-by Eric Zuesse
According to Ukrainian Government officials, a Chechen team led by Chechnya’s leader, an ardent supporter of Vladimir Putin, was about to assassinate Ukraine’s President Volodyrmyr Zelensky, but Russia’s Government passed along to Ukraine’s Government the information that this team were in Ukraine and were intending to assassinate him; and, so, that team were killed by Ukraine’s Government forces.
On February 26th, Reuters headlined “Chechen leader, a close Putin ally, says his forces have deployed to Ukraine” and reported that, “Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Russia's Chechnya region and an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said on Saturday that Chechen fighters had been deployed to Ukraine and urged Ukrainians to overthrow their government.”
On 1 March, Axios headlined “Zelensky assassination plot foiled, Ukrainian authorities say”, and reported that:
Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council chief Oleksiy Danilov announced during a briefing Tuesday that Ukrainian forces had foiled an assassination plot against President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to a Telegram post from Ukrainian authorities. …
According to the Telegram message, Danilov said that a unit of elite Chechen special forces, known as Kadyrovites, had been behind the plot and had subsequently been "eliminated."
We are well aware of the special operation that was to take place directly by the Kadyrovites to eliminate our president," Danilov said, per the post.
Ukrainian authorities had been tipped off about the plot by members of Russia's Federal Security Service who do not support the war, he added.
On 2 March, the Washington Post headlined an extremely brief (150-word) news-report “Assassination plot against Zelensky foiled and unit sent to kill him ‘destroyed,’ Ukraine says”, and reported that, “A recent alleged assassination plot against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was foiled over the weekend and the Chechen servicemen sent from Russia were ‘destroyed,’ a Ukrainian security leader said.” Danilov is quoted there as having asserted that he could reveal only “that we have received information from the FSB, who today do not want to take part in this bloody war.” The Washington Post’s modifying the source Ukrainian news-account by referring to it as having been about an “alleged assassination plot” (i.e., expressing doubt regarding the truthfulness of what this Ukrainian official had said) was quite striking for a newspaper (such as the WP) that had previously accepted unquestioningly the statements that the Ukrainian Government has been making about the Russian Government ever since February 2014.
On March 7th, the London Times bannered “This war will be a total failure, FSB whistleblower says”, and reported:
Spies in Russia’s infamous security apparatus were kept in the dark about President Putin’s plan to invade Ukraine, according to a whistleblower who described the war as a “total failure” that could be compared only to the collapse of Nazi Germany. … The report said the FSB was being blamed for the failure of the invasion but had been given no warning of it and was unprepared to deal with the effects of crippling sanctions.
There are two very different plausible ways to interpret (or explain) all of this. Neither way fits the standard press-accounts about Russia’s Government, and about Vladimir Putin in particular. (And that might be the reason why the WP was reluctant to believe this Ukrainian official’s statement there.)
One such possibility is that what has been quoted from the official is entirely true, and that Russia’s FSB (Federal Security Bureau), which is the successor to the Soviet Union’s KGB, was actually violating Putin’s command. Putin had “spent 16 years in the Soviet security service, rising to the rank of KGB lieutenant colonel before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991”, so that Yuri Andropov had been heading the KGB at the time when Putin first entered the organization, and Vladimir Kryuchkov was heading it at the time when an FSB Lieutenant Colonel, Mr. Putin, quit it. (Kryuchkov had just then led the coup-attempt to overthrow the nation’s leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Putin has said that this was the reason why Putin had quit the organization: he rejected what his organization’s leader was trying to do.)
Consequently, if the news-accounts of this recent assassination-attempt against Zelensky are entirely true, then Putin would, on March 1st, have been actually defeating an FSB action that was in violation of his own command, and, if that is so, then it would have been followed immediately by Putin’s accusing of having committed treason, the FSB’s organization, the management who were above the assassination-attempt’s direct perpetrators, all the way up to the organization’s very top, Alexander Bortnikov, about whom Wikipedia says:
On 22 February 2022, in response to Russia recognising the independence of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine during the 2021–2022 Russo-Ukrainian crisis, US President Joe Biden announced he was imposing sanctions on several Russian individuals and banks, including Bortnikov and his son, Denis, who also serves as deputy president of VTB Bank.
