The Security Service of Ukraine has arrested members of an extremist group in Odesa who were planning scenes of violence for the benefit of Russian TV. As reported by the SBU press service, April 25, this group called itself the “Rapid Response Brigade” and has been active in the Odesa area since April this year.
The leader of the group, “BOR,” a 35-year-old resident of Odesa and former longtime resident of Crimea, had developed and posted on the Internet a “Plan for seizing power” with specific recommendations for armed resistance to the government, SBU reports on its website.
According to the SBU, members of this extremist group had actually been commissioned by one of the Russian TV channels and received financial rewards for each organized incident, thereby creating needed “footage” for Russian TV broadcasters.
Furthermore, members of the group distributed inflammatory materials promoting the violent overthrow or destruction of the constitutional order or the seizure of state power. They carried out all kinds of provocations and extremist activities and provided guidance on the manufacture of so-called Molotov cocktails. In addition, they intimidated citizens who supported Euromaidan and set fire to offices, private buildings, apartments, cars, and shops, SBU states.
The group members relied on conspiratorial methods, including false auto registration plates, code words, balaclava masks, and such. During the night of April 20, the group tried to set fire to one of Odesa’s supermarkets.
SBU has established that the attackers were planning a provocation for May 9 (Victory Day). To use their own words, they were preparing to “cynically terrorize” veterans and then to place the blame on pro-Ukrainian forces.
On April 25, the SBU detained five members of this criminal gang as they were attempting to set fire with Molotov cocktails to one of the branches of JSC PryvatBank.
During the inspection of the car used by the detainees, firearms with ammunition and remains of inflammatory mixtures were found. Video recording equipment that the gangsters used to record their illegal actions was found as well.
The Office of the Security Service of Ukraine in Odesa has initiated criminal proceedings according to Article 109 (acts aimed at the violent overthrow or change of the constitutional government or the seizure of state power) and Chapter 2, Article 194 (deliberate destruction or damage of property) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
Translated by Anna Mostovych