"Posing as Poles": Russian intel sets up "vandalism" provocation, this time in Kharkiv

09:00, 02 August 2019
Ukraine
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REUTERS

For the second time in a week, unidentified perpetrators vandalized monuments to fallen Ukrainian Rebel Army (UPA) soldiers in Kharkiv's Molodizhniy Park, both times acting to make public believe this was done by the Poles or for the Poles: they spraypainted the monuments using the colors of the Polish flag and wrote a curse word, also in Polish, that's according to Oleksiy Kopytko, an expert with the Information Resistance OSINT group.

Such provocations, the expert explains in his piece on IR, are made by the same template.

He recalls other recent meddling efforts made by Russia and its "mercenaries" in order to try to spark ethnic conflicts in Ukraine and discredit Ukrainian authorities in the international arena.

In February 2018, twice In a month, attempts were made to set fire to the Hungarian cultural center in Uzhgorod. Law enforcers rather promptly identified and apprehended. The first arson attack was carried out by Polish citizens, who, at the request of "Russian friends", were hired by a German far-right journalist, who is also a supporter of the "DPR", the expert says. However, given the poor quality of their "performance", the Russians, through a Transnistrian security operative, hired two anti-terrorist operation veterans, who succeeded in making the morning news.

Read alsoTransnistrian mastermind behind arson at Hungarian NGO in Uzhgorod – Governor Moskal

In the Kharkiv case, the expert is positive, the situation was the same where the initial act went largely unnoticed therefore the mastermind greenlighted another attack.

Earlier, there were also:

- The incident with Volyn residents who blocked a highway in Lviv region and posing as "oppressed Poles" (the act was synchronized with the "shelling" of the Polish consulate in Lutsk);

- The attempt to blow up the monument to Hungarian tribes on the Veretsky Pass, the attempt to throw an explosive device at the Polish consulate in Lutsk, several anti-Semitic incidents, and grenade-throwing in in Kyiv (a gang of hired crime);

- Protest rallies of hired Gagauzians in Odesa region, who posed as indignant Bulgarians "exposed to genocide” in Ukraine (the hilarious part was when Gagauzians could not read their own slogans on banners that some kind people handed them).

Read alsoUkraine's police: Both crimes related to attacks on Hungarian culture center in Uzhgorod solved

The problem for the Kremlin is that the topic of interethnic conflicts in Ukraine just doesn't work, the expert concludes. At the same time, he adds, presenting a certain picture for Ukraine's Western partners is something Russia will keep on trying to do.

"I believe that now the same group of 'vandals' will try to perform an act of 'response of the Ukrainian Nazis', targeting the Polish audience. For example, they could smash the memorial plaque to Pilsudski or desecrate the memorial of Polish officers," the expert suggested.

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