Crimean Saboteurs: “Expert” Turned out to Be a Professional Spy

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


“The FSB of the Russian Federation on 9th November 2016 in Sevastopol arrested members of a sabotage and terrorist group of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, who planned acts of sabotage on objects of military infrastructure and life support of the Crimea Peninsula. From the detainees was seized an explosive device of great power, weapons and ammunition, tools, means of special communications, and other material evidences of their criminal activities, including map schematics of the objects of the alleged acts of sabotage,”
is a stingy-on-the-details message on the official website of the Russian FSB, which blew up today not only Ukrainian politicians and the media singing along with them, but the part of the Western press that usually stands on the side of the various color revolutions, coups, and other interventions in the affairs of other States.

Regardless that the FSB did not inform about the individuals detained, the Ukrainian press and the screens of Ukrainian TV immediately began to whitewash them. Also, the hordes of “Meduza”, “Echo of Moscow”, “TvRain”, “German waves” and “Radio Svoboda” joined this process. At first, the detained by FSB citizens were presented as innocent sheep, who even could not imagine to do something more serious than just pump iron in Yevpatoria’s sport complexes, or to gather for get-togethers with former classmates.

However, when it came to classmates, pastoral pictures of the lives of “ordinary people” ceased to take form, it became clear that one of the saboteurs, Dmitry Shtyblikov, passed his “graduation day” very strangely. Dressed in uniform, he and his studying partners at the Kiev Frunze Military Academy, near the spy school in Perevalnoye, liked to remember their native faculty of intelligence. It’s true that the brother of Shtyblikov denies the involvement of his relative in Ukrainian intelligence, despite his specialized education, and he explains the strange pictures by old times – like, it happened before Crimea became Russian. What is interesting is that a call of rebuttal was made in the editorial office of the TV channel “TvRain”. Even more interesting is the publication date of Shtyblikov photos of military equipment – 2nd Jan 2014. It is exactly the time when Maidan was in turmoil in Kiev, and the bonus – the US wanted to get Crimea. In this troubled time Shtyblikov and his friends in intelligence were having fun with airsoft guns.

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Later on his page on social networks, the brother of the detainee Shtyblikov will write: “Simferopol is occupied by “‘little green men'”. Apparently, the Shtyblikov’s were preparing for a very different kind of development of events.

It also became clear that Dmitry Shtyblikov and the second detainee in Sevastopol, by the FSB, Alexei Bessarabov, worked in NOMOS – a Ukrainian NGO. The full name of the organization speaks for itself: the Center for assistance to the geopolitical problems and euroatlantic cooperation of the Black sea region studies “NOMOS”. The organization positioned itself as researching, at that it was researching very specific issues related to national security, European and Euro-Atlantic integration in the strategically important for US and NATO region – in Crimea. “NOMOS” fruitfully (for the Western “friends of Ukraine”) worked since 2003, placing its headquarters in Sevastopol and reaching in its studies as far as the Caspian sea. Since 2006, the NGO “NOMOS” received the status of the task group NATO-Ukraine Partnership Network on issues of economic security under the auspices of the joint working group on issues of military reform.

Dmitry Shtyblikov in “NOMOS” held the post of head of international programs. His colleague Bessarabov, also worked on the “Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Ukraine” in Sevastopol, conducting research on military exercises conducted by the Russian Federation on the land and at sea (not necessarily in Crimea), studied the relation of the Crimea and Sevastopol people to NATO, and possible stationing of NATO ships in Crimea, and also the influence of political forces opposed to the Euro-Atlantic partnership.

He was publishing detailed photoreports on how residents of Sevastopol met the American warships, wrote articles for the leading Ukrainian media with titles in the style of “Sevastopol will not be without NATO.” In 2013, Bessarabov went to Warsaw to study the promotion of Euro-Atlanticism for the money of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation and the German Marshall Fund.

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One of the largest clients of “NOMOS” research was the “Revival” Fund of Soros. What to do without him?

In the spring of 2014, after the joining of Crimea to the Russian Federation, “NOMOS” sharply curtailed their research activities. What the NGO workers were doing after this, nobody knows. Attempts by the Ukrainian side, the Russian opposition media and the “Western voices” to present the case in such a way that the FSB detained simple “experts” and “journalists” that compromised themselves with the military images of “expert” Shtyblikov in Perevalnoye.


Although, it’s possible that the Crimean saboteurs are not at all the employees of “NOMOS”, but completely other people, whose names were not yet officially pronounced. It is strange that the defenders of “NOMOS” got so excited and started to write themselves about who was detained. Following the telephone call to “TvRain”.

As a reminder, the Leninsky regional court of Sevastopol made the decision to arrest all three detainees by the FSB on the 9th of November.

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