The Mystery Illness Linked To Russia’s Intelligence Unit

A recent joint media investigation has linked the mysterious symptoms experienced by US diplomats, known as the Havana Syndrome, to a Russian intelligence unit. The syndrome, first reported in 2016, caused US diplomats in Cuba to fall ill and hear piercing sounds at night. 

What is the Havana Syndrome?

The Havana Syndrome, as it has come to be known, refers to a series of mysterious symptoms experienced by US diplomats, particularly in the American Embassy in Havana. It started in the winter of 2017 when reports surfaced of diplomats falling ill and experiencing unusual sensations, including piercing sounds and pressure in their heads. One such case is that of Audrey Lee, a career Foreign Service officer, who experienced a sudden burst of pressure in her head while washing dishes in her kitchen, as per the New Yorker. Similar incidents were reported by other diplomats, leading to speculation of possible sonic attacks by a foreign entity using unspecified sonar weapons. 

In 2021, an FBI official identified as Ms Carrie experienced symptoms associated with the Havana Syndrome while investigating an alleged Russian spy within the US, according to a joint report. Carrie described being struck by a powerful force while doing laundry at her home in Florida. She shared her experience during an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes show, “It just pierced my ears, came in my left side, felt like it came through the window, into my left ear. I immediately felt fullness in my head, and just a piercing headache. And when I realized that I needed to get out of the laundry room, I left the room, and went into our bedroom next door, and a projectile vomited in our bathroom.”

Symptoms of Havana Syndrome

The symptoms of Havana Syndrome vary, but they often include experiencing loud noises which resemble grinding metal or a swarm of insects. This is accompanied by intense pressure in the ears and head, leading to headaches, nausea, and vertigo. Interestingly, when individuals affected by this syndrome try to move away from the source of the noise, the symptoms abruptly stop. However, the physical effects can last for days or even years after the initial experience.

Causes of the Havana Syndrome

The cause of the Havana Syndrome remains a mystery, it has been recently linked to a Russian intelligence unit. 

A recent study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed that MRI scans failed to detect any evidence of brain injuries in various US personnel who reported experiencing AHIs. There has long been suspicion that those affected may have been targeted by directed energy or microwaves emitted from concealed devices – a theory acknowledged in an earlier US intelligence report, as per BBC.

According to a recent media investigation, members of a specific Russian military intelligence unit, known as 29155, are suspected of using “directed energy” weapons to target the brains of US diplomats. Evidence suggests that members of this unit were present in various cities around the world at the same time US personnel reported experiencing incidents. The 29155 unit, known for its foreign operations, has been linked to various incidents, including the attempted poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the UK in 2018.

As part of the investigation, a Russia-focused website reported that an officer in the 29155 unit was commended for their involvement in developing “non-lethal acoustic weapons”. A US military investigator examining cases of the syndrome told 60 Minutes that a “Russia nexus” is a common factor among victims of the syndrome.