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The 3rd Rapoport Wave (or perhaps ripple) washes up in Odessa?

April 2, 2015

As many regular readers will be aware, this blog tends to stay away from “war reporting” upon events in eastern Ukraine, or the associated issues of terrorism and counter-terrorism – most of the time.

However, during December last year, this somewhat academically orientated entry relating to terrorism/counter-terrorism was published – and it is resuscitated now due to its acknowledgment of David Rapoport and his “4 Waves of Terrorism”.

“In case you are wondering those 4 Raporport waves are as follows: 1st wave – Anarchists, 1880’s.  2nd wave – Anti-colonials, 1920s.  3rd Wave – Left/Red Wave, 1960’s.  4th wave – Religious, 1979 to present. Each wave lasting several decades. Yes dear readers, if that pattern is to continue, we are due for the 5th wave, whatever that may be, and however that will eventually be defined, may well come down to the ever changing parameters of what is generally accepted as terrorism.”

Turning to those 4 waves, events in Odessa yesterday, perhaps bring them into (a passing) focus – or more specifically, the possibility of a resurgent 3rd Left/Red Wave now washing upon the shores of Odessa.

Yesterday saw the arrest of 3 Communist Party of Ukraine members in Odessa.  These 3 individuals have apparently/subsequently gone on to admit causing/being responsible for 10 bombings/explosions in Odessa – those of the 3rd and 10th December 2014, 4th and 16 January, 12th February, as well as 12th and 28th March 2015, amongst others.

Those 10 bombings would account for slightly less than half of the 28 explosive devices planted – including the 5 devices that failed to go off/were discovered and disabled.

Targeting has occasionally been aimed at infrastructure, particularly rail track, a number of Mr Kolomoiski’s Privat Bank branches, and the majority being the targeting of (always empty at the time of bombing) volunteers/volunteer organisations premises supporting Ukraine’s front-line units in the east of the nation.  (One attack on the rail track leaving a bomber from Transnistria dead when being hit by a car leaving the scene.)

There are also a few of the explosions that have occurred, that have employed the terrorism bombing spree as a cover for business/personal vendettas/messaging amongst the locals – Odessa ala the 1990’s “business community”.  Lazy main stream media coverage failing to differentiate, but that’s nothing new.

Of course the Communist Party is a structured organisation, and indeed many of the Communist Party of Ukraine’s recent leadership came out in support of, and indeed some actually assisted, those fighting the government in Kyiv.  As with any existing political structure, it generally contains “the like-minded” – though each member will have their own personal limitations as to what they are prepared to do for “The Party” or “the cause” – or not.

As is clearly the case, it would be quite wrong to imply all Communist Party members in Ukraine would take up arms against the government in Kyiv – because they haven’t.  Most Communists known to the author in Odessa are nostalgic for the USSR, rather than identifying with the Russian Federation.  It is lazy thinking to presume the Communists are enamoured with Mr Putin’s Russia and want desperately to rejoin it – or even identify with it as it is today.  They have a dewy-eyed nostalgia for what has passed – both in Ukraine and Russia.

Anyway, “Lefties”, “bombings”, “terrorism