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Russia Sentences Ukrainian to 18 Years Over Bomb Plot

Ukrainian citizen Dmitry Golubev. Erik Romanenko / TASS

Russia on Thursday sentenced a Ukrainian man to 18 years in prison for trying to blow up buildings in the Moscow-controlled Ukrainian city of Melitopol in a plot allegedly orchestrated by Kyiv, state media said.

A military court in Russia's southern city of Rostov-on-Don found Dmitri Golubev guilty on various "international terrorism" charges for one explosion and two attempted blasts in Melitopol in August last year, Russian state media reported.

Russian forces captured the southern Ukrainian city in the first week of their full-scale military campaign last year.

Prosecutors said Golubev planted an explosive device at the entrance to the regional traffic police headquarters, with the subsequent detonation damaging the building.

Russia's FSB security service said it had foiled two other planned bomb attacks — one on a government building in Melitopol and a roadside bomb planted along a route used by Moscow-installed officials.

There were no reports of casualties in any of the incidents.

Russia said Golubev had been recruited by Ukraine's secret services, which trained him on how to build and detonate explosive devices and supplied the materials.

According to Russia's Kommersant newspaper, during the trial, Golubev admitted to planting the explosives, but rejected the charges of "international terrorism."

"I am Ukrainian, I was defending Ukraine," the paper quoted him as telling the court.

There was no immediate reaction from Kyiv to his sentencing or the allegations of its involvement.

Several Russian-installed officials in parts of Ukraine under Moscow's control have been killed or targeted in assassination attempts throughout the 21-month conflict.

Kyiv has occasionally admitted that it was behind various attacks, though Ukrainian officials also often point to local "resistance groups" as being responsible or that attacks were the result of internal conflict within Russia's ranks.

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