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FSB claims SBU "set up extremist group" in Crimea

The SBU does "not comment on yet another FSB fantasy".

FSB claims SBU "set up extremist group" in Crimea
Photo: slovoidilo.ua

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has said that it has curbed the operations of an "extremist group" set up by Erol Valiyev, an aide to Ukrainian MP Mustafa Dzhemilyev.

According to the FSB, the group was set up in Kharkiv "on the instruction of Refat Chubarov with the support of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)". Apart from Veliyev, it allegedly included former boxers Steshenko and Tretyakov.

In January 2018, the group "using petrol bombs, set on fire the house of Crimean mufti Emirali Ablayev".

Steshenko was detained by the Russia-controlled authorities upon arrival in Crimea in April 2018. Russia charged Veliyev and Tretyakov in absentia and put them on the federal wanted list.

SBU press secretary Olena Hitlyanska told Krym.Realii that the FSB allegations were false.

"We do not comment on yet another FSB fantasy," she said.

Detentions, searches and interrogations of independent journalists and Crimean Tatar activists have become a common practice in Crimea after it was occupied by Russia in 2014.

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