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FSB Charges Russian With Treason for Attempt to Enlist in Ukrainian Army

Igor Pokusin Igor Pokusin / VK

Russia’s FSB security service on Tuesday confirmed that it had arrested and charged a Russian citizen who attempted to join the Ukrainian Armed Forces earlier this year, according to state-run news agency TASS.

"The detainee decided to switch to the side of the enemy and join the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to participate in combat operations as part of their ranks," the FSB press office said.

Sixty-year-old Igor Pokusin was detained at Krasnoyarsk airport in Siberia on Jul. 24 as he was boarding a plane to Kazakhstan, according to independent media outlet Baza

Over four months since he was detained, the FSB charged Pokusin with  “attempted treason” on Dec. 7.

According to FSB investigators, Pokusin had planned to reach Kazakhstan’s capital Astana and then “transit through Moldova to Ukraine” so he could “join the Armed Forces in order to fight against the Russian army.”

In July Russian President Vladimir Putin signed new amendments to the article of Russia’s criminal code on treason adding "defecting to the side of the enemy” to the list of treasonable offenses, with anyone found guilty facing anywhere between 12 and 20 years in jail.

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