How Agent “Masha” Enabled Russian Airstrikes in Syria

Maria Khodynskaya-Golenishcheva, 34, a professor at the Moscow Institute for International Relations (MGIMO) and a former UN staffer in Geneva, leads a double life. During the day she works in her office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow, in the evening she enjoys her life of luxury and spends time with Latvian thoroughbreds, reports “The Insider“. Her official role is that of an associate in the Foreign Policy Planning Department of the State Department, but her actual activities are of a very different nature.

The Insider reports that Khodynskaya-Golenishcheva is an agent of the Russian military intelligence service GRU. It is speculated that “Masha” was recruited back in 2015 and since then has been involved in various operations, including coordinating Russian airstrikes in Syria that have left scores of civilians dead through the use of chemical weapons. In addition, while working in Geneva, she is said to have provided the GRU with detailed reports on the negotiations between representatives of Damascus and the Syrian opposition.

Deadly correspondence between spy and officer

According to The Insider, the connection between Khodynskaya-Golenishcheva and the GRU is based on a correspondence between her and Sergey Zavidov, an officer in the 4th Directorate of the GRU. Accordingly, Khodynskaya-Golenishcheva is said to have sent Zavidov operational maps showing the position of combat units of the Syrian regime opponents.

Her luxurious lifestyle and considerable financial situation are the subject of speculation. Some say she got rich from her relationship with notorious LDPR MP Leonid Slutsky. Slutsky became known for allegations of sexual harassment. According to The Insider, there are sources who see Slutsky as a financial supporter of Khodynskaya-Golenishcheva.

Family with close ties to the Kremlin

Aside from her work for the GRU and her relationship with Slutsky, Khodynskaya-Golenishcheva comes from a family with close ties to the Kremlin, according to the report. Her father, Sergei Konovalov, is vice president of the Russian organization Combat Brotherhood and actively involved in fundraising for residents of Donbass, the sources said.

In addition to the information gathered by The Insider about Khodynskaya-Golenishcheva’s connections and activities, the report also notes that she has received awards from the Ministry of Defense, including the medal “Participant in the military operation in Syria” and the medal “For Strengthening of Military Cooperation”.

Hank Peter

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