World News

Russian hockey player competing in Polish league detained, accused of being a spy

Polish authorities have detained a Russian hockey player who competes in a top Polish league on suspicion of spying, officials said Friday.

“Russian spies are falling one by one!” said Zbigniew Ziobro, the justice minister and chief prosecutor. “A spy who operated under the guise of an athlete was caught.”

Ziobro said the suspect played for a first league club and was the 14th member of a spy network who has been arrested.


Zbigniew Ziobro

Zbigniew Ziobro, the justice minister and chief prosecutor of Poland, speaks in Warsaw on May 3, 2023. Ziobro announced that a spy who operated under the guise of an athlete has been caught. (Andrzej Iwanczuk/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


The National Prosecutor’s Office said the man, who was arrested on June 11, was accused of participating in an organized crime group and acting on behalf of foreign intelligence against the interests of Poland. Such acts are punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The state news agency PAP reported that the organized crime group was being used by Russia to monitor railway routes leading to Ukraine. Poland is a major hub for Western weapons going to Ukraine in support of its fight against Russia’s invasion.

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