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SBU detains 2 people allegedly attempting to help coordinate Russian airstrikes

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 13, 2023 12:11 PM 2 min read
A photo of a man suspected of attempting to aid Russian attacks, shared by the Security Service of Ukraine on Nov. 13, 2023. (Security Service of Ukraine)
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Two people suspected of attempting to aid Russian attacks on Kyiv and Cherkasy have been detained, Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) reported on Nov. 13.

The man and the woman allegedly took photographs of the damage caused by attacks and tried to find out the coordinates of Ukrainian air defense systems, "including Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems."

The SBU reported that after a strike on Cherkasy on Sept. 21, the woman took photos of a building in the city center that was damaged in the attack.

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She then sent these photos "to her accomplice, a citizen of the Russian Federation who lives in Kyiv," the SBU said.

The man then tried to leave Ukraine, with the plan of entering Russia via the EU, but was detained before he could leave the country.

He worked in higher education and went to Russian-occupied Crimea in 2015 to receive a Russian passport, according to the SBU.

The suspect began to monitor military bases in Kyiv after the full-scale invasion and involved the woman, an acquaintance from Cherkasy.  

Evidence was found on their mobile phones, while the search of the man's home also revealed souvenirs from Russia, such a Russian flag magnet and a t-shirt with Putin's face, the SBU said.

The investigation is ongoing. If convicted, the two could face up to eight years in prison for the crimes of disseminating information about military units and justifying or denying Russian armed aggression against Ukraine.  

The SBU detained a woman in Odesa Oblast on Nov. 10 for a similar crime.

She is suspected of passing on information to Russia about Ukrainian grain logistics centers on the Black Sea coast, as well as on military targets.

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