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Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine sentenced an employee of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to 13 years in jail on treason charges, Russian news agencies reported Monday.
“A panel of judges found Dmitry Pavlovich Shabanov guilty… and sentenced him to 13 years in prison,” the RIA Novosti news agency reported, quoting the Supreme Court of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR).
Shabanov, who was detained in April, is accused of passing confidential information to foreign intelligence services.
According to separatist authorities, Shabanov was recruited in 2016 by a former officer of Ukraine’s SBU security service and an agent in Ukraine of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Between August 2021 and April 2022, he collected “information on the movements of military equipment as well as units of the Luhansk People’s Army” and “sent them to the CIA agent,” the separatists said.
The OSCE has “unequivocally” condemned the charges against Shabanov and Mikhail Petrov, another OSCE staffer detained in April, describing the allegations as “totally unacceptable so-called ‘legal proceedings’.”
The OSCE mission, which has been deployed in the conflict zone since 2014, left the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in the wake of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine earlier this year.