Georgian security officials said Monday that they intercepted several explosives claimed to be from Ukraine and intended to be transported to the southwestern Russian city of Voronezh.
Georgia’s State Security Service (SSG) said the explosive devices, which were allegedly sent from the Ukrainian port city of Odesa, arrived by minivan at the Georgian-Turkish border crossing on Jan. 19 via Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.
Russian investigators in October 2022 named a similar route allegedly taken by a truck to deliver explosives and damage the Moscow-built Crimean Bridge that month.
Georgia’s SSG did not say whether the intercepted devices were intended to be detonated in Voronezh.
The six military-grade plastic explosives C-4 weighing a total of 14 kilograms were said to have been hidden inside electric car batteries. The SSG said it had replaced the devices with replicas and returned them to their original locations to find the transfer’s organizers.
Seven Georgian citizens, three Ukrainians and two Armenians have been accused of unwitting involvement. Georgian-born Ukrainian parliamentary deputy Andrei Sharashidze was accused of “organizing and supervising” the explosives’ transfer.
It was not possible to independently verify the Georgian security agency’s claims.
Tbilisi has been accused of increased cooperation with the Kremlin even though Russian forces have been stationed in Georgia’s breakaway territories since 2008, when Moscow invaded the South Caucasus country.
Georgia’s rapprochement with Russia has strained ties between Tbilisi and Kyiv.
AFP contributed reporting.