Ukraine’s Security Service says it has arrested a Russian military intelligence agent planning an attack on the country’s largest port in the Black Sea.
“His main task is to shake up the political situation in the Odessa region through acts of sabotage and terrorism,” the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said on January 10, adding that the agent arrested while trying to recruit people to carry out the attacks.
According to the SBU, the captured agent is a foreigner who visits Ukraine periodically on missions of Russian agencies. His superiors are representatives of Russian military intelligence, who operate from the territory of Transdniestria, bordering Ukraine.
The SBU did not release further details. Officials from the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have not yet commented on the information.
Russia last month said someone had thrown a petrol bomb at its consulate in the Ukrainian city of Lviv and protested the Moscow attack as an “act of terrorism”.
Relations between Russia and Ukraine collapsed in 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea and fighting broke out between Kiev and pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine says about 15,000 people have been killed in fighting since then
Ukraine, the United States and the West are accusing Russia of massing troops close to Ukraine’s border and fearing an attack. Meanwhile, Russia completely denied the accusations, accusing Ukraine and NATO of causing tension, and asked the US-led military alliance to ensure it did not admit Ukraine to the organization.
US and Russian officials yesterday began talks in Geneva, Switzerland to defuse the crisis.