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The Ukrainian security service, the SBU, has accused Russian security services, such as the FSB, of targeting the wives of Ukrainian soldiers during visits to relatives in the pro-Russian Donbass region of East Ukraine, and the Russian Federation.
“The women were subjected to psychological pressure, threatened with an entry and exit ban, jail time and the harassment of their family members. As a result, they provided written consent to cooperate,” the Ukrainian security services said in an online statement.
In exchange for their well-being and that of their relatives, the woman were reportedly asked to disclose the mobile numbers of their husbands, as well as various sensitive military information.
The website of the SBU also published a video featuring three women who were reportedly recruited. The video, in which the women’s faces are blurred, is accompanied by a voiceover that tells the story of their alleged recruitment. One of the women says that the FSB approached her in St. Petersburg during her visit to see family there, reported The Moscow Times.
The conflict in the East has continues to smolder with no end in sight, as scores of people continue to die on both sides. The death toll is now well past 10,000.
Relations between Ukraine and Russia also continue to deteriorate as the Trump administration is now actively arming the Ukrainian military. Moscow is concerned Ukraine and Georgia will eventually be admitted into the NATO alliance, the Kremlin’s worst nightmare.
Today the Russian leadership said Russia ‘will act’ if those developments come to pass in Russia’s ‘near abroad’.