Network of Russian agents locating railway targets exposed by Ukraine's security services
One of the detained Russian agents. Photo via Security Service of Ukraine

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has said that it exposed a group of Russian agents that were tasked with assisting in Russian missile strikes on railway facilities.

A counter-intelligence operation in the Kyiv and Kharkiv regions of Ukraine uncovered the group of Russian agents, including eight local residents, one of whom used the fake IDs of a ‘parliamentary assistant’ and ‘journalist’.

All the eight men are suspected of high treason, with four detained by a court decision and the other hiding in Russia, the SBU says. Russian symbols and pro-Kremlin literature were found in the detainees’ homes.

The news follows the detention of two Russian agents last week, including a design engineer at Motor Sich, a strategically important aircraft engine manufacturer in the city of Zaporizhzhia.

According to the SBU, the suspects collected data on the locations and movements of the Ukrainian Defence Forces in the regions, with a particular focus on how military equipment is delivered and unloaded by rail.

They were also tasked with reconnoitring the locations of ammunition depots, firing positions, checkpoints, and fortifications in the frontline areas in eastern Ukraine.

During the occupation of the towns of Izyum and Balakliya in the Kharkiv region, the suspects "selected candidates for their occupation administrations", the SBU statement reads.

According to an investigation by Ukraine’s security services, the agent network was formed by two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service before the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, and included an agent recruited by an honorary consul of Russia in Kharkiv.

Following the invasion, the agents were used to carry out acts of subversion.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, Ukraine’s security services have exposed dozens of people suspected of abetting Russia’s armed forces.