Russia detains two for alleged pro-Ukraine sabotage

Russia detains two for alleged pro-Ukraine sabotage
Russia detains two for alleged pro-Ukraine sabotage

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Boards with portraits of Russian servicemen are on display in a boulevard, in the course of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in the centre of Belgorod, Russia, March 10, 2024. — Reuters pic

MOSCOW, March 15 — Moscow said today it had detained a man for allegedly trying to disrupt Russian air defence systems and a woman accused of preparing to attack railway infrastructure near Ukraine.

The FSB security service announced the arrests of the Russian citizens as voting began in presidential elections set to extend Vladimir Putin’s long rule.

The FSB said it had detained a man in Moscow for carrying out tasks “aimed at countering Russian air defence systems.”

It said it opened an investigation into high treason, a charge that can carry up to life in prison.

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“He assembled and launched unmanned aerial vehicles to create decoys in close proximity to Russian Defence Ministry facilities,” it added.

State media published footage showing masked men in military gear searching a small room, and arresting a man in his bed.

Asked who he was working for, the detainee answered: “the Freedom of Russia Legion,” according to images published by the RIA Novosti news agency.

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The Freedom of Russia Legion is a group made of pro-Kyiv Russian volunteers, and it has claimed several incursions into regions bordering Ukraine.

It launched a wave of guerilla-style attacks on border areas this week, claiming to have temporarily seized territory inside Russia.

The FSB also said it had arrested a woman in the border region of Belgorod for allegedly planning acts of sabotage on orders from Ukraine.

The suspect was caught “red-handed while preparing to carry out sabotage acts at a railway transport facility,” the FSB said in a statement carried by state media.

The security service said she had “acquired an explosive device and planned to blow up railway lines on the territory of the Belgorod region.”

It said she was charged with illegally handling weapons and sabotage for an organised group, and that faces up to 20 years in prison. — AFP

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