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British Men Allegedly Helped Russian Intelligence, Face Charges

British authorities charge two men with aiding Russia's intelligence (Credits: ITVX)

Two British men, Dylan Earl and Jake Reeves, have been charged with assisting Russian intelligence services and committing arson at a Ukraine-linked business in London.

The charges stem from a fire at a warehouse in east London in March, which is believed to have been started using an accelerant such as petrol. The investigation, led by Met Police counter-terror officers, alleges that the men were working with the Wagner private military group, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin before his death.

Earl, 20, is accused of planning the arson attack, attempting to recruit individuals to assist a foreign intelligence service, and engaging in fraudulent activity. Reeves, 22, is accused of accepting money from a foreign intelligence service.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Credits: NBC News)

The prosecution alleges that the men targeted two parcel delivery services, Oddisey and Meest UK, which are owned by a Ukrainian national and his wife.

The charges are the first to be brought under a new law designed to update and modernize offenses related to espionage, sabotage, and foreign interference. The law aims to strengthen the UK’s defenses against hostile activity by states targeting the country’s democracy, economy, and values.

Russian President (Credits: Fox News)

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office has summoned the Russian ambassador, Andrey Kelin, following the allegations. The UK remains “deeply concerned” by allegations of Russian-orchestrated malign activity on UK soil and will continue to work with allies to deter and defend against threats from Russia.

Earl and Reeves are due to appear at the Old Bailey on May 10, along with three other men who have been charged with related offenses. The investigation highlights the ongoing concern about Russian interference and the need for robust laws and enforcement to counter hostile activity.

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