A Russian man accused of passing information to Ukrainian intelligence services about defense fortifications in annexed Crimea has been arrested, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said Thursday.
Video shared by the state-run TASS news agency showed masked agents apprehending the unidentified man, who was then filmed giving a confession.
“I understood the information would be used against Russia, but I was guided by entirely different goals and I didn’t care,” he is heard saying.
Russia’s FSB claimed that the man, who now faces treason charges, had “proactively” sought to be recruited by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s intelligence agency GUR while evading mobilization last year by fleeing to one of Russia's neighboring countries.
The FSB added that the man returned to Crimea and was hired by an organization carrying out the construction of fortifications to “fulfill [his] assignment.”
The Leninsky District Court in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol placed the man in pre-trial detention.
Treason cases are heard behind closed doors in Russia as they deal with what authorities consider classified information.
“High treason” charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison under amendments that President Vladimir Putin signed into law in April.
The United Nations has expressed alarm over the surging number of treason and espionage arrests made in Russia since the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.