Russian President Vladimir Putin said that during the past year, the activity of 72 personnel from foreign intelligence services and 397 foreign special services agents were detained in Russia.
On March 5th Putin spoke at the board of the Russian FSB, noting that in recent years, the activity of foreign intelligence agents was growing. According to Putin, they use the most modern methods of agent and technical intelligence.
He urged the Russian special services to prevent any attempts by foreign intelligence services to gain access to information of political, economic, and defensive natures.
Among those charged with espionage in Russia, there are also citizens of Ukraine. In October 2015, Russia charged Ukrainian citizen, Yury Soloshenko, with espionage and sentenced him to six years in prison in a strict corrective colony. The Federal Security Service of Russia stated that the "espionage" conducted by Yuri Soloshenko amounted to his acting on behalf of two Ukrainian enterprises to buy spare parts for Ukrainian air defense systems, which according to the Russian special services, was done unlawfully.
Russian human rights activists drew attention to the fact that during Soloshenko's trial, his rights were constantly violated. Also, according to human rights activists, Yuri Soloshenko was one of the Ukrainian political prisoners who were illegally kept behind bars in Russia. He was released as part of the prisoner exchange on June 14, 2016.
Currently, Ukrainian journalist, Roman Sushchenko, who was detained in September 2016, is being tried on espionage charges. His defense and Ukrainian authorities reject the charges against the journalist and urge Russia to immediately release him.