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The terrorist threat in Ukraine

Attack by Russian terrorists in Kharkiv, Ukraine
Attack by Russian terrorists in Kharkiv, Ukraine
The terrorist threat in Ukraine
Article by: Taras Klochko
Translated by: Anna Mostovych

On Sunday night in Kharkiv something happened that people have been predicting since spring this year — terrorist attacks have been launched against peaceful Ukrainian citizens on those territories where Russia has not succeeded in igniting war.

Late Sunday night, November 9, in the Kharkiv pub “Stina” (Wall) there was an explosion. It was extremely fortunate that no one was killed, but eleven people were injured, including two seriously. From the beginning no one doubted that this was a terrorist act, backed by Russian special services and terrorists from the so-called “DNR” and “LNR.” It is a fact that this pub has been a favorite gathering place for patriotic residents of Kharkiv, who also have been helping the Ukrainian military in the ATO zone. Therefore, the terrorist attack was directed first of all against Ukrainian patriots in order to frighten them, to curb their will to resist, and to extend the zone of instability and fear in Ukraine.

In Kharkiv they resorted to “classical” terrorist know-how: the explosive device was left near the pub’s bar in a package that appeared to have been left behind by a visitor. The managers at the establishment noticed this package but didn’t give it great importance, and a few minutes later there was an explosion.

The terrorist attack in the pub was preceded by a grenade launcher attack at a Kharkiv military recruitment office the day before. But if the attack on the military recruitment center, which is part of the military infrastructure, could be described as separatist sabotage, the explosion in the pub was an act of pure terrorism directed against civilians.

In fact, the possibility of terrorist attacks in the areas that adjoin the occupied territories has been discussed since spring this year. Several similar attempts have been prevented by law enforcement, but this time the plan was implemented successfully . Therefore, Ukrainians must now prepare for similar attacks in other cities as well. At greatest risk are the major cities in southern and eastern Ukraine. In addition to Kharkiv, they include Mariupol, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa, Kherson, Mykolayiv — in other words,  the territories that Putin for some reason considers as “Novorossiya.” But the possibility of terrorist attacks cannot be ruled out in the capital or in central or even western Ukraine.

Therefore, Ukrainian society and government have been issued a very serious challenge, and their future depends largely on their response. The government and law enforcement agencies must demonstrate that they are able to bring the situation under control and to ensure the safety of citizens. Society must show that it will not resort to panic and that it is ready to fully support law enforcement. The main burden of responsibility in this situation falls on the Security Service of Ukraine. In addition to reinforcing “preventive” anti-terrorist measures in the entire country, it must rapidly investigate the Kharkiv explosion. For the agency of Valentyn Nalyvaichenko (head of the Security Service of Ukraine — Ed.), this case should be a matter of pride; it must be investigated as soon and as professionally as possible. The sooner the perpetrators and organizers of this crime are identified and detained, the calmer and more confident citizens will feel. Any other development will be perceived by society as blatant incompetence by our intelligence services and is not acceptable.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
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