Kyiv, November 18, 2014. The State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has detained a handful of Russian-trained saboteurs in Kharkiv region of Ukraine. This was stated at Ukraine Crisis Media Center by Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine. The saboteurs planned to carry out terrorist attacks with Russian-supplied explosives and mines. In addition, the Ukrainian security services have detained a handful of former officers of “Berkut” police forces, who are suspected of human rights abuses during the Maidan movement in Kyiv.
Ukraine is facing two primary threats that challenge the country’s security and territorial integrity, stated Nalyvaichenko. The foremost threat is Russian military aggression and sabotage, while the second threat is corruption. Russia’s latest attempts at sabotage in government-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine are just the latest prong of attack against Kyiv. On the 15th and 16th of November, the SBU detained ten individuals who were members of a Russian reconnaissance group. SBU operatives also confiscated weapons, mines, and other explosives. Some of the weapons, which included anti-infantry mines, are prohibited under international and Ukrainian laws.
“We have clear evidence that they were instructed by Russian special services,” stated Nalyvaichenko. The saboteurs, at least some of whom are Ukrainian citizens, were recruited and trained by Russian security services. Nalyvaichenko released video evidence that depicts one of the attempted saboteurs, a woman, confessing on video tape about her interaction with the security services of the Russian Federation. According to the confession and the statements of the SBU, the attempted saboteurs planned to detonate explosives at the Malyshev Factory in Kharkiv during an upcoming visit by a delegation from the Netherlands.
Nalyvaichenko said that cooperation between three Ukrainian security agencies, including the SBU, made the capture of the saboteurs possible. “We have close interaction between three agencies and this is why we were able to prevent this act of terrorism,” he stated. The SBU, stated Nalyvaichenko, in cooperation with other agencies, will continue to detain saboteurs and past officers of the Ukrainian security services and police forces who are suspected of human rights abuses. The SBU has also created a database that can identify those suspected of aiding separatism in Ukraine, and will continue to detain those acting against the country’s interest at the behest of a foreign power.