2 suspected Russian spies arrested in Germany over alleged sabotage plans

Suspects involved in plans to attack military infrastructure, industrial sites, to undermine Germany's support for Ukraine, prosecutors said

14:10 - 18/04/2024 Perşembe
File photo
File photo

German security forces arrested two suspected Russian spies for planning sabotage operations within the country, authorities said on Thursday.

The suspects, both German-Russian dual citizens, were allegedly involved in plans to attack military infrastructure and industrial sites, according to a statement by the Federal Prosecutor's Office.

"The actions were intended in particular to undermine the military support provided by Germany to Ukraine against the Russian war of aggression," the prosecutors said.

The main suspect, identified as Dieter S., had collected information about potential attack targets, including US military facilities in Germany, the investigators said.

The 39-year-old was in contact with a person tied to a Russian secret service, and since last October, they had discussed possible sabotage actions in Germany, according to the investigators.

“The accused declared to his interlocutor that he was prepared to carry out arson and explosive attacks, primarily on military infrastructure and industrial sites in Germany,” the prosecutors said.

The suspect allegedly monitored potential targets on site, taking photos and videos of military equipment and their transfer routes, and passed the information onto the Russian secret service.

His friend Alexander J. assisted him during some of these activities, according to the prosecutors.

Germany's interior minister thanked security authorities for preventing possible sabotage attacks intended to target infrastructure and military support for Ukraine.

“It is a particularly serious case of suspected spy activity for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's criminal regime. We will continue to thwart such threat plans,” Nancy Faeser said in a statement.

“Our security authorities have increased all protective measures against hybrid threats from the Russian regime. We will continue to provide massive support to Ukraine, and will not allow ourselves to be intimidated,” she said.

German public broadcaster ARD reported that in the past the two suspects had traveled to Ukraine's breakaway Donetsk region to support separatist paramilitaries, and it was believed they knew each other from that time.

The main suspect, identified as Dieter S., was also accused by prosecutors of being a member of a paramilitary group in the breakaway Donetsk region, and he was suspected of receiving military training there between 2014 and 2016.

The suspects were arrested in the southern German city of Bayreuth on Wednesday, and the police carried out searches in their homes and workplace, seizing various documents and electronic devices.

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