‘Traitor’ Ukraine prosecutor confesses to passing state secrets to invading Russia

Ukraine: Head of the Mykolaiv County Prosecutor's Office arrested

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The top legal official has been branded a “traitor”, becoming one of the most senior personnel to be arrested by Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24. Reports suggest the prosecutor had been passing military secrets to Russian spies in exchange for his safety should the region he lived in fall under Moscow’s control in the future.

Believed to be the head of the Mykolaiv district prosecutor’s office, the man was caught following a sting operation by Ukraine’s own secret intelligence service, the SBU.

Video has emerged of the incident in which security personnel burst into the official’s workspace and arrested him after pinning him to the floor.

Agents said they had collected “substantiated evidence” the high-ranking lawyer, whose identity was kept secret, had “co-operated with the enemy”.

The man was also shown in a video later confessing to his crimes.

The prosecutor appeared to have been using a middle man to communicate information to Russian intelligence officers.

Details of information passed on to the Russians included lists of killed military personnel and civilians, the locations of captured or imprisoned Russian soldiers the effectiveness and outcomes of Russian airstrikes, and daily passwords used to get through Ukrainian controlled checkpoints in the area.

The sting involved the use of spreading disinformation to the suspect in the hope he would leak the false data over to his Russian handlers.

SBU staff circulated fictitious lists of killed servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, anticipating he would see and share the documents.

A few days later, a Russian representative who was also under SBU surveillance was found to have acquired the same lists.

After searches of the prosecutor’s office, the SBU seized his mobile phone, computer equipment and flash drives they said: “contained evidence of his illegal activities”.

He was detained on suspicion of breaking Article 111 of the criminal code of Ukraine, which outlaws treason.

Iryna Venediktova, the prosecutor-general of Ukraine, said in a statement posted on Telegram: “We have recorded this prosecutor is ashamed to say he performed the criminal tasks of the representatives of the aggressor state.

“He hoped to continue working for the prosecutor’s office in the event of an enemy capture of the region but forgot such actions would result in life imprisonment.

“His activity was stopped in time and more serious consequences were avoided.”

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The prosecutor does not appear to be the first Ukrainian official to hand over information to the Kremlin.

Last month Denis Kireev, a Ukrainian spy and an apparent member of Kyiv’s official negotiating team, was shot dead amid claims he was working as a double agent for the Russians.

Russia claimed the SBU shot Mr Kireev during an arrest attempt in the centre of Kyiv, while others, including senior Ukrainian politicians, claimed he died while in detention.

An official statement said: “During the execution of special tasks, three spies were killed — employees of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

“They perished defending Ukraine, and their rank brought us closer to victory!”

Are more people in Ukraine sympathetic to Russia than officials believe? Will such acts of treason lead to Ukraine’s defeat? Does Putin have similar woes? Let us know what you think by CLICKING HERE and joining the conversation in our comments section below – Every Voice Matters!

Even leaders within the SBU are not safe. On Friday President Zelensky stripped two generals of their rank and vowed to punish traitors within Ukraine’s security establishment.

Zelensky said Andriy Naumov, head of the main department of internal security at Ukraine’s SBU spy agency, and Serhiy Kryvoruchko, head of the SBU’s office in occupied Kherson, had been unmasked as traitors.

He said: “I do not have time to deal with all the traitors.

“But gradually they will all be punished.”

Similar remarks have been echoed in Moscow after President Vladimir Putin vowed to weed out “traitors” from his own entourage.

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