Ukraine arrests two alleged members of spy agency

Ukraine arrests two alleged members of spy agency

Ukraine s domestic security service arrested two people allegedly working for Russian intelligence services who planned to kill Ukraine's defence minister and head of its military intelligence agency.

The security service of Ukraine foiled the plot by the Russian GRU military intelligence agency to use a sabotage group to carry out three murders including that of a prominent Ukrainian activist, the agency said in a statement on Monday.

The assertions could not be independently verified by Reuters.

There was no immediate reaction to Ukraine's statement from Moscow or Russian state-owned media.

One of the suspects, a resident of the eastern Luhansk region held by Russia backed separatists and the other a resident of Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, were promised up to $150,000 124,000 by Russian handlers for the murder of each of their targets, the SBU said.

The man from Luhansk region entered Ukraine from Belarus and was arrested in the city of Kovel in north-western Ukraine along with the Kyiv resident, the statement said.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 and security for top officials is extremely tight. Kyiv s government district is cordoned off with checkpoints manned by armed men. Sandbags are piled up in the windows and entrances of government buildings.

The SBU has been in the spotlight recently after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy forced out its head and the state prosecutor general last month, citing dozens of cases of collaboration with Russia by officials in their agencies.