Russian security forces killed what they claim was a Ukrainian GUR military intelligence agent and arrested two others in southern Ukraine’s partially occupied Zaporizhzhia region, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said Friday.
The FSB described the shootout and arrests as a “special operation” that “thwarted the activities of three large secret intelligence groups.”
“One of the GUR agents who offered armed resistance was killed by return fire,” the FSB said in a statement.
The Russian intelligence agency said it found an improvised explosive device, a Kalashnikov assault rifle and a grenade during searches at the slain man's apartment.
Video shared by the state news agency RIA Novosti showed the two separate arrests of a man and a woman inside their apartments, but the video did not show the third attempted arrest during which the gunfight broke out.
The two arrested individuals were identified as the administrators of the Ukrainian news website RIA-Melitopol and a pro-Ukrainian channel on the messaging app Telegram, which the FSB said it shut down.
“Those resources were used by foreign intelligence to gather information and wield psychological influence over residents,” it said.
The FSB said those arrested admitted to working for Ukrainian intelligence. The pair were charged with “public calls to commit terrorist acts” and are expected to face additional charges of state treason and espionage.
Law enforcement authorities added that all three of the individuals involved in the “special operation” were either citizens of Russia or Ukraine.
Russian forces captured parts of the Zaporizhzhia region early in Moscow's invasion of Ukraine last year.