A swap deal between Russia and Israel in 2008 provided the Russian military with secret codes for Georgian drones, while Jerusalem obtained access to information on Iranian missile systems, according to fresh publications by Wikileaks.
Georgia purchases its unmanned aerial vehicles from Israel, which later gave Moscow the "data link" code in exchange for codes for Tor-M1 missile complexes that Russia sold to Iran, said a leaked letter attributed to Stratfor private intelligence company.
Whistleblowing site Wikileaks announced on Sunday that it started to publish some five million emails by Stratfor, or Strategic Forecasting Inc., a Texas-based intelligence company founded in 1996 and attested by media as the “shadow CIA.”
Stratfor said that at least some emails could be authentic, but did not elaborate. The company’s website was hacked in 2011 by a group of politicized hackers known as the Anonymous.
Stratfor’s alleged email on the Russian-Israeli swap cited an unnamed source described as a “former Mexican cop, Latam military analyst.”
Georgia tried to purchase new drones from a private defense contractor in Mexico in hopes of replacing those compromised in July 2008, a month before its five-day war with Russia over the breakaway province of South Ossetia, in which Russia emerged victorious.
Georgian officials also sought to purchase additional ammunition and helicopters, but the deal fell through because the supplier, Idra, was “advised that it would raise a lot of political complications between Mexico and Russia,” the source said.
“The Georgians were pretty much looking for anyone who would sell to them and were willing to pay top dollar,” the letter said, adding in parantheses: "(This shows how frantic the Georgians were in July knowing that war is coming.)"
Tbilisi later tried to sell the compromised drones to neighboring Azerbaijan, but it remains unclear whether the deal was completed, the source said.
No governments implicated in the deal have commented on the leak as of Wednesday afternoon.
Stratfor’s alleged emails disclosed earlier also named Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika as an informant of the company, saying he supplied it with data on turf wars in the Kremlin. Chaika’s office dismissed the report as “provocation.”