Cyber specialists of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) neutralised a spy network of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Federation (known as GRU), which operated in the Kharkiv region.
The perpetrators collected intelligence data on the geolocations of fortified areas and the routes of the movement of convoys of military equipment of the defence forces, including by rail.
Among the special tasks of the enemy agents was the collection of compromising material on service members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who are in the frontline territories of the region. Russian intelligence paid the greatest “attention” to current officials of local military enlistment offices and military medical commissions.
The aggressor needed such information to try to recruit them and prepare special information operations against Ukraine.
In addition, Russian agents monitored the consequences of Russian airstrikes on Kharkiv, then went to the places of hits to record them and send a “report” to the occupiers.
As a result of a multi-stage special operation, SBU officers documented the criminal actions of four members of the Russian intelligence network. They detained them at their places of residence.
According to the investigation data, the enemy group was guided remotely by a former local resident, who fled to Russia at the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion. There, he was recruited by GRU staff and tasked with creating his own agency network in Kharkiv. He recruited four of his acquaintances in the city, including a taxi driver and an employee of a local gas supply company. To gather information, they traveled around the area and recorded the bases of the defense forces or the “addresses” of Russian airstrikes. The collected information was submitted to the resident (head of the group) in the Russian Federation, and he sent it to his GRU curator.
During searches of the detainees’ homes, computers and mobile phones were found, which they used to conduct intelligence and subversive activities against Ukraine. Three grenades were also seized.
The Security Service investigators served the three detainees with notices of charges under Part 2 of Art. 28, Part 2 of Art. 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (high treason committed in wartime by prior conspiracy by a group of persons).
Another suspect was served with notice of charges under Part 1 of Art. 263 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (illegal possession of ammunition). The detainees are in custody. They face various terms of imprisonment, including life imprisonment.
Comprehensive measures are also underway to identify all members of the Russian spy network and bring to justice its resident hiding in the Russian Federation.