High-ranking Ukrainian border guard defects to Russia, now faces treason charges
Photo: SBI

Law enforcement officers have pressed charges against a border guard who served in Zakarpattya Oblast and turned out to be an agent of the Russian special services, writes the State Bureau of Investigation. The charges were served in absentia, as the suspect fled to Russia. Our law enforcement sources said that the man in question is senior lieutenant Ruslan Syrovyi.

The suspect is a native of Luhansk, who arrived for service in Zakarpattya Oblast in June 2022 from Lysychansk, and already in August he was appointed the head of the cyber protection group of the communications department of one of the border divisions, writes the State Bureau of Investigation.

According to preliminary data, this officer did not have access to state secrets, the agency notes.

Operational data indicates this person, along with a group of draft dodgers, illegally crossed the border with Hungary recently.

A few days after that, information appeared in one of the Russian social media groups that the suspect had been working as an agent of the Russian special services for a long time and was currently in Moscow, the SBI notes.

"The Russians claimed that he was engaged in subversive activities against Ukraine, and promised to later publish a large interview with the traitor," the law enforcement officers write.

The defendant was charged with desertion, and treason charges are also being prepared.

He faces life imprisonment.

The contacts of the person involved and his possibilities regarding the transfer of secret data are now being checked, the agency concludes.

The SBI filed charges in cooperation with the Security Service of Ukraine and the State Border Guard Service.

Earlier, journalist Zoya Kazanzhi reported on Syrovyi's escape on Facebook. She also added his photo:

High-ranking Ukrainian border guard defects to Russia, now faces treason charges

According to her, the suspect frequented the Russian media and enjoyed a "one-man show" on Russian television.

He has been working since 2009 in the Luhansk border detachment, where he started working as a radio operator, the journalist said.

He is currently in Moscow with his family, Kazanzhi notes.

"Now he reveals on camera how he was engaged in subversive activities and collecting important information for the Russian special services. How he helped the 'militias' of Donbas. Since 2014, he says, he established contact with the adversary, through a classmate. He also says that thanks to the data he transmitted, the location of the 128th Brigade was discovered. And he also names a lot of other things. I don't even want to share them," Kazanzhi said.

The Russians claim that thanks to the fugitive they managed to gain access to "many closed bases and communication nodes of the border guards", and call him "our spy", the journalist noted.

Another agent of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), who spotted Russian missiles at a defense plant in Zaporizhzhya Oblast, was sentenced to life imprisonment, the SBU reported.