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Two arrested in Germany for planning alleged military sabotage attacks on behalf of Russia

Two German-Russian citizens have been arrested in Germany on suspicion of planning sabotage attacksincluding against US military facilities, in an attempt to undermine military support for Ukraine, authorities reported Thursday.

Authorities have searched the homes and workplaces of the two suspects accused of working for a foreign secret service. One of them, identified as Dieter S., had studied possible plots with a person linked to the Russian secret service since October 2023, prosecutors said.

Germany has become one of kyiv’s largest providers of military aid since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 and is one of the main targets of Russian spy operations, according to authorities.

“Our security authorities have prevented possible attacks with explosives that were intended to attack and undermine our military aid to Ukraine,” said Interior Minister Nancy Faeser.

“This is an especially serious case of alleged espionage activity for the criminal regime of (President Vladimir) Putin.”

Dieter S. had prepared to carry out bomb attacks and arson attacks against military installationsincluding those operated by US forces, prosecutors said, adding that he took photos and videos of military transports and equipment.

According to Spiegel magazine, the facilities included the Grafenwöhr military base in the southern state of Bavaria, where Ukrainian soldiers receive training to use American Abrams tanks.

The Russian and US embassies in Berlin did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Prosecutors suspect that Dieter S., whose last name has not been revealed due to German privacy laws, was a fighter for Russian-backed forces in eastern Ukraine from December 2014 to September 2016 in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. .

The suspect has a firearm, according to the prosecutor’s office.

In a separate case, prosecutors last month charged an official in Germany’s military procurement agency with trying to pass secret information to Russian intelligence.

News of Thursday’s arrests coincided with a surprise trip by German Economy Minister Robert Habeck to Ukraine.

Germany also issued an urgent appeal to countries to help bolster Ukraine’s air defenses as Russian forces continue to pound Ukrainian cities and infrastructure.

“We will continue to provide massive support to Ukraine and will not be intimidated,” Faeser declared.

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