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Russia Detains a French National Suspected of Collecting Military Data

WorldRussia Detains a French National Suspected of Collecting Military Data

Russian investigators said on Thursday that they had detained a French national in Moscow on suspicion of collecting intelligence about activities of the Russian military, adding to a list of foreign citizens held in the country since the invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian state news agency TASS identified the detained individual, citing its sources in law enforcement, as Laurent Vinatier. The agency said Mr. Vinatier was employed as a consultant at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, a Swiss-based nonprofit.

On its website, the center states that its mission is to “prevent and resolve armed conflicts around the world through mediation and discreet diplomacy.”

Responding to a request for comment, the nonprofit confirmed that Mr. Vinatier worked as an adviser and that he had been detained in Russia.

“We are working to get more details of the circumstances and to secure Laurent’s release,” the center said.

Mr. Vinatier has worked with the nonprofit since 2014 as adviser in its Russia/Eurasia program, according to his profile on the social network LinkedIn. He listed “facilitating meetings,” and “passing messages” as among his duties. He also worked as a risk adviser, researcher and lecturer at various schools and institutes, with Russia as his primary focus.


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