KHARKIV, UKRAINE, Apr 23 — The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) detained a shopping mall employee in Kharkiv under suspicion of him directing Russian missile and bomb attacks on special forces base in the city, reported SBU’s spokesman Vladyslav Abdula.

According to the investigation, the suspect was trying to identify the locations of the special military unit, “Kraken,” of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine (HUR).

Abdula says, the Russians planned to use ballistic missiles and KAB-500 aerial bombs to attack the city and the HUR’s special unit. The man allegedly contacted his Russian intelligence supervisor in an encrypted communication session and passed him the coordinates of the targets.

The Russian army attacks Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city that is 19 miles from the border with Russia, regularly. Russian troops strike Kharkiv and the region with S-300 missiles, Iranian-made Shahed drones, or guided bombs, which they have been using more actively since the end of March. 

The SBU detained the man in his home and seized his cell phone, Abdula said, noting, that “comprehensive measures were taken to protect the city’s infrastructure” from a new Russian attack.

The investigation established that Russians recruited the man in early April this year through social media, where he published “his anti-Ukrainian comments.”

Based on the collected evidence, the SBU investigators issued a notice of suspicion under Part 2 Article 114-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (unauthorized dissemination of information about the movement or location of the Armed Forces if it is possible to identify them on the ground) to the man. He is currently in custody. If found guilty, he faces up to eight years in prison. 

In total, since the start of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, more than 1,000 people in the Kharkiv Oblast have been issued a notice of suspicion in proceedings over treason, collaboration, and dissemination of information about the movement of the Armed Forces.

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  • The Security Service of Ukraine has issued a notice of suspicion to a resident of Izium, Kharkiv Oblast, accused of working for the Russian occupation police, reported SBU spokesman Vladyslav Abdula.