Russia's hybrid war against Ukraine: Political Destabilisation

Canan Kevser
04 January 2021, 18:00
Canan Kevser
04 January 2021, 18:00

Political destabilisation is one of the dimensions shaping up Russia’s hybrid aggression targeting Ukraine, according to the head of Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine (SZRU) Valeriy Kondratiuk.

The chief said that Russia’s secret services aim to undermine Ukrainian statehood foundations, the SZRU press service reports.

“We are observing the attempts by Russia’s secret services to carry out special operations aimed at sowing discord in Ukrainian society and undermining the foundations of Ukrainian statehood,” Kondratiuk said.

“They [Russian officials] bid on systematically compromising the Ukrainian national idea and Western civilisational choice, as well as claiming ‘the artificial nature of Ukrainian identity and state’ – recently, this discourse has been imposed on us both externally and internally,” he claimed.

According to him, Moscow is actively manipulating the factor of the temporarily occupied territories, trying to play the people of Ukraine and the Kyiv authorities off against each other, claiming that the latter allegedly betrayed election promises regarding the long-awaited peace in Donbas.

The top official stressed Russia’s political goal to destabilise socio-political life to an extent allowing the Kremlin to raise the issue of the need for ‘humanitarian assistance’ and choke Ukraine with its ‘fraternal’ embrace.

“These are attempts to incite in our country [Ukraine] a ‘war of all against all’ and to conduct against this background an operation involving political sabotage and/or violence to topple the country’s government in the medium term,” Kondratiuk said.

Head of Ukrainian intelligence noted “diverse, multivariate, and non-standard” forms and methods applied by Russia.

“Acts of provocation, the use of agents of influence, terror, and political assassinations are frequent ‘branded tools’, which has been repeatedly confirmed both in Ukraine and beyond.”

Kondratiuk exemplified the assassinations of intelligence operative M. Shapoval and Russian politician D. Voronenkov in Kyiv, and counterintelligence operative O. Kharaberiush in Mariupol.

Also, among last year’s incidents of such nature, Kondratiuk noted assassinations in Germany and Austria (targeting Russian political immigrants – Zelimkhan Hangoshvili in Berlin and Mamihan Umarov on the outskirts of Vienna).

Head of Ukrainian Intelligence Valeriy Kondratiuk pronounced that such incidents “once again makes the civilised world wonder whether Russia has become a sponsor of terrorism.”