Ukrainian intel service claims detention of Russian spy

The Ukrainian intelligence service SBU announced Wednesday the detention of a 23 year-old Russian woman suspected of taking up arms in southeastern Ukraine at the behest of the Russian Federation. The SBU accused Russia of tasking Maria Koleda to obtain information about Ukrainian border services and crossings.

JC Finley

KIEV, Ukraine, April 9 (UPI) -- The Security Service of Ukraine announced Wednesday the detention of a 23-year-old Russian woman suspected of acting at the behest of Russia to help destabilize southeastern Ukraine.

The SBU detained Maria Koleda on Tuesday during her ninth trip to Ukraine.


According to the SBU press center, "On April 5-6, the foreigner held several meetings with the leaders and activists of pro-Russian movements in Kherson and also visited some district centers in the region to monitor the situation on the ground."

Koleda reportedly admitted to SBU officials that she opened fire and wounded three people during clashes Monday outside the Mykolaiv Regional State Administration building.

The SBU said that on Tuesday, Koleda reported to her "supervisor in Russia on the possession by activists" of "an unlimited amount" of improvised explosive devices and discussed providing firearms to the separatists.

She was also tasked by her supervisor, according to the SBU, "to find out the status of armament of officers of the State Border Service of Ukraine on Crimea's border with the mainland Ukraine and the possibility of persons, denied entry into Ukraine by SBU, getting into Crimea, legally or bypassing the checkpoints."


At the time of her detention, SBU said they confiscated a Russian pistol from her, as well as instructions for training subversive groups.

[Interfax Ukraine News Agency]

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