Germany arrests 2 alleged Russian spies accused of scouting U.S. military facilities for sabotage

Germany arrests 2 alleged Russian spies accused of scouting U.S. military facilities for sabotage

Berlin — German authorities say they have arrested two people suspected of spying for Russia. The suspects, identified as German-Russian nationals, are accused of scouting targets for potential attacks, including U.S. military facilities in Germany, the Federal Public Prosecutor General for Karlsruhe said in a statement released Thursday.

The arrests, made by police in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth, come amid high tension between Russia and the West, more than two years after President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine

The alleged spies’ stand accused by Germany of working to undermine the military support provided to Ukraine by Germany.

The individuals — identified by the German prosecutor as Dieter S. and Alexander J. — allegedly have ties to a Russian intelligence service and are accused of gathering information about potential targets for sabotage operations. 

said a reaction would be necessary if the allegations are proven true.

The arrests in Bavaria echoed incidents in Poland in March 2023, where authorities said they had dismantled a Russian spy network that was aiming to sabotage Western arms deliveries to Ukraine.

Among the suspects were individuals with criminal backgrounds and refugees from eastern Ukraine. Polish officials said the Russian military intelligence service GRU had encouraged the individuals to install cameras along railway lines used to carry weapons and other supplies to Ukraine. Another plan appeared to involve acts of sabotage, including the derailment of trains by Russian agents.

Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Bundeswehr has received regular reports of suspicious drone activity over barracks where Ukrainian soldiers undergo training in the country, and the number of these incidents has risen sharply. 

There were 172 reports of suspected drones flying around barracks during the whole of 2022, military officials said. In 2023, there were 446 reported sightings.

Anna Noryskiewicz