Russian Active Measures Used to Attack Ukrainian Civil Society

Russia, Ukraine

After the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine in 2014, the Kremlin launched a full-scale disinformation campaign against Ukraine. Russian special services are deeply involved in these actions. Agents from the FSB, the Russian special services, have been trying to infiltrate Ukrainian organizations and civil society. Volunteers say that these activities are widespread. Our journalists took a look into the Kremlin’s shadowy tactics.

Russian special services have been heavily involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. From their officers commanding the so-called ‘separatist’ forces to cyber attacks and old-school spying, Russian authorities have pulled out all the stops in order to damage Ukraine. Here’s an example: there is an organization formed by Ukrainians veterans from the conflict to help other veterans in trouble. After one of their public events, a girl started texting the leader of the group. They began talking about music. Later her husband joined the conversation.

“We found out that in 2015 the man fought in the ranks of the so-called “DPR”. He started telling us that they got interested in our activity and offered to organize paid demonstrations and provide money for them,” said Yevhen Chepelianskyi, Head, “Syndicate” Human Rights Association.

After studying the pages in social networks, human rights activists were sure: their new “friends” were working for the Russian special services. It turned out that these people were involved in the notorious organization “Nazhdak”, which executes political orders of the Kremlin. Its leader Nikolay Dulsky fled to Russia and, according to the Security Service of Ukraine, was engaged in organizing the shelling of the Consulate General of Poland in Lutsk and blocking an international highway in the Lviv region.  Chepelianskyi tells how with the help of activists, one of the provocateurs was detained:

“That man claimed that he had arrived in Kyiv from Zaporozhzhia on the instructions of his friend Denys Lotov to organize a paid demonstration. Several groups of people were informed about it. Then the police detained 34 people (workers from other regions and homeless persons). They were hired that morning at the railway station, they were paid 20 dollars each. Those people changed into a military uniform for persuasiveness.”

The hired protestors perform provocative tasks: they break bottles and throw smoke bombs. These provocative actions are beneficial for Russian special services because they lead to an aggravation of the political situation in Ukraine. Experts say that the Kremlin authorities have long been working on a plan to eliminate the independence of Ukraine with the help of Ukrainians.

“Now the main goal is to escalate the situation and cause a civil war. If in your organization there is a personnel policy and registration on paper, and meanwhile the administration conducts active political actions, then ask yourself questions. What is the reason for your registration?” says Yuriy Kolesnikov, Military Expert.

Traditionally, the number of Russians wishing to cross the Ukrainian border increases in the autumn. Yuriy Kolesnikov states increased border controls between on the Russian border, as proposed by the National Security Council, is a justified step.

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