On July 5, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported that its Counterintelligence and Main Investigation departments had jointly tracked down a suspected undercover Russian agent.
The man was an aide to lawmaker Yuriy Zdebsky, from President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Servant of the People political party, who in turn is a member of the Standing Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence.
Zdebsky told the Suspilne portal: “It’s a shock and humiliating. I’m a military man and I took part in the Counterterrorism Operation [in the Donbas]. I trusted this man.” He added: “Let the court decide how much harm he’s done to the state.”
According to Zdebsky, his aide did not have a position on the committee and had no authorized access to state secrets. The high treason suspect was a secretary of the ad hoc team on border affairs and worked with data from open sources.
“I hired him because he was formerly my boss in the State Border Service. I knew him as an expert in border demarcation and development,” Zdebsky pointed out.
Five years of subversive operations
The SBU special operation revealed that the suspect had been engaged in intelligence and subversive activities since 2017. He was apparently recruited in Moscow by Yuri Vodolazkiy, an agent of the 9th Operative Information Division at the FSB’s 5th Service.
At the time of his detention by the SBU, the suspect was reportedly in operative contact with Dmitry Zubarev, deputy chief of the division.
He reportedly shared information and intelligence with the FSB on Ukraine’s international relations, domestic policy, Ukraine-Russia border fortifications, and the Counterterrorism Operation/Joint Forces Operation in the east of the country.
SBU spokesman Artem Dekhtiarenko said in an official statement on July 5: “For his collaboration with the enemy, he received $1,500-$4,000 a month from Russian special services, depending on the complexity of assignments and the time involved in their execution.”
According to Dekhtiarenko, the spy transmitted information to Russia via an encrypted electronic channel and traveled to third countries to meet with paymasters who gave him his salary and new assignments.
The pre-trial investigation has been completed and the case has been submitted to the court. The suspect is in custody and has been charged with high treason under Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
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