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

By Jen Patja Howell
Tuesday, September 6, 2022, 5:01 AM

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.