Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has released the footage of interrogation of two suspected saboteurs arrested in Crimea who confessed to collecting data for Ukraine’s main intelligence directorate of the Defense Ministry and preparing attacks.
Col. Dmitry Shtyblikov admitted that he heads the operative department of Ukraine’s main intelligence directorate and was tasked to “choose facilities for carrying out acts of sabotage.” He also collected “intelligence data on the deployment, organizational and staff structure of military units in Crimea and conducting exercises on the peninsula.”
“I handed over the data to the main intelligence directorate through the Internet using a cryptography program. There was no clear schedule, it was necessary (to do this) once or twice per week,” Shtyblikov said, adding that he received the reward while visiting Ukraine.
Before Crimea joined Russia, Shtyblikov developed a legend that he worked as a journalist for the Nomos public organization. His goal then was to study security of the Black Sea region, collect data on the units of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, monitor the political situation, including the activity of national organizations, namely the Crimean Tatars.
“For legalizing my activity in 2014 I obtained a civilian job at a Russian Defense Ministry unit,” Shtyblikov told investigators.
The second suspect Alexei Besarabov also said he is a Ukrainian serviceman who worked for the analytical center of the naval intelligence center of Ukraine’s Navy in Odessa and later for the department of special intelligence there. “Since 2008, I have been an officer of the operative reserve of the 14th department of the main intelligence directorate of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry,” he said.
The saboteurs were arrested by the FSB in Sevastopol on November 9. They had allegedly plotted acts of sabotage against Crimea’s military facilities and crucial infrastructure facilities. Explosive devices, weapons and ammunition, as well as means of special communications and maps of the facilities to be targeted through sabotage were seized from the suspects.