Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 19 at a press conference said: “The head of British MI-6, Richard Moore, has called on the Russians to collaborate with the intelligence services and put an end to the” spill of blood. ” According to him, Russia has little chance of regaining its position in Ukraine “I invite them to do the same as others have done in the last 18 months and join us. Our door is always open. Their secrets will be safe.”

“If Russia had “little chance” of regaining ground, you, Richard Moore, would not have made such a fuss. As for “open doors and keeping secrets, one might have believed if I introduced the Skripals. Usually those who believed and trusted you, you destroyed,” Zakharova later said.

The spy issue has become very delicate and more and more countries are arresting foreign citizens on charges of being spies.

On June 30, for example, it was the turn of a Russian hockey player, now detained in Poland on espionage charges. The detained Russian “was a player of the first league hockey club.” “This is already the 14th detained member of the espionage network that we have uncovered,” said Zbigniew Zebro, the Republic’s Attorney General. The press service of the minister-coordinator of special services reported that the Russian “performed assigned tasks on Polish territory, including identifying critical infrastructure in several voivodeships.” The name of the hockey player is not mentioned but from press rumors it has been known that it is a certain Maksim S.

The 20-year-old Russian at the beginning of his career played for the youth teams of Spartak, Khimik and Balashikha. From the 2021/22 season he started playing in Poland for the club Zaglebie from the city of Sosnowiec. The Russian Embassy sent a note to the Polish Foreign Ministry with a request for information about the detained Russian hockey player, expressed strong protest and demanded an explanation. The man faces up to 10 years in prison. While the court arrested him for three months.

Still in Poland, 15 people suspected of working for Russia were arrested on 19 July. According to the investigators, they planned to blow up trains with weapons and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, Gazeta Polska reports, citing sources. Those accused of espionage are citizens of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. They risk up to 10 years in prison. Their detentions took place from March to July.

Russian citizen Vadim Konoshchenko, accused of smuggling equipment to the military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation, has been extradited from Estonia to the United States, according to the US Attorney’s Office. The prosecutor’s office called the Russian a “Russian intelligence officer”. If found guilty, he faces up to 30 years in prison.

“The Russian Embassy in Washington is closely following the development of the situation with the Russian extradited to the United States from Estonia Vadim Konoshchenko and is ready to provide him with the necessary consular assistance,” said Nadezhda Shumova, head of the consular department of the Russian Embassy. in the United States.

In Russia things are no better: on July 18, in Uglich, a Russian woman was arrested for having gathered information in the interests of Ukraine on a critical infrastructure in the Yaroslavl region with the aim of committing a terrorist attack.

The FSB, in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, stopped the preparation of a terrorist act in the Yaroslavl region. As a result of the measures taken in Uglich, a Russian citizen, born in 1987, was arrested who, on the instruction of the Ukrainian special services, was collecting and transmitting information about one of the critical infrastructure facilities in the Yaroslavl region with the aim of committing a terrorist act .

It is added that the media containing correspondence with the Ukrainian coordinator with a discussion of the planned crime were seized from the detainee. The investigating authorities initiated a criminal case under the article on preparing for a terrorist attack (part 1 of article 30, part 1 of article 205 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

In the Zaporozhia region, also on July 18, the FSB arrested a Ukrainian suspected of spying for the Ukrainian armed forces. He collected the coordinates of the locations of Russian military personnel guarding the Zaporizhzhie Nuclear Power Plant and passed them on to his brother, a VSE officer. The Ukrainians allegedly decided to use this data to launch artillery strikes on Russian units.

In June to be arrested in Moscow, Evan Gershkovich, who according to the Russian authorities, used his position as a Wall Street Journal reporter to cover intelligence activities in Russia.

The United States has Russian programmer Alexander Vinnik, arrested in 2017 in Greece at US request and then extradited to the country, where he is accused of using the BTC-e bitcoin exchange. He is now in custody and faces more than 50 years in prison. France and Russia have repeatedly insisted on the extradition of Vinnik.

Russian programmer Roman Seleznev was arrested in 2014 and later sentenced in the United States to 27 years in prison on computer fraud charges. Russian programmer Denis Dubnikov co-founded a group of cryptocurrency exchange offices Coyote Crypto and EggChange, for which he was arrested in November 2021 and extradited to the US

According to UN data, in 2023 at least 43 people have already been indicted for espionage. In 2022, 24 treason and espionage cases were initiated throughout the year.

Graziella Giangiulio

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