Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Another Former Russian Intelligence Officer Poisoned in the UK (5) / Ukrainian SBU Breaks Up Major Russian Urban Terrorist Operation

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Eli Lake, amongst others previously, is making the unavoidable observation – Russia is conducting traditional state sponsored urban terrorism.

No further news on the condition of Col. Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

The latest attempt in Ukraine is a textbook case study – a van loaded with 120mm mortar rounds, RPGs and RPG rounds, assault rifles and ammo, handguns and ammo, silencers, was surveilled, intercepted and the driver, a well known figure in the NGO community, detained. It was the second shipment that was surveilled. Reported to be a Russian planned false flag operation in part modelled on the “Mumbai Massacre”, and in part on 1968 Nork “Blue House Raid”, but using a lot more firepower, described as intended to kill thousands of civilians in Kyiv. The stated deeper purpose of the operation was to convince dummies in the media world that Ukraine is in a state of civil war, reinforcing the 2014 propaganda that continues to be regurgitated by dummies in the Western media.

This is not the first such false flag terrorist attack stage managed by the Russians in Ukraine, the most recent being Polish Neo-Nazis firebombing a Hungarian cultural centre office to give Orban an excuse to whine to the EU about Ukrainian discrimination.

It is worth observing that urban terrorism was always part of the Komintern revolutionary warfare playbook, the aim being to destroy the credibility of the victim government in the eyes of its citizens. Russia’s use of this method may be anachronistic, like almost everything else they have been doing, but it has worked remarkably well due to two decades of consistent dumbing down across the West, and replacement of experts in nation state conflict with COIN specialists.

United Kingdom

Treat Russia Like the Terrorist It Is – To Inform is to Influence

Whether the Skripal poisoning can be conclusively pinned on Moscow is beside the point. By Eli Lake March 9, 2018, 4:00 AM EST It’s too soon to conclude whether the former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia are Moscow’s latest overseas victims. U.K. authorities have just begun their investigation into the poisoning, while health officials…

U.K. Spy Poisoning: Treat Russia Like the Terrorist It Is – Bloomberg

Whether the Skripal poisoning can be conclusively pinned on Moscow is beside the point.

It’s time to label Putin the terror-promoter that his is | New York Post

It’s too soon to conclude whether former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia are Moscow’s latest overseas victims. UK authorities…

