The Russian FSB stated that the Ukrainian special services wanted to steal Russian warplanes. A Bellingcat journalist was named as a participant

Kostia Andreikovets

The Russian Federal Security Service claims to have thwarted a Ukrainian military intelligence operation to hijack Russian military aircraft.

Radio Svoboda reports this with reference to the Russian state media.

The FSB said that the operation was planned by the special services of NATO countries together with the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine. They allegedly tried to recruit Russian pilots so that they would land military planes at Ukrainian airfields for money (up to $2 million) and the promise of obtaining citizenship of one of the European Union countries. In the Russian Federation, they say that they "successfully foiled" the operation, which made it possible to "strike a number of Ukrainian military facilities."

Propaganda media claim that the participant in the hijacking of the planes was the journalist of the Bellingcat project, Hristo Grozev, who is known for a number of investigations into the poisoning of the opposition leader Oleksiy Navalny, the crimes of the Russian special services, etc.

A story on the “Russia 24” TV channel showed a fragment of correspondence attributed to the investigator, in which it is claimed that Grozev found two couriers to transfer money to a Russian pilot who agreed to the abduction. The pilot of the plane, as reported, had to be poisoned with clofelin. However, there are no such details in the official message of the FSB.


Grozev, in his comments to “Radio Svoboda”, denies his participation in any operations of the special services. According to him, the Bellingcat team filmed an investigative documentary about how the FSB and Ukrainian special services have been playing the game for many years, trying to deceive each other. Grozev said that this investigation will soon be published.

The Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine has not yet responded to the statements of the FSB.

  • Ukraine openly promised rewards to the Russian military for equipment. Even at the beginning of the invasion, Ukroboronprom promised $1 million for a military aircraft. They promised $500,000 for a helicopter in working condition.