The conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues despite the Donbas ceasefire in place. As the actions between the states move to another dimension with military operations giving way to covert actions and the war of information. As InfoSecurity24.pl reports, the Security Bureau of Ukraine (SBU) took down a cell of suspected saboteurs that was being established by Russia’s Federal Security Bureau (FSB). The actions of this Russian network were supposedly exposed and blocked by the members of the SBU counter intelligence unit.
The saboteurs cell was active in a couple of districts across Ukraine. According to the information provided by the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), the main aim of the group was to inflict damage to the military infrastructure and undermine the national security of the state. Besides that, the FSB operatives were reportedly offered significant rewards for the kidnap and transfer of former members Ukrainian SOF to Russia. The group was tasked with gathering information on the deployment and movements of Ukrainian forces, Special Operation Forces activities, and additional information on the 73rd Naval Center of Special Operations of the Armed Forces, among other units.
A statement from the SSU video explains that:
“During searches, SBU officers seized munitions and rounds, in particular four AK-74 [rifles], two pistols, two rocket-propelled grenades, 44 grenades, more than 4,000 [rounds of] ammo of various calibers, almost 3 kg of trotyl [explosive] and electric detonators, etc.”
Information on the group provided by the Ukrainians suggests that two FSB officers were involved in plotting the scheme. As yet there has been no information from the Russian Federation refuting the accusations of the SSU. However, with the tensions between Russia and Ukraine on the rise, the frequency of these espionage operations may well be increased by the Kremlin as part of their hybrid warfare strategy.
On this occasion the SSU have demonstrate its ability to stop the influence of the Russian intelligence efforts but it is likely only a matter of time before another network will be set up in order to instigate discontent and destabilize the Ukraine.