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Ukraine ‘dismantles’ team of saboteurs ‘co-ordinated by Russian special services’

Ukraine ‘dismantles’ team of saboteurs ‘co-ordinated by Russian special services’ who were planning ‘a series of armed attacks’ aimed at destabilising border regions

Ukraine says it has dismantled a group of Russian-backed saboteurs who were planning attacks in border regions with the aim of ‘destabilising’ the country. 

The ‘criminal’ group was preparing a ‘series of armed attacks’ on city infrastructure ‘coordinated by Russian special service’, Ukraine’s SBU security service said today.

Raids were carried out on the gang in Kharkiv, an eastern Ukrainian city just 20 miles from the Russian border, and Zhytomyr, western Ukraine, on Tuesday.

It comes amid a build-up of Russian troops near Ukraine, with the US warning Moscow may launch ‘false flag’ attacks in border regions to justify an invasion. 

Ukrainian agents say the gang were planning a series of robberies against ‘urban infrastructure’, including ‘commercial’ properties.

The gang was allegedly organised by two men, one with Russian citizenship, who recruited other criminals using the guise of a security company.

Raids on Tuesday targeted properties belong to both the alleged organisers, with police saying they found a bomb, guns and ammunition.

Also uncovered were devices to disrupt radio communications, plans detailing the robberies, and walkie talkies to be used for communication, it is alleged.

Computers and other electronic devices were also seized with ‘evidence of criminal activity’ on them, the SBU said. 

Images show officers also seized a large amount of cash, mainly in euros and dollars.