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Russia Jails Abducted Ukrainian Activist 13 Years for ‘Spying’

Sergei Tsygipa in court. Supreme Court of Crimea

A Russian court in annexed Crimea has sentenced a Ukrainian activist who was abducted last year to 13 years in prison for “espionage,” Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said Friday.

Serhiy Tsygipa, an activist and citizen journalist from southern Ukraine’s Kherson region, went missing in March 2022 while attempting to bring medicine to his mother-in-law, according to the Crimean Human Rights Group.

Tsygipa, 62, was found in a Crimean pre-trial detention center last October, the NGO said.

Russia’s FSB claimed Tsygipa had provided sensitive information about Russian forces to Ukraine’s security service and military. 

“The information was intended for use by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to adjust artillery and missile strikes on the positions of the Russian Armed Forces,” it said in a statement. 

Annexed Crimea's Supreme Court found Tsygipa guilty of espionage and handed him a sentence of 13 years at a maximum-security prison.

Few details outside the court ruling have been made public, as espionage cases are held behind closed doors since they deal with what authorities consider classified information.

Tsygipa is among a number of Ukrainian activists, volunteers, journalists and officials to have been abducted in occupied Ukraine since Moscow launched its invasion over 19 months ago. 

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