The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) arrested a couple in the port city of Odesa who had been taking photos of sensitive objects for Russian intelligence while pretending to have a wedding photoshoot.

The unnamed suspects, a 23-year-old man from the city and his 18-year-old “bride,” were said to be spying on “locations of the border units of the maritime guard that defend the water area of ​​the port city,” information that could later help Russia adjust missile and drone strikes.

“In order to get intelligence, those involved went around the area under the guise of [being] brides and grooms, walking and taking pictures against the background of ‘sensitive objects’,” read the SBU press release, though it’s not clear if the same couple had assumed the same tactic on multiple occasions or others were involved.


The pair were arrested while “spying near a potential target,” the statement said. 

In addition, the SBU said the couple was also tasked by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) with pasting “provocative leaflets against mobilization” and setting fire to a local power station. 

According to the SBU, the man was recruited by the FSB in May “through anonymous chats on the Telegram channel, where the issue of evading mobilization is discussed,” and he later involved his girlfriend in his “subversive activities.”

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The SBU said it has already identified the FSB handler from Russia’s Eastern Military District, and it had discovered more evidence of their crimes during home searches.

“Mobile phones with evidence of crimes were seized during searches of the detainees’ homes. A bank card that received money from the FSB and a batch of anti-Ukrainian leaflets were also discovered,” according to the SBU press release.

The couple is under custody and each face 8 years to life imprisonment if convicted.

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