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UKRAINE. In Search of “Traitors”: Targets of Russian Special Services in Crimea and on Mainland Ukraine

by Kseniya Kirillova – Journalist. Analyst. Writer.

Kseniya Kirillova, journalist, analyst, writer Human Rights

On Monday of last week, the Security Service of Ukraine officially announced that they thwarted an attempted kidnapping of a Russian citizen who has lived in Ukraine since 2014 when he moved there “in disagreement with the Kremlin’s aggressive policy.” The agency’s website reported that Russian special services hired a group of Kharkov region residents, led by a former police officer, in order to carry out “dirty” work of organizing the kidnapping. The group leader outsourced the kidnapping to local criminals and paid them 23 thousand dollars in advance. The criminals planned to kidnap the immigrant at his place of residence and hand him over to the organizers at the pre-arranged location on the territory of the Kharkov region. The same organizers, in turn, intended to smuggle the victim across the border and then hand him over to the representatives of the Russian special services.

Originally posted in Russian here

This is not the first attempted abduction of Russian expatriates in Ukraine. In 2016, Russian special services tried to forcibly transport the former FSB officer Ilya Bogdanov to Russia. After being freed by the SBU officers, Bogdanov said that his abduction was organized by the FSB and the GRU. Kidnappings regularly occur in the annexed Crimea. Some of the abductees are then accused of planning “sabotage” and working for the Ukrainian special services.

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