A Russian citizen claiming to be a general in the FSB (Russia’s security agency) was arrested on October 23 near Kyiv for supporting terrorism and organizing “protests” and the illegal transfer of bodies, Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), stated at a press briefing on Friday, October 24, as reported by Interfax-Ukraine.
According to Nalyvaichenko, this individual organized and coordinated the so-called “protests” by soldiers of the National Guard of Ukraine near the Presidential Administration on October 13.
“This citizen of the Russian Federation named (Nikolai) Grechishkin presented himself as a general of the FSB. … We’re stating that this ‘puppet master,’ who has lived in the Kyiv Oblast for the past month, organized and coordinated …the so-called protest actions of the National Guard near the Presidential Administration,” he said, adding that the suspect is being questioned by Ukrainian law enforcement.
According to information posted on the SBU Press Center website, Nikolai Grechishkin is a resident of Moscow, a Russian staff officer, and a former Marine, who was recruited by the FSB. As cover, this person used the post of editor at the Internet publication Russian News.
During a search of Grechishkin’s residence, agents found a Russian-made RPG-26 “Aglen” disposable anti-tank rocket launcher, a grenade and small arms ammunition, a Russian Federation passport, several documents under different names, and identity documents as assistant deputy of the Russian State Duma and as deputy editor of Russian News. Agents also removed business cards of Russian officials in the Russian Defense Ministry and the Federal Migration Service of Russia, the agency reported.
The SBU report stated that Grechishkin has been on Ukrainian territory continuously since January, in violation of Ukrainian law, and has been carrying out FSB assignments to coordinate activities between the leaders of the illegal terrorist groups of the so-called LNR (Luhansk People’s Republic) and DNR (Donetsk People’s Republic) and the Russian intelligence service. With the help of administrators in Moscow, he also organized regular shipments of military equipment (armored “Tiger” military vehicles) to militant-controlled territory in Ukraine and transfers of mercenaries (including 130 tankers from Sverdlovsk and volunteers from among the radical Cossack units of the Russian Federation) to participate in combat actions against Ukrainian forces.
Additionally, Grechishkin managed the illegal shipments to Russia of bodies of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine and their criminal concealment. “By doing so he not only contributed to the commission of international crimes, but he also hindered the identification of bodies of deceased Russian citizens, whose mothers and wives are calling the SBU ‘hotline’ daily in search of their sons and husbands,” the SBU concluded.
As previously reported, Ukrainian National Guard soldiers in active service in the Kyiv Oblast (belonging to military units 3027, 3030, 3066) held a demonstration near the Presidential Administration on October 13 demanding to be demobilized.
The prosecutor for the Central Region of Ukraine is conducting an investigation into the apparent inaction on the part of the commanders of the National Guard military units regarding the prohibition to organize strikes by military personnel. The Chief Military Prosecutor of Ukraine, Anatoliy Matios, has reported that, according to information received by law enforcement, the National Guard soldiers were encouraged to participate in the protest through appeals in Russian social networks.