A 21-year-old woman from the city of Chita in Russia’s Far East, was taken into custody and charged with treason for allegedly taking photos and videos of military equipment convoys on the request of Ukrainian border security officers, according to a court statement on Friday.
The accused reportedly appealed the decision but remains in detention, the statement said. The woman allegedly met a man online who turned out to be an officer with the Ukrainian state border security service. At his request, she took photos and videos of trains loaded with military equipment and sent them to him.
The woman was also accused of filming a group of servicemen heading to Ukraine at Chita airport, as well as videoing conscripts travelling by car in a convoy. “She openly expressed her position as a fervent opponent of the special military operation,” the court statement said, using the official term used in Russia for the war in Ukraine.
Photo: the court press service
The accused was expecting to receive money from her acquaintance to finance her move to Ukraine, the court statement added.
The accused’s lawyer appealed the July decision to place the accused in pre-trial detention, requesting the court place her under house arrest instead. However, the court rejected the request on the grounds that the woman had already “pleaded fully guilty”.
The woman’s name was not made public.
On 28 April, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law introducing life imprisonment for treason. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began last year, the number of treason and espionage cases has been steadily growing, with Russia’s Federal Security Service also starting to charge Russians with “attempted treason” since last summer.