- Borznekov will remain in custody for the next two months pending his hearing.
- This is not the first charge of such nature.
- It is highly likely more such charges are to come.
Russia’s Federal Security Bureau (FSB) announced the arrest of the head of the district Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Kursk region, Police Lieutenant Colonel Dmitry Borzenkov, on Monday. He is charged with high treason pertaining the transmission of information constituting Russian State secrets to the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine).
Furthermore, Borznekov will remain in custody for the next two months pending his hearing. However, unless he has underlying conditions, he will remain in custody, and is highly likely convicted of the charge. Additionally, Roman Kovalyov from Central Research Institute of the Machine Building was sentenced today to 7 years in prison for treason.
This is not the first charge of such nature. On June 16th, Valery Mitko was accused of treason as well. Moreover, in April of this year, the FSB detained two Russian nationals who were allegedly spying for Ukraine in Crimea. The claim that Ukrainian Colonel Oleg Akhmedov specifically recruited them.
One of the detained was a servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces. They were allegedly passing information between 2017-2018 of the Russian military operations in the region. The case is ongoing at this time.
Last year, the FSB also detained another Russian citizen on suspicion of spying on behalf of Ukraine. He is charged under Article 275 of the Russian criminal code. The information is classified, and no name or information pertaining the case is available. The only information is the type of charge and that documentation was related to Russian State secrets.
Article 275: High Treason
Russia defines treason as “espionage, disclosure of state secrets, or any other assistance rendered to a foreign State, a foreign organization, or their representatives in hostile activities to the detriment of the external security of the Russian Federation, committed by a citizen of the Russian Federation.”
The crime is punishable by “deprivation of liberty for a term of 12 to 20 years with confiscation of property or without such confiscation.” It is not (officially) a capital offense. Of note:
“A person who has committed crimes stipulated in this Article, or by Articles 276 and 278 of this Code, shall be relieved from criminal responsibility if he has facilitated the prevention of further damage to the interests of the Russian Federation by informing the governmental authorities of his own free will and in due time, or in any other way, if his actions contain no other corpus delicti.”
Nevertheless, this part is not applicable in the cases mentioned above. Overall, since 2014 there have been over 23 cases pertaining Russian nationals allegedly spying for Ukraine alone. In general, there have been close to 40 cases of arrests for treason in Russia.
The belief is that, according to Russia, citizens spying for Ukraine is a million times worse than spying for the West. Such a poll was conducted on Russian social media. The new case shows continuous hostilities between Russia and Ukraine. It is highly likely more such charges are to come. How many will be made public remains to be seen.