The FSB said that the suspect was trained by special forces of NATO member Latvia to bomb a railway and military base.
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has arrested a man with dual Russian-Italian citizenship for conducting sabotage operations for Ukrainian military intelligence.
Moscow said on Friday that the suspect had carried out bomb attacks on railways after being recruited by Kyiv earlier this year. Infrastructure and production facilities across Russia have been damaged in unclaimed attacks since its military forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022, with investigators opening dozens of cases.
The suspect is accused of planting explosives to derail a 15-carriage train in the Ryazan region, southeast of the capital, in early November. The FSB also says that he bombed the Dyagilevo military airfield in July, according to state news agency TASS.
“The perpetrator turned out to be a resident of the Ryazan Region born in 1988 with Russian and Italian citizenship. The detainee gave confessionary evidence during his questioning,” the FSB’s Investigative Committee said in a statement.
The intelligence agency said that the suspect was recruited by Ukrainian military intelligence in Istanbul in February. He then received sabotage training from Latvian special services in the EU and NATO member state, it added.
The statement also said that a search of the suspect’s home unearthed explosives and other bomb-making equipment, and investigations are under way to establish his role in other acts of sabotage.
The highest profile Ukrainian attack on Russian infrastructure since the start of the war came in October 2022, when the Kerch Strait Bridge, linking the Crimean Peninsula with Russia, was bombed.
Shortly after the blast, the FSB arrested five Russians and three others, who were citizens of Ukraine and Armenia.
Russia is also busy targeting Ukrainian infrastructure and has raised the level of drone and missile attacks as winter approaches.
While the war on the front lines has become bogged down, Moscow’s forces aim to repeat the tactic of last year, when strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure plunged the country into the cold and dark for extended periods.
The Ukrainian military reported on Friday that it had shot down 18 of 25 attack drones, and one of two cruise missiles launched against the country by Russia overnight, mainly targeting southern and eastern regions.
Ukrainian air defence systems have been boosted with Western weapons since last winter, but Kyiv continues to stress that it needs more supplies to withstand the barrage.