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SBU: Ex-lawyer for banned pro-Russian party detained for spying

by Elsa Court August 3, 2023 1:10 PM 2 min read
The man's identification card as a legal advisor for the Odesa district council (Photo: Security Service of Ukraine / Telegram)
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The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced on Aug. 3 that it had detained a lawyer in Odesa, who worked undercover gathering intelligence for the Russian security services.

The man allegedly indicated to Russia which sites should be targeted, monitored the movements of Ukrainian air defense, and reported on where Russian rocket and drone strikes had hit.

Odesa and other ports along the coast of the Black Sea have been repeatedly attacked since mid-July. A bombardment on the city's historic center on July 23 killed two people, injured more than 20, and damaged at least 44 buildings.

As a cover, the SBU said that the man joined "one of the local public organizations involved in maintaining law and order in the city."

After the full-scale invasion, the man and his wife went to Russian-occupied Crimea and voluntarily signed up to cooperate with the Russian authorities in exchange for money.

The man's wife now lives in St. Petersburg and also cooperates with the Russian intelligence services, according to the SBU.

The SBU have him detained under suspicion of treason, which carries a life sentence.

The SBU reported that before the full-scale invasion, the man worked as a lawyer for district council deputies from the pro-Russian party of Anatoly Shariy. The political party has since been banned along with several other pro-Russian parties.

Shariy is a pro-Russian blogger who was charged with treason in absentia in 2021. He denies the accusations.

Earlier on Aug. 1, the SBU said that it had detained a suspected spy for providing Russian security services with information on the consequences of Russian airstrikes in Mykolaiv.

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