Ukraine security services uncover Russian ‘mole’ in Kharkiv range as fighting intensifies in north


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Ukraine’s top intelligence and security agency said on Tuesday it had arrested a suspected Russian “mole” in Kharkiv as intense fighting continues in the northern region.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced the arrest of an employee working for Russian special services following an investigation in its Kharkiv directorate, Ukrainian news outlets reported.

A National Guard serviceman is on duty outside Kharkiv in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine.
(Future publication via Vyacheslav Madievsky/Ukrainform/Getty Images)

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The employee, who previously served on the Kharkiv City Council, was reportedly recruited by Russian authorities in March 2022 and given a job at the SBU’s counter-terrorism headquarters in the Northern region.

The “Mole” then gained access and transferred not only contact details of SBU officers, but also details of military offensive routes, checkpoints, military equipment and data they entered into closed government systems on a daily basis.

In return for his support to Russia, he was given security guarantees for himself and his family if Russia succeeded in conquering the region.

He has been charged with treason under martial law and detained by Ukrainian authorities.

Armed National Guard soldiers walk along a trench at a section of the defense line outside Kharkiv in Kharkiv region, northeastern Ukraine.

Armed National Guard soldiers walk along a trench at a section of the defense line outside Kharkiv in Kharkiv region, northeastern Ukraine.
(Future publication via Vyacheslav Madievsky/Ukrainform/Getty Images)

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Details of the suspected mole have not been released, and government officials have obscured his face in photos taken during his arrest.

The announcement by the SBU comes just two months after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fired the head of the SBU in Kharkiv, Roman Dudin, in late May for ineffective leadership in the early days of the war.

Ukrainian news outlets reported that a subsequent investigation was launched into the allegations against Dudin.

Kharkiv, roughly 30 miles from the Russian border, has seen heavy fighting since Russia’s initial offensive in February and its second surge earlier this year.

Kharkiv Region, Ukraine - June 14, 2021 - A soldier fires a howitzer sight during artillery drills of the Eastern Operational-Territorial Command of the National Guard of Ukraine in Kharkiv Region, northeastern Ukraine.

Kharkiv Region, Ukraine – June 14, 2021 – A soldier fires a howitzer sight during artillery drills of the Eastern Operational-Territorial Command of the National Guard of Ukraine in Kharkiv Region, northeastern Ukraine.
(Future publication via Vyacheslav Madievsky/Ukrainform/Getty Images)

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Fighting in Kharkiv has intensified in recent weeks and Ukrainian forces have retaken previously occupied areas in the north.

The US assessed that Russia had suffered heavy losses, and according to Defense Secretary Colin Call on Monday, 70,000 to 80,000 Russian soldiers were killed or wounded.



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