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Russian army officer handed eight-year prison sentence for espionage

The court concluded that the defendant’s guilt had been proven

KRASNODAR, July 2. /TASS/. A court in the Krasnodar Region sentenced Andrei Pikula, previously detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB), on charges of being recruited by a foreign intelligence service, the court press service said Friday.

"The Krasnodar District Court has completed reviewing the criminal case against Andrei Pikula, born in 1991, charged with [espionage in the form of collecting and passing information constituting a state secret to a representative of a foreign state]. The court concluded that the defendant’s guilt had been proven. The court has considered the mitigating circumstances, and sentenced the defendant to a penalty below the lowest possible under Article 275 - to eight years in prison," the court said.

The defendant had a military rank of reserve lieutenant, but was stripped of it by the court’s ruling.

According to the press service, the defendant pleaded guilty. The investigation uncovered that he was recruited by a foreign intelligence agent in 2018, and was tasked with collecting classified information. He carried out his mission in 2019, and handed over information to a foreign intelligence service until his actions were thwarted by the FSB Krasnodar Region Directorate.