A former "
" who admitted to having divulged American military secrets to Russia was sentenced Friday May 14 to more than fifteen years in prison, announced the Ministry of Justice.
Peter Debbins, 46, pleaded guilty to espionage on behalf of Russia in November 2020.
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Born in the United States of a Russian mother, he was approached by Moscow in 1996, even before joining the army. "
In 1997, Peter Debbins was given a code name by agents of the Russian intelligence services and signed a document attesting that he wished to serve Russia,
" according to a statement from the Ministry of Justice. Peter Debbins first served in the army, then was encouraged by Russian intelligence to join the "
", an elite unit of special forces, where he obtained the rank of captain. All these years he provided them with information about his units, according to this document.
In 2008, after leaving active service, he also gave them confidential information about his past activities in the "
" and about his former teammates, so that the Russians could try to recruit them. According to the indictment, the former soldier was stationed in Germany and then in Azerbaijan, with high-level security clearance. His last contact with Russia dates back to 2011. "
Debbins violated his oath as an army soldier, betrayed the special forces and endangered the security of our country,
" commented the deputy minister of Justice for National Security Matters, John Demers.His conduct "
reflects the threat that Russian intelligence poses to our military
", he added.