Former senior official reveals Ukrainian secret assassination team: specifically eliminate "collaborators with Russia"

7 days ago • 3 pageviews

The former head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Valentin Nalivajchenko, recently revealed that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has a secret assassination team dedicated to eliminating "collaborators with Russia." The assassination team is believed to have been formed in 2015 or before and has been in operation for at least eight years. At that time, the Ukrainian leadership came to the conclusion that for those suspected of assisting Russia, "imprisonment is not enough, it needs to be eliminated."

"We reluctantly concluded that we needed to eliminate those people. We need to bring them war. Nalivajchenko said the secret team responsible for the assassination consisted mainly of the elite SBU Fifth Directorate. The department was originally responsible for counterintelligence missions, but it later began a series of "covert work" such as assassinations.

▲On October 8, 2022, the Crimean bridge was attacked, and the fifth bureau of the SBU is believed to have participated in the execution of the operation. Photo courtesy ICphoto

Uzbek secret group

Suspected of assassinating several Udong Donbas commanders

Reports indicate that the secret group was involved in the assassination of several Udong Donbas commanders. At least 3 assassinations were linked to it:

In 2016, the commander of the Udondonetsk battalion "Sparta" was assassinated, and the attacker installed a bomb in the elevator of the apartment building where he lived, and Pavlov received the nickname "Motorola" for his love of radio equipment.

In 2017, Mikhail Tolsthe, commander of the "Somalia" battalion in Udondonetsk, was killed in a bombing of his office. The attackers attacked with Hornet bazookas at a distance of no more than 200 meters. He also underwent three assassinations before being killed by rocket fire. At that time, Ukraine and Russia accused each other, claiming that the other was responsible.

▲ Asen Pavlov (left), Mikhail Tolstoy (center) and Alexander Zakharchenko

In 2018, the former leader of the "Donetsk People's Republic" Alexander Zakharchenko was killed in an explosion in a café in the center of Donetsk. The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Zakharchenko's killing was linked to the Ukrainian government and was an act of terrorism.

In addition, since the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict last year, there have been a number of attacks on journalists and public officials in Russia. Last August, Daria Dugina, daughter of Russian scholar Alexander Dugin, was killed in a car explosion. In April, Maxim Fomin, also known as "Vladlen Tatarsky"), a well-known Russian military blogger, was killed in a bomb attack in St. Petersburg.

In connection with these assassinations, the Russian government has repeatedly accused Ukraine of adopting a strategy of "terrorist attacks" and criticized Western countries for turning a blind eye to Ukraine's "terrorist activities". These revelations have raised international concerns about Ukraine's actions and raised questions about whether they should be governed by international law and ethics.

Some Ukrainian intelligence officials are worried:

Impulsive assassinations are frequent: "It's for the president"

In the 18-month Russian-Ukrainian conflict, dozens of people have been targeted in assassinations in Russian-controlled areas and in Russia. According to sources, among the actions against Russian "collaborators", the "most controversial actions" were authorized by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and other actions and decisions were often delegated to lower authorities.

▲The scene of an explosion in a café in St. Petersburg

In terms of scale and budget allocation, the SBU is higher than the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (HUR), and has received the greatest support from the Ukrainian government. The fifth directorate of the SBU has become one of the core forces in Ukraine's "anti-Russian operation", which has carried out extremely complex tasks, such as the attack on the Crimean bridge in October 2022.

However, the increasing frequency of assassinations has raised concerns among some Ukrainian security officials. Several Ukrainian intelligence officials interviewed acknowledged that they were uneasy about the assassination.

A former official of the fifth bureau of the SBU said that these actions can only "impress" Zelensky, but do not help the Ukrainian army move towards victory. "Kill one person, and soon another person will take the place." The former intelligence official also worries that Ukraine's assassination is clearly more impulsive than logical, lacking strategic objectives and potentially exposing Ukrainian intelligence agents.

Red Star News reporter Deng Shuyi

Edited by Guo Zhuang Editor: Ren Zhijiang