Ukraine: Festival of Disobedience

A terrorist boom has started in Ukraine. They mine trash bins, train stations, and kiosks in Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa (in some places even something explodes, but so far without victims); they take hostages in Lutsk and Poltava. In one week more than a dozen cases across the country.

At the same time, no one pays attention to the grenades thrown by the “heroes” and “cyborgs” who have lost their adequacy in restaurants and discos, as well as to the shootings of “local significance”, which replaced the ritual fights of pubertal village youth. In other words, a dozen or a half cases are just pure terrorism. If the statistics included all domestic gun fights, raiding, and random incidents, the news feed from Ukraine would consist of only shots and explosions.

However, for the past 6 years it has always been so. Domestic skirmishes, armed drunken fights, and raider attacks involving forces from both sides numbering from a company to a battalion have really become a Ukrainian routine that no one pays attention to. Cases classified as terrorism were rare. And it was mostly provocations of the SBU directed against anti-Maidan activists. Now it is the dam of terror that has burst. Politicians, authorities, and the people reacted to this event with equal indifference.

30 years ago the Circus Tour on Tsvetnoy Boulevard caused more excitement in Kiev than half a dozen explosions that took place and were prevented today. Politicians, on the other hand, rushed to discuss with the expert community whether the terrorist attack in Lutsk was a staged one or everything happened in an adult way. The discussion has a clear goal – to informally accuse a political opponent of staging a terrorist attack, to make it seem that the latter does not seem to have any grounds to justify himself, but a reminder remains in people’s memory.

The two main potential “stage actors” are Zelensky and Avakov. They were the ones who were able to take the credit for the bloodless release of hostages in Lutsk. However, we should not forget that Zelensky is the last person who needs to destabilise the situation and demonstrate the weakness of the government, which is forced to satisfy the whims of terrorists, because otherwise it cannot cope with them. Avakov is personally responsible for maintaining order in the country. One can, of course, say that terrorists are the sphere of activity of the SBU, but the people will not understand such subtleties. The people will complain to the “minister of police”, who has long declared himself the guarantor of security and stability in the country and claims to be somewhat charismatic.

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Moreover, as mentioned above, the attack in Lutsk was only the most noticeable, but not the only case in the past week or two. Zelensky and Avakov are not doing so well with “preventing” the rest. So the situation of terrorist danger in Ukraine, from my point of view, should be considered comprehensively.

It is clear that all this series of mine planting, explosions, and hostage-taking can not be a coincidence. Someone started to destabilise the situation in Ukraine.

One could have traditionally sinned against the Americans. But they are too busy with their own problems to actively engage in Ukrainian affairs. Without fully-fledged intervention, destabilisation is harmful for them, since it deprives Washington of even the appearance of control over what is happening. The Embassy is most likely in the know. It can even pretend that everything happens with their approval (so as not to lose face by admitting that it is not able to control the processes taking place in Ukraine and lead them), but the initiative does not come from the Americans.

I think that Kolomoisky was the main initiator of the destabilisation. Firstly, he has long been dissatisfied with Zelensky, who did not return PrivatBank to him, and recently completely distanced himself from the oligarch.

Secondly, it was in the interests of Kolomoisky that the so-called Derkach tapes were published, which, while formally incarcerated against Poroshenko, actually undermined Zelensky’s positions at home and abroad. The tapes dealt a blow to Zelensky’s relations with the American Democrats (and thus with Soros and Pinchuk), and also undermined the informal alliance of Zelensky and Poroshenko in the Rada, preventing the President from relying on a stable majority and forcing him to constantly search for situational coalitions.

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Thirdly, the media and individual journalists focused on Kolomoisky and his situational allies actively threw in the idea that “Poroshenko is preparing a coup for the autumn”. This is in the style of Kolomoisky – to attribute to another what you are going to do yourself (at the same time, you could additionally lay a bacillus of distrust in the relationship between Zelensky and Poroshenko). Poroshenko himself just planned to return to power with the support of Zelensky, having received the post of Prime Minister from his hands. By blocking this possibility, Kolomoisky deprived Zelensky of the systemic support of the last major financial and political group that was interested in stabilising the Zelensky regime if it turned into the Poroshenko/Zelensky regime, with the leading role of Prime Minister Poroshenko, who would be a candidate for the next presidential election.

Fourthly, it is Kolomoisky who continues to cooperate with Avakov, without whose support the destabilisation of the situation in the country is impossible. In recent weeks, just with the beginning of the terrorist boom, rumours started to spread from circles close to Kolomoisky that they had parted ways with Avakov, that he had become close to Zelensky, and so on. But this is also the style of Kolomoisky – to throw off the trace, to give false information to opponents.

I do not think that Kolomoisky or Avakov personally planned any of the terrorist attacks that hit Ukraine. The fact is that the police have their own criminal intelligence, which has agents in the criminal world. It is enough to give a verbal, nowhere recorded order – and the agents will be activated, having received a command from the curators to act in a certain way. Then they can arrange some actions on their own, and they can hire mentally unstable friends for more dangerous ones in the dark. Thus, without any formal participation and even without the knowledge of Kolomoisky/Avakov about specific planned actions, it is possible to cover the entire country with a blanket of terror in a matter of days. And no traces.

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Is the Kolomoisky/Avakov strategy a winning one?

Well. They have already managed to destabilise Ukraine. Leaving Zelensky without significant support and forming an oligarchic consensus against him of the same type that was formed against Poroshenko at the time also worked. Perhaps they will even be able to peacefully or non-peacefully push the current government and bring someone else in its place. But what next? Not only can they not offer the country a positive program, but they are not even able to stabilise the destabilised situation. The situation of the February 2014 putsch will be repeated, when its organisers thought that now they would shove Yanukovych out, and then continue to live like they did under him, but without him, and in the morning they woke up in another state, where the demand for many of them was in question, and the beneficiaries of the coup were completely different people.

Rostislav Ishchenko

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