At a time when some in the West appear to be wondering whether there are any committed reformers in the Ukrainian government, a Kyiv journalist has reminded the world about the widespread presence within that regime and Ukrainian elites more generally of Russian moles who continue to promote Moscow’s policies.
In an interview given to Olena Poskanna of the GordonUA.com portal, Serhiy Kulida, who has been writing about espionage matters in Russia, the US and Ukraine for some years, says that “the Ukrainian ruling elites, if they are not directly cooperating with Russian special services, then at least play up to them.”
“FSB ‘moles’ or their agents,” he continues, “to the present day penetrate many Ukrainian state structures. One need not be an analyst to understand this.” And one cannot understand what is going one in the government, the parliament or the army without taking that reality into account.
Kulida does not give any names, but his warning is important not only at present when Moscow is stepping up its pressure on Kyiv but also in the future when the Russian government appears likely to continue its campaign to weaken the Ukrainian state and hold it within Moscow’s sphere of influence.
The problem about talking about this issue is that even raising it has the effect of helping Moscow at least in the short term. If Ukrainians or others conclude that the Ukrainian elites are completely penetrated, both some of the first and some of the latter will decide that Kyiv is beyond saving.
But if this issue is not addressed – and given the continuing hostility of most Western governments to any serious program of lustration in the former Soviet world, it is unlikely to be anytime soon – that will only lengthen the period in which these nations will remain poisoned by the Soviet past and lead to more tragedies.