A Russian player of ice hockey is accused of spying by Poland

Stick and puck for ice hockey. File picture

According to Warsaw, an ice hockey player from Poland's top division has been accused of spying for Russia.

The man, a Russian citizen, is thought to be a member of a Russian spy ring and was detained on June 11 in Silesia, southern Poland.

14 people have been detained by Poland's Internal Security Agency (ABW) on suspicion of being associated with the ring so far.

They are all listed as being residents of nations to the east of Poland, not just Russia.

Since February 2022, when Moscow began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the long-running spy war between Russia and the West has become more intense.

Poland is one of Ukraine's strongest allies, offering both financial and military support as well as providing refuge to millions of Ukrainian refugees.

The player was playing for a team in the nation's Ligue 1, which is the second-highest division, according to a statement released on Friday by Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro.

The minister announced that a spy who pretended to be an athlete had been apprehended. The player who was taken into custody was unnamed, but Maksim S. was the suspect, according to a number of Polish media outlets.

He is currently being held in pre-trial custody. He could receive a 10-year sentence if found guilty.

A public statement from the accused ice hockey player has not yet been made.

Reuters news agency quoted the Russian embassy in Warsaw as saying that it "does not comment on such topics.".

The suspected Russian spy ring, according to Polish authorities, was employed by Moscow to conduct intelligence operations, including the monitoring of railways and the dissemination of disinformation about Poland and the Nato military alliance.

Additionally, the authorities asserted that the ring had prepared sabotage activities requested by Russian intelligence.

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