The Ukrainian Justice sentenced those who spied for the Kremlin to up to 14 years in prison

A Ukrainian guard escorts a prisoner in a jail in Dnipro, central Ukraine. Credit: Mauricio Lima for The New York Times (Mauricio Lima for The New York Times/)

The Ukrainian Justice has sentenced three citizens of the country residing in the oblasts of Kharkiv (northeast) and Donetsk (east) that they were found guilty of passing information to the enemy so that he could reach some of his objectives in those two regions.

The man sentenced to 14 years in prison lived in the city of Liman (Donetsk) and in April this year passed information on the location of Ukrainian civilian infrastructure to a friend of his who is fighting on the Russian side.

The convict also gave the enemy information about the Ukrainian policemen who were investigating the consequences of the Russian occupation of this city retaken by Ukraine last fall.

The person sentenced to 12 years spied in exchange for money in 2018 for pro-Russian separatist forces that in 2014 declared Ukraine’s independence from part of the Donetsk regionin eastern Ukraine, where kyiv forces have since fought these rebel militias now integrated into Russian forces.

The third convicted person, a Kharkiv resident, has been found guilty of passing information on Ukrainian troop movements and locations to Russia. The woman, who spied for the enemy after the start of the large-scale Russian military invasion, also passed data on civilian infrastructure and information on where Russian shells had landed.

Furthermore, a Russian-born Swedish citizen was accused last Monday of collecting information for the Russian military intelligence service GRU for almost a decade.

The Swedish Prosecutor’s Office reported that Sergey Skvortsov, 60, was accused of “serious illegal intelligence activities against Sweden and against a foreign power.” Subsequently, prosecutor Henrik Olin identified the foreign power as the United States.

nytimes sick russian prisoners
Since the summer, some 50,000 Russian prisoners have signed up to fight in Ukraine, about 10 percent of the prison population. Credit: Mauricio Lima for The New York Times (Mauricio Lima for The New York Times/)

Skvortsov was arrested in November 2022 along with his wife in a pre-dawn operation in Nacka, on the outskirts of Stockholm. Swedish media reported that elite police rappelled down from two Black Hawk helicopters to arrest the couple.

Skvortsov has been in custody since his arrest and denies any wrongdoing, according to his lawyer Ulrika Borg. His wife was released without charge after an investigation by the Swedish security agency.

According to the statement of objections, obtained by Associated PressSkvortsov, from July 1, 2014 to November 2022, “secretly and/or using fraudulent means carried out activities for the Russian state with the aim of acquiring information on conditions whose disclosure to a foreign power could put endangering the security of Sweden.

“It was first and foremost electronic equipment” that would be used in the Russian military, Olin said later at a news conference.

He was part of a network”, indicated the prosecutor, adding that gathering the evidence was “a huge puzzle”.

Prosecutors said Skvortsov used his import-export business to illicitly obtain technology and hand it over to Russia’s GRU military intelligence service.

“I wanted to create a legal front for activities using false identities and Western names,” Olin said. “We have had extensive cooperation with US authorities, primarily the FBI.”

Swedish station SVT published that Skvortsov had lived in Sweden for 25 years and obtained Swedish citizenship in 2012.

If convicted, he faces up to six years in prison.

(With information from EFE)