Staunton, December 30 – Four Moscow commentators with close ties to the Russian security services say that the Ukrainian special services are preparing to conduct terrorist actions and other “diversions” inside the Russian Federation, a charge that will dramatically increase tensions and may be presage Russian diversions that Moscow will blame on Ukrainians.
On the Versiya.ru portal, Ruslan Gorevoy presents such evidence as he says he has gathered on this issue and then surveys the opinions of Sergey Goncharov, head of the Alfa Group veterans organization, Aleksandr Mikhailov, a former FSB officer, Viktor Myasnikov, a spetsnaz veteran, and Nikolay Dimlevich, a high technology analyst, about it (versia.ru/articles/2014/dec/29/vzryv_bratskoy_lubvi).
Gorevoy begins by referring to the statement of Andrey Levus, a deputy in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada, a few days ago that Ukraine’s SBU is preparing terrorist acts in Russia and has spent some 50 million US dollars on that project. His comments are hardly the only indication of this possibility, however, the Versiya.ru writer says.
Former Ukrainian defense minister Anatoly Gritsenko and Verkhovna Rada deputy Dmitry Yarosh have said much the same thing, Gorevoy continues. And it is very likely that the case against SBU head Valentina Nalivaychenko will soon feature charges about this crime as well.
Gorevoy suggests that the Ukrainian special forces are already making use of anti-Moscow Chechens and Crimean Tatars, and he cites Moscow political analyst Lev Voroshilin’s comment that he has “no doubts in the inevitability” of terrorist actions by these people against Russia.
Kyiv is also planning to make use of ethnic Ukrainians in the Russian Federation regardless of whether they are Russian citizens, migrant workers, or refugees, and it is “preparing terrorists out of ethnic Russians and citizens of the Russian Federation” as well, Gorevoy says.
Vershilin says that “the conclusions are obvious.” Ukraine is preparing to launch “a terrorist war against Russia on its territory.” Anyone who “closes his eyes to this fact” is behaving in an irresponsible manner because a state that uses terrorists is a terrorist state, “although not from the point of view of the West, where terrorism directed against Russia isn’t terrorism.”
The four specialists Gorevoy spoke with were unanimous that Ukraine would almost certainly like to engage in such actions, but they expressed varying degrees of skepticism about Kyiv’s ability to do so.
Goncharov said that at present, the only group Ukraine has which could carry out such tasks is the SBU’s Alfa unit. It was created in Soviet times, the veteran says, “and we know that it has the potential” to do so. But Ukraine has only a handful of such people, and building up the requisite staff is “a question of more than one year.”
Mikhailov said the presence of a large number of Ukrainian refugees in Russia means that the potential for such diversionary attacks “theoretically” exists, but he said that “in order to carry them out, [Kyiv] needs not only people but also money and corresponding bases on the territory of Russia.” All of that is expensive, and it isn’t clear whether Kyiv has the resources.
Myasnikov said that “it is obvious that Kyiv wants to create a group” to eliminate opponents of the Ukrainian government if for nothing else. But even that is no easy thing to carry out. And Dimlevich noted that the Russian security agencies would be very alert to such a possibility and do everything necessary to block it.