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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Bad communication or botched mission? The media reported on the conflicts between the special services of Ukraine

After the murder of Denisa Kireeva, a member of the Ukrainian delegation during the negotiations with the Russian Federation, GUR and SBU obviously reconciled. After all, this is not the first situation of conflict between the special services. DW talks about it.

On January 23, the Main Intelligence Office of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (GUR MO) and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) shared a photo of their leaders: they posed side by side in front of a map of the country with stones faces. “Kirill Budanov and Vasiliy Malyuk held a joint working meeting (…) The heads of the two departments are coordinating their actions (…) Rumors of a misunderstanding between the heads are hostile accounts,” the press service said. of the department.

Rumors spread as early as the second week after US publication The Wall Street Journal shed light on the mysterious story of the March 2022 murder of Denisa Kireeva, a member of the Ukrainian delegation to the first military negotiations with the Russian Federation. . GUR was called a deceased hero, and SBU was called a traitor.

2022: Banker-negotiator

Oh, that’s it Ubili Kireeva, employee of the SBU When detained in Kiev, the first to report on March 5, 2022, People’s Deputy and former journalist Alexander Dubinsky. He knew the deceased as a top executive of major state banks and was surprised that he was included in the Ukrainian delegation for negotiations with Russia. Later, several newspapers, citing sources from the special services, wrote that the SBU shot Kireeva for insubordination.

Then GUR in his message mentioned Kireev as one of the three state employees who died while performing a special task. “They were professionals, dedicated to their work and to the defense of Ukraine,” the scout said.

And nearly a year later, Kirill Budanov told the WSJ that Kireev infiltrated Russian military intelligence on his behalf in 2021 provided valuable information. In particular, on the eve of the Russian invasion, he announced his intention to launch an amphibious assault on Antonov airport. Kireeva also sent the head of the GUR to the negotiations – ten years ago he met with two members of the Russian delegation. “The main task we gave him is to drag out the process in order to save time,” Budanov explained in an interview with Radio Svoboda.

According to the intelligence chief, on the day of the murder, Kireev was to travel to Belarus by train for a new round of negotiations. But before the train he was summoned to an urgent meeting at the counterintelligence department of the SBU. Not far from the building, special forces of the SBU stopped a special car scout, arrested Kireeva, put him in a minibus, and a few blocks later he was shot and thrown into the street.

Kireeva’s death as a murder is currently under investigation by the State Investigation Bureau. The SBU has not yet given its version of events. Mikhail Podolyak, chief adviser in the president’s office, believes that the cause of Kireeva’s death was “miscommunication between the special services”. Budanov rejects this explanation and blames Russia for the work of the deceased. He says he knows the names of the killers and is sure they deliberately wanted to sabotage Kireeva’s negotiation mission.

2015: Buddhist Terrorist

“Sometimes such terrible cases have happened before. It’s so scary, how could it be. But the problems were older,” Budanov says of the murder.

Clashes between the Secret Service usually take place in private, but draw attention when they escalate into shootouts in the middle of town. This happened on December 10, 2015, when the SBU reported on “the special operation to stop the activities of the sabotage and intelligence group” – during the storming of an apartment in the capital Oboloni, an “Alfa” special forces fighter was killed, and another was seriously injured. The DRG special forces commander was shot in response.

Then the SBU arrested another group of seven participants, including three citizens of the Russian Federation. According to information from the special service, he was ordered by the FSB, or planned terrorist attacks in Ukrainian cities with the aim of destabilizing the situation. But when the name of the slain commander became known, his acquaintances began to doubt this version.

Alexey Muzhchil, 50, was known one year under the pseudonym of Dorje Zambo as a co-founder of the first Donetsk Buddhist society, and the second under the nickname Lesnik as commander of the nationalist organization “Trizub” . According to him, Mujchil fought in Chechnya alongside local separatists, and in 2014 – as part of the “right sector” volunteer detachments. In public messages, he even criticized the Ukrainian authorities, President Petro Poroshenko, and even called for an armed struggle against them.

One of the Russian women detained – Olga Sheveleva – confirmed that the group led by Lesnik was indeed planning sabotage. But not in kyiv and Kharkov, but in the occupied territories of Donbass and the Russian Federation. Lesnik said that we are working legally – with the Main Intelligence Office of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. On the same basis, we signed a cooperation document with GUR,” Sheveleva told “Fakty” newspaper after her release from prison. The final verdict is still pending against the suspected terrorist group.

