Valery Astakhov, a former Berkut officer, was notified of suspicion of creating an FSB agent network in the front-line regions of Ukraine. According to the SBU, Astakhov is the leader of a group that was exposed during counter-sabotage activities in the Donetsk region in August last year.
The SBU reports that after the occupation of Crimea, Astakhov went over to the side of Russia and joined the ranks of a group controlled by the Russian special services called the Yevpatoria Company of the People's Militia. At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the FSB instructed Astakhov to form his own undercover group for reconnaissance and subversive activities against Ukraine.
“The traitor remotely attracted several dozen residents of the southern and eastern regions, including from Bakhmut, into its composition. The main task of the enemy agents was to collect intelligence about the locations and movement of defense forces near the front. The attackers sent the information they received to Astakhov via Telegram in the form of locations on electronic maps with a detailed description of the objects. The former Berkut officer passed this data on to his curators from the FSB on the territory of the occupied Crimea," the report says.
The data obtained by the Russian military was used to guide and correct rocket and artillery shelling of positions of Ukrainian troops.
Earlier, The Insider found out that Astakhov was involved in violence against deported Ukrainian children. According to 16-year-old Vitaly, the children were beaten, threatened and kept in the basement. According to Vitaliy, a girl from Kherson was hit with an iron stick with such force that she had a “bruise stripe” on her back. In the Druzhba camp in Evpatoria, Astakhov took the children to the basement, showed this stick and threatened that he would beat them for supporting Ukraine. “He said: I will close it in the basement, you will sit there, you will obey me,” Vitaly said about Astakhov. According to the child, there was no bed linen in the Druzhba camp, only dirty mattresses and pillows.