Ukraine intelligence chief says 100 Russian officers are leading eastern Ukraine’s uprisings

Atlantic Council: As many as one hundred Russian military intelligence officers and special forces troops are leading the seizures of towns and local governments in Ukraine’s Donetsk province, the Ukrainian intelligence chief said today in his first public account of the crisis.

Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, has spent years building covert networks that its officers now are using to help seize cities such as Slaviansk and Kramatorsk in the north of Donetsk, said Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, the head of Ukraine’s State Security Service (the Sluzhba Bezpeky Ukrainy, or SBU). Nalyvaichenko, a career diplomat and security official, gave one of the broadest descriptions of the conflict by a Ukrainian official during an online discussion hosted by the Atlantic Council. [Continue reading…]

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6 thoughts on “Ukraine intelligence chief says 100 Russian officers are leading eastern Ukraine’s uprisings

  1. Norman

    Considering the cast of characters, this is just more right wing disinformation. These people, may believe they have the right answers, but they are using old “Cold War Tactics”, which will result in another fiasco for the U.S., along with the treasury going into deeper debt. Perhaps these members can be counted upon to force Congress to raise taxes on the Businesses that profit from the war, don’t pay any taxes, quit taking risks with the lives and economy of both the American population as well as the E.U. too. It’s delusional to believe this latest adventure will end peacefully, when all it takes if some “Idiot[s]” to launch those missals with Nuclear warheads.

  2. Julian Zinovieff

    Atlantic Council is a blatantly partisan outfit. Taking its output straight would be like doing the same with the NYT – as you did yesterday with “Russia displays a new military prowess in Ukraine’s east”. According to Time, not a noted left-wing publication, in an interesting article also dated 23/04 and clearly from someone actually currently there:
    “Kiev’s cries of a separatist insurgency fueled with money, weapons and troops from the Russian government look out of sync with the reality in Slavyansk.”

  3. rackstraw

    According to these claims,”about 100 Russian intelligence officers”, are attempting to detach Southern and Eastern Ukraine – an area bigger than the state of Nevada, but 10X more densely populated – from the rest of the Ukraine. If those Russians were only 20 ft tall instead of only 10, maybe they could get somewhere.

    IOW, what doesn’t add up about this picture?

  4. Paul Woodward

    Julian — you sound like quite a propagandist yourself with your cherry-picked quote. I guess you felt the immediately preceding sentence went off-message:
    “[Vyacheslav Ponomaryov’s] militia force, he admits, is made up partly of volunteers who have come from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and other parts of the former Soviet Union.”

    No doubt, Washington and Kiev are being foolishly inept when they use photographs of the bearded Alexander Mozhaev to press the argument that Russia has military forces operating inside Ukraine. (Did someone at the State Department argue that it might be helpful to exploit America’s fear of men with beards?)

    Naturally, I would expect most readers to apply a measure of skepticism when listening to an account from the head of Ukraine’s State Security Service, but neither the source nor the venue (the Atlantic Council) makes such an account unworthy of attention.

    Unlike some sites that describe themselves as “alternative” news sources, I make it perfectly clear which sources I’m using.

    Posting an excerpt from an article by Michael R Gordon appearing in the New York Times, neither means I’m endorsing the newspaper nor the reporter. I’m simply calling out a topic that appears to me to merit consideration — in this case, the topic being the transformation in Russian military strategy from Chechnya to Crimea.

    When it’s a subject being widely reported on, then naturally I will try and find the most informative reporting, but given the somewhat speculative nature of this particular topic, I don’t see much being written about it and wouldn’t dismiss a report just because I don’t have complete confidence in the reporter.

    The value of a lot of news reporting and analysis lies as much in the hands of the reader as it does in the quality of the journalist. For instance, there’s a subtext in Gordan’s report that I doubt that even he was conscious of, that being, the frequency with which Americans get caught by surprise by advances made by their adversaries, this being one of the many expressions of American exceptionalism.

  5. Julian Zinovieff

    So I’m a “propagandist” – for “cherry-picking” the nub of the article in Time rather than quoting at length, or the whole thing! An “interesting article”, as I wrote, to encourage reading; people can now judge from it whether I am anything like a propagandist, or whether the name-calling smacks of something else. My pointing out that Atlantic Council is “blatantly partisan” was unnecessary, and irrelevant to my pointing out Simon Shuster’s reporting for Time.

    As for the NYT, I am an admirer of the paper and enjoy reading much of it, but your fine analyses, Paul, of its insidious presentation of the Israeli/Palestinian situation, for instance, could reasonably lead one to wonder about its presentation of the belligerent US case in Ukraine.

    Just after I posted, Steve Rosenberg, in the same region and towns for BBC Radio 4’s World at One, concludes the picture is nothing like Kiev is painting it.

  6. Julian Zinovieff

    On further reflection, quoting that preceding sentence is itself cherry-picking, given the gist of the article as a whole!

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