Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) has arrested an aspiring politician in Odesa for collecting and passing information on Ukrainian infrastructure and military assets to Russia.

According to a report from the Odesa Region Prosecutor’s Office, the man demanded $5,500 in monthly payments from Russia but only received $1,300 for his work.

The SBU said the agent, operating under the code name “Mazepa,” was recruited by Russia in October this year and was tasked to transfer information on Russian strikes in Odesa to help coordinate the attacks.

The man attempted to hide his spying activities by using multiple phones but was arrested while taking pictures of energy infrastructure.

He also attempted to infiltrate Ukraine’s parliament by posing as a potential candidate and associating himself with an organization that deals with environmental issues. Russian intelligence funded campaigns where banners featuring the man could be seen around Odesa, according to this SBU report.


The man also requested to join United Russia, Russia’s ruling party, and to be appointed to leadership positions under an occupied administration should Odesa fall under Russian control.

The SBU recovered phones used to communicate with Russian intelligence during a search, as well as Molotov cocktails and his application to join United Russia.

The man faces life in prison.

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