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27 May, 2024
 
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Two Russians held for alleged spy activities in Germany

Russians accused of spying on US military sites

Source: The Guardian

Two Russian nationals have been arrested in southern Germany suspected of plotting sabotage attacks on US military facilities, German prosecutors announced on Thursday.

The men, named as Dieter S and Alexander J, are suspected of operating as Russian spies on behalf of the Kremlin, according to German media sources.

Prosecutors said only that the men were accused of working for a foreign secret service.

The suspects were arrested on Tuesday and Thursday last week, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement, adding that their homes and workplaces were being searched.

According to the statement by prosecutors, the accused are under “strong suspicion” of “having worked for a foreign secret service in a particularly serious incident. In addition, Dieter S, reportedly a 39-year-old dual Russian-German citizen, is charged with “conspiring to cause an explosive attack and arson, acting as an agent for sabotage purposes and security-endangering collection of intelligence on military installations”.

Dieter S had been in contact with a member of the Russian secret services and had been developing sabotage plans in Germany since October 2023.

According to prosecutors, he declared his readiness to carry out explosive and arson attacks on military infrastructure and industrial sites, with the explicit intention “to undermine the military support provided by Germany to Ukraine against the Russian war of aggression”.

He focused his attention on German and US military sites, according to the evidence gathered by investigators, which includes videos and photographs.

According to Der Spiegel, the US military site Grafenwöhr in Bavaria, southern Germany, was his main focal point. This is one of the main sites where the US military has been training Ukrainian troops.

The prosecutors said that based on “underlying facts”, there was also a strong suspicion that Dieter S had worked in eastern Ukraine between December 2014 and September 2016 as a fighter for an armed unit of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” and had acquired a firearm for this purpose.

The prosecutors described the unit as a pro-Russian association that, “from spring 2014, claimed control over the Ukrainian administrative district of Donetsk with the aim of secession from Ukraine and engaged in intensive clashes with the Ukrainian armed forces. The association repeatedly used violence against the civilian population.”

Alexander J, aged 37 and also a German-Russian citizen, is suspected of supporting Dieter S from March 2024 at the latest. He is also accused of espionage on behalf of a foreign service.

Dieter S was reportedly brought before judges at Germany’s federal court of justice in Karlsruhe on Wednesday and remanded in custody. Alexander J is due to be brought before judges today.

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday that the Kremlin did not possess any information regarding the arrests.

According to German practice, suspected criminals are identified using only the initial letter of their surnames.

[Source: The Guardian]

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