Commentary: For Putin’s Russia, a poisoned spy sends a political message

By Peter Apps  Among those who knew Sergei Skripal in the quiet English city of Salisbury, few seem to have been aware of his background as a spy and British-Russian double agent. He frequented local pubs, bought lottery scratch cards in corner shops and joined a social club alongside local men in their 60s.On Sunday, that past seems to have caught up with him. Skripal and daughter Yulia were poisoned by what British authorities say was a sophisticated nerve agent; they are now hospitalized in critical condition. A policeman who responded to their collapse on a bench outside a shopping center was also exposed and his condition is classed as “serious.”Britain’s Times newspaper reported Thursday that Britain’s MI5 believed Moscow was behind the poisoning. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has denied the charges. However, the difficulty of manufacturing the chemicals makes them practically the calling card of a government-sponsored assassin. And that may be part of the point – to remind foes no one is safe no matter how far or long they run. That opinion is increasingly shared by experts on Russia, who see the poisoning as a sign of just how committed Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin has become to eradicating its enemies – and reminding others it can do so.If Moscow was behind the attack, its timing ahead of Russia’s presidential election is significant. Putin is almost certain to win the March 18 vote, but he is sending a message with his increasingly bellicose rhetoric aimed at the West as well as domestic protesters.Earlier this month, he announced Russia had developed an array of sophisticated new nuclear weapons. That speech, along with signs pointing to Russian involvement in the Skripal attack, offers another stark reminder of just how antagonistic Russia is becoming to the West – and how willing it is to tear up the conventional and military rulebook.Like Russia’s recent nuclear posturing, threats to nearby states and wider political interference, the intention seems to be to make it difficult for Western countries to respond. The most likely path will be further economic sanctions, but while that will inflict some economic hardship on those at the top, it simply serves to deepen the very divisions between Moscow and the West that Putin uses as domestic political currency.Such action now seems part of both Putin’s personal brand and the anti-Western national identity he fosters. According to a recent survey, half of Russian school-age boys said they dreamed of working for the security services. Those who want more democratic change, meanwhile, are increasingly aware they must watch their step and avoid becoming too great a threat.Any state body using a nerve agent so blatantly is clearly disregarding the traditional rules of international order, as well as the welfare of others in the vicinity. North Korea drew international outrage when it was accused of using a similar technique to kill the half-brother of leader Kim Jong Un at a Malaysian airport last year. The repercussions from that death continue: on Tuesday the United States imposed additional sanctions on North Korea after determining that Pyongyang used the chemical warfare agent VX in the murder – although that hasn’t stopped South Korea from pushing ahead with cross-border negotiations.Despite Russia’s denials, it is unquestionably true that Kremlin enemies often end up dead. Other high-profile killings include opposition politician Boris Nemstov, gunned down on a Moscow bridge in February 2015.The Kremlin has long reserved particular fury for former spies who switched loyalty. In 2010, after the arrest and extradition of 10 suspected Russian agents from America, an unnamed Russian official told a respected Moscow newspaper a contract killer had been sent to assassinate the defector who betrayed them. (This could not have been Skripal, who was already in prison in Russia for spying for British intelligence.)“A Mercader has been sent after him,” the official was quoted as saying about the unnamed defector, an apparent reference to Spanish communist Ramon Mercader, sent by Stalin to kill his former political ally Leon Trotsky in Mexico with an ice pick in 1940.Inevitably, the Salisbury incident has also drawn comparisons to the 2006 London death of Alexander Litvinenko, the former spy who accused Putin of running a gangster state. A British inquiry into that case concluded Litvinenko was murdered with the radioactive substance Polonium 210 by Russian assassins “probably approved” by Putin. It prompted a schism in Anglo-Russian relations, but more recently there have been worrying signs authorities in countries like Britain and the United States have sometimes turned a blind eye to suspected killings linked to Moscow.Last year, investigative reporters from BuzzFeed News identified 14 deaths of Russians or Russian-linked individuals in Britain and quoted U.S. intelligence officials as saying they appeared to be assassinations.They also pointed to several unsolved deaths in the United States, including of Kremlin critic Mikhail Lesin in a Washington hotel room in 2015.Ukraine has seen multiple assassinations and attempted killings in the last two years, often of figures involved in its war with Russia or outspoken against Moscow’s influence. Two prominent European investigative journalists who probed Russian money-laundering were also slain in Malta and Slovakia. Getting to the bottom of what happened is difficult in the extreme – and it might be simplistic to suggest Putin ordered all of the killings.Foreign experts who watch Russian intelligence agencies and criminal networks closely say they are often closely intertwined. Prague-based security analyst Mark Galeotti warned this week previous informal rules that had governed espionage – and largely limited killings – were breaking down.Russia’s domestically focused Federal Security Bureau, primary successor to the KGB, was increasingly active outside its borders, said Galeotti. Other agencies were also increasingly willing to take risks. “We have seen Chechens gunned down in Turkey and Austria,” he wrote. “We have seen an Estonian security officer kidnapped from his own country… We have seen hacks, smears, blackmail and gangsterism.”By coincidence or not, this week marks the 65th anniversary of Josef Stalin’s death. Putin is hardly in the same league when it comes to brutality and oppression. But as Russia’s latest strongman enters his late 60s and Russia begins to ponder who might follow him, he seems equally desperate to be feared.(Peter Apps is Reuters global affairs columnist, writing on international affairs, globalization, conflict and other issues. He is founder and executive director of the Project for Study of the 21st Century; PS21, a non-national, non-partisan, non-ideological think tank in London, New York and Washington. Before that, he spent 12 years as a reporter for Reuters covering defense, political risk and emerging markets. Since 2016, he has been a member of the British Army Reserve and the UK Labour Party. @pete_apps)

Sergei Skripal’s Poisoning Means Russia’s Rules Have Changed | Time

If Russia’s spy agencies were involved in the former intelligence officer’s death, it would go against some basic rules of espionage

Russian spy latest: Home Secretary in emergency Cobra meeting as chemical warfare troops descend on Salisbury | The Independent

The Home Secretary is to chair an emergency Cobra meeting as nearly 200 troops including chemical warfare specialists are on the streets of Salisbury helping investigate and clean up after the suspected nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Russian ex-spy, daughter still critical after nerve agent attack – UK minister

Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in hospital in a critical but stable condition after they were poisoned with a nerve agent, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said on Saturday. Nick Bailey, a police officer who fell ill after being part of the early response to the attack, remains


Russia spy latest: Salisbury police officer exposed with nerve agent says he is ‘not a hero’ and was ‘merely doing his job’ | The Independent

A police officer who needed intensive care after attending the scene of a poisoning in Salisbury has said he does not consider himself a “hero” and he was “merely doing his job”.  Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was “seriously ill” but was able to speak. His long-term prognosis was unclear on Saturday afternoon.

