The Lawfare Podcast: Christo Grozev on Socialite, Widow, Jeweller, Spy

Jen Patja, Tyler McBrien, Christo Grozev
Tuesday, September 6, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

Late last month, investigative journalists at Bellingcat and partner organizations published a story exposing the identity of a Russian spy named Maria Adela Kuhfeldt Rivera, who over the course of 10 years had charmed her way into the social circles of NATO members in Naples. Lawfare managing editor Tyler McBrien sat down with Christo Grozev, Bellingcat's lead Russia investigator, who walked us through this stranger-than-fiction spy thriller. They discussed how Maria Adela found herself courting NATO officers in Italy, how Bellingcat's team exposed the truth, often at great personal risk to themselves, and how this story can help us understand the state of Russian tradecraft.

Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Tyler McBrien is the managing editor of Lawfare. He previously worked as an editor with the Council on Foreign Relations and a Princeton in Africa Fellow with Equal Education in South Africa, and holds an MA in international relations from the University of Chicago.
Christo Grozev is lead Russia investigator with Bellingcat, focusing on security threats, extraterritorial clandestine operations, and the weaponization of information.

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