Tuesday, October 24, 2006

New Russia "Spy" Arrest

Via AIA:
An official from Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) in Kaliningrad oblast has been detained by Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officers on suspicion of spying for Lithuania, online paper Dni.ru reports today, referring to the the FSB Public Relations Centre. As it has become known, Lieutenant Colonel Vasily Khitryuk, deputy chief of the FSIN directorate inspection of Krasnoznamensky district, Kaliningrad oblast, had for a long time collaborated with the Lithuanian secret services and allegedly passed state military secrets to the Baltic country's security services, according to the FSB. "The suspect used his former colleagues and friends who serve in the Russian army and security-related agencies" to obtain confidential information, the service said in a statement, quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency. "Following orders from a Lithuanian intelligence officer, he [Khitryuk] offered them monetary rewards for supplying him with copies of secret documents," the statement said.

According to the FSB Public Relations Centre, during Khitryuk's arrest, security officers seized computer storage devices with files containing top-secret information on the combat readiness of the Baltic Fleet and Russia's military contingent in Kaliningrad. FSB said it had gathered enough evidence to launch a criminal investigation. Commenting on Khitryuk's arrest, the Federal Penitentiary Service said that the suspect, born in 1967, has been working for the agency for three years, RIA Novosti reports. "Khitryuk has been arrested on charges of espionage and state treason," the agency spokesman told the news agency, adding that the circumstances surrounding the case are still not clear. The Embassy of Lithuania in Moscow refused to comment on the arrest.

Diplomatic scandals between Moscow and Vilnius over alleged spying intensified after Lithuania's accession to NATO and the European Union in 2004.
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