Britain still probing source of nerve agent attack: government – The National

The comments come as the UK government prepares a series of measures against the Kremlin if it is found to have orchestrated the attack against Sergei Skripal and his daughter

UPDATE 1-UK police looking at 240 pieces of evidence in nerve agent attack – minister

British police haveidentified more than 200 witnesses and are looking at more than240 pieces of evidence in their investigation into a nerve agentattack on a Russian ex-spy and his daughter, interior ministerAmber Rudd said on Saturday.

Sergei Skripal Poisoning: More Than 200 Witnesses Identified In ‘Substantial’ Investigation

There are 240 pieces of evidence.

Ex-GRU Colonel Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in their house in Salisbury

There is a new lead in the nerve agent poisoning of the former Russian General Staff Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GRU) officer, convicted for espionage in favor of Great Britain in Russia.

Russian spy: Daughter Yulia Skripal didn’t deserve poisoning, friend says – BBC News

As Sergei and Yulia Skripal remain in critical condition, a friend says they had “the perfect family”.

Spy poisoning: Residents fearful as experts say nerve agent could be never-seen-before substance

Anxious residents accused authorities of &quot;keeping them in the dark&quot; after nearly 200 troops trained in chemical warfare arrived in Salisbury as the nerve agent investigation escalated.

British investigators examine graves of Russian ex-spy’s wife, son | The Seattle Times

Forensic activities at the London Road Cemetery intensified speculation about the recent poisonings of Sergei V. Skripal and his daughter, but authorities provided no details, saying only that they had not exhumed any bodies.

Guardian view on the Russian spy attack: Sergei Skripal and the sowing of discord | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian

Editorial: Theresa May will need a demonstration of European solidarity in standing up to Vladimir Putin

Skripal Case: focus on grave of victim’s wife | Euronews

Detectives are trying to discover how the toxin was administered and where it was manufactured

Who’s next on Vladimir Putin’s hit list? The dissident Russians hiding in Britain living in fear – Mirror Online

Having fled to Britain in the past two decades they now feel the shadow of the Kremlin looming over them

Vladimir Putin hackers target UK amid Salisbury Russian spy scandal | Daily Star

PUTIN’S hackers are still “intent on targeting the UK government” amid the suspected ex-spy poisoning scandal, it is feared.

A Brief History of Attempted Russian Assassinations by Poison – Foreign Policy

Russian security services appear to be increasingly targeting dissidents and renegade spies for death by poison.

Spy poisoning is latest in string of suspicious cases in UK – The Washington Post

Britain offers wealthy Russians many attractions: the great city of London, the bucolic countryside, exclusive schools, and a global financial hub. But for some former spies and other foes of President Vladimir Putin, it has become lethal.

All of Russia’s enemies have lived in fear of the assassin | News | The Times

After the death of Stalin, a letter was found under a newspaper in his desk drawer. Written in 1950, it was from Marshal Tito, the independent-minded Yugoslav communist leader who had consistently enraged Stalin by refusing to do as he was told. It read: “Stalin, stop sending assassins to murder me.

Sergei Skripal is a traitor, says Russian spy Anna Chapman | News | The Times

A Russian spy-turned-model who was part of swap with the poisoned double agent Sergei Skripal has condemned him as a “traitor” and hit out at Britain’s reaction.Days after Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia were subjected to a nerve agent attack in Salisbury, Anna Chapman criticised the suspicions of

Sergei Skripal: ‘Forthwith’ gave MI6 telephone directory of Russian agents

Sergei Skripal was a highly paid, highly valued MI6 spy codenamed “Forthwith” who provided important material to British intelligence over a ten-year period, including the entire telephone directory of the GRU, Russian military intelligence, The Times has learnt. As investigations continue into the poisoning of Mr Skripal, 66, and his daughter in Salisbury on Sunday, this newspaper has been able to build a picture of his recruitment and work as a double agent for MI6.

