December 20, 2014
Ukraine detains Russian military attaché for spying
Ukraine said it had detained Russia's military attaché to Kiev on suspicion of spying and ordered him to leave, as the ex-Soviet republic wrestles with an armed uprising it says is orchestrated by Moscow.
Kiev ordered the expulsion saying it had caught him "red-handed" receiving classified information on the country's cooperation with NATO during an armed uprising Kiev says is directed from Moscow.
The Foreign Ministry said the diplomat had been detained a day earlier and declared persona non grata.
Ukraine's security service said he was a Russian intelligence officer who had been collecting intelligence on "Ukrainian-NATO military and political cooperation".
"On April 30, he was caught red-handed receiving classified material from his source," said Maryna Ostapenko, a spokeswoman for Ukraine's security service, the SBU. She described the source as a colonel in the Ukrainian armed forces.
The diplomat was ordered to leave, though the statement mentioned no deadline. There was no immediate response from Moscow, which like Kiev is observing the May 1 holiday.
Ukraine accuses Russia of orchestrating the fall of towns and cities across its industrial east to pro-Russian separatists over the past month, spearheaded by well-organised gunmen in masks and military fatigues.
Russia denies having any part in the rebellion, but has warned it reserves the right to intervene to protect ethnic Russians - following its annexation of Crimea in late March - and has massed tens of thousands of troops on its western frontier with Ukraine.