U.S. media portray Bortnikov as the man who has “delivered the goods for Putin,” and even as being "Putin's Top Enabler." And the BBC headlined on March 3rd “Who's in Putin's inner circle and running the war?” and they asserted there that “Kremlin watchers say the president trusts information he receives from the security services more than any other source, and Alexander Bortnikov is seen as being part of the Putin inner sanctum.” There has been no news-report that Putin has, in any way, demoted or otherwise acted against him (far less accuse of treason)-- nor against Ramzan Kadyrov.
So: how likely is it that this interpretation of the Ukrainian Government’s public statements about the assassination-attempt is correct, true?
The other (and, in my opinion, far likelier) interpretation is that Putin (and the FSB hierarchy) had saved Zelensky’s life, but had done it in a way that enables Zelensky’s Government to present the matter as having, instead, been a ‘Russian’ attempt to kill him, and therefore as Zelensky’s heroically leading Ukrainians against Russia, and against Putin’s invasion of Zelensky’s country.
This interpretation makes sense to me because the actual overwhelmingly top source of the assassination-danger to Zyenskiyy has been-- not only now, but ever since he was elected-- Ukraine’s racist-fascist or nazi anti-Russian forces, which have been demanding that Ukraine invade Donbass, and which have supplied the troops to do it.
Here is how this danger, the real one, developed, even before Zelensky became President:
On 13 July 2015, the Ukraine Human Rights organization headlined “BLOODY STRUGGLE FOR POWER IN UKRAINE – RIGHT SECTOR PROVIDES ULTIMATUM TO POROSHENKO” and reported:
In the last few days, the Right Sector, under the leadership of Dmitry Yarosh, attempted to assassinate a political personality, as well as tried political storms. Specially in the Western Ukraine city of Mukachevo the situation was worse. The Right Sector continued on Sunday, 12, July 2015, several police cars were set on fire as they tried to murder the member of the Ukrainian Rada (Parliament) Mikhailo Lanyo. Three people were killed (two of them were members of Right Sector) and thirteen injured (four of them were members of Right Sector).
According to reports, barricades and checkpoints were erected by the “right sector” in several parts of the Ukraine and around Kiev. Around 100 of the right-wing battalions “Azov” and “Aidar” have surrounded the administration building of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry in the central Ukrainian city of Poltava.
On 27 May 2019, the “Weapon News” website headlined “Yarosh has threatened the new President of Ukraine, Zelensky”, and reported that:
Verkhovna Rada Deputy and leader of the "Ukrainian volunteer army" (UDA), formed on the basis of the banned-in-Russia "Right sector," Dmitry Yarosh, said that the new President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky "can lose life if you betray your country and those [of Yarosh’s forces who were] killed in the Donbass". About this Jarosch said in an interview with “Obozrevatel”:
“Zelensky in his inaugural speech said that he was ready to lose ratings, popularity, position [by reaching a peaceful settlement with the breakaway Donbass]. No, he will lose his life — will be hanging on some tree on Khreshchatyk, if we betray Ukraine and those people [Yaroshe’s forces] who are in revolution, and the war dead [the Right Sector troops that had been killed fighting against Donbass].”
The leader of the nationalists said that he had several times tried to contact Zelensky, but wasn’t able to. Yarosh said that he is very willing to drive with the new President to the front, where, in the past five years, he'd told him about the fighting.
...Tatiana Chornovil said that Zelensky is an agent of Yanukovych [the democratically elected President of Ukraine whom the Right Sector had led in overthrowing in February 2014], and called for a new Maidan [a new Presidential overthrow]. The same statement was made by Vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Paruby.
On 17July 2015, I had headlined “THE WHO’S WHO AT THE TOP OF THE COUP” and wrote:
U.S. President Barack Obama (via his State Department official Victoria Nuland, and Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt) relied chiefly upon Andrei Parubiy (“the Commandant of Maidan”) to be the CEO of the Ukrainian coup in February 2014, and upon Dmitriy Yarosh to be the coup’s COO-- its Chief Operating Officer, which in this case was not so much an executive function as a military-organizing function. Yarosh subsequently emerged to be the COO of Ukraine’s “ATO” or ‘Anti Terrorist Operation,’ the Government’s operation to eliminate the residents in the areas of Ukraine that had voted 90%+ for the man whom Obama’s coup overthrew: Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych. (If those residents were to vote in future Ukrainian national elections, then a Ukrainian leader like Yanukovych could easily be elected again; so, eliminating the residents in those areas was essential in order to make Obama’s coup stick.) Yarosh was not only the enforcer during the coup itself, but he became the enforcer in its essential follow-through, the “ATO.” (It’s known also as the war against Donbass, or Ukraine’s civil war, among other names or titles of reference.)
