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10 Nov, 2016 06:52

Ukrainian commandos planning attacks with explosives & weapons detained in Crimea – FSB

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said it prevented a sabotage attack plotted by Ukrainian military intelligence operatives in the southern Russian city of Sevastopol, targeting local infrastructure critical for the civilian population.

“On November 9, the Federal Security Service detained members of a terrorist group deployed by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, which planned sabotage attacks on Crimea's military facilities and critical civilian infrastructure,” the FSB said in a statement cited by RIA Novosti.

The infiltrators had high-power explosive devices, firearms and ammunition, secure communications equipment, as well as maps of the targets, the security service added.

Search and forensic activities are currently underway at the scene, the FSB statement said.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has released a short statement rejecting Russia’s accusations.

Another incident involving Ukrainian sabotage activities took place earlier in August, when a group of about 20 infiltrators was spotted loading explosives and weapons from their hideout near the town of Armyansk in northern Crimea, on the Ukrainian border.

Once the suspects noticed an FSB task group approaching, they immediately opened fire. One FSB officer was killed in the shootout, while at least one infiltrator was shot dead and several others injured when the officers returned fire.

Twenty home-made explosive devices equivalent to more than 40kg of TNT, as well as ammunition, shells, and other weapons used by the Ukrainian Army Special Forces were confiscated at the scene.

Commenting on the thwarted attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Ukrainian authorities resorted to practicing terrorism instead of seeking peaceful solution to the crisis, adding that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande were notified of the “gross provocation” orchestrated by Kiev.