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2 Nov, 2022 10:52

Ukrainian man arrested over bomb plot – FSB

An agent of Kiev’s special services sought to blow up power lines in Crimea, Russia’s security service has claimed

A Ukrainian plot to blow up transmission towers in Crimea has been thwarted by Russia’s domestic security service, the FSB, according to a press release issued by the agency.

The FSB announced on Wednesday that it had arrested a Ukrainian national in his 40s, who had in his possession three explosive devices, instructions on how to plant them, and schematics showing power lines in Crimea.

If he had been successful in destroying power infrastructure, which is what the FSB suspects him of planning, over 5,000 consumers would have been left without power, including some key public services, the statement said.

It described the arrestee as acting on behalf of the SBU, Ukraine’s security agency.

The FSB released footage and images of what it claimed to be the moment of the arrest and the items seized during the operation, including the purported bombs and printouts of aerial photos of transmission towers. The identity of the would-be saboteur was not revealed.

The man is set to be charged with crimes related to illegal possession of explosives and attempted sabotage, the FSB said, adding that the suspect may have been involved in other crimes in Russia.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Kiev of launching a series of sabotage attacks against Russian infrastructure, including power lines that connect a nuclear power plant to the national grid, and a natural gas pipeline that delivers Russian fuel to Türkiye. The latest such plot was the deadly bomb attack against the Crimean Bridge, he added.

Putin said at the time that Kiev’s “terrorist” tactics justified retaliation in kind and announced that he had ordered the Defense Ministry to target Ukrainian energy infrastructure. Regular airstrikes launched by Russian forces have since damaged many sites in Ukraine used for generating and transmitting electricity, which has resulted in regular blackouts throughout the country.