Female Russian spy posed as jewellery designer for ten years & infiltrated NATO by 'luring commanders into honeytraps' | The Sun

A RUSSIAN spy reportedly posed as a jewellery designer for ten years and infiltrated NATO by luring commanders into honeytraps.

Maria Adela Kuhfeldt Rivera – real name Olga Kolobova – has been unmasked by Bellingcat as a spy working for Russia’s GRU foreign intelligence service.

She was deployed for a decade as a seductive socialite and businesswoman while making close connections that reached to the UK and as far as the Middle East.

Maria Adela hopped her way between between Rome, Malta, and Paris for years before settling down in Naples, Italy.

As the owner of a plush jewellery boutique, she charmed her way into high-level social circles and placed herself at the centre of the city's international party scene.

She even attended the balls held by NATO and the US Marine Corps.

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And she managed to become the secretary of the fundraising charity Lions Club Napoli Monte Nuovo – linked to the NATO HQ.

Maria Adela, who spoke fluent Italian and English, reportedly "befriended a number of NATO officers".

One officer, who has not been identified, told Bellingcat that he had a "brief romantic relationship" with her. 

She reportedly became close to a number of NATO officers – and a US Navy employee who she said had "a little crush" on her.

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According to Bellingcat, she made up a back story to her friends about how was abandoned in Russia by her Peruvian mother and raised by an abusive family.

In 2012, Maria Adela, the daughter of a colonel in the Russian military, married an Italian man.

But he was actually Ecuadoran and Russian, and he died mysteriously at the age of 30 due to "double pneumonia and systemic lupus".

It was after his death that she settled down in Naples and started mixing with NATO diplomats.

One of the spy's friends was Marcelle D’Argy Smith – the former editor of the women’s magazine Cosmopolitan.

She remembers Maria Adela picking her up from Naples airport in a “very flashy car, maybe an Audi convertible".

"We were such really good friends," she said.

"She was like a goddaughter or a niece. It was upsetting to find out.

"She was very beautiful, very understated. I didn’t think other women liked her because they realised she could, if she chose, be a threat.

“She had lots of male friends but they never seemed worthy. She was so attractive and the men looked ordinary and I never understood it.”

Bellingcat also interviewed Colonel Sheila Bryant, then inspector general of the US Naval Forces in Europe and Africa, who questioned Maria Adela's story.

She said the woman's story was "confusing and unconvincing" and urged colleagues to "limit access" to highly confidential military information around her.

Suddenly, in 2018, Maria Adela bought a one-way ticket from Naples to Moscow – and her close friends in the West have never seen her since.

It was the same year Russia’s GRU foreign intelligence service carried out the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal on the streets of Salisbury.

It's believed Maria Adela thought her cover had been broken after GRU’s operations had been exposed by intelligence agencies and made a hurried exit.

Maria Adela's last social media post spoke of a cancer diagnosis.

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Bellingcat believe the woman who sold herself as Maria Adela was really a GRU agent named Olga Kolobova – as identified by photo-matching software.

Investigators said Maria Adela’s passport has not been activated since her return to Moscow.

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