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Ukrainian Security Service employee detained in Russia — service chief

March 31, 16:01 UTC+3 KIEV
Head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Vasily Gritsak has confirmed the detention
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SBU head Vasily Gritsak

SBU head Vasily Gritsak

© Mykola Lazarenko/Ukrainian presidential press service/TASS

KIEV, March 31. /TASS/. Head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Vasily Gritsak confirmed on Thursday that Ukrainian citizen Yuri Ivanchenko who has been detained in Russia is an employee of his agency.

"His [Ivanchenko’s] security clearance was cancelled as of May 2014 and since late 2015 he is at the [service’s] disposal. This means, in fact, that he should have been dismissed soon," Gritsak said on the 112 Ukraine TV channel.

"He submitted an application for exit, but it was not approved, and he went there [to Russia] without authorization," the SBU head said.

Earlier on Thursday, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported the detention of an employee of the Counterintelligence Department of the central staff of the Security Service of Ukraine who came to Russia under the guise of offering his services to FSB.

"On March 26, Lieutenant Colonel Yuri Ivanchenko, an employee of the Counterintelligence Department of the SBU central staff, was detained in the territory of the Russian Federation. Ivanchenko arrived in Russia under the guise of visiting his relatives, despite the fact that Ukrainian security services have prohibited their employees to travel to Russia," the FSB Public Relations Center said, adding that he would be expelled to Ukraine with no right to enter Russia in the future.

"Before his arrival to Russia, FSB had got a warning that the SBU and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) trained Ivanchenko for an operation in which he would offer his services to FSB in order to get infiltrated into FSB by means of recruitment," the FSB Public Relations Center said, adding that representatives of the US intelligence are currently working in the SBU building in Kiev. They supervise all the SBU work against Russia. Ivanchenko had for the first time tried to offer his services to Russia’s FSB back in 2014.

"The SBU employee had the task to get FSB interested in his possibilities to procure secret information and persuade FSB to maintain contact with him in Kiev using dead-drops. The SBU and CIA at a certain stage planned to catch red handed an FSB officer who would be getting information from Ivanchenko," the Center said.

After his detention, Ivanchenko, not fearing high treason charges, demanded that the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow should be notified of his detention. He was given the possibility to contact the Ukrainian diplomatic mission. "As the foreigner’s acts have done no harm to security of the Russian Federation, he will be deported to Ukraine and banned from entering Russia again", the FSB Public Relations Center said.

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