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Bronx Rep. Torres calls for FBI probe into Russian ‘espionage’ compound in NYC

Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres wants the FBI to investigate the Cold War-era skyscraper in New York, home to some of the Kremlin’s most powerful diplomats, amid Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Torres, a first-term Democrat, believes the FBI should make sure there are no spies hiding in the 20-story, cryptic facility at 355 West 255th St. in Riverdale, which houses scores of Russian officials, some of whom are are said to have worked as secret service agents in the USA.

And he plans to make that pitch in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday.

“As Russia continues its unjust and unprovoked war against Ukraine, I believe the US must take all possible measures to protect our nation from possible Russian espionage operations,” Torres said in the letter obtained by The Post on Monday .

Voters have turned to his office over concerns they are living among Russian spies, the politician said.

Richie Torres
Torres plans to present the Reveal Risky Business in Russia Act to Congress.
William Farington

“If these allegations are true, I believe we must take steps to protect our homeland and ensure these Russian spies are expelled from the United States,” he wrote. “Therefore, I urge you and your agency to launch an investigation into the Russian diplomatic complex.”

The site, which stands out in the leafy residential neighborhood of Riverdale in the Bronx, came under scrutiny following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Local residents gathered outside the site earlier this month to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and call for an end to the war.

“Since the installation of the first building block, the Russian complex has been kept secret. It’s time to lift the veil and uncover what’s going on behind those walls,” Rep. Torres told the Post in a statement.

Many have said it is an “open secret” that members of Russia’s foreign intelligence service or military intelligence are stationed there and little is known about the eyesore.

Russian government complex
A view of the Russian Government Complex at 355 West 255 Street in Riverdale, The Bronx on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 in New York City, USA.
Stephen Jeremiah

It’s so classified that when a small fire broke out at the building in 2011, the FDNY didn’t even enter the compound’s gates to put out the flames, Torres claimed.

“The complex has raised serious concerns in the surrounding community since its construction,” he added.

A resident told The Post in early March she went to school on the site as a child, saying the first four to five floors were used as a school for the children of Russian-speaking diplomats when she was let in, and the other floors were residences.

Richie Torres
Torres wants the FBI to confirm spies hiding at the suspect compound.
Cliff Owen

Torres also announced Monday that he would submit the Reveal Risky Business in Russia Act to Congress, which would “require US companies to publicly disclose whether they have business ties with Russia or any other country operating in a sovereign nation has invaded,” according to his bureau statement.

According to a tally by the Yale School of Management, over 400 companies have withdrawn from Russia since the invasion, but many continue to do business with the Kremlin.

“Since the installation of the first building block, the Russian complex has been kept secret. It’s time to lift the veil and uncover what’s going on behind those walls,” Torres said.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/21/bronx-rep-torres-calls-for-fbi-investigation-of-russian-spy-compound-in-nyc/ Bronx Rep. Torres calls for FBI probe into Russian ‘espionage’ compound in NYC

JACLYN DIAZ

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