Ukraine says detained man recruited by Russia on dating platform

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Ukraine said Wednesday it had detained a man recruited by Russian agents on an online dating platform who had tried to provide Moscow with sensitive details about Ukrainian troops.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said it had detained a Kremlin-sympathetic resident of the northeastern city of Kharkiv. He had been recruited on a “dating chat” on the Telegram messenger service, the service added.

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“The SBU seized the man’s phone, used by the suspect to communicate with his Russian ‘friend’ and take photos of military facilities,” the SBU said in a statement.

It claimed that Russia had planned to use the data to launch targeted strikes and assault Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine.

“SBU officers detained the informant red-handed when he was taking pictures of special vehicles of Ukrainian soldiers,” the security services added. The suspect faces eight years in prison, the statement read.

Prosecutors in the war-battered country have opened thousands of criminal cases into collaboration with Moscow since Russian forces invaded in February 2022.

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