Russia launches probe over Ukrainian terror threats
The Russian Investigative Committee launched a criminal probe on Wednesday over remarks made by the head of Ukrainian military intelligence, Kirill Budanov, who threatened “attacks and sabotage operations” on Russia’s territory.
Budanov made the warning in an interview with the Financial Times over the weekend, claiming that Moscow has been already facing “partisan activities” in the Ukrainian territories seized amid the ongoing conflict that began in late February. The attack and sabotage operations are not limited to these areas and “are held everywhere, and they were and will be held in Russia and many other places,” he told the newspaper.
Budanov now faces charges in Russia over “threatening to stage a terror act.” According to Russian law, such an offense incurs a heavy penalty and can land someone convicted behind bars for up to 15 years.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.