How Switzerland enabled the mysterious suspected Russian radiation attacks

How Switzerland enabled the mysterious suspected Russian radiation attacks
Traces of attacks on American citizens carried out with a new type of energy weapon lead to Geneva. A renowned investigative journalist criticizes Switzerland’s passive attitude.

Daniel Schurter
“The feeling of nausea was overwhelming. Food poisoning, he thought, and decided to go to the toilet. But when he tried to get out of bed, he fell over. He tried to get up and fell down again.

It was the early hours of December 5, 2017, and everything was running in his hotel room in Moscow. His ears were ringing. He recalled feeling “like I was going to throw up and pass out at the same time.”

So begins an article that the magazine “GQ” published in October 2020. The tragic hero of the story is then CIA agent Marc Polymeropoulos.

The now 54-year-old American never recovered from the attack. The pain is still there more than six years later, he told Spiegel.

And no, the veteran Secret Service agent’s health problems had nothing to do with excessive vodka or other drugs. Rather, the suspect is a Russian assassin who recently made negative headlines: Unit 29155.

This week, the so-called Havana syndrome, a strange brain injury in American diplomats and other government workers, is making new headlines.

The approach has all the hallmarks of a Russian hybrid war operation.

What happened?

That happened earlier this week Havana syndrome generated new headlines. On Monday, investigative journalists from Europe and the US published the results of their joint investigation.

The Russian-language research platform “The Insider” was in charge of the investigation. The man from Bulgaria is largely responsible Christo Grosevwho now lives in the US for security reasons.

Some Watson users may already be familiar with Growew. He led, among other things, the investigations that led to the unmasking of the Unit 29155 a hit squad of the Russian military intelligence service GRU.

Members of Unit 29155 have been blamed for several assassination attempts in the West, including the poisoning of Russian defector and GRU officer Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom in 2018.

Skripal and his daughter were attacked with the Russian-developed Novichok nerve agent, but survived thanks to fortunate circumstances. However, a completely uninvolved woman had to die because she came into contact with the poison through a found perfume bottle.

Putin’s secret services also appear to have a weapon whose use does not immediately lead to serious injury or even death, but is therefore no less treacherous.

“‘The Insider’, ’60 Minutes’ and ‘Der Spiegel’ can now reveal that senior members of Unit 29155 were themselves tasked and rewarded for successfully testing ‘non-lethal acoustic weapons’.”

The Kremlin denies all allegations and those responsible for Unit 29155 have left questions unanswered during extensive journalistic investigations.

Secret weapons experiments
The investigative consortium, consisting of ‘The Insider’, ’60 Minutes’ and ‘Der Spiegel’, says it has received a series of secret service documents describing a secret Soviet-era program in the 1980s codenamed ‘Reductor’. . Its central task was to study the use of “electromagnetic radiation to influence the behavior and responses of biological objects, including humans.”

In 1988, a top-secret research program was started in Russia, for which a separate department, the ‘Eighth Department’, was created. Scientists in this department experimented with electromagnetic energy on rats and rhesus monkeys. Some animals died from exposure to thermal radiation; others developed brain damage.

In addition, in 2010, another scientific research institute in Russia worked on “the development of fundamental technologies for the creation of a new generation of sonar and acoustic weapon systems.”

At this point it should be pointed out that the superpowers US and China have also been researching similar weapon systems for decades.

Why is Switzerland criticized?

The Russian UN mission in Geneva was an important location for the assassin unit 29155, according to the “Tages-Anzeiger”.

Much is still unclear about the new weapon system. And it is important to emphasize that there is no clear evidence. The wording in the relevant articles has been carefully chosen.

  • Evidence uncovered during the yearlong investigation suggested that the unexplained health events, also known as Havana syndrome, “may have resulted from the use of directed energy weapons by members of the Russian GRU unit.”

The Insider was able to use flight data and cell phone metadata to find out that members of Unit 29155 were often in close proximity to victims of Havana Syndrome – at the precise moment the health symptoms emerged.

Attacks took place not only in Cuba, but also much earlier, in Western Europe, for example in Frankfurt am Main. But cases also occurred in Vienna and Geneva, considered important centers of international diplomacy.

During research into the Havana Syndrome, it became clear that Geneva played an important role in planning and carrying out attacks abroad. The members of Unit 29155 used the lake town as a base. There they could meet undisturbed.

«We know of dozens and dozens of bookings for hotels near Geneva airport. Always for a longer period of time. They could easily travel from Geneva to the main objective of their operations and then return to regroup.”
Christo Grozev of investigative journalist site Bellingcat, who handled all the investigation, spoke at a press conference after identifying the second Russian suspect in the Skripal poisoning suspect as…

For the experienced investigative journalist, who has been dealing with Russian secret service agents who kill abroad for years, it is clear:

“Switzerland has ignored the activities of Russian agents for too long. The Russian military intelligence service GRU obviously saw it that way too. He made much less effort to disguise himself than in other Western states. In Switzerland, Russian spies remained under the radar. They felt safe here.”

Were targets in Switzerland also attacked?

Yes. According to the report, there are known cases in Geneva of US officials suffering from Havana syndrome.

The Wall Street Journal had previously reported that cases of Havana syndrome had also emerged in the US mission in Geneva. In 2019, three affected US citizens had reported. One person was flown back to the US for medical treatment.

The “Tages-Anzeiger” asked investigative journalist Grosev whether Russian secret agents had also carried out attacks in Switzerland. His answer:

“It seems so. But we have not yet evaluated all the data on a total of 100 possible attacks. We will work even more intensively on Geneva.”

How is the federal government responding?

Officials keep a low profile.

At the request of the “Tages-Anzeiger”, the Foreign Ministry of Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis simply stated that Switzerland “guarantees the security of foreign representations in Switzerland and their staff”.

And the Federal Intelligence Service (NDB), as expected, remained tight-lipped. They are aware of the Havana Syndrome, but do not comment on media reports.

Why are attacks with ‘energy weapons’ difficult to detect?

The insider notes:

“Both microwave and ultrasound energy can damage cells in the brain and open the blood-brain barrier, allowing proteins from the damaged cells to leak into the spinal fluid and then into the bloodstream. These so-called biomarkers are metabolized by the body within hours to days, meaning that someone hit with an acoustic weapon would need to have blood drawn almost immediately after an attack to detect such signs of injury.”


  • “Russian agents felt safe in Switzerland” (April 1, 2024)
  • Russian radiation attacks were launched over Geneva
  • Unraveling the Havana Syndrome: New Evidence Links GRU Assassination Unit 29155 to Mysterious Attacks on US Officials and Their Families
  • Have Russian agents used microwave weapons against American diplomats?
  • The Mystery of the Immaculate Concussion (2020)

Daniel Schurter

Source: Watson



I'm Ella Sammie, author specializing in the Technology sector. I have been writing for 24 Instatnt News since 2020, and am passionate about staying up to date with the latest developments in this ever-changing industry.

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