Poisoned Russian Ex-Spy Aided British Intelligence After Exile In 2010: Reports

The former Russian spy who was poisoned this week by a nerve agent continued to provide Western intelligence agencies with information after arriving in Britain as part of a spy swap in 2010, media…

Russia’s Lab X: poison factory that helped silence Soviets’ critics | World news | The Guardian

Details of the lab’s secret operations leaked out after the breakup of the USSR. Intelligence sources think its function remains largely similar today


Poroshenko: Mass terrorist attacks were being prepared in Ukraine
At a meeting with the head of the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) Vasyl Hrytsak, President Petro Poroshenko instructed the Security Service of Ukraine to investigate the head of the “Officers Corps,” Volodymy Ruban’s case, in the shortest possible time. “I order General Hrytsak to take the investigation of this case under his personal control, I want to emphasize that this is not about the driver [Volodymyr Ruban was driving a car that brought weapons from the separatist-held territories]. You will receive absolutely irrefutable evidence of the large-scale terrorist acts that were being prepared in Ukraine and what kind of network was used for this,” the President said. “The goal was to destabilize society through mass terrorist acts, and evidence of this, at least the one that the head of the Security Service told me about, is irrefutable,” Poroshenko said. According to the charges against Ruban, he was preparing an attempt on the President, Petro Poroshenko, heads of law enforcement agencies, and other statesmen. According to the documents, Ruban “no later than November 14, 2017” had the intention to commit an act of terrorism in Kyiv with the aim of intimidating the population and provoking a military conflict throughout Ukraine. In particular, it was being planned to attack the building of the Verkhovna Rada, the Presidential Administration, and apartment buildings in the government block with grenade launchers, mortars, and small arms. Simultaneously, grenades were to be detonated inside the parliament and small arms and explosive devices were to be used to kill state figures and people’s deputies who would be attending the meeting of the Verkhovna Rada. In addition, Ruban planned to arrange the seizure of the parliament building at night, as well as organize armed attacks on the buildings where Petro Poroshenko, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and NSDC (National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov live. All of them were to be killed.
Russian Terrorists Charged With Planned Attack On Downtown Kiev – To Inform is to Influence

The translation is a little bit rough, but Russia appears to be ramping up the pressure on Ukraine by planning, preparing, and equipping a ‘terrorist’ attack on downtown Kiev. The article goes on to say the intent was to ‘show’ a civil war is being waged inside Ukraine. The main weapons to be used were 120 mm mortars, which are formidable. From a covered and concealed position, perhaps on a mobile platform, this would have been a very deadly attack on Kiev. The SBU says the arrests prevented “thousands” of deaths, but that would probably best be categorized as sensational. At a low cost to Russia, it is, quite literally, supporting terrorism. Why Russia has not been charged with supporting terrorism is probably pure politics. Russia IS supporting terrorism. </end editorial> Hrycak: Ruban, in a conspiracy with Zakharchenko, was preparing a terrorist attack with thousands of victims

Ukraine news – Ruban detention: Security Service reveals list of weapons seized –

Within the investigation on the case of Volodymyr Ruban, Leader of Centre for POW Release, prosecutors seized an entire arsenal of weapons. Vasyl Grytsak, the Head of the Security Service, said this during the briefing. According to him, the following list of weapons was seized: five AK-74s, three AKS-74Us, an AK-47, two LMGs, two 9-mm Makarov pistols. There were also more Russian firearms: four guns with silencers of Russian production as well. Besides, the law enforcers found 46 120-mm mines, propelling cartridges and additional propelling powder, six MON-50 anti-tank shells of a splinter effect (made exclusively in Russia), six 82-mm mines with an installed propulsion unit, 12 powder propelling charges, two RPG-22 anti-tank grenade launchers, six RPG-7, 20 F-1 grenades and 20 detonators, 20 RGD-5 and 20 detonators and 28 rifle-fired grenades. They also found a self-made explosive device, probably a mine and a mortar. Law enforcers seized small arms of various calibers as well. As we reported earlier, Ukrainian law enforcers detained Volodymyr Ruban, the head of the Centre for POW Release while he carried weapons in a car in Donbas conflict zone. Later, he was accused of preparing a terrorist attack and mishandling weapons.

Ukraine news – Ruban detention: brief history –

Ruban’s case briefly for a general idea

Security Service prevents large-scale terrorist attacks in Ukraine

Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrytsak has said they prevented large-scale terrorist acts in Ukraine.

News on Ukraine – Detention of Ruban was long-term operation, – SBU Head –

Detention of Ruban was long-term operation, – SBU Head

Ruban organized illegal supply of first batch of weapons in Nov 2017 – SBU chief

Volodymyr Ruban, the head of the Officer Corps Center for Prisoner Release, organized the transportation of a large quantity of firearms and ammunition from temporarily uncontrolled territories in Donetsk region, and the first delivery was carried out in November 2017, Chief of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Vasyl Hrytsak has said.

