Ukraine’s security service has detained a Russian FSB agent accused of high treason over an alleged plot to join a drone school in Kyiv to spy on the Ukrainian military.
The SBU said on Monday the unnamed businessman was instructed to identify coordinates of Ukrainian training grounds to carry out long-range strikes on the facilities.
A statement by the agency said the 49-year-old was caught “red-handed” while he was photographing a military unit in the capital.
“In the event of successful completion of hostile missions, the Russian infiltrators ‘guaranteed’ their agent a monetary reward, which was to be transferred to his bank account,” it said.
Ukrainian forces have increasingly used UAVs to help identify Russian targets for artillery units, as well as one-way attack drones to hit their enemy at long-range.
The man was remotely recruited by Russia’s FSB security service two months before being apprehended.
He had been hand-picked by his Russian handler because of his Ukrainian posts on a channel on the Telegram messaging app.
A search of his property was said to have revealed bank cards and computer equipment used in his “reconnaissance and sabotage activities against Ukraine”.
If found guilty, the 49-year-old man faces life imprisonment for his charge of high treason under martial law.
“The investigation is ongoing,” the SBU said.
Last month, two Kyiv residents were detained for allegedly providing Russia with information for missile attacks on the capital.
At the time, Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, said: “This is a clear warning to all traitors: retribution awaits.”
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