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Russia's FSB claims it detained 18 'Ukrainian agents' in Crimea this year

by Martin Fornusek December 11, 2023 11:47 AM 2 min read
Russian personnel wield guns in Sevastopol's Nakhimova Square in Russian-occupied Crimea on March 19, 2023. Photo for illustrative purposes only. (Vladimir Aleksandrov/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed on Dec. 11 that it had uncovered a "network of Ukrainian intelligence services" in Crimea and had detained 18 "Ukrainian agents" on the occupied peninsula over the past year.

Although the Kyiv Independent cannot verify the FSB's claims, Ukrainian intelligence has reported on active anti-Russian resistance in Crimea, which has been under Moscow's occupation since 2014.

The activities of the alleged network were coordinated by Ukraine's military intelligence agency (HUR) and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) under the guidance of "Western handlers," the FSB claimed.

The FSB alleged that "agents and accomplices of Ukrainian intelligence services" were tasked to carry out sabotage activities, and planned attacks against high-profile representatives of Russian occupation authorities, such as the Russia-installed Crimea head, Sergey Aksyonov.

Other supposed targets were said to include Crimea's Kremlin-controlled parliament chair, Vladimir Konstantinov, the Russia-installed head of Yalta, Yanina Pavlenko, a pro-Russian military blogger Alexander Talipov, and pro-Russian politician Oleg Tsaryov.

Tsaryov was reportedly shot and injured in late October. Ukrainian media wrote that the SBU was responsible for the shooting, citing sources in the security service.

The FSB also claimed that two attempts on Aksyonov's life had been made this year, one in May and another in July.

The detainees were accused of involvement in five sabotage operations against railway lines in the Simferopol, Kirovske, and Feodosia districts, bombings of gas pipelines in Simferopol and the village of Koreiz, and car bombings against Russian occupation authorities in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

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