Valentyna Romanenko – Sunday, 1 May 2022, 12:09 The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) claims to have apprehended a Russian sabotage and reconnaissance group that was preparing to shoot down a passenger plane and blame it on the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the international partners supplying arms to Ukraine. Source: SBU Spokesperson Artem Dekhtyarenko Quote: “The SBU has completed a multistage operation, in the course of which it neutralised a a deep-seated sabotage and reconnaissance group of the enemy. Agents of the RF armed forces’ general staff were preparing a terrorist act – they were planning to shoot down a passenger jet over the territory of Russia or Belarus. “The occupiers intended to unjustifiably accuse Ukraine and our partners of attacking the aircraft. To commit the provocation, the attackers wanted to fire on a civilian board from the portable anti-aircraft missile system (MANPADS) ‘Stinger’. “In order to steal and smuggle foreign MANPADS abroad, representatives of the aggressor country’s special services gave the [relevant] task to their intelligence group.” Details: According to the SBU, the sabotage and reconnaissance group included two individuals with dual citizenships, and a locally recruited accomplice. Their operations were coordinated by Russian national Aleksandr Tuterev, a staff member of the main department of the general staff of the RF’s armed forces under the alias of “Morpekh”, says Dekhtyarenko. Tuterev is wanted in Ukraine for his role in the organisation of a series of terrorist acts in the Odesa region, according to the SBU. Under his coordination, enemy agents attempted to contact Ukraine’s Armed Forces under the guise of patriotic volunteers. To gain trust, they conveyed to the Ukrainian side true information on the positions and maneuvres of Kadyrevites’ units. The agents were allegedly tasked with using these contacts to illegally obtain a foreign-made MADPAD and transfer it to the Russian side. The SBU reports that it has apprehended all members of the involved sabotage and reconnaissance group. The investigation is ongoing.