Spanish judge finds Russian involvement in Catalan independence case

Russia offered the Catalan independence movement support with soldiers and money.

Spanish judge Joaquin Aguirre investigating the diversion of public funds to pay for the former head of the Catalan pro-independence movement Carles Puigdemont’s  structure in Waterloo , as well as other expenses, suspects that, days before the Catalan unilateral declaration of independence, Russia offered to send to Catalonia 10,000 soldiers and pay the Catalan debt , which the former Catalan president rejected, the newspaper El Periodico reports.

The judge's suspicions are based on two recordings of telephone conversations between Catalan politician Victor Terradellas, an associate of  Carles Puigdemont.

According to Aguirre, the Russians wanted to make Catalonia "a country like Switzerland." And this group of Russians, agreeing to finance the independence movement, was "created in Gorbachev's time." The Russians allegedly planned to pay Catalonia's debts for its financial independence with the help of a cryptocurrency platform.

Following Aguirre's statements, the Russian Embassy in Spain posted a response on Twitter. "The information in the Spanish media about sending 10,000 Russian soldiers to Catalonia is incomplete. We need to add two more zeros to the figure and not miss the most impressive fact in all this story: the soldiers will be transported on Mosca and Chato planes, which were assembled in Catalonia during the Civil War, and hidden since then in the Catalan mountains," the diplomatic mission said in a statement.

The referendum for Catalan independence was held on October 1, 2017, with more than 90% of the region's residents voting to secede from Spain. Catalan authorities said the referendum was a forced measure because of Madrid's policy, which does not give the region more autonomy.

The Spanish authorities declared the referendum illegal. In 2019, Madrid's Supreme Court sentenced Catalan leaders involved in the referendum to a maximum sentence of 13 years. Puigdemont is hiding in Belgium, Spain demanded his extradition.

  Spain, Russia, Puigdemont