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Russia arrests two more "Crimean saboteurs"

It says they are intelligence officers of Ukraine's Ministry of Defense.

A Russian court in occupied Crimea has arrested two Ukrainians, who were accused of plotting "acts of sabotage" at the infrastructure of the peninsula, RIA Novosti has reported.

The detainees were also called intelligence officers of the Defence Ministry of Ukraine. "One of them is an officer of the Main Intelligence Directorate, Col. Oleksiy Stohniy, the other one is Ukrainian officer Hlib Shabliy," the Russian news agency said.

Both were detained last week. A local court in a closed session ordered their arrest for two months, RIA said.

Russian authorities claim that Stohniy and Shabliy were connected to the three previously detained "saboteurs". "All five detainees are members of a subversive group operating in Sevastopol," said a representative of the Russian court. They worked in Crimea under cover and spied over the Black Sea Fleet facilities while plotting acts of sabotage at the infrastructure.

On 10 August, the Russian FSB announced the arrest of "Ukrainian saboteurs" who have allegedly plotted terrorist attacks in Crimea. According to the FSB, the group was headed by Ukrainian citizen Yevhen Panov. Later on, the Russian security service announced the names of two other detainees - a foreman from Yevpatoriya, Andriy Zakhhtiy, and Redvan Suleymanov, who was arrested three weeks before the FSB announced foiling alleged terrorist attacks.

After this incident, the Russian authorities in Crimea have regularly reported on the detention of "Ukrainian spies and saboteurs". The Ukrainian authorities have shrugged the charges as provocation of the Russian special services.

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