The couple, who were arrested in Stockholm on suspicion of espionage, found property in the same house as the GRU officers who are suspected of poisoning Sergei Skripal and the murder of Yemelyan Gebrev.
According to Bellingcat founder Elliot Higgins, the couple and their family members have been registered since 1999 as owners of an apartment at ul. Zorge, 36 in Moscow. It is unclear if they ever lived in the apartment, as the couple moved to Sweden shortly after purchasing it.
In the same building, one of the apartments is registered to the GRU officer Denis Sergeev , the third suspect in the poisoning of the Skripals. Sergeev, who was traveling with a passport in the name of Sergei Fedotov, was also involved in the poisoning of Bulgarian businessman Emelyan Gebrev in 2015 with a nerve agent.
In addition, Major General Andrei Averyanov , head of military unit 29155 of the GRU, owns an apartment in the same house. This military unit is known as the 161st training center - it helps GRU officers undergo combat training. There, servicemen improve their skills in shooting training, radio communications and other special disciplines - in contrast to the Military Diplomatic Academy ("Conservatory"), where intelligence officers receive fundamental training.
The owners of apartments in this building are several other GRU officers.
On November 22, Swedish authorities announced that two people had been arrested in Stockholm on suspicion of espionage. According to Aftonbladet, the detainees are a man and a woman in their 60s from Russia. They immigrated to Sweden at the same time about 20 years ago. Police suspect that the man "spyed for a foreign power for about ten years", the woman is involved in the case as an accomplice.
The couple is also known to run a business in Sweden importing and exporting, among other things, electronic components and industrial technology with a turnover of more than 30 million SEK per year (€2.7 million). For several years, one of these companies has been effectively controlled by a retired GRU colonel through a company based in Cyprus, Bellingcat has learned.
According to Swedish court and police documents, the detained man began intelligence activities against the US in 2013 and then against Sweden in July 2014. The couple has also been linked to a high-ranking Swedish intelligence official.