SBU believes Ruban’s actions were coordinated from Russia

The Security Service of Ukraine believes that the illegal actions of Head of the Center for the Release of Prisoners “Officer Corps” Volodymyr Ruban were coordinated from Russia.

Ruban is a media character, a puppet, who is led by others, – Tuka

09.03.18 23:04 – Georgian Tuk, deputy minister for temporarily occupied territories and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, said that detained Vladimir Ruban is a media personality.According to Tsensor.NET, he announced this on “Channel 5”.”I have no doubt that Ruban is a pawn, and a media personality is nothing more than a person’s media face that is just created, but in itself this person is a zero full, it’s like a puppet, which is led by others. I want to believe in the fact that, that during those months, while this special operation lasted, all its connections, both vertical and horizontal, were tracked. And I have some reasonable expectations that this is just the beginning of the operation. “- said Tuka. When asked by the host, how much Volodymyr Ruban knows, Tuk said, “It depends on the connection that he has. I do not know that.” He knew 100% because he did not go for himself, not for personal use. I never believe that he himself was trying to commit such terrorist acts, it was a group of people, and not just terrorists, as we imagine them. There is also a political wing, a political group, because all these further actions, they should have been guided by someone , had to lead to some managed effects, usually develop certain social behavior scenarios and how to properly sum up society to the different reactions. ”

It was already the second delivery with ORDO. The first was given to him and taken away in Khmelnytsky region, – Gerashchenko about the weapons taken during the arrest of Ruban

09.03.18 23:13 – The arsenal of weapons that was taken away during the arrest of Volodymyr Ruban was already the second largest batch of weapons from the ORDLL imported by Ruban to Ukraine.According to Censor.NET, a member of the MIA board, MP Anton Heraschenko in the Voice of the People program on the 112 Ukraine Channel.”This is the second supply of weapons (from the territory of the ORDO). The first supply of weapons to him (Volodymyr Ruban) was given to bring him to Ukraine, and he was put into custody in the Khmelnytsky region in one of the military units,” Gerashchenko said. As reported by Tsensor.NET, on March 8, law enforcement officers detained a leader of the Center for the release of prisoners of the “Officers’ Corps” Volodymyr Ruban when he attempted to enter the territory of the so-called “DNR” controlled by the militants in an area controlled by Ukraine with an arsenal of weapons.March 9, Pechersk District Court of Kiev arrested Volodymyr Ruban for two months without the right to pledge.On the fact of Ruban’s arrest, the head of the SBU spoke at a special briefing, stating that the purpose of Ruban and his accomplices was to commit a terrorist act in the center of Kiev.

Ukriane news – Militants cooperate with Ruban –

Militants did not hide their friendly attitude towards Ruban

Ruban actively works with Ukrainian Choice Leader Medvedchuk since 2013

Head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Vasyl Hrytsak has said that the suspect of the preparation of terrorist acts in Ukraine, the head of the Prisoner Release Center “Officer Corps” Volodymyr Ruban, since 2013 has actively cooperated with the Ukrainian Choice Movement Leader Viktor Medvedchuk.

News on Ukraine – Poroshenko orders Head of SBU to take Ruban’s case under personal control –

Poroshenko orders SBU Head to take Ruban’s case under personal control

SBU chief to Poroshenko: Level of terrorist threat for Ukrainians highest since independence | UNIAN

Criminal activity of Ruban’s group has been documented by the SBU for a long time.

Відео перевезення зброї – YouTube

Переговори стосовно першого постачання зброї – YouTube

“Russia’s stink is all over it. I guess this wasn’t the last attempt to destabilize situation,” – Klimkin on attacks on Hungarians Union office

05.03.18 11:34 – “Russia’s stink is all over it. I guess this wasn’t the last attempt to destabilize situation,” – Klimkin on attacks on Hungarians Union office Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin believes that Russia is behind speculations about “anti-Hungarian sentiment” allegedly prevailing among Ukrainians. View news.

Bomb attack on Uzhhorod-based Hungarian Cultural Association office defined as act of terrorism, – prosecutor’s office

06.03.18 14:54 – Bomb attack on Uzhhorod-based Hungarian Cultural Association office defined as act of terrorism, – prosecutor’s office The Uzhhorod regional court holds a bail hearing of two suspects in the bomb attack on the Uzhhorod-based office of the Hungarian Cultural Association committed on Feb. 27. View news.