Ukraine Sentences Russian Spy To 13 Years In Prison

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Two individuals identified by The Kyiv Independent as “militants” on Russia’s side and a spy working for Putin have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms in Ukraine. These developments add yet another item to the list of Ukrainian inroads against Russian aggression — like the recent Ukrainian hit that apparently took out dozens of Russian military vehicles and killed or wounded over 400 Russian troops.

The “Security Service of Ukraine reported that two Kremlin-led militants from Luhansk Oblast were captured in March, and the court sentenced them to eight and 10 years, respectively,” according to The Kyiv Independent. “In Rivne Oblast, a Russian spy was sentenced to 13 years in prison for collecting intelligence on the deployment of Ukrainian troops and equipment, according to the SBU,” the publication adds. A recent report from CNN explains that there’s been a consistent push among Ukrainian authorities to target individuals in the country who are providing information to Russian personnel. “The SBU here say they’re carrying out stings like this once or twice a day,” CNN said in a report on the detention of an alleged spy for Russia in the Ukrainian city of Sloviansk. SBU is an abbreviation for the Security Service of Ukraine.

“The SBU says Russian forces rely heavily on collaborators like the alleged spy CNN saw being arrested in Sloviansk this weekend to pinpoint their targets and evaluate the success of their hits,” CNN adds in their report from May 16. Someone with the SBU who spoke with CNN credited a significant portion of more recent spying incidents to financial incentives offered to those recruited by Russia — although it’s unclear from the report from The Kyiv Independent whether the Russian spy sentenced in the Rivne region was a recruited Ukrainian citizen or someone who originated outside of the country. According to the same SBU member who tied some spying incidents to prospective financial benefits, being convicted of spying that’s been proven to have led to death or “severe consequences” could mean a life sentence. “These missiles come at the coordinates which are transmitted by such criminals… People die because of these missiles. Our soldiers are killed, and civilians are killed,” the SBU member said.

Russian espionage has figured prominently in other semi-recent developments related to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Across Europe, numerous individuals associated with the Russian diplomatic presence in individual countries have been expelled, and concerns about these individuals spying for Putin have repeatedly been raised. As previously reported here, Danish intel concluded this year that the Russian embassy in their country featured multiple individuals on staff involved in espionage work for Russian officials. Authorities in Denmark “want to send a clear signal to Russia that espionage on Danish soil is unacceptable,” the country’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod remarked — and Denmark announced the expulsions of 15 people tied to Russia’s diplomatic presence. A Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson indicated 21 Russian diplomats expelled from Belgium “were all accredited as diplomats but were working on spying and influencing operations,” as Reuters summarizes.