Alexander Zakharchenko, the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has banned the DPR’s state officials from travelling to territory controlled by Kyiv. According to the website of the Ministry of State Security, this decree was signed on December 15 in 2017.
According to the decree, the restriction was implemented due to “massive recruitment by Ukrainian special services of the DPR’s residents who cross the demarcation line with Ukraine” including government and local government employees. DPR authorities emphasized that the DPR residents [crossing into Ukraine] are forced with the use of physical and psychological threats to conduct reconnaissance and subversion on the DPR’s territory.
The DPR Ministry of State Security said that in 2017, 246 people were arrested in DPR on suspicion of espionage, including 148 state employees.
On Monday, January 15, the Donetsk news agency reported that in December 2017, the military tribunal sentenced to prison four residents of the DPR and the LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) for espionage for Ukraine, as well as for planning attacks and terrorist acts, facilitating terrorist activity, and the illegal storage, production and sale of weapons and explosives.