SBU records over 90 attempts to recruit Donbas residents by Russia / Photo from facebook.com/SecurSerUkraine

Counterintelligence officers of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine in 2020-2021 recorded over 90 attempts by Russian special services to recruit residents of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Ukrainian citizens who travel to Russia on their own business are mainly Russian secret agents' targets, as reported by the press service of Donetsk Regional State Administration.

The SBU officers said they had recorded cases of people being detained during passport and customs control under the guise of additional document checks. After that, representatives of the Russian special services tried to involve the detainees in covert cooperation to the detriment of Ukraine's state security.

Read alsoSBU reacts to Ukraine's map without Crimea, with 'LPR/DPR' posted by pro-Russian MP (Photo)It was found that subject to threats and intimidation, the Ukrainians were required to collect and share information about the deployment and relocation of Ukrainian military units. Also, the so-called "supervisors" were interested in personal data of Ukrainian Armed Forces and law enforcement personnel.

The SBU reiterates such actions fall under Article 111 (high treason) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine and are punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years.

"We emphasize citizens of Ukraine who did not commit any actions in pursuance of a criminal assignment received from representatives of a foreign special service and voluntarily informed state authorities about contacts with them are not criminally liable," the SBU added.

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