Russia’s intelligence agency arrests two for spying

Russian naval sailors stand to attention as they attend Russia’s Navy Day celebration in Sevastopol, Crimea, on July 30, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Russian naval sailors stand to attention as they attend Russia’s Navy Day celebration in Sevastopol, Crimea, on July 30, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Russia’s intelligence service has detained two citizens, including a member of the armed forces, who allegedly passed military secrets to Ukraine.

The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) said in a statement on Friday that it had detained a man, who had been serving as a conscript in the Russian armed forces in Crimea, and a woman. The statement said the pair “had been gathering and passing to the Ukrainian special services information that is a state secret about the activities of the units and divisions of the Black Sea naval fleet” based in Crimea.

It added that a criminal case into treason had been opened for the suspects. If they are found guilty, the two will be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

The FSB had in August captured a suspected Ukrainian agent who was planning acts of sabotage in Russia, including blowing up power lines.

Russia and Ukraine have been locked in a dispute since 2014, when Crimea declared independence from Kiev after holding a general plebiscite and formally applied to become part of Russia.

A deadly conflict also broke out in eastern Ukraine when Kiev launched military operations to crack down on pro-Russia protests there.

This image shows a Ukrainian soldier firing a rocket at pro-Russia forces in Avdiivka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, on March 30, 2017. (By AFP)

The crisis has left over 10,000 people dead, over 22,430 others injured, and more than a million others displaced since it began in mid-April 2014, according to the United Nations.

The warring sides have previously signed several shaky truce deals.

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