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Russian Officer Arrested For Spying For Estonia

(RFE/RL) 10 January 2006 -- Russian security services have arrested a Russian serviceman suspected of spying for Estonia, a member of the NATO alliance.

Russian media today reported the man -- identified under his code name "Zaitsev" -- was arrested in St. Petersburg in late December.

He was detained when Federal Security Service (FSB) officers searched for illegal drugs on a passenger bus at the Russian-Estonian border. Instead, they discovered top secret materials allegedly smuggled out of a Russian navy shipyard. The 45 pages of secret designs were allegedly hidden in a children's toy box.

The media reports said the FSB allege that, over a number of years, Zaitsev gave secret information to a former Soviet military intelligence officer, Aleksandr Goncharov, who began working for Estonian counterintelligence after the demise of the Soviet Union.