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The Insider has identified the man who threatened Russian economist and activist Maxim Mironov and attacked his wife in Argentina. The culprit turned out to be Grzegorz Daszkowski, a Polish citizen. The Insider shared this information with Polish law enforcement, leading to Daszkowski's arrest. Subsequently, through the connection to Daszkowski, law enforcement apprehended other Polish criminals who had attacked the former head of Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF) Leonid Volkov in Lithuania. Today, Lithuanian authorities reported the assailants' arrest. This incident highlights a pattern of Russian intelligence services leveraging European criminal groups to target Kremlin opponents.

  • Attack on the Mironov Family in Argentina

  • Attack on Leonid Volkov


Attack on the Mironov Family in Argentina

On the afternoon of August 31, 2023, a knock came at the door of Russian economist and blogger Maxim Mironov's residence in Buenos Aires. Answering the intercom, Maxim heard an unfamiliar voice with a distinct accent delivering a chilling message: “Professor Maxim Mironov? I have a message for you. Stay away from Russia and Russian politics!”

Rushing downstairs, Mironov found no trace of the visitor. The following morning, as Maxim's wife, Alexandra Petrachkova, returned home with their 10-month-old child, she was confronted by the same aggressor. The man hit her in the face and then yelled out the same ominous warning: “Stay away from Russia!” Petrachkova's cries startled the attacker, who fled the scene.

Maxim Mironov and Alexandra Petrachkova
Maxim Mironov and Alexandra Petrachkova

Mironov has no doubt that the attack is linked to his professional activities. He had been involved in reports exposing how Russian authorities circumvent sanctions. According to Mironov and Petrachkova, the assault served as a warning: “We know where you live and can reach you even in Argentina.”

The police swiftly took action, and soon, surveillance cameras identified the assailant — a white male, approximately 185 cm tall, wearing glasses. The footage captured him approaching Mironov's building and following Petrachkova, recording the events on his mobile phone. When shown his photo, Maxim couldn't recognize anyone familiar.

Through an image search, The Insider identified the man as 38-year-old Grzegorz Daszkowski from Bydgoszcz, Poland. Flight records confirm that he arrived in Argentina on August 30 via an Air France flight from Paris and departed on September 5 — back to Paris.

Daszkowski at a resort in Bulgaria, 2020
Daszkowski at a resort in Bulgaria, 2020

Based on publicly available information, Daszkowski moonlights as an organizer of sports competitions and corporate events. Moreover, it appears that he has a family and children.

Daszkowski being interviewed regarding the collection of aid for Ukraine
Daszkowski being interviewed regarding the collection of aid for Ukraine

Furthermore, based on the photographs, Daszkowski was among the first to initiate aid collection for Ukraine immediately after the onset of Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022. He even gave interviews to Polish radio stations, discussing plans to deliver collected items to those affected by the war. However, according to border control databases, he did not cross the border into Ukraine.

While it's possible that Daszkowski genuinely empathized with Ukraine, it has to be said that Jan Marsalek, formerly associated with the GRU and FSB, also established a company in Dubai with nominal owners, claiming it was meant to provide “humanitarian aid for Ukraine.”

Following The Insider's inquiry about Daszkowski to the Polish police and subsequent verification, law enforcement confirmed his involvement in the attack, resulting in his arrest.

Attack on Leonid Volkov

During their investigation into Daszkowski's connections, Polish investigators uncovered intriguing information: Daszkowski's handler had ties to two other Polish criminals who coincidentally arrived in Lithuania around the same time that Leonid Volkov, former chairman of Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF), was assaulted while exiting his car at his home in Vilnius. The assailant struck him multiple times with a hammer, causing severe facial and leg injuries that saw Volkov hospitalized.

Following a collaboration between Polish and Lithuanian law enforcement, the assailants targeting Volkov was apprehended.

These assaults not only involve the same group of criminals but also share other notable traits: the attackers arrived in the country just before the incidents, suggesting prior reconnaissance on the victim's residence and movements. According to The Insider, Russian intelligence services conducted surveillance, while the Polish criminals were recruited solely for executing the attacks.

This modus operandi of Russian intelligence services has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. A notable example is the arrest of six Bulgarians hired by Jan Marsalek, a decade-long GRU spy, in late 2023. The men were recruited for surveillance, theft of electronic devices, and potential abduction plots or assassinations of Putin's opponents across various countries in Europe.

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