publication’s source clarified that after the arrest, the Russian side allegedly “quickly agreed that the spouses were intelligence agents.” According to The Guardian, Moscow and European countries are currently conducting informal negotiations on a possible spouse swap for EU citizens arrested in Russia.

Earlier it became known that the Polish secret police mistook Ukrainians and Belarusians for Russian spies. Not a single Russian was found among the detainees.

Slovenia holds family suspected of being ‘sleeping’ illegal spies from Russia

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

Russia Desk
Russia Desk
The Eastern Herald’s Russia Desk validates the stories published under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on


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