Austrian Vice Chancellor resigned after scandal about ties with Russian oligarchs
German media previously published a provocative video of Strache and a Russian woman.
Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache resigned. He will be replaced by fellow party member Norbert Hofer, who previously headed the Ministry of Infrastructure.
Because of the scandal, the vice-chancellor is even ready to leave the post of leader of the Freedom Party, so as not to compromise his colleagues.
The scandal broke out in Austria after the Suddeutsche Zeitung and Spiegel published a video in which Strache at a resort on the island of Ibiza was talking to a Russian woman who introduced herself as the niece of an oligarch from Russia and called herself Alyona Makarova. They discussed the readiness of the Russian oligarchs to finance Strache's campaign. For this service, they wanted to purchase the Kronen Zeitung newspaper and government orders given to the Strabag construction company.
The video was shot in 2016.
Strache denies everything, and wants to prove his innocence in court.
The intel scandal involving Oleg Smolenkov, who had access to the Kremlin and possessed valuable information, has become a widely discussed topic. It was CNN who reported, citing sources in the CIA and Donald Trump administration, on the “informant” being evacuated from Russia in 2017. It turned out that for certain people in Russia, the spy’s disappearance was not a secret, while the Russian elite denied the fact of espionage in unison with the American one. The Smolenkov family was forced to leave their luxurious mansion in Virginia, and their current whereabouts are unknown. Smolenkov’s “patron,” Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation for the International Sector Yury Ushakov, continues to fulfill his duties. The CrimeRussia looked into the story of “exfiltration” of the top informant and the possible consequences of his work as an intelligencer.