2020-2021: “illegal armed training”, as well as DRG and CHVK

Five years later, the shooting with the arrest of the DRG was repeated in kyiv, with no casualties. On July 8, 2020, the SBU arrested in Poznyak Andrey Baidal, a Swede, whom the Russian media described as an organizer of attacks against the leaders of the self-proclaimed “DNR”. including Alexandra Zakharchenko. And the next morning, “Alpha” Yakov stormed the base of the “illegal armed formation” in the Donetsk region, where they detained eight fighters and a large arsenal of illegal weapons.

A few months later, after being released from prison, Colonel VSU Mikhail Nikolov told “” that the NVF in Sweden was in fact a secret subversive unit of the GUR. Detention by the SBU, according to Nikolova, was a preparation tailor’s special operation on the release of Ukrainian prisoners from the Donetsk prison “Isolation”. “The SBU knew the purpose of our operation since August 2019,” the military said. In February 2022, the case against the “Shveda” group was closed.

The SBU called the private military company Donbas Battalion Corp. illegal armed training Semena Semenchenko – the adventurous commander of the battalion of the same name at the beginning of the ATO, then – the people’s deputy. In March 2021, the SBU was accused of illegal stockpiling of weapons, and later – of bombing the TV channel “112” from a grenade launcher. Semenchenko claimed that in fact a partisan detachment was being prepared under the supervision of military intelligence. Finally, after the Russian invasion, the head of the GUR, Kirill Budanov, asked the court for the release of the commander of the “Donbas”. Semenchenko was released under house arrest, however, from time to time they are allowed to go to the front “to plan and implement military operations”, British media company BBC said.

Export-import of arms

The conflict between the “chekists” and intelligence officers has been going on since the creation of the GUR MO, the first head of the department, Alexander Skipalsky, said in several interviews.

However, this does not prevent them from exchanging personnel and agents – Skipalsky himself at one time came to the military intelligence of the SBU, and then returned to the special service.

According to him, the subject of disputes between secret agencies was initially the export of Ukrainian arms – the sale of Soviet stocks in 1990-2000 should have brought billions of dollars to the state. But, according to the conclusions of the parliamentary commission, the arsenal was looted before the eyes, the illegal trade and the case led to international scandals. In the end, the SBU took control of the operation, so that almost all of the Ukrainian arms dealers and middlemen were agents of the special service.

In particular, Boris Herman, the co-owner of the Schmeisser arms company, who was accused by the SBU in the summer of 2018 of ordering the murder of a Russian in kyiv, called himself that. publicist Arkadia Babchenko. Admittedly, the “murder” was staged by the special service itself, but its head at the time, Vasiliy Hrytsak, claimed that the special operation made it possible to obtain a list of about 40 more people whom the Russian special services intended to kill with German mediation. .

Herman pleaded guilty in court, but claimed he also tampered with the order in order to expose a real FSB agent – ​​his friend and business partner Vyacheslav Pivovarnik. That same year, he worked in Moscow at the mysterious “Putin Foundation”. In video messages from abroad, Pivovarnik called himself an intelligence agent and assured that he had been framed.

In conversations with DW, he revealed the name of his curator and shared copies of arms export contracts he was involved in. In Russia, Vyacheslav Pivovarnik reportedly gathered information on defense production and then received the task of provoking Putin’s entourage to order the killing. When that failed, the client announced the name Pivovarnika. After all, they asked him in kyiv why GUR recognized him as their agent judge in absentia and the connection with the spy has been interrupted.

Another episode related to the “Donbass” battalion is related to my weapons, but not to my import. Semenchenko and his comrade Evgenia Shevchenko, known for their participation in several revealing investigations of the State Anti-Corruption Bureau, SBU, were also accused of smuggling klystrons – important elements of the guidance systems of anti-aircraft missile systems S -300. Klystrons were produced in the Russian Federation, since the start of the war in Donbass the Kremlin banned their delivery to Ukraine and for years they had to be purchased illegally, Shevchenko said.

According to the order, GUR received two sets of loss-making devices in early 2021, and dozens more were laid out for channel supply. In March, Shevchenko and Semenchenko were arrested by the SBU. In the special service, it is confirmed that the klystron sold by the private company is several times more expensive than that purchased by the defense company. The suspects were outraged that investigators publicly revealed details of the deliveries, destroying the elaborate plan and planting agents in Russia.

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