• The Russian agent was detained in the Zhytomyr region
  • The agent adviced Russian troops where they should place their equipment for covert operations
  • Ukraine's Security Service also detained four other Russian agents

A Russian individual who attempted to infiltrate Ukraine’s military forces has been arrested by authorities, Ukrainian officials said Sunday.

A Russian agent, whose identity was not revealed, had been detained in the Zhytomyr region after he attempted to enlist in a combat unit of the Ukrainian armed forces. The man allegedly planned to sabotage Ukraine’s forces to help Russians win the war, the Security Service of Ukraine said in a report.

Authorities also said the man gave Russians access to intelligence information on the deployment of Ukrainian troops as well as where they could best place their military equipment for covert operations when they were temporarily occupying a settlement.

The agent later volunteered to enlist in the Ukrainian military after the de-occupation of the settlement. However, his plan was discovered by authorities, who proceeded to detain him on suspicion of committing a crime. He is currently under Ukrainian custody.

Authorities also detained a resident of the Kramatorsk district in the Donetsk region. The agent had been recruited by Russians to gather intel on the movement of Ukrainian troops, including sending the locations of soldiers via Telegram.

At least three other officials were found to have collaborated with Russians amid the war in Ukraine, including an official of a hospital in Kyiv who urged medical staff to support the invading troops.

The Security Service’s report comes as the war stretches into its fourth month. Since Russia’s President Vladimir Putin announced the start of the invasion on Feb. 24, Ukrainian forces have killed at least 29,500 Russian soldiers and downed 1,285 Russian tanks, according to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

It is unclear how many Russian soldiers are left fighting in Ukraine. Apart from the death toll, many soldiers have also fled or expressed plans of fleeing the war. Some Russian soldiers have also purposely broken their equipment, including a tank, to avoid fighting in the war.

In contrast, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday said they increased the number of servicemen fighting against Russians from 250,000 to 700,000.

“If we would have added 100,000 soldiers – we wouldn’t be able to stop Russia,” Zelensky said during his appearance on a Ukrainian television station. “Now we have 700,000. So what you see is the result of the work of 700,000 people who are fighting and defending our territory.”

A warehouse in southern Ukraine's Odessa region, pictured on May 22, 2022, was destroyed by Russian shelling
A warehouse in southern Ukraine's Odessa region, pictured on May 22, 2022, was destroyed by Russian shelling AFP / Genya SAVILOV