Russia launches anti-spy operation in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia, one killed

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Russia said Friday that it killed a suspected Ukrainian spy and shut down two pro-Kyiv online outlets during an operation in the occupied part of Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region.

Since seizing control of large swathes of Ukraine last year, Russia has claimed to have foiled repeated acts of alleged sabotage as it tries to crack down on pro-Ukrainian resistance among the local population.

“As a result of a special operation in the territory of Zaporizhzhia region, the FSB suppressed the activities of three large agent groups coordinated by Ukrainian intelligence,” the FSB security service said in a statement.

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One man it suspected of working for Ukrainian intelligence was killed in a gunfight during the operation, the FSB said, without providing further details.

The administrators of a pro-Ukrainian chat room and a media outlet in the Russian-controlled city of Melitopol were detained, it added.

It said the administrators persuaded residents to gather information on the “locations and movements of Russian military personnel” and had been fomenting “an anti-Russian agenda in the region.”

“The functioning of the information resources was discontinued,” the FSB said.

AFP was not able to immediately verify the FSB’s account of events.

The agency regularly detains people it suspects of collaborating with Ukrainian secret services, often claiming to have foiled acts of attempted sabotage or terrorism.

In a separate incident, the FSB said Thursday that it had killed a Ukrainian-born man on Russian soil who was plotting to blow up a military recruitment office.

Moscow-installed authorities also reported Friday an assassination attempt on a former pro-Russian Ukrainian lawmaker.

Oleg Tsaryov, an ex-MP and Moscow-backed anti-Kyiv separatist, was in serious condition Friday after being shot twice at around midnight in the resort where he lives, according to a post on Tsaryov’s Telegram channel.

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