Yarosh, who has been the top enforcer during the Maidan demonstrations, and throughout the coup, and in its aftermath through to the ongoing Ukrainian war against the ‘Terrorists’ who reject the Obama-imposed regime, has long been considered one of the top racist-fascists, or ideological nazis, in Ukraine; but, until now, no one has presented any serious case that he’s also an anti-Semite (like the original nazi political party, Hitler’s Nazi Party, were); his public racism has instead always been solely against Russians — which type of racism has become far more acceptable to Europeans and to Americans than is anti-Semitism. …
I previously had headlined about the Russian-hating Yarosh, “Meet Ukraine’s Master Mass-Murderer: Dmitriy Yarosh,” and I described there his key role both during both the February 2014 Ukrainian coup and also the 2 May 2014 massacre of anti-coup demonstrators inside the Odessa Trade Unions Building, as well as in the ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign in Ukraine’s former Donbass region by the regime that Obama, with Yarosh’s key assistance, had brought to power in Ukraine. However, I mentioned nothing regarding the possibility of Yarosh’s being not just anti-Russian but also possibly anti-Semitic, because I had found nothing to indicate that he is anti-Semitic, except an alleged transcribed conversation that he had had in Turgenef Restaurant in Kiev on 25 February 2014, which conversation, if it occurred, was held while the February 20-26 coup d’etat that overthrew Yanukovych was ending. Like virtually all top Ukrainian politicians have been, Yanukovych was corrupt, but he had been democratically elected with support from 90%+ of Donbass’s voters, and 75% of Odessa’s and Crimea’s-- which is the reason why those regions rejected the coup-regime, and which is also the reason why the post-coup Government wants desperately to kill those people. Yarosh’s highly trained and disciplined paramilitaries had dressed during the coup as if they were state security troops, and they fired down upon the Maidan demonstrators and police, in what’s called in the trade a “false flag” attack-- one that’s designed to appear to have been perpetrated by the side you’re intending to defeat, so as to deceive the public about who had caused the violence and thus get your enemy to be blamed (by your own electorate) for the bloodshed, and thereby unite your country to fear your chosen (typically foreign) enemy and so to be willing to invade them. Adolf Hitler had most prominently pioneered the false-flag technique, both in his burning of the Reichstag, and in his setting up the incident that became his excuse to invade Poland in 1939. Dmitriy Yarosh is a proven master of this craft.
That conversation, as transcribed, was between Yarosh, who is the head of the Right Sector party, and his friend Oleg Tyagnibok, who, along with Andreiy Parubiy, headed the Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine, which had changed its name in 2004 to the “Freedom” or Svoboda Party, at the suggestion of the U.S. CIA, in order to make its members (the members of Ukraine’s leading nazi party) more acceptable to U.S. and European publics, which (because of WW II) don’t have a favorable opinion of its model: Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist Party of Germany. (However, both the Right Sector party and the Svoboda party are often quite blatant about their admiration of Adolf Hitler and of his Party.) In this alleged conversation, which occurred (if it did) two days prior to Parubiy becoming appointed as the coup-regime’s chief of State Security (the SBU) and Yarosh becoming Parubiy’s #2, Tyagnibok suggested to Yarosh that because EU officials “called me an anti-Semite and a Russophobe,” Yarosh would be a good person to enter the Presidential contest instead of Tyagnibok, but Yarosh said he didn’t want that, because he already had all the weapons and his real aim was to be in the position to control Ukraine backstage by virtue of the Right Sector’s military force that he had trained, organized, and controlled. (The major sources of his organization’s funding are unknown, but he must have gotten lots of support from the CIA and associated sources, as well as from billionaires such as George Soros and Ihor Kolomoysky who were big backers of the coup.) He said that his objective was that, “my guys have the SBU.” As things turned out afterward, this is precisely what he became, because Parubiy was quite happy to have his militarily more competent subordinate, Yarosh, actually run paramilitary matters: Yarosh had had decades of experience training and commanding paramilitaries.
