Suspected Kiev Spy Deported from Russia

Photo: Russian Federal Security Service

The Federal Security Service has reported that a Ukrainian computer and communications technology specialist was deported from Russia on suspicion of helping with Kiev’s counterintelligence (FSB).

Oleksiy Semenyaka is accused by the FSB of receiving orders from Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU). During interrogation, he allegedly stated that he had maintained communication with and sought advice from SBU personnel on a variety of issues.

According to Russian media, Semenyaka was working as an officer of external relations for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at RIPE NCC, a regional internet registry NGO based in Amsterdam, according to Russian media.

According to his RIPE NCC profile, the longstanding Moscow resident “assists in leading the RIPE NCC’s relationship with membership,… law enforcement, and other internet stakeholders.”

According to Interfax, the FSB claims that Semenyaka’s “intelligence and subversive actions were coordinated for a long time by Ukrainian counterintelligence officers.”

Semenyaka, whose previous job expertise includes directing network projects at Russian internet company Yandex and developing security systems at major Russian telecom provider Megafon, has been barred from entering the country for the next 25 years.

The FSB blocked the SBU’s purported effort to “remotely erase data” on Semenyaka’s mobile device during searches, according to Interfax. Agents allegedly confiscated electronic devices holding messages from SBU personnel requesting Semenyaka’s assistance “with the ultimate purpose of inflicting harm” to Russia’s security and interests.

Ukraine has yet to respond to the FSB’s announcement.