terça-feira, 27 de setembro de 2016

The FSB´s performance in the new military crisis in Ukraine

(Lubyanka building, in Moscow, the old headquarters of the feared KGB and current FSB. The service has undergone various nomenclatures since it´s founding in December 1917. It´s diffcult to know were its activity ends and begins the Russian state.)

In the previous text I commented that the main factor of the increasing military tension in Ukraine and the siege of the country by the Russian troops was the alleged attempt of terrorist attack by members of the Ukranian Minister of Defense´s Main Intelligence Directorate. According to the FSB, the Russian secret service, the evening of 6 to 7 August a group of seven people was arrested near Armyansk, in Crimea, with twenty homemade explosives and weapons belonging to the Ukranian army. Their goal would be sabotaging the peninsula´s infraestructure and undermine federal and regional elections held on September 18th. In attempting arrest of the group an FSB officer was killed and two other were injuried. Ukranian and Russian citizens, who would have collaborated with the group, were also arrested.

At the end of my review I said it was unlikely that the story released by the FSB report was true given the Russian secrete service´s history, successor of the famous Soviet KGB and from which Vladimir Putin himself emerged. But this conclusion was generic because I know too little about this body, which acts, as it´s name says, behind the scenes and is often object of discussion among analysts who have difficulty in mesuring it´s real power in Russia today.

(Ukranian political analysts Anton Shekovtsov: a leading researcher of the relanshionship between the Kremlin and the contacts network with the European far-right.)

The political analyst Anton Shekovstov presents a plausible explanation that enriches my previous analysis. According to the researcher, the accusation that Ukraine would be responsable to the terrorist attempt was highly unlikely because, although the country had received much Western aid in the crisis, the military aid with lethal weapons was nonexistent. Kiev cannot cope with an increase of Russian military activity. In this regard, the country is alone and it would be very counterproductive to perform a terrorist attempt that would result in the war´s intensification.

Shekovtsov says the attempted terrorist attack was a psychological operation (psyop) created by the FSB in the "Crimea situation" context whose goal was to increase pressure on Ukraine and Western countries that imposed economic sanctions against Russia. He explains that this situation has paralell with Trust Operation of the 1920s created by the Soviet secret service. At the time, OGPU (future KGB) created a false monarchist and anti-communist group to lure real militantes of these causes. As a result, the militants were gathered, identified and eliminated by the regime, as well dissolved their contacts network in the country and abroad.

(Officer identified with the acronym "FSB", in Russian, in and antiterrorist operation [would be in Crimea?]) 

The FSB would have created a false Ukraninan organization in Crimea to lure Ukranian nationalists and local sympathizers determined to re-establish the peninsula unity with the country or at least sabbotage the Russian occupation. The officers would have placed themselves as members of the Ukranian Minister of Defense´s Main Intelligence Directorate for the real militants to believe in the organization´s credibility and provided the held bombs and weapons. As result of the arrest of the alleged terrorists (deceived by FSB), Moscow accused Ukraine of being author of the plan presenting them as Kiev´s agents and, furthermore, it said it was useless to negotiations to the ceasefire.

Chronologically this operation makes sense when we consider that before the arrest of the alleged terrorists in the night of 7 to 8 August, on 6 there already had great movement of Russian convoys in the city of Kerch toward the Crimea. A war on the battlefield always comes accompained by a propaganda war which makes it more predictable understanding of the strategy, but when the secret service comes into play the problem´s calculation gets more complicated. Otherwise the secret service wouldn´t be "secret". It is there to create confusion, confuse the enemy and set the trap to the real fighters, such as the Ukranian nationalist militants who where presented as the real makers of terrorism while the war´s trap  was planned in Russia´s offices.

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