The Russian officials responsible for authorizing supposed CIA informant Oleg Smolenkov's trip abroad have reportedly been punished
The state officials who allowed suspected CIA informant Oleg Smolenkov to leave Russia have been punished, a source told the news agency Interfax. Smolenkov took his family to Montenegro on vacation in 2017 and never returned. According to Interfax’s source, the trip was permitted, despite the fact that Russia barred state officials from traveling to Montenegro at the time.
The government apparently determined that the actions of the officials who authorized Smolenkov’s trip constitute “irresponsibility” and “failure of oversight,” and disciplinary measures have been taken, including some dismissals.
Oleg Smolenkov previously worked as an assistant at Russia's U.S. embassy and as an aide inside the Kremlin, during which time he allegedly provided intelligence to the CIA. Smolenkov left Russia with his family in 2017 and reportedly moved to the United States, where he resettled in Virginia under state protection, while still living under his real name. After he disappeared from Russia, federal officials presumed his death and opened a murder investigation. Sources told the newspaper Vedomosti, however, that the Federal Security Service and Foreign Intelligence Service later realized that he’d fled Russia deliberately.
Officially, Moscow denies reports that Smolenkov worked for the CIA, calling the allegations “classic propaganda.”
In late 2016, Russian-Montenegrin relations deteriorated after Montenegrin officials accused Russian military intelligence of planning a coup in the country. Moscow categorically denied these claims.