A former Russian spy turned glamorous jetsetter has revealed all about her secretive life – including how she fell in love with the man she was meant to seduce before fleeing the country.
Aliia Roza, 36, now works as a fashion PR splitting her time between London, California and Milan, and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Prince Charles and Mayor Sadiq Khan, but faced extremely difficult circumstances growing up.
Born in the USSR to a father who was a high-ranking military General, Aliia was expected to follow in his footsteps and join the Russian military – which she did with disastrous consequences.
The former Russian spy claims she was raped, was trained in how to master and manipulate men and ordered to pretend to be a prostitute in order to catch her targets.
“Within two weeks of arriving at the academy I was raped by my colleague,” Aliia told Jam Press.
“But what could I do? Go to the police to report the police?
“The system was so corrupt, it still is, and I couldn’t tell my dad in case it ruined his reputation."
Aliia and the other girls sent to the military academy were expected to train in the art of seduction – in order to fool unsuspecting targets into sharing vital information with them.
She said: “Sometimes when I watch these movies like Red Sparrow I am like 'oh my god, how do they know all these things?'
“In my educational centre, they would teach us how to seduce men, how to psychologically manipulate them, how to get them to talk so we could hand over information to police.
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“For my first task, I had to pretend I was a prostitute so I could go to a club and seduce the leader of a criminal gang which was supplying drugs into the country.”
For her mission she was given in 2004, Aliia, who was 19 at the time, was instantly attracted to the dangerous man, who she names only as Vladimir, and he soon developed feelings for her as well.
The pair risked their lives and careers to be together – living a life of crime, wealth and comfort, and were madly in love.
She said: “For a few months I lived the life that I had never lived before, I was only 19 – I was only a little girl at the time.
“It was just crazy, I was hanging out with these baddies who would fight each other and kill each other.
“In my opinion, criminals are much nicer than police.
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"They say in Russia that police have no principles, where criminals have principles; they protect their families, especially women and children.
“I fell for Vladimir, he really did help me. He was the only person I told about being raped."
But the dream was soon crushed as, nine months into their romance, the gang figured out that Aliia was leading a double life.
Aliia said: “Vladimir’s gang members found out I was in the military quite soon, they probably tracked me.
“They put me into the car, they dropped me into the forest, it was so dark, and 10 men started beating me.
"Vladimir saved me from being killed."
A month later, her former lover was murdered.
She said: “He was killed by one of his own brothers, which is what they call each other in gangs, or it could have been someone else undercover, I will never know for sure.
“I was heartbroken, this man had shown me kindness, and now he was just gone.”
But as she grieved, Aliia was plunged into a new kind of danger as her protector was now gone.
She said: “After my cover was blown, my boss in the military knew there was something going on.
“If you mess up in anything they don't let you go.
“They send you to jail, where you’d be killed.
“Before he died, Vladimir gave me contacts in Moscow of people to contact in case anything happened to him, and told me to speak to no one else.
“Police started to track me and his friends hid me for just under a year.
"When things were calm enough I started to live my life, but I knew I could never go back.”
In Moscow, the former spy soon met and fell in love with a Russian oligarch, who she married in 2006 and soon after fell pregnant with.
But her life took yet another turn when her husband was jailed and later died in jail – meaning she was handed over his financial assets and company shares.
With a newborn son Platon (now 11), Aliia wanted to make a name for herself in order to show her son that it's possible to change your life.
She moved to Switzerland and later London, before moving to the US to live among the rich and famous.
Having always been into fashion, she eventually started her own PR company, representing some of the biggest clients in the UK and internationally.
Although she can't travel back to Russia, Aliia is still able to see her family from time to time, organising trips to Greece and Dubai with them.
Now, she is a well-known name on the fashion circuit and lives in California.
When she's not working on her PR brand, trying to start a fledgling acting career or blogging for her 700,000 Instagram followers, Aliia walks the red carpet at film festivals.
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She said: "Growing up, I was never spoiled, I was never treated to anything, there was no fashion, no anything apart from your pride.
“So now I feel like Cinderella in the modern world!
"I am very grateful and blessed to have what I have . It’s been a long way to be where I am now."
Despite living in a $20 million Beverly Hills mansion with her former life miles away, Aliia is always looking back in fear.
She added: “I always worry about my past catching up with me.
“I sometimes get very nasty messages from men from the military on my Instagram. I was scared to get any social media.
“But I had to get my freedom, I want to live my life. I have my residency card so they can’t really do anything.
“They could always kill me but they haven’t yet. Some of them are probably angry at me for not being like them, for being brave.
“Life is short – I want to live it as I want.”
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