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Russia says it arrested three Ukrainian spies

The Russian security services (FSB) claim this Thursday to have arrested three Ukrainian spies. According to them, one was preparing an “attack” with explosives, at the height of tensions between the two countries. The FSB did not specify in which regions or on what date these suspected Ukrainian spies were arrested.

According to a statement from the Russian security services, two of them “arrived in Russia to collect information and make photo and video recordings of installations of vital strategic importance and transport infrastructure”. “A short barrel gun and automatic weapon as well as personal protective equipment were found in the vehicle they were using,” they added.

According to the FSB, these two men “confessed to having been recruited” by the Ukrainian security services, the SBU, in exchange for a reward of 10,000 dollars (approximately 8,700 euros). The third alleged agent “was arrested in the act with destruction means while on his way to the scene of the crime”. According to the FSB, the latter was arrested with two improvised explosive devices equivalent to 1.5 kg of TNT. He “crossed the Russian border illegally” and also had to “equip caches” with explosives.

Westerners and Russians accuse each other

Russia regularly announces the arrest of people it presents as spies or “saboteurs” working for Ukraine, especially in Crimea, a peninsula it annexed in 2014. The arrests announced on Thursday come as Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, said it fears an imminent invasion while Moscow, the Russian capital, is accused of having massed troops on the border. Russia denies any bellicose inclination and in return accuses Ukraine of constituting a “threat” to it. She also accuses NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) of wanting to extend to its borders.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured Wednesday he had “evidence” that Moscow is considering an invasion in Ukraine. The US Foreign Secretary has warned Russia, raising the prospect of painful economic sanctions if it takes action. For his part, the Russian President, Vladimir Poutine, called for “concrete agreements” preventing the expansion of NATO towards the East and the deployment of its weapons systems near the Russian borders, proposing to launch “negotiations”. background ”on this topic.

Western allies in Kiev have been sounding the alarm bells since last month over a further reinforcement of Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders and a possible invasion. On Wednesday, Moscow retaliated by accusing Ukraine of massing tens of thousands of soldiers in the east of the country. The allegations come as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for direct talks with Moscow over the conflict with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. Anthony Blinken considers that Russia is using the same “instructions” as when it took control of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula in 2014, in particular by intensifying “disinformation” to present Kiev as the “aggressor”.

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