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Victor Kononenko: SBU reveals large-scale plans of Russian special services on hybrid interference in elections

The Service exposed large-scale plans on "hybrid" interference in the Ukrainian elections, stated SBU Deputy Head Victor Kononenko at a briefing.

Russia does not stop its attempts to destroy the sovereignty of Ukraine and to bring our country into the sphere of its influence. “The year of election in Ukraine is the best year for Russian special services’ efforts to destabilize the situation by interference in the electoral process,” Viktor Kononenko said. According to him, the Kremlin tasked all domestic special services: “to close the Ukrainian question” in 2019.

Russia will try to create an artificial situation of non-recognition of the election results by part of Ukrainians and by some of the Western community. Subsequently, this factor is planned for use for maximum splitting of the society and creating a permanent confrontation in maximum possible number of Ukrainian regions.

Recently, the Service thwarted yet another batch of destructive plans of the Russian Federation. In particular, one of the Kremlin’s projects was aimed at destabilising the situation using the so-called ‘White Balaklava’ team, whose members, acting upon Moscow instructions, from the autumn of 2018 were preparing the breakdown of the electoral process immediately after the end of the first round of Presidential Elections.

Within the framework of criminal proceedings initiated under Article 109 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, searches were conducted in the office and at the places of residence of three active members of Nadia Savchenko movement. In coordination with Mykola Dulskyi, the well-known agent of Russian special service who is currently hiding from Ukrainian justice in Russia, they tried to arrange provocations that should have become the impetus for a violent change of power in the country.

At the first stage, to raise the ‘degree’ of protest activity in the society, detained yesterday Yevhen Morenets, alias White Balaklava recorded, edited and posted in Internet videos on his own behalf. These videos, according to experts, contain appeals for the overthrow of the constitutional order in Ukraine and the violent seizure of power in Ukraine,” said the SBU Deputy Head.

Yevhen Morenets is currently detained in accordance with Article 208 of the Criminal Procedural Code of Ukraine. The issue of choosing a preventive measure - arrest by judicial process - is being solved.

Morenets, together with his accomplices, also initiated organizational measures for involving in the illegal activities the NGO heads and certain activists from different regions of our country. The attackers wanted to provoke them to organising mass protests immediately after the end of Presidential Elections on March 31, 2019, allegedly because of falsifications that would take place in course of the election.

“The idea of ​​Russian handlers is the non-recognition of the elections by ‘the people’, calling up the ‘Veche’, setting forth the demands for the government which cannot be fulfilled,” said Victor Kononenko.

The SBU found that the coordination of Morenets's activities was carried out by Dulsky, who had to ensure the contact of ‘White Balaclava’ and those he has selected with undercover groups operating in Ukraine.

In pursuance of the Dulsky’s instructions, ‘White Balaklava’, in particular, recruited accomplices, told them the plans for the future seizure of governmental administrative structures. He was aware of the need to provoke bloodshed and the future human victims among protesters. There was consideration of the possibility of seizing the building of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Morenets, upon the instructions of Dulsky and his ‘FSB handlers’ also prepared to covertly use the activists of patriotic structures for physical capture and deprivation of powers of the heads of state authorities and law-enforcement structures. The plan envisaged the organization of a peaceful rally in order to provoke clashes with law enforcers, who were to be attacked ‘from the back’ by ‘combat 

groups’. “Bloodshed and armed clashes should have become an accelerator for the coup d'etat,” said the SBU Deputy Head.

‘White Balaklava’, in agreement with Dulsky, elected March 31, 2019, the day of Presidential Elections in Ukraine, as the start date of activities. The plan was to call Veche in Kyiv and regions immediately after the closure of polling stations, with the slogans about ‘falsification’ of the results of the citizens’ voting, as well as to provoke human victims to radicalize and mobilize the society.

According to the plans of the Russian special services, the situation of ‘uncontrolled chaos’ would ensure the image of Ukraine as an territory of ​​anarchy in the eyes of the West, while the creation of so-called ‘parallel’ authorities that would facilitate the return of the pro-Russian forces in our state, the creation of favourable conditions for intensifying separatist tendencies in the regions and the grounds for an open military invasion of Russian Army into the Ukrainian territory.

On behalf of the SBU Head and the SBU Collegium, Victor Kononenko called on the leadership of civic organizations not to submit to provocative proposals from Russian special services and to prevent the use of their activists as ‘cannon fodder’ in Kremlin’s interests.

SBU Press Centre


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Zhydkov Dmytro Mykhailovych
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Shevchenko Daniil Borysovych
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Yatsenko Viktor Viacheslavovych
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