Two German-Russian men were arrested in Bavaria on suspicion of spying for Russia and planning blasts and arson attacks to undermine Berlin’s military support for Ukraine, German prosecutors said Thursday.

The pair, identified only as Dieter S. and Alexander J., were arrested in the city of Bayreuth in southeastern Germany on Wednesday, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

The main accused, Dieter S., is alleged to have scouted potential targets for attacks, “including facilities of the US armed forces” stationed in Germany.

Police officers also searched both men’s residences and workplaces on Wednesday.

They are suspected of “having been active for a foreign intelligence service” in what prosecutors described as a “particularly serious case” of espionage.

According to prosecutors, Dieter S. had been exchanging information with a person linked to Russian intelligence services since October 2023, discussing possible sabotage acts.

“The actions were intended, in particular, to undermine the military support provided from Germany to Ukraine against the Russian aggression,” prosecutors said.

The accused allegedly expressed readiness to “commit explosive and arson attacks mainly on military infrastructure and industrial sites in Germany”.

To this end, Dieter S. collected information about potential targets, “including facilities of the US armed forces”.

Fellow accused Alexander J. began assisting him in March 2024 at the latest, they added.

Dieter S. scouted some of the potential targets by taking photos and videos of military transport and equipment. He then allegedly shared the information with his contact person.

Dieter S. also faces a separate charge of belonging to a foreign terrorist organisation, as prosecutors strongly suspect he was a fighter of an armed unit of the so-called “People’s Republic of Donetsk” in eastern Ukraine in 2014-2016.

Germany has been shaken by several cases of alleged spying for Russia since the invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, amid suggestions that officials in Berlin are too sympathetic to Moscow.

A former German intelligence officer is currently on trial in Berlin, accused of handing information to Moscow that showed Germany had access to details of Russian mercenary operations in Ukraine. He denies the charges.

In November 2022, a German man was handed a suspended sentence for passing information to Russian intelligence services while working as a reserve officer for the German army.