Russia charges ex-employee of U.S. consulate with spying -TASS

A woman uses her mobile phone in front of the Federal Security Service in Moscow

A woman uses her mobile phone in front of the Federal Security Service (FSB) building on Lubyanka Square in Moscow, Russia, June 24, 2023. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/file photo Acquire Licensing Rights

Aug 28 (Reuters) – Russia’s FSB security service has charged a former employee of the U.S. consulate in the Russian Far East with collecting information on the war in Ukraine and other issues for Washington, state news agency TASS said on Monday.

The suspect, Robert Shonov, relayed information to U.S. embassy staffers in Moscow on how Russia’s conscription campaign was impacting political discontent ahead of the 2024 presidential election in Russia, TASS quoted the FSB as saying.

The FSB said it planned to question U.S. embassy employees who were in contact with Shonov, a Russian national who has been under arrest since May.

The embassy said in May that “the allegations against Mr. Shonov are wholly without merit”, and his “only role at the time of his arrest was to compile media summaries of press items from publicly available Russian media sources”.

Reporting by Reuters; editing by Mark Trevelyan and Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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