Illustration by Russell Jackson
Article by: Kseniya Kirillova
The current lull in the Donbas should not be misleading according to the Director of the Centre for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Valentine Badrak. According to him, at present Putin is caught in an obvious inability to step back from the idea of the struggle with the West over Ukraine, moreover, in Ukraine itself.
“Watered-down and over-edited, the plan became more complex technologically, although less bloody. The idea of a just war is preserved in order to become a threat indefinitely, perhaps for the next decade,” he said in an interview with our publication.
According to the expert, the validity of this conclusion is supported by Moscow’s decision to create a powerful military base near the eastern border of Ukraine, as well as the imposition of the deployment of the same base in Belarus. This does not abate the confrontation between Moscow and Washington. In particular, the US is actively smuggling weapons in the Baltic countries, and has resumed operations at its military base in Germany, etc.
Valentine Badrak has said: now the Kremlin has put the centre of gravity inside Ukraine, relying on subversive war.
“At this stage, the Russian government is trying to minimize the rating of the presidential and prime minister’s party, to get to the top of the Ukrainian political pro-Russian forces, intensify the activities of agents of influence, intelligence network, sabotage groups, to achieve chaos in society by terrorist acts and violent statements and provocations by radical groups “from the people,” the expert believes.
Valentin Badrak knows first-hand the methods of the Russian secret services and their agents in his homeland. Being not only a military expert, but also a writer, he has published in 2011 his novel “Eastern Strategy,” dedicated to the work of the Russian special services on the territory of Ukraine in 2006-2010.
“The supreme military and political leadership of Russia decided to conduct active work to force the failure of Ukraine from turning to the West and promote regime change. We need to strengthen the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea and recover the lost republic in the wake of our foreign policy. In short, forty-seven million democratic zombies must be put in their historical place,” says the author from his book, dating from 2006.
In an interview with our site Valentin Badrak has told us what was expressed in the actions of agents of the Kremlin in those days, when an invitation to prepare for Kyiv to join NATO was destroyed.
“In 2006-2010, the Kremlin focused on the support of Ukrainian politicians and tycoons, pushed by Russian political and economic projects in Ukraine. Notable items have been achieved not only in Parliament but also in the executive branch. Also, the Russians sought a critical dependence of Ukraine in the production of arms and military equipment, intending to take over key enterprises: “Antonov” Research and Production Complex “Zorya-Mashproekt” and others. In Ukraine, Moscow pulled dozens of its editions, which later turned into an outpost of the Kremlin imposing installations in the mental mechanism for injections. Naturally, the mass began to spread political and social movements with Russian roots and ideas – such as the “Russian World” or “Ukrainian choice,” he enumerates.
According to experts, the Russian special services began probing the reaction of Kyiv on purely military incidents – for example, on the landing of marines in 2006, right on the beach in Feodosia, and the failure of the international military exercises “Sea Breeze” with the Americans. At the same time the Kremlin has actively worked to develop its network of agents of influence in Europe, and in parallel on Russian television created a negative image of Ukraine.
This information is confirmed by other sources. So, this summer, the network widely dispersed a text entitled “The Fighting Path of the FSB in Ukraine,” which detailed painted actions of the Russian security services in the neighboring country, starting from the moment of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The article lists the specific facts of falsification of the election results, blackmail and physical elimination of unwanted politicians and businessmen, bribing officials and oligarchs, etc.
During the reign of Yanukovych, pressure on the authorities of the Security Services of Ukraine by the Russian FSB was carried out in the open. Security officers have acted directly, in fact openly. One especially vivid presence of the Russian Special Services in Ukraine, was manifested during the EuroMaidan Protests.
“A state of Government betrayal lies in the fact that three times in Kyiv there came senior officials from the Federal Security Service – officers and generals, who personally engaged in the former management of the SBU. It did not just collaborate with the Russians, and provided them with accommodation in special facilities of the SBU, it provided special communication and access to a special area, and even to the central premises of the Services,” said Valentin Nalyvaychenko the then former Chairman of the SBU, in an interview with the newspaper “Den” in April this year.
Here Nalyvaychenko said that there were occasions when for a whole day or two, whole blocks of the central premises was closed for Ukrainian Security Service employees, because it was occupied by the FSB. He noted that this was coordinated by Russian presidential adviser Russia Vladislav Surkov. According to Nalyvaychenko, Surkov also visited Ukraine during security forces operations against EuroMaidan activists.
Furthermore, based on information from the “information resistance,” a list of officers of various Russian law enforcement agencies was published, who arrived in Ukraine on Feb. 20, 2014. According to Valentin Nalyvaychenko, they have developed an operation to clean up the Maidan, and the then former head of the SBU Alexander Yakimenko, “came the report of these groups.”
Based on all these facts, Valentin Badrak makes the following assumptions about the next actions of Russia in Ukraine:
“First, we should expect activation of all these techniques and methods, only in a refined, polished form. Second, the increased risks of using previously applied methods of influence, involving the murder, undermining, beatings, and torture. Third, we can expect an even greater level of bribery, fraud, blackmail, economic blockades. And fourth, it is necessary to wait for the expansion and intensification of the European front – Putin behaves provocatively towards Europe with the aim to wrest a compromise with regard to Ukraine.”
The analysts stressed that Russia remains the only country in the world that actively conducts reconnaissance and subversive activities in Ukraine. The same opinion is shared by the ex-deputy chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine and the former head of the General Intelligence Defence Ministry of Ukraine Oleksandr Skipalsky. General Skipalsky is also sure that all the Russian ideological centres and intelligence agencies operating in Ukraine is not so much in order to obtain information as to impact the mission, which is to change Ukraine’s foreign policy.
“Well, Russia used acid to burn out soul of Ukrainian pacifism. The Kremlin teaches us every day to be tougher, to be able to respond to new threats. Ukraine, which in the past year significantly strengthened civil society should use this undeniable trump card in the fight against the plague of Putin,” concludes Valentin Badrak