News from Ukraine: SBU ousts Putin’s spies using ‘relatives’ to spot army tactics | World | New

The SBU said on Monday it had arrested three “authors” who were gathering intelligence on Ukraine’s tactics in the Black Sea for the Kremlin. The men were intercepted in Mykolaiv, the outskirts of which Russian forces reached in early March before being pushed back to the eastern and southern edges of the region, where heavy fighting continues.

Mykolaiv is a key place for Moscow to advance from the Black Sea positions, but resistance in the city, like in nearby Kherson, proved difficult for Vladimir Putin’s men.

The two towns are less than 70 miles apart and both are difficult to master.

Russia has controlled the entirety of Kherson since the early days of the war.

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Since late May, however, Ukraine’s armed forces have been reporting counter-offensive operations against Moscow, with President Volodymyr Zelensky saying last month that his men were “gradually liberating” the region.

Its capital of nearly 300,000 people, which was the first major city captured by Putin’s troops at the start of the invasion, serves as a gateway to broader control of the region.

According to the SBU, the three spies were among the representatives of the intelligence agencies of the Russian Federation.

He added that a preliminary investigation was underway.

The arrests came just a week after the SBU arrested a former Soviet KGB agent who helped lead Russian missile strikes that killed more than 50 soldiers and injured nearly 15 at a military installation in the west of the country in March.

The suspect sent the locations of targets at the Yavoriv military training center to contacts at an unspecified Russian agency using Telegram, local security services and prosecutors said.

In the aftermath of the missile strike, Kyiv said 35 soldiers were killed at the premises, located 24 km from the Polish border.

Christi C. Elwood