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Russia Accuses Ex-Soldier of Helping Ukraine Organize Arson Attacks

A still image from video of the FSB's arrest in western Siberia's Tyumen region. FSB

Russia’s Security Service (FSB) on Thursday said it detained two people suspected of organizing several arson attacks on behalf of Kyiv and transferring money to the Ukrainian military.

A 21-year-old ex-soldier in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad was accused of being paid by the Ukrainian special services to recruit potential arsonists inside Russia.

“The suspect involved several people living in 15 Russian regions in criminal activity between February and March this year,” the FSB said in a statement.

It added that law enforcement authorities had failed to prevent 10 out of 15 arson attacks targeting communications and transportation sites.

Ten individuals had been detained in connection with the arson attacks, the FSB said.

In addition, the ex-soldier was accused of sharing information about the Kaliningrad region military unit where he had previously served.

In western Siberia’s Tyumen region, the FSB accused the unnamed suspect of wiring an undisclosed amount of money to the Ukrainian armed forces, according to Interfax.

FSB footage published by the state-run news agency RIA Novosti showed agents detaining a man in an empty street and taking him inside an administrative building.

The two detained individuals could face charges of “high treason,” the maximum penalty for which was raised from 20 years to life imprisonment by President Vladimir Putin earlier this year.

Russian authorities have increasingly arrested citizens on suspicion of high treason, as well as sabotage or spying for Ukraine.

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