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Russian officer sentenced for spying

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- A Russian military officer has been sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of spying for Georgia in the conflict involving South Ossetia.

Lt. Colonel Mikhail Khachidze, a deputy unit commander in the North Caucasus Military District, was accused of passing military secrets to Georgia after being recruited in October 2007, the Russian information service RIA Novosti reported Friday.

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Prosecutor Lt. Gen. Vladimir Milovanov said Khachidze was motivated to spy because he needed money.

"He passed sensitive information for just $2,000," Milovanov said. "He was always in debt."

In addition to a prison sentence, the military court stripped Khachidze of his rank.

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