The counterintelligence department of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has uncovered a network of Russian intelligence agents and arrested its leader, announced Volodymyr Nestyuk, head of the counterintelligence department, on Thursday December 27.
“Notably, on December 20 its leader was arrested – a citizen of Ukraine, born in 1961, a first rank captain of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in reserve, who also has Russian citizenship,” UNIAN cites Nestyuk as saying.
Russian intelligence agents recruited the network’s leader in Sevastopol, after which he repeatedly traveled to annexed Crimea for meetings.
The agent and his accomplices gathered restricted information about the Ukrainian intelligence divisions in the Ochakiv garrison and their involvement in the Joint Forces Operation in the Donbas. Their most recent assignment from their handlers was to create and lead an underground, in order to continue to destabilize the situation in the province.
“At the agent’s place of residence there was documentary material on the crimes committed by him – the means of communication with Russian intelligence agents, computer equipment, electronic information storage on which the collected data was processed, as well as documentary material, even with restricted access,” the SBU representative noted.
The agent has been placed under arrest and charged with high treason.
“Ukrainians who are serving time in the neighboring country are recruited by FSB agents to fight in the Donbas. They are offered a one year contract or a prison sentence. Those who agree to the one year contract are promised ‘clean’ documents and the opportunity to return to Ukraine,” said Artem Kryshchenko, head of the Ukrainian Police’s anti-human trafficking department.
The recruited Ukrainian citizens include people of widely different age groups – from students to the elderly.