Ukraine has detained a senior government official and a business leader suspected of being part of an alleged Russian spy network, Ukraine’s security service said Tuesday.
The Security Service (SBU) did not name the two suspects, but identified them as a senior official at the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers and a department head at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a corporate lobby.
It said in a statement on the Telegram app that it had conducted a “multi-stage special operation” to neutralize the alleged espionage ring.
“As a result, in Kiev the head of a department of the secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers and the head of one of the directorates of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry were detained,” the SBU said.
“These officials passed on to the enemy various intelligence information, from the state of our defense capability to state border appointments and personal details of Ukrainian law enforcement officers.”
Russia did not immediately comment on the SBU statement.
The two prime suspects were shown in a video sitting in front of a Ukrainian flag and said they had collaborated with Moscow, with whom Ukraine has been at war since Russia invaded its neighbor on February 24.
It was not immediately clear whether they were speaking under duress.
The SBU said Russia paid the suspects from $2,000 to $15,000 per task, depending on the level of secrecy and the importance of the information. One of the men said in the video that he received a total of $33,000 for his activities, and the other said he received $27,000.
One, codenamed “Kireev”, said he had been working together since 2016. The other said he had done so since 2019.
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