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SBU detains ex-member of banned pro-Russian Party of Regions suspected of espionage

by Kateryna Hodunova April 8, 2024 2:49 PM 2 min read
The Security Service of Ukraine detained an ex-member of the pro-Russian Party of Regions, as he was allegedly spying in Sumy Oblast. Photo published on April 8, 2024. (SBU/Telegram)
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The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) detained a former member of the banned pro-Russian Party of Regions whom Russia allegedly recruited for espionage and aiding strikes, the SBU's press service reported on April 8.

The suspect was arrested in Sumy Oblast as he was trying to establish the precise coordinates of the Ukrainian Armed Forces' facility near defensive lines so that it could be targeted by Russian forces in the future, the SBU said.

During the arrest, law enforcement officers seized the suspect's mobile phone, through which he allegedly tried to send pictures of the facility and its geolocation.

After the liberation of occupied parts of Sumy Oblast in 2022, the Russian Federal Security Service's (FSB) handler remotely recruited the suspect to conduct sabotage and reconnaissance activity in the oblast, the SBU's statement said.

The SBU said that it was monitoring the former member of the Party of Regions due to his pro-Kremlin posts in one of the messengers.

The suspect is currently in custody and faces life imprisonment if convicted.

The Party of Regions, Ukraine's dominant party under ex-President Viktor Yanukovych in 2010-2014, became effectively defunct after Yanukovych fled to Russia in the wake of the 2014 EuroMaidan Revolution.

While the party's symbols were prohibited in some regions of Ukraine in 2014, the party itself was banned only nine years later. Numerous Ukrainian politicians affiliated with the party chose to join other parties after its ban.

Why is Russia intensifying attacks on Ukraine’s Sumy Oblast?
Russian attacks on Ukraine’s northern Sumy Oblast have left some villages resembling the ruins of Bakhmut and Marinka, officials have said, as Moscow’s forces continue to escalate aerial bombardments against homes and civilian infrastructure in the area. In the latest strikes, one person was killed…
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