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Ukrainian man jailed for life for providing Russia with missile coordinates for Kharkiv strike

UPI
A Kharkiv man was jailed for life Monday for passing information to Russian intelligence that led to the military administrative HQ of the region being hit by two Russian cruise missiles in March 2022, killing 29 people. Photo courtesy Kharkiv Prosecutor General's Office.

Nov. 13 (UPI) -- A Ukrainian man was sentenced to life in prison Monday after being found guilty of treason for supplying information to Russian forces that led to a deadly cruise missile strike and other attacks on Kharkiv, the country's second-largest city.

The unnamed man passed military intelligence, including coordinates of a strategically important government building in downtown Kharkiv, to two female Russian intelligence operatives via banned social networks leading to the airstrike by two Kalibr missiles in March 2022, killing 29 people, according to the Kharkiv Prosecutor General's Office.

Prosecutors showed in court that between February and April 2022 the man, a Kharkiv native, gathered information about the Armed Forces of Ukraine and infrastructure facilities in Kharkiv by surveying the area, questioning local residents and collecting and recording data.

The man sent the coordinates of the Kharkiv region military administration to his handler in Moscow on Feb. 28, 2022. In addition, he provided data for strikes on the headquarters of the XADO company, as well as a number of locations in the city that were later targeted in Russian attacks.

He was also found guilty of disseminating Russian propaganda justifying its armed aggression against Ukraine and the illegal possession and handling of firearms.

Police recovered computer equipment from his apartment containing evidence of his online communications, as well as illegally purchased weapons including a Fort-202 carbine, pistol ammunition and a grenade case.

In online posts, he denied Russian aggression against Ukraine, re-posted pro-Russia conspiracy theories and distributed a publication that claimed American scientists were experimenting on patients in Merefa, just outside Kharkiv, using dangerous biological drugs.

In July 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fired Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova and State Security Service head Ivan Bakanov after hundreds of government workers under them were accused of collaborating with Russia.

Zelensky said 651 criminal proceedings had been launched into allegations of treason and collusion between employees of the prosecutor's offices, pretrial investigation bodies and law enforcement agencies.