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Who are the fugitive Russians on FBI's 'Most Wanted' list?

Six Russians wanted by the FBI
Six Russians wanted by the FBI Copyright Euronews - FBI
Copyright Euronews - FBI
By Joshua Askew
Published on Updated
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US intelligence agents are after scores of Russians in connection with dastardly global plots and outright criminality.

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More than 60 Russian nationals are wanted by the FBI, America's security services. 

The fugitives are sought for their alleged involvement in an eclectic mix of crimes and schemes, ranging from manipulating US elections to smuggling quantum computers.

Here are some of Russia's most wanted: 

Natalia Burlinova

FBI
NATALIA BURLINOVAFBI

Burlinova is accused by the FBI of gathering intelligence for Moscow in the US. 

With the support of the Russian Security Service (FSB), she allegedly recruited Europeans and Americans into a 'Meeting Russia' programme run by the NGO she led, Creative Diplomacy. 

Here she is believed to have assessed their views towards Russia and gathered their personal and professional information, which was then passed on to the FSB in exchange for funding and other support for her NGO. 

While in the US, Burlinova toured universities and research institutions, allegedly supplying more detailed info on those with sympathies towards Russia.

She was last known to be in Moscow. 

Creative Diplomacy denies the charges against Burlinova. 

Writing on Twitter in April, it said there is no proof to the allegations against her, decrying "acts of provocation and speculation in [the] mass media". 

Yevgeny Prigozhin

HANDOUT/AFP
Yevgeny PrigozhinHANDOUT/AFP

No surprises here, for some.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of Russia's notorious Wagner mercenary group, is wanted by the US secret services for allegedly interfering in the 2016 US election that saw firebrand Donald Trump enter the White House.

Described as a "deeply disreputable character", the former hot dog seller rose up the ranks doing the Kremlin’s bidding, be it using his private militia for shady business on the African content or waging war in Ukraine.

Some have alleged Prigozhin has political ambitions of his own, possibly eyeing up the top spot as Russian president. 

The FBI claim Prigozhin "oversaw" an electoral interference operation by the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency (IRA), widely seen as a "troll farm" which he funded.

He is accused of a “conspiracy to defraud the US by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions" of the Federal Election Commission, the United States Department of Justice, and the United States Department of State,” they said.

His plot involved creating hundreds of fake online accounts, which spread content that reached “significant numbers” of Americans.

The FBI is offering $250,000 for any information that might lead to his arrest. 

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Boris Yakovlevich Livshits

FBI
BORIS YAKOVLEVICH LIVSHITSFBI

Hailing from Leningrad, Livshits is accused of unlawfully sourcing and shipping sensitive US military technologies to Russia.

The FBI says he managed to get his hands on advanced equipment used in quantum computing, hypersonic missiles, nuclear weapons development, and other military and space-based applications.

His clients included the Russian intelligence agencies Ministry of Defence, besides some of the country’s universities.

Livshits, operating under the aliases Boris Levitan, Boris Livshitc and David Wetzky, allegedly helped finance and smuggle tens of thousands of American-manufactured, military-grade sniper bullets.

He has ties to Russia, Estonia, Finland, Kazakhstan, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, and the United States.

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A warrant has been issued for this arrest.

Mikhail Mikhailovich Gavrilov

FBI
MIKHAIL MIKHAILOVICH GAVRILOVFBI

Gavrilov, an FSB officer, is wanted in connection with a Russian hacking campaign in the global energy sector.

Along with fellow officers Pavel Aleksandrovich Akulov and Marat Valeryevich Tyukov – also wanted by FBI agents – the 44-year-old allegedly hacked computer systems at oil, gas and renewable energy firms, electricity grids, nuclear power plants and technology companies.

This then enabled the Kremlin to target and disrupt them.

Operating in an FSB military unit, the trio were codenamed “Dragonfly" "Energetic Bear," and "Crouching Yeti”.

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More than 380 foreign companies based in 135 countries were hit, including Albania, France, Germany, Hungary, China, Pakistan, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. 

Petr Nikolayevich Pliskin

FBI
Wanted poster for PETR NIKOLAYEVICH PLISKINFBI

Pliskin’s last whereabouts were in the Russian capital.

In October 2020, a jury in Pennsylvania returned an indictment against him and five other of the Kremlin’s intelligence officers for his alleged involvement in a spate of politically-charged cyber crimes.

The FBI claims Pliskin helped target critical infrastructure in Ukraine, a political campaign in France, international victims associated with the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and investigations of nerve agent attacks that have been publicly attributed to the Russian government.

All of these “destructive” and “disruptive actions [were] for the strategic benefit of Russia,” writes the FBI.

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Igor Dekhtyarchuk

FBI
IGOR DEKHTYARCHUKFBI

Born in 1998, Dekhtyarchuk was previously a student at Ural State University in Yekaterinburg Russia.

The FBI accuse the 25-year-old of a long list of cyber crimes

He is suspected of operating a criminal marketplace that sold thousands of login credentials, personal information and other useful tools for other crooks to access the online accounts of people around the world. 

Any tip-offs can be given to the FBI online, over the phone or at an American Embassy.

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