The SSU detained a couple in Odesa. They were preparing a missile attack on air defense units and warehouses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces

Oleg Panfilovych

The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) detained a couple of Russian spies in Odesa. They were preparing a missile attack on the Air Defense Forces and artillery depots of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

This is reported by the SSU.

The attackers gathered intelligence about possible locations and movements of units of the Air Defense Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the region. The SSU employees timely exposed the Russian agency and established control over it at the initial stage of subversive activities.

Both of the detained men (born in Odesa, but later served in the Russian army and took part in hostilities on the territory of Chechnya) and wife are citizens of the Russian Federation. They were sent to Ukraine early in 2018 and received a residence permit. In this way, Russian military intelligence planned to create its own intelligence apparatus in the south of Ukraine.

Before a full-scale invasion, the family of agents gathered data on the socio-political situation in the region and expanded their circle of acquaintances in preparation for the main tasks.

"Already after February 24, first of all, they tried to identify the combat positions of the Crotale anti-aircraft missile systems and the location of field artillery depots with ammunition for anti-aircraft missiles. Intelligence information was needed by the occupiers in order to carry out airstrikes with Caliber- or Kindzhal-class missiles against Ukrainian military facilities," the SSU notes.

Therefore, the attackers actively collected information about the units of the Defense Forces in Kherson area. The agents sent the collected information to a "liaison" — a resident of Sevastopol, a former Russian special agent who secretly cooperates with the main intelligence agency of the Russian Federation, and uses the position of the head of a charity fund as a cover. He passed the information on to his supervisor, a staff member of the Russian military intelligence. Investigators of the Security Service declared the detainees about the suspicion under Art. 114 (espionage) of the Criminal Code. They were taken into custody.