Russia said on Friday it had detained two of its citizens including a member of the armed forces who allegedly passed Ukraine military secrets on the Black Sea naval fleet based in Moscow-annexed Crimea. The FSB security service said in a statement that it had detained a man who was serving as a conscript in the Russian armed forces in Crimea and a woman. It said the pair “had been gathering and passing to the Ukrainian special services information that is a state secret about the activities of the units and divisions of the Black Sea naval fleet” based in Crimea.
The FSB said it had opened a criminal case into treason, which is punishable by a maximum jail term of 20 years. Russia regularly announces it has foiled attempts to undermine its rule in Crimea, annexed from Ukraine in 2014 in a move condemned internationally. In August, the FSB said it had captured an alleged Ukrainian agent who was planning acts of sabotage including blowing up power lines.
Ukrainian film director and scriptwriter Oleg Sentsov was sentenced in 2015 to 20 years in a Russian prison colony on terrorism charges over arson attacks in Crimea.