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5 Feb, 2024 09:52

Explosives sent from Ukraine for terrorist attacks in Russia seized

The illegal cargo was originally sent from the city of Odessa, Georgian authorities said
Explosives sent from Ukraine for terrorist attacks in Russia seized

Georgia’s State Security Service has said that its operatives have seized a batch of explosives that Ukrainians had attempted to ship to Russia via third countries in order to stage terror attacks.

The illegal cargo, which included six sophisticated explosive devices weighing a total of 14 kilograms, had been shipped from the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, the agency said in a statement on Monday.

The explosives were brought into Georgia in a minivan after traveling through Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey on January 19, it said. During the search of the vehicle, the bombs were found hidden inside the batteries for an electric car, it added.

According to the security service, seven citizens of Georgia, three Ukrainians and two Armenians were involved in the delivery of the explosives. The people in question might have been unaware that they were actually transporting bombs, it stressed. 

The whole operation had allegedly been organized by a Ukrainian citizen of Georgian origin, whom the agency identified as Andrey Sharashidze, the statement read. Sharashidze, who was born in the Georgian coastal city of Batumi, ran in a local election in Odessa in 2020 for Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s Servant of the People party, it said.

As a result of “comprehensive actions carried out by the Anti-Terrorism Center, based on the testimony of interviewed witnesses and recovered audio files,” it was established that the explosives were intended to be delivered to Russia, specifically to the city of Voronezh, the security service stressed.

The bombs contained military-grade C-4 plastic explosives and were apparently made by “high-level specialists,” the statement read. “Deploying such a device in a crowded area might have caused significant damage to infrastructure and large-scale casualties,” it warned.

The agency also didn’t rule out the possibility that the suspects had been planning to use some of the explosives to stage attacks inside Georgia. It could’ve been done in order to blame Tbilisi for preparing and carrying out those terrorist activities, it suggested.

The investigation continues in order to establish the identities of all those involved in the criminal activity, the manufacturers of the explosives and along which route they were smuggled into the country, the security service said.

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