The Ukrainian intelligence agency the SBU have captured four people who are a Russian sleeper cell and were in “standby mode” for many years until they were activated once the war started in February 2022.
The four-person team were activated to spy on Kyiv’s troop movements and the deliveries of weapons and ammunition.
A Ukrainian leader of the spy group and his wife were working at a defence facility in the Mykolaiv area, near to the Black Sea with two others.
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The spies were feeding intelligence to the Kremlin’s GRU spy agency, but they were caught when their coded messages were intercepted when asked for updates.
The SBU said, “The perpetrators collected intelligence on the number and types of military equipment of the Defence Forces arriving in the region, in particular for repair and maintenance.
“The leader of the enemy group turned out to be an employee of a local defense enterprise, who was recruited by Russian intelligence during his studies at the military institute of the former Soviet Union.”
Ukraine’s intelligence agency said that they believe the leader of the cell created his own agent network and spent years in “standby mode” until he was “uncanned” after Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
The SBU added, “The attackers acted in two main directions of reconnaissance and subversive activity.
“In the first, a couple of Russian agents were involved, who collected information about the available samples and the technical condition of Ukrainian weapons at the defense enterprise.
“Two more enemy agents monitored the bases and movement routes of the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which are involved in the defense of the region or counteroffensive operations on the southern front.”
According to the Mirror, the SBU operation successfully arrested all four agents before they could transmit their latest intelligence bulletin. All four spies are in custody and face life in prison.