Vienna: a Spies’ Paradise. Conversation with Christo Grozev and Fabian Schmid, investigative journalists

  • Discussion & Concert

  • 25. Juni 2024, 18 Uhr

  • Presseclub Concordia, ERSTE Foundation

A discussion on the presence and influence of Russian (and other) spying networks in Austria.

18.00 Doors open

18.30 Welcome greetings: Daniela Kraus, Secretary General, Presseclub Concordia: “In difficult times, music for the soul is essential”

Piano concert Vikram Rajan
Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata Nr. 23 in f-Moll, Op. 57, “Appassionata”
I. Allegro assai
II. Andante con moto
III. Allegro ma non troppo – Presto

19.00 Conversation with Christo Grozev (via video call) and Fabian Schmid, followed by Q&A
Moderation: Mirjana Tomić, Fjum/Presseclub Concordia

20.00 Summer gathering: Wine, snacks, and inspiring conversations.

Fabian Schmid
Fabian Schmid is the Head of the investigative journalism section at Austrian newspaper Der Standard, where he also coordinates the international collaboration of the newspaper on journalistic investigations with Paper Trail Media, Der Spiegel, ZDF and Tamedia. His main beats are corruption, extremism, and national security. He has been working for Der Standard since 2013. Previously, he was a Deputy Head of the Domestic Politics and Crime Section. Schmid graduated from the university of Vienna, majoring in communication studies.

Vikram Rajan
Vikram Rajan is a concert pianist who has received his classical piano education at the University of Buffalo, New York, Mannes College of Music, New York, as well as the University for Music und Dramatic Arts (MdW) in Vienna. Masterclasses with Elisso Wirssaladze, Zoltan Kocsis, Malcolm Bilson, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Naum Grubert, Natalia Trull and the Brentano String Quartet paved the way of his artistic development. Vikram Rajan has won a number of prizes at international piano competitions, among which the third prize at the Brest Piano Competition in France, the second prize and the special prize for the best interpretation of Spanish music at the “Teresa Llacuna” competition in France, and a honorary mention at the City of Vigo Piano Competition in Spain. As a concert pianist, Vikram Rajan has performed in Austria, the USA, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, and France.

Christo Grozev
Christo Grozev is an award-winning Bulgarian journalist, a lead investigator for The Insider and member of Bellingcat Productions, which looks to translate Bellingcat investigations into a range of new media products. Until  February  2023 he was the lead Russia investigator with Bellingcat, focusing on security threats, extraterritorial clandestine operations, and the weaponization of information. His investigations into the identity of the suspects involved in the 2018 poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal earned him and his team the European Press Prize for Investigative Journalism. He has authored further investigations identifying, among others, two senior Russian officers linked to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014; the GRU officers involved with the 2016 Montenegrin coup plot, and the FSB operative involved in the poisoning of Alexei Navalny in 2020.

 This project has been supported by ERSTE Foundation