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Germany Arrests Two Alleged Russian Spies

German officials arrested two men on 17 April on charges of espionage on behalf of Russia.

The two men, who are German-Russian nationals, are suspected of planning to sabotage German military aid for Ukraine and of scouting U.S. military facilities and other sites.

The men were detained in Bayreuth, which is in the southern portion of Germany. The suspects have only been identified as Dieter S. and Alexander J., in accordance with the country’s privacy rules.

“The main suspect, Dieter S, has been remanded in pre-trial detection accused of a string of offences, including plotting an explosion, arson, and maintaining contact with Russian intelligence,” according to the BBC.

Meanwhile, Alexander J. is accused of assisting Dieter S.’s efforts and helping identify potential targets for an attack.

Authorities also accused Dieter S. of membership in a foreign terrorist organization and identified him as a former fighter for pro-Kremlin forces in occupied Ukraine between 2014 and 2016.

Prosecutors claim the men have been discussing potential sabotage efforts in Germany with a Russian contact—someone identified as a person connected to Russia’s secret service, according to NBC. They also shared photos and videos of potential targets, including U.S. military facilities, with their contact. The United States has a large military footprint in Germany, including in Bavaria, ABC reported.

Russia’s ambassador to Germany was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Berlin, according to news reports.

Germany is the second-largest donor of military aid to Ukraine, providing roughly €28 billion ($29.8 billion) since Russia first invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Germany has previously accused Russia of attempting to disrupt the nation’s support of Ukraine, including through an information war and espionage.

“Last summer a German national working for the military procurement agency was arrested in the western city of Koblenz on suspicion of handing information to Russian diplomats in Bonn and Berlin,” the BBC reported.