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Iran Press TV

Russia arrests serviceman for passing state secrets to Ukraine

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 27 August 2020 9:48 AM

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has arrested a serviceman in the province of Siberia for passing state secrets to Ukraine.

The FSB said in a statement on Thursday that it had arrested the serviceman, from Russia's Strategic Missile Forces, in the Siberian city of Barnaul for spying for the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine's Defense Ministry.

FSB footage carried by Russian news agencies showed the suspect being detained as walked out of a grocery store.

The intelligence agency did not specify what kind of information had been passed, but said a criminal case had been opened for state treason.

The suspect could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine have severely strained since 2014, when Crimea, a peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea and then a Ukrainian territory, joined Russia following a referendum in which more than 90 percent of participants voted in favor of the move. Crimea's population is largely ethnically Russian.

Since that same year, an armed conflict has also been underway between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russia forces in an area in eastern Ukraine known as the Donbass.

Kiev and its Western allies accuse Moscow of having a hand in the crisis. Moscow denies the allegations.

In late July, the FSB arrested another serviceman, from Russia's Black Sea Fleet, in the Crimean city of Sevastopol over suspected espionage for Ukraine.

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