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MOSCOW, August 10. /TASS/. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has said it prevented terrorist attacks in Crimea prepared by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s main intelligence directorate.
"The Russian Federal Security Service prevented terrorist attacks in the Republic of Crimea prepared by the main intelligence directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. Their planned target was critically important infrastructure," the FSB said on its website, adding that the purpose of the planned attacks was "to destabilize the socio-political situation in the region as preparations for elections of federal and regional authorities are underway."
Group of saboteurs detected close to state border
A group of saboteurs was spotted overnight to August 7 near the city of Armyansk, close to the border with Ukraine, thanks to investigative work. "A FSB officer was killed in a skirmish when terrorists were being detained," the FSB statement said.
Twenty improvised explosive devices containing more than 40 kilograms of TNT equivalent, ammunition, fuses, antipersonnel and magnetic bombs, grenades and the Ukrainian armed forces’ standard special weapons were found at the scene, the FSB said.
Detainees giving confessions
The Russian Federal Security Service added that "an intelligence network of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s main intelligence directorate has been eliminated thanks to measures taken on the Crimean Peninsula."
"Ukrainian and Russian citizens who provided assistance in preparing terrorists attacks have been detained. They are giving confessions," the statement said. According to the FSB, one of the organizers of the planned terrorist attacks was Yevgeny Panov, a resident of Ukraine’s Zaporozhye region born in 1977, an employee of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s main intelligence directorate who was detained as well and is giving a confession.
Saboteurs resume penetration attempts
"In the small hours of August 8, 2016 commando units of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s groups of saboteurs made two penetration attempts. Both were prevented by FSB units and cooperating agencies. The penetration attempts were accompanied by heavy fire from the neighboring country’s territory and Ukrainian armored vehicles. The fire exchange left one Russian military serviceman dead," the FSB said.
The investigative department of the Russian Federal Security Service in Crimea and the city of Sevastopol initiated criminal proceedings on the basis of the evidence gathered during the investigative activities.
Security measures in Crimea tightened
Additional security measures have been put in place in crowded areas in Crimean resorts after a subversive group was detected, the FSB said, adding that "the frontier regime on the border with Ukraine has been reinforced." Russia also introduced additional measures to protect important infrastructure and life support facilities.