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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

FSB Thwarts NATO-Supervised Ukrainian Intel Operation to Hijack Russian Combat Aircraft

Sputnik News


MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Monday that it had thwarted a Ukrainian military intelligence operation supervised by the special services of NATO countries to hijack the Russian Aerospace Forces' combat aircraft.

"The Russian Federal Security Service uncovered and stopped the operation of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense to hijack combat aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces, supervised by NATO special services," the FSB said in a statement.

Ukrainian military intelligence officers, acting on behalf of the political leadership of their country, tried to recruit Russian military pilots for a monetary reward and guarantees of obtaining citizenship of one of the EU countries, the statement said, adding that the Ukrainian officers attempted to persuade them to land aircraft at airfields controlled by the Ukrainian military.

The employees of the Ukrainian special services involved in this operation and their accomplices have been identified, the FSB added.

The security service said the the UK was providing major assistance to Kiev in this operation. At the same time, Christo Grozev, the executive director of the investigative journalist group Bellingcat (listed as a foreign agent in Russia), participated in the operation, FSB noted. According to Grozev's correspondence with one of the participants in the operation, Grozev had found two couriers who met a contact from Moscow hired by Ukrainian intel through his coordinator. He was carrying an advance payment of $4,000 for any pilot who would agree to hijack the warplane.

According to a video clip published by the authorities, Ukrainian agents tried to bribe the pilots, offering up to $2 million to hijack Su-24, Su-34, or Tu-22 aircraft. They also said that the EU has been notified about the plan and will ensure their safety if the operation is successful.

At the same time, the FSB noted that a Ukrainian officer disclosed during a phone call that a major number of portable air defense systems are concentrated in Ukrainian cities.

Previously, reports suggested that NATO and US intel in particular are heavily involved in the Ukrainian crisis, as their agents are deployed to back Kiev against Moscow in a bid to stop the Russian special military op in Ukraine.

The news about the foiled operation come as Ukrainian troops failed to break through the Russian defensive line in the Kherson region.

Meanwhile, Kiev's forces are gradually being pressed out of the Donbass region; Russian servicemen and Donbass militia are advancing, having fully liberated the territory of the LPR earlier this month.

© Sputnik

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