THE State Security Service of Georgia announced today that it foiled a plan by a Ukrainian to smuggle explosive devices from his country to Russia through Georgian territory.

The internal security service of this South Caucasus country seized the cargo, which had departed from Odessa, Ukraine bound for the Russian port of Voronezh.

According to the same source, the explosives were hidden in a shipment of car batteries that entered Georgia in January by land from Ukraine via Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey and was seized at Georgia’s border with Russia. In particular, three of the devices were seized at a border point between Georgia and Russia and another three were found in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, according to the Georgian authorities.

In a statement, the Georgian security service said the shipment of explosives arrived in Georgia in a minivan owned by a Ukrainian and was to be taken to Voronezh, a Russian city about 180 kilometers from the Ukrainian border.

The cargo contained 14 kilograms of C-4 explosive.

THE Andrei Tsarachitzea Ukrainian of Georgian descent, is accused of masterminding the operation.

Seven Georgians, three Ukrainians and two Armenians would be involved in the transport without knowing that it contained explosives, security services added.

The relationships between Kyiv and Tbilisi they were further exacerbated when Georgian authorities arrested Mikheil Saakashvili, the Caucasian country’s former pro-Western president, who also holds Ukrainian citizenship, in 2021.

In 2022, Russian investigators announced that a shipment of explosives used in an attack that severely damaged the Crimean bridge that year had entered Russia from Ukraine via a similar route.

Ukrainian security services, which have claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on Russian targets, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

THE government of Georgiawhich says it opposes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and wants to ensure the conflict does not spill over into its own territory, has faced accusations of being tacitly pro-Russian since the war broke out in February 2022.

In September 2023, Georgia accused a senior Ukrainian official of plotting a coup to topple the government.

In July, Ukraine ordered Georgia’s ambassador to leave the country, a year after recalling its representative in Georgia.

THE Georgian government accused of cozying up to Russia, whose forces invaded this former Soviet republic in the Caucasus in 2008.

As a result, ties between Tbilisi and Kyiv are becoming increasingly strained.