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Security services arrest Russian factory director accused of spying for Ukraine

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Russian security services said Tuesday they had arrested an employee of an aerospace factory on suspicion of high treason for passing classified defense-related information to Ukraine.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies that it had detained a Russian national suspected of “high treason for transferring data to Ukraine to the detriment of Russia’s security.”

The FSB said the Russian citizen - a resident of the Moscow region - had photographed “classified top-secret technical documents,” and sent them via mobile phone to an employee of an aviation factory in the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa.

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The statement said an investigation had been opened into high treason, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. The employee - the director of the plant - had been detained it said.

A Moscow court earlier this month jailed a respected former defense reporter, Ivan Safronov, for 22 years on treason charges for divulging state secrets.

He was accused of collecting confidential information about Russian military, defense and security and handing it over to foreign intelligence.

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