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Prosecutors: Odesa man identified and arrested for spying for Russia

by Nate Ostiller December 8, 2023 5:39 PM 2 min read
A local Odesa man suspected of spying for Russia in a photo posted on Dec. 8, 2023. (Odesa Oblast Prosecutor's Office)
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An Odesa local who had been allegedly spying for Russia was identified and arrested by the regional Prosecutor's Office, in cooperation with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on Dec. 8.

According to the prosecutors, the individual was remotely recruited and began spying for Russia in October.  

He was tasked with taking pictures of the locations of Ukrainian troops, as well as defense and energy infrastructure in Odesa, which he then sent to his Russian contacts. He also allegedly photographed the aftermath of Russian strikes in the oblast so that future Russian attacks could be corrected for a more accurate result.

The man allegedly requested $5,500 per month for his services. He also expressed his desire to become the head of the local branch of Russian political party, United Russia, in the event that Odesa would be occupied by Russian forces.

Prosecutors said that he only received $1,300 for his work.

During his arrest, authorities found Molotov cocktails, which they said he planned to use against mass gatherings of civilians in Odesa. The prosecutors characterized it as a planned terrorist attack.

The individual is being investigated for treason.

If convicted, the SBU said the man could face life in prison. Others convicted of treason have previously received life sentences in similar cases.

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Editor’s Note: The last names of some of the people interviewed for the story are not disclosed due to security reasons. KUPIANSK, KHARKIV OBLAST – Just 40 kilometers away from the Russian border, in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv Oblast, stands a small town scarred by months of occupation and ongoing
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