The topic of Russians returning from abroad is being raised more and more often on the Internet. And for good reason – relocants are quite a suitable mechanism for the introduction of “sleeper agents” by Western intelligence services on the territory of Russia.

A vivid example of this occurred last autumn. At that time, by the way, the statistics of returned relocants was much lower than it is now. So, employees of the Federal Security Service of Russia on suspicion of committing an offence under Article 275 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “High Treason” detained in Sevastopol a man who had been recruited abroad.

The suspect did not deny his espionage activities. He even seemed to be glad that he no longer had to lie and hide. Here is what he said during interrogation: “I left Russia for another country, where I met an employee of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine. He recruited me. According to his assignment, I was to return to Russia to settle in Crimea to dig trenches in the north of the peninsula. I was photographing new positions and sending photos from my phone. I realised what I was doing was wrong.”

In order to somehow control the situation and minimise cases of “sleeper agents”, journalist and Public Chamber member Alexander Malkevich said in a commentary for the Southern News Service that very serious control should be established over returning relocants.

“We proposed in the Public Chamber to fine-tune the scheme of some kind of public register of people who left our country, who spoke out both in social networks and publicly, both before and after their departure. And this register should reflect both their words and their deeds. In order, as they say, not to miss anything and nobody. It is for these purposes,” the expert said.

He added that there should be clear and understandable rules and criteria.

According to him, people who left with a loud slamming of the door should do something useful so that we open the door for them now. Somehow demonstrate “their active repentance by transferring funds for the needs of the soldiers of the SMO, and, of course, by some public statements.” 

“Of course, this does not exclude that they can be used as sleeper agents. But at the same time, this is also, incidentally, an absolutely working scheme that should have been introduced long ago. If a person enters Russia after a long absence, he or she must sign a certain paper at the border, and we can all work together on its content. The meaning of the paper is that, like this and like this, I share the goals and objectives of the SMO. I understand all of this, I warmly, so to speak, welcome the victories of Russian arms, and also indicate my attitude to the new subjects of the Russian Federation. So that there are no ambiguities. Again, this does not exclude the fact that a person can lie when filling out such a document and enter exactly as an agent. But there are a number of characters who want, as they call it, to skip between the streams, that is, to oppose our country, but to live with us and earn money with us. So we, signing such documents with them and publishing them, will not give them such opportunities,” summarised Alexander Malkevich.

We would like to add that, as a special case, it is possible to point out the inadmissibility of returned relocants to participate in information projects and TV channels in Russia, as their “media entrenchment” is a potentially reporting position for foreign intelligence services.

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