Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Ukrainian Diversions on Russian Territory a Real Threat, FSB General Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 5 – FSB General Vladimir Kulishov, head of the Russian border guards service, warns that there is a danger that Ukrainian diversionary groups will enter Russia and carry out terrorist attacks, a danger one analyst sees intensifying at present as a result of the escalation of military actions in the Donbass.

            Aleksandr Shatilov, dead of the sociology and political science faculty of Russia’s Finance University, seconds Kulishov’s words and says that he expects the danger of Ukrainian penetration of Russian territory and the carrying out of terrorist actions will only grow if violence in the Donbass intensifies (realtribune.ru/news/world/896).

            The 2014 Minsk Accords, he continues, “were intended to reduce tensions not only between Ukraine and the republics of the Donbass but also to normalize Russian-Ukrainian relations. However, alas, this didn’t happen.”  Instead, Kyiv with the backing of the United States continued to “provoke tensions” in both directions.

            Ukrainian forces, he continues, shelled the Donbass and sent in diversionary groups to destabilize the situation. “Approximately the same tactic is being used against Russia, although in somewhat different forms,” including the seizure of the Nord in the Sea of Azov and the involvement of Ukrainian activists in unsanctioned meetings in Russia.

            “Therefore, Shatilov says, “I would not exclude threats of terrorist actions and diversions on the territory of Russia from Ukraine, especially if Kyiv again provokes an escalation of military actions in the Donbass.”

            Kulishov and Shatilov’s words, of course, should be read not as a description of Ukrainian plans but of Russian ones that Moscow will hope to blame on Ukraine – and that of course, especially given the reference to the Nord, makes it likely that Russian forces are planning major provocations likely to be followed by new military action against Ukraine.

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