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Germany arrests two dual nationals over alleged Russian sabotage plot | Russia-Ukraine war News

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Germany’s prosecutors are accusing the German-Russian nationals of being prepared to ‘carry out explosive and arson attacks’ on the country’s US military sites.

Germany has arrested two German-Russian dual nationals on suspicions that they were plotting sabotage attacks on US military sites in the country to undermine Western military support for Ukraine.

German prosecutors said on Thursday that the two men, identified as Dieter S and Alexander J, were arrested a day earlier in the town of Bayreuth in the southeastern state of Bavaria after their homes and workplaces were searched on suspicion of “having worked for a foreign intelligence service”.

They said in a statement that Dieter was in contact with an interlocutor linked with the Russian secret service, and exchanged information that was gathered.

Alexander began assisting him from March 2024, the prosecutors added.

Dieter’s secret communication started in October last year, and he was prepared to “carry out explosive and arson attacks” on military infrastructure and industrial sites in Germany, including facilities of the US military.

Dieter and Alexander allegedly scouted a number of targets, taking photos and videos of military transports and goods, among other things, which were passed on to the Russian contact.

According to Der Spiegel, a German magazine, the facilities included the Grafenwoehr army base in Bavaria where Ukrainian soldiers receive training to use US Abrams tanks.

German authorities said Dieter was active in eastern Ukraine between December 2014 and September 2016 as a fighter in an armed unit of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), a Moscow-backed breakaway region of Ukraine that was annexed by Russia in 2022, and possessed a firearm in this context.

Dieter faces an additional charge of belonging to “a foreign terrorist organisation” for his activities in Ukraine.

 

The arrests come amid intense fighting more than two years into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Germany one of the biggest suppliers of military aid to Ukraine.

“Our security authorities have prevented possible explosive attacks that were intended to target and undermine our military assistance to Ukraine,” German interior minister Nancy Faeser said.

“It is a particularly serious case of alleged spy activity for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s criminal regime.”

The announcement of the arrests on Thursday coincided with a surprise trip to Ukraine by German economy minister Robert Habeck to offer more support.

Habeck is also expected to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has repeatedly bemoaned a lack of strong air defences as Russian attacks increasingly target energy infrastructure.

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