FSB scales up arrests amid incursions by Ukraine-based Russian fighters

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has thwarted “multiple terrorist attacks” in Russia and occupied Ukraine by pro-Ukraine fighters over the course of the week, it said in a press release on Friday.

The message comes amid recent incursions into Russian regions bordering Ukraine by fighters of the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) and the Freedom of Russia Legion, paramilitary groups of Russian fighters based in Ukraine.

The FSB said its officers had detained seven men in Moscow on Friday for attempting to form a cell of the RVC, which is outlawed in Russia. The officers seized a machete, a battle axe, an air gun, eight knives and communications equipment, on which they said they found evidence of “active correspondence” between the suspects and RVC leaders.

Another message said the FSB had prevented a “terrorist attack” in the occupied Zaporizhzhia region of southeastern Ukraine. The suspect in the case, who was allegedly involved in the murder of a Russian military officer and had passed details of Russian military positions to Ukraine, resisted arrest, according to the FSB, and was killed in an exchange of fire.

The FSB also announced several other arrests this week, including a woman arrested in annexed Crimea on Monday for planning to set fire to railway infrastructure “at the behest of the Ukrainian secret services” and a man detained in the Russian border region of Belgorod on Thursday for “adhering to Ukrainian nationalist ideology”.

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