One of the Russian spies accused of trying to commit a series of cyber plots across the globe played for the ‘secret agent football team’, it’s been revealed.
Yevgeny Serebryakov is listed on the website of the Moscow Amateur Football League (LFL) as having been a member of the ‘Radiks’ team from 2011 to 2013.
Former teammate Yan Yershov, 25, confirmed that Serebryakov was part of the squad known by insiders as ‘the security service team’.
‘Yes he played for us for a few years and was a decent player, it was widely known that he was one of those guys, some sort of government agent,’ Yershov told The Moscow Times.
Yershov said that Serebryakov wasn’t the only Kremlin agent playing for the Radiks.
He said: ‘Our team is known as the ‘security services’ team. Almost everyone works for an intelligence agency. I personally don’t.’
‘Many of the players don’t really talk about what they do even among themselves in the dressing room.’
Yershov revealed he hadn’t seen Serebryakov in a year but said the two frequently exchange messages over Whatsapp.
He claims he is shocked by the accusations brought against his former teammate.
Serebryakov was one of four men identified by Dutch authorities on Thursday for trying to hack into the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which had been probing the chemical attack on Russian ex-spy Sergei Skirpal in the UK.
The division was known as Unit 26165 and they were tasked with waging a war of disinformation across the globe.
Kremlin agents working for the GRU targeted FIFA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, the OPCW and the Douma chemical weapons attack in Syria, the international investigation of the downing of MH17 and a US company providing nuclear power to Ukraine.
President Vladimir Putin’s elite squad even created the fake ‘hacktivist’ group Fancy Bears to disseminate misleading statements designed to exonerate Russia of doping allegations and instead level them at the US.