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11 May, 2023 09:12

Kiev held actress hostage to turn her Russian husband – FSB

The tactic was used to leverage intel from a regional deputy minister, according to the Russian security agency
Kiev held actress hostage to turn her Russian husband – FSB

A Ukrainian plot to extract classified information from a Russian official by holding his wife hostage has been thwarted by the Federal Security Service (FSB), the agency’s regional branch in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has claimed.

The hostage, actress Yelena Slabunova, is married to Dmitry Kostyamin, who serves as first deputy minister in the DPR emergencies ministry.

Slabunova went to the Kiev-controlled city of Kharkov in early March to arrange the funeral of her mother, where the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) arrested her, a video statement published by Russia’s TASS news agency on Thursday claims.

“Threatening her with physical violence, SBU agents were pressuring [husband] Dmitry Kostyamin to disclose classified information… SBU employees were deceived into releasing Slabunova” and allowing her to return to Donetsk, the FSB said, without providing details on how the deception was conducted.

The Russian law enforcement agency noted that Ukrainian agents resorted to “intimidation and blackmail” in their attempt to recruit Russian officials and “were not bound by any moral restrictions”.

Slabunova, according to FSB, is a theater actress. In 2018 local media mentioned a Yelena Slabunova, from a drama theater in Donetsk, as being among several recipients of a government award for artistic achievement.

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