In 2020, the counterintelligence department of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has shut down four intelligence networks and detained 11 agents of the Russian special services, three of whom were involved in attempted sabotage and terrorist attacks on critical infrastructure facilities.

An agent of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), who had planned to blow up an ammonia storage facility on the territory of PJSC Severodonetsk Azot Association, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Two citizens were sentenced to 12 years in prison for taking part in a terrorist attack in the Donetsk region on the instructions of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic.”

Another FSB agent was detained in the Luhansk region. He tried to hand over to a foreign party the secret documentation on the Neptune missile system developed by Ukraine’s defence industry.

Also, the network of special services of the Russian Federation was exposed in government bodies and among law enforcement officers, including a former major general of the SBU, an official of one of the ministries, and so on.

In turn, in the territory of the Kherson and Volyn regions, the SBU counterintelligence exposed entire spy networks. The first one was headed by a former employee of the regional state administration, and the members of the second collected information about military facilities in the region.

According to counterintelligence data, a total of 288 criminal proceedings have been opened over crimes against national and public security in 2020.

Among these proceedings, 76 were initiated over treason, 50 were terrorist and sabotage activities, 9 were encroachments on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine, and 4 were over espionage.

During the year, 92 convictions came into force, including 30 on charges of high treason and 20 for terrorist activity.

Violations of international law have been documented as well. The accreditation of five foreign diplomats has been terminated ahead of schedule.

Natalia Tolub

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