June 23, 2024

The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) has exposed a former Anti-Maidan activist who, on the instructions of a Russian secret service, had been gathering intelligence and planning to create an agent network in Ukraine’s south (Anti-Maidan was a number of pro-Russian demonstrations in Ukraine in 2013 and 2014 that were directed against 2014 Revolution of Dignity and later the new Ukrainian government).

Source: SSU; Odesa Oblast Prosecutor’s Office; Ukrainska Pravda’s law enforcement source

Details: The suspect was on the run in Russian-backed Transnistria, hiding from the investigation into the circumstances of the mass riots in support of the pro-Russian Anti-Maidan groups on 02 May 2014 in Odesa [Transnistria is an unrecognised Russian-backed breakaway state internationally considered to be part of Moldova – ed.].

The investigation believes that the defendant, on his own initiative, contacted representatives of the Russian secret service and offered his assistance in conducting subversive activities against Ukraine.

In pursuance of the aggressor’s tasks, the defendant, alias “Skif”, collected intelligence on the forces and assets of the Ukrainian Armed Forces located in Odesa and Odesa Oblast, as well as on the deployment of personnel and military equipment on the so-called “Ukrainian-Transnistrian border”.

The suspect attempted to remotely recruit residents of Odesa Oblast, including local law enforcement officers, the SSU said.

The Russian proxy’s “zone of special attention” included information on identifying persons involved in the SSU and law enforcement agencies of Ukraine, including those operating in the territory of the Transnistrian Republic of Moldova, the prosecutor’s office said.

The agent passed the intelligence to his handler, a major of the sham “Ministry of State Security” of the Transnistrian Republic of Moldova, who acted in the interests of the Russian Federation.

In order to bring the Russian agent to the territory of our state, SSU counterintelligence officers got an actual SSU employee into the collaborator’s field of vision and arranged for her “consent” to cooperate with the Russians.

Following the scenario of the Ukrainian special service, the offender arrived in Odesa Oblast to personally recruit the “candidate”.

The Security Service investigators have now served Skif with a notice of suspicion of high treason committed under martial law. He remains in custody. The offender faces life imprisonment.


For reference: The UP’s source said the detainee was a citizen of Ukraine, Oleksandr Sukhanov, 49.

The intelligence service said he participated in hostilities against Moldova in the 1990s and served as a sniper in a Russian-controlled unit of the “internal troops of Transnistria”. He was then appointed group commander of the 17th Special Forces unit Edelweiss of the Russian Interior Ministry.

As a member of the Russian Special Forces, the offender participated in hostilities in Dagestan and Chechnya.

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