Some of the weapons, ammunition, and explosives seized from the members of the arrested terrorist and spy group operating in Kharkiv, which was recruited and controlled by Russian military intelligence. (Image: SBU)
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), the Prosecutor’s Office of Kharkiv, and the Alpha Team conducted a large-scale special operation and arrested a terrorist and spy group involved in the organization and commission of nine high-profile crimes in the city.
According to Markian Lubkivskyi, an adviser to the head of the SBU, the group was involved in the commission of the following crimes:
- Burning the combined Ordzhonikidze and Frunze districts’ military enlistment office (September 8, 2014) and the office volunteer organization on Lebedinsky street (September 26, 2014) using “MRO-A” jet flame throwers;
- Destroying the railway track on a bridge near the station “Novozhanovo” Southern Railway using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) (March 31, 2015);
- Attempting to destroy the tanks of liquefied natural gas at a Kharkiv business enterprise using IEDs (January 11, 2015);
- Firing from grenade launchers and flame throwers at railroad trains, and bombings of railway stations using “SPM”-type mines.
As a result of the special operation, there were detained three Ukrainian citizens born in 1980, 1981 and 1989.
During urgent investigative actions, there were located and seized during searches an unprecedentedly large arsenal of weapons, including the following:
- Sniper rifles “Vintorez” and “SVD” (with 400 rounds of ammunition);
- Jet flame thrower “MRO-A”;
- Kalashnikov assault rifles (with 1000 rounds of ammunition);
- Makarov pistols, silenced pistol “6P9,” and about 2000 rounds of ammunition of various calibers;
- Grenade launchers (with VOG-25 cartridges in the amount of 70 pcs.);
- Mines, TNT and Plasticine explosives weighing more than eight(!) kilograms;
- More than 80 grenades of various types;
- 240 detonators and other explosives supplies.
During interrogations, it was found that detained network has repeatedly traveled to the Russian Federation. The fighters were recruited and received extensive training on the bases of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Federation [also known under its Russian acronym “GRU”] in the Krasnodar region of Russia.
The detainees were indicted on suspicion of committing crimes under Art. 113 (sabotage), Section 2 of Art. 258 (act of terrorism), and Section 1 of Art. 263 (illegal handling of weapons, ammunition or explosives) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
The search continues for other members of the group.
Lubkivskyi added that “all of the latest high-profile crimes in Kharkiv, investigated by the SBU, have been solved.”