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Russia’s hand suspected in Kyiv clashes

Russia’s hand suspected in Kyiv clashes
Article by: Taras Klochko
Translated by: Anna Mostovych

The current unrest by the Parliament building has reminded us once again that the infamous “titushky” (hired thugs used by the Yanukovych regime to attack Maidan protestors — Ed.) have not fled the country together with Yanukovych. They remain a tool of foreign influence in Ukrainian politics.

The current session of the Verkhovna Rada, which was to be the last one for the deputies of this term, was accompanied by street riots, which culminated in a somewhat feeble attempt to storm the legislative building.

At the same time as the MPs were voting for anti-corruption laws and attempting to scrape up needed votes for the recognition of UPA soldiers as combatants in the Second World War, aggressive young men with Svoboda and Right Sector symbols were staging fights with police, throwing firecrackers and explosive packets, and even using slingshots to break windows.

riots2The disruptions ended after the closing of the plenary session. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries. However, the reason for such violence on the part of the demonstrators apparently was not due to the activities of the parliamentarians, who in disciplined fashion voted for all the anticorruption laws. They even tried six times to correct the historical record regarding the UPA but lacked sufficient votes, which, in fact, is not surprising considering how and under what government the current parliamentarians had been elected. Moreover, fighting with the Verkhovna Rada, which is holding its last session before early elections is, at the very least, pointless.

The reason for the current unrest comes from the same source as yesterday’s actions by the National Guard conscripts near the Presidential Administration building. Few people have any doubt that the destabilization of the situation in Ukraine is especially beneficial for the Kremlin, and that all these provocative protest actions have undoubtedly been organized with the help of the FSB (Federal Security Service) or other Russian security services.

In recent days it has become clear that the Kremlin is definitely leaning toward the scenario of a frozen military conflict in the Donbas. Thus, Putin has suspended the destruction of Ukraine from the outside through direct military action and has returned to the old methods of destroying Ukraine from within, using the forces of the fifth column, who have been feeling quite comfortable all this time.

One should not forget that during the Yanukovych era in Ukraine an extensive and well-organized network of so-called titushky was active, whose main task was to create battles and provocations during mass events. Although the titushyky schemes were uncovered, most of their organizers were never punished and up to this day are being used as provocateurs whose job is to incite youth to illegal actions. It is worth noting that immediately after the events near the Parliament, both Svoboda and the Right Sector disowned any involvement of their activists in the riots. Instead, it was reported that the provocateurs of Dmytro Korchynskyi were seen among the rioters. The last time he was this visible was during the confrontations with the Yanukovych administration on December 1, 2013. At that time, most of the Maidan participants openly declared that Korchynskyi was a provocateur. We should also keep in mind that Korchynskyi’s wife, Oksana, is running for a seat in the Verkhovna Rada on the list of Oleh Liashko, who has been accused, with some justification, of collaborating with the former head of Yanukovych’s administration Serhiy Liovochkin.

riots3The riot participants who spoke to Espreso.TV journalists stated that they are not activists in any political party, that nobody organized or directed them, and that they supposedly “arrived in Kyiv on their own initiative.” However, to believe that today’s riots, which in reality had no serious basis, were the result of spontaneous anger by masses of people is extremely difficult.

Thus, we can state that the Kremlin inspired “protest actions” in Ukraine are continuing and probably will intensify at least until the elections. In this situation, Ukrainians must not forget who benefits from destabilizing the situation in the country and must not allow themselves to be blindly drawn into provocations. The law enforcement agencies must work on better prevention in order to minimize the destructive impact of the provocateurs.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
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