Russia’s intelligence agency attempted to abduct a Russian from Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported. The SBU did not name the citizen in question.
According to SBU, the Russian came to Ukraine in 2014 “as a sign of disagreement with the Kremlin’s aggressive policy”.
For the operation, Russian intelligence agents hired a group of residents of the Kharkiv region headed by a former police officer. The group had worked periodically in Russia. The members of the group were previously convicted for violent crimes in Ukraine and had convictions in Russia, the SBU explained.
“The ringleader of the perpetrators hired members of the local criminal underworld for a fee of $23,000. They then planned to use soporifics to move the Russian through Ukraine’s state border to Russia in order to hand him over to Russian intelligence,” the SBU claims.
The SBU said that it arrested all of the group members directly connected to the abduction and attempted transportation to Russia.
Law enforcement authorities are investigating a criminal case according to the articles “high treason” and “illegal imprisonment or abduction of a person”. The security service is currently addressing the matter of announcing charges.
Relations between Kyiv and Moscow deteriorated following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the start of the armed conflict in the Donbas in 2014.