The press secretary of the State Border Service of Ukraine Oleg Slobodyan told about the detention of Russian Colonel Valery Gratov, who took active part in the aggression in the Donbas.
65-year-old Gratov arrived at night at the Ukrainian checkpoint on the border with unrecognized Transnistria, showed a passport issued for 63-year-old Ukrainian citizen Valery Voitenko, and a telegram sent from Transnistria about his mother’s illness.
However, the senior officer at the border control had doubts about the purpose of the traveler’s trip. It was noted that he mixed up his passport data. Therefore, the officer called for the State Border Service specialists.
“Voitenko” was requested to show the contents of his pockets and luggage. He reluctantly obeyed. His mobile phone contained photos from anti-Ukrainian rallies in the east of the country.
During the search, a secret pocket in his jacket was found. It contained a sheet of paper with the names and telephone numbers of top officials of Transnistria, an Order of the Red Star, a smartphone, and USB flash drives. The drives contained photos of Voitenko with the current head of the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ Alexander Zakharchenko, and warlords Arseniy Pavlov (Motorola) and Mikhail Tolstykh (Givi), as well as pictures from the battlefields in Debaltsevo, Donetsk airport, Gorlovka, Snezhny, Ilovaysk, video captures of shelling of the Ukrainian territory, propaganda materials of the unrecognized Donbas republics, and official documentation. Also, there were methodological materials on conducting reconnaissance and sabotage operations, signed by Gratov himself.
As it turned out, Gratov went to Transnistria at the command of Russian special services to become deputy minister of state security of the region.
The colonel was detained and handed over to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).