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Germany arrests Ukrainian and Russian on spying charges

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Germany arrests Ukrainian and Russian on spying charges
A justice officer waits prior to the opening of the trial against Russian scientist Ilnur N. accused of spying for Moscow while working at a German university, in Munich, southern Germany, on February 17, 2022. Three men, a Ukrainian, a Russian and an Armenian were arrested on Friday on spying charges. (Photo by Lennart Preiss / POOL / AFP)

German prosecutors said Friday they had arrested three men -- a Russian, a Ukrainian and an Armenian -- on suspicion of spying for a foreign intelligence service.

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They were arrested in the western city of Frankfurt on Wednesday after allegedly trying "to gather information about a Ukrainian national", federal prosecutors said in a statement.

The men were only identified as Robert A. from Ukraine, Vardges I. from Armenia and Russian citizen Arman Sm.

"The three suspects were acting on behalf of a foreign intelligence service in Germany," the statement said.

On June 19 the trio "scouted a cafe in Frankfurt am Main where the target person was thought to be", it added.

Prosecutors did not specify which foreign secret service the men were allegedly working for, and declined to comment further when contacted by AFP.

According to Germany's Der Spiegel weekly, the suspects were acting on behalf of Russia.

The Ukrainian target alerted the police himself, Spiegel added, citing security sources. He reportedly became suspicious after the trio made contact with him and suggested meeting at the cafe.

READ ALSO: German ex-soldier found guilty of spying for Russia

Germany has uncovered numerous espionage cases on its soil since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

A former German intelligence officer is currently on trial in Berlin, accused of handing information to Moscow that showed Germany had access to details of Russian mercenary operations in Ukraine. He denies the charges.

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Last month, a German former soldier was sentenced to three and a half years in jail for sharing secret military information with Russia in the wake of the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

Russian authorities for their part have levelled treason charges against dozens of people accused of aiding Ukraine and the West since the invasion.

 

 

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