The unit known as 29155 is engaged in “destabilizing” activities in Europe, security sources from four Western countries told The New York Times. It’s impossible to understand how the group is mobilized and where, and when its employees will strike, the newspaper’s interlocutors say.
What is known about the "secret unit of the GRU"
The unit is based in the 161st Special Purpose Specialist Training Center, the publication claims. It is managed by the GRU. His officers often travel to European countries. Some employees have rewards for wars in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Ukraine, NYT writes (Russia denies the presence of its military in Ukraine). According to the newspaper, the unit is so secret that not even all GRU employees are aware of its existence. “It has been active for several years throughout Europe. It came as a surprise that the Russians, the GRU, this unit worked freely and were extremely hostile in friendly countries. It was shocking, ”one source told NYT.
The publication found mention of unit 29155 in the 2012 "directive of the Ministry of Defense" on awarding allowances to fighters of three special forces for "special merits in military service." Detachments 74455 were also mentioned in the document (NYT claims to be one of two groups of hackers who hacked the servers of the US Democratic Party before the elections in 2016) and 99450 (the newspaper believes that he participated in the annexation of Crimea in 2014). The allowances to the fighters of these units are stated in the order of the Minister of Defense of March 21, 2012.
A retired GRU officer told NYT that unit 29155 specializes in "sabotage missions in groups or individually - explosions, killings, whatever." “Serious guys served there. They worked undercover as international agents, ”the source said. The publication did not name his name.