The governor of the southern region around Mykolaiv in Ukraine is offering $100 for information about Russian spies, with the city looking to reduce the intensified shelling from Russia in recent days.
Gov. Vitaliy Kim announced the bounty offer on his government Telegram account on Monday. Some of the region's settlements have fallen to Russia, but most of them are still in Ukraine's hands. Nevertheless, cities have been relentlessly bombarded, often with the help of locals, the government believes, who are feeding information about the Ukrainian army's positions to Russia.
"I'll personally give $100 to anyone who helps us find these people," Kim promised.
He explained that Ukrainian Security Services have been looking for people who have been selling strategically sensitive information to Russia since the start of the war in February. They are usually recruited through messaging apps, like Telegram or Viber.
"We're catching them, one by one. The Security Services are doing a great job, but we need to help them," Kim wrote.
Since Monday, more than 100 people have come forward with information, Kim wrote, although many of the reports are unreliable. The deluge of tips is being processed by an "analysis center" of the Security Services of Ukraine. Kim has not specified what the "center" really is or how it works, but he claimed that an agency intended solely to capture Russian spies has been active in Mykolaiv since March.
"Russians usually offer about 1,500 hryvnas ($50) for information they deem useful," he said during a press conference a few days after the reward announcement, adding that "most people refuse the money and just want to help."
In Nikopol, another frontline town in the southeast of Ukraine, local officials are offering a $100 reward as well, according to Evhen Evtushenko, head of the regional administration there.
"Call the police and hand over whomever you're suspecting to be a spy, then we will ask you for any information you have on the person in my private message on Facebook. If everything checks out, you will receive $100," Evtushenko said in a Telegram message.
He added that he's looking for people operating drones, painting unrecognizable signs on buildings and infrastructure or video recording infrastructure for seemingly no reason.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.