Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) said they caught terrorists in the act as they were planting explosives in four separate attacks in Kyiv on May 9.

The terrorists are said to be affiliated with Russia’s Main Directorate of the General Staff (GRU). They were seized in the act of planting explosive devices within construction materials in a prominent hypermarket chain and close to a café, the SBU told Kyiv Post.

Sources within the SBU, speaking to Kyiv Post on condition of anonymity, confirmed the arrests, stating, “We cannot divulge specifics at this time.”

However, spokesperson Artem Dekhtyarenko provided a statement in relation to the operation: “The SBU acted preemptively, apprehending the perpetrators red-handed. Substantial evidence has been amassed, unequivocally tracing back to Russian involvement.”

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The terrorist plot was centered on the positioning of improvised explosive devices concealed within cartons of tea bags.

The devices, consisted of timers, detonators, plastic explosives and an incendiary mixture, strategically positioned among flammable materials which were intended to initiate large-scale fires during peak shopping hours.

A separate attack was planned in which the Russian agents would plant explosive devices within a parked vehicle close to a popular Kyiv café.

This plot was intended to cause chaos and panic in Ukraine’s capital to coincide with May 9, the day that Russia commemorates the World War II victory over Nazi Germany and in doing so propagate the notion of a Russian presence in Kyiv.

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IS has claimed responsibility on multiple occasions for the March 22 attack which killed over 140 people, but Moscow has repeatedly tried to link Ukraine and the West to the attack.

“By orchestrating these terrorist plots, Russian special services have once again exhibited their malevolent nature. We acted preemptively, thwarting the enemy's designs in a timely fashion. Every action of these criminals has been meticulously documented, and they will face justice, along with anyone aligned with Russian interests,” the head of the SBU Vasyl Malyuk said.

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The SBU Counterintelligence Division identified GRU officer Yuriy Syzov as the instigator of the attacks, overseeing operations from Military Unit No. 92154.

 

 

Syzov personally directed the recruited agents, even producing instructional videos on how to deploy explosive devices within the targeted stores using a similar location, in the Moscow region.

It is likely that the SBU had conducted extensive surveillance of his agents’ activities once the plot had been identified.

Syzov was also implicated in a frustrated sabotage attempt in the Lviv region in February 2024.

The SBU has dismantled the entire network responsible for the planned attacks, apprehending agents and combat groups, smugglers facilitating explosives transit from Russia, and the perpetrators caught red-handed planting the explosive devices.

The detained individuals have been formally charged under several articles of the Ukrainian Criminal Code, including high treason (Art. 111), sabotage (Art. 113), and terrorist acts (Art. 258), which carry potential sentences of life imprisonment.

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