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World News

Russia detains serviceman for allegedly passing state secrets to Ukraine

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Thursday it had detained a serviceman in Siberia for having allegedly passed state secrets to Ukraine.

The serviceman, from Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces, was detained in the Siberian city of Barnaul, some 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) east of Moscow, as he was walking out of a grocery store, FSB footage carried by Russian news agencies showed.

In a statement carried by Russian agencies, the FSB said the serviceman had allegedly passed state secrets to the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine’s defence ministry.

It did not provide further detail on the nature of the information that had allegedly been passed.

It said a criminal case had been opened for state treason. If convicted, the serviceman could face up to 20 years in jail.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine have soured since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014 and pro-Kremlin separatists seized a swath of eastern Ukraine.

Russia has spent heavily to integrate Crimea into its territory, and it has been the focus of espionage and military tensions since its annexation.

Reporting by Maria Kiselyova and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Sujata Rao

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