MOSCOW (Agencies): The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) successfully foiled an audacious plot by Ukraine’s intelligence services to hijack a nuclear-capable Russian Tu-22M3 strategic bomber. The incident sheds light on the escalating tensions between the two neighboring countries and the lengths to which intelligence agencies are willing to go in pursuit of their objectives.

  • The Plot Unfolds

The FSB’s statement reveals that Ukrainian spies attempted to bribe a Russian air force pilot operating a Tu-22M3 aircraft. Their proposition was both audacious and dangerous: they wanted the pilot to fly the bomber to Ukraine. The stakes were high, as this particular aircraft is nuclear-capable, adding an extra layer of urgency to the situation.

  • NATO Involvement and Unanswered Questions

The FSB’s investigation uncovered the involvement of special services from NATO countries. However, the agency did not name specific members of the US-led military bloc. This revelation raises questions about the extent of collaboration between Ukrainian intelligence and NATO allies. While the FSB’s statement doesn’t provide all the answers, it underscores the complexity of geopolitical rivalries in the region.

  • Operational Success and National Security

During what the FSB refers to as an “operational game,” Russian counterintelligence officers gathered critical information. This intelligence enabled the military to carry out a successful strike against the Ukrainian armed forces’ Ozernoye airfield. Located near the city of Zhytomir in northwest Ukraine, the airfield had apparently become a focal point for the Ukrainian spies’ activities.

  • The Brave Pilot and Loyalty to Country

The video released by the FSB features the Russian pilot who played a crucial role in thwarting the hijacking attempt. His identity remains concealed, and his voice has been altered for security reasons. According to the pilot, he was contacted via Telegram by a person claiming to work for Ukrainian intelligence. Threats to his relatives followed, along with demands for information about Russian aircraft. The Ukrainian operative then proposed hijacking the nuclear-capable strategic long-range bomber.

However, instead of cooperating with the spy, the Russian serviceman promptly reported everything to his superiors. His loyalty to his country prevailed over any potential personal gain.

  • High Stakes and a Staggering Reward

Screenshots of conversations between the pilot and the Ukrainian officer reveal the gravity of the situation. The reward promised to the Russian serviceman for stealing the plane was a staggering $3 million. Such an offer underscores the desperation and audacity of those involved in the plot.

  • History Repeats Itself

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Ukrainian intelligence has attempted such a scheme. In July 2022, they made a similar offer to several Russian pilots. The proposal included up to $2 million, EU passports, and a comfortable life in the West—all in exchange for flying their planes to Ukraine. However, these airmen chose loyalty to their country, assisting Russian counterintelligence efforts instead.

By Media

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