As for Parubiy himself, wikipedia notes his key political importance to the Maidan and its aftermath: “He was coordinator of the volunteer security corps for the mainstream protesters. He was then appointed Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine.” So: without both Parubiy (the co-head of Ukraine’s main nazi party) as the political coordinator, and Yarosh (the head of the other, more military, of Ukraine’s two nazi parties) as the military coordinator, Obama wouldn’t have been able to do it; but Obama also needed the State Department’s Victoria Nuland, who gave instructions to America’s Ukraine Ambassador Geoffery Pyatt. And that’s how the coup was done-- plus the CIA, of course, working from the U.S. Embassy.
So, that is where the real threat to assassinate Zelensky actually comes from.
This is known to Zelensky. But still the question exists as to WHY Putin would want to protect Zelensky’s life. I think that there is a very reasonable explanation of that:
As everyone knows, Putin has said and repeated, many times, that his invasion of Ukraine is in order to re-establish Ukraine as being a neutral nation, not as being a potential launch-site for U.S. missiles less than 7-minute-flight-time from nuking Moscow. He doesn’t want U.S. missiles in Ukraine any more than America’s President JFK had wanted Soviet missiles in Cuba only 20-minute flight-time from nuking Washington. So, this is Putin’s way of stopping it from happening (given that both the U.S. and its NATO have refused even so much as to merely consider prohibiting Ukraine from joining NATO).
But, ever since Obama’s coup grabbing Ukraine in 2014 (in which Yarosh’s forces were used as the leaders], the propaganda against Russia, and against Russians, has been almost as intense in Ukraine, as the propaganda against Jews was in Nazi Germany, and has been very effective. For example: During 2003-2009, only around 20% of Ukrainians wanted NATO membership, while around 55% opposed it. In 2010, Gallup found that whereas 17% of Ukrainians considered NATO to mean “protection of your country,” 40% said it’s “a threat to your country.” Ukrainians predominantly saw NATO as an enemy, not a friend. But after Obama’s February 2014 Ukrainian coup, "Ukraine’s NATO membership would get 53.4% of the votes, one third of Ukrainians (33.6%) would oppose it." That ceaseless and intense post-coup propaganda against Russia had a profound effect.
Putin therefore knows that he will have no other choice than to retain as much of Ukraine’s existing leadership as will be possible consistent with denazifying that country. Consequently, Zelensky himself would probably be the best person to lead such a restored Ukraine. It would free Zelensky from what he knows to be the biggest threat against him-- and from what had always been prohibiting him from complying with the Minsk II accords. The nazis had always made clear that they’d kill him if he did any such thing. And this is the reason why Putin has protected Zelensky’s life. But, then, the question arises: Did Putin really allow some of his Government’s own forces to be sacrificed, killed, in order to protect Zelensky? It would be a small price to pay, for the potential gains that are to be won. Similarly, the anti-nazi U.S. President FDR had sacrificed America’s naval forces at Pearl Harbor in order to be able to get America into WW II in time to become able to prevent Hitler from conquering, ultimately, the entire world. This is the way wars are. And the post-WW-II nazi America had started, even as early as 24 February 1990, to make clear to its vassal-nation leaders that though the Soviet Union and its communism and its Warsaw Pact would soon all end, the Cold War on America’s side would secretly continue until Russia itself becomes conquered. Putin knows this; he has mentioned it often.
Regarding the post-war Ukraine: The nazi forces in Ukraine come mainly from the country’s far northwest (around Lviv-- the city to which America just recently relocated its Ukrainian Embassy), bordering and near to Poland; and, so, that area will probably become a new country, which will be firmly in America’s orbit (the long-term Obama win from all of this). However, as much of Ukraine as is reliably NOT nazi will probably be the country that Zelensky-- or whomever is to lead the post-war Ukraine’s Government-- will then be leading. Almost certainly, those borders, and those two new parts of the former Ukraine, will be central topics in the negotiations to establish a peaceful Ukraine-- unless, of course, Russia loses this war, in which case the entire world will lose, and U.S.-led nazism (the post-WW-II form of nazism) will ultimately end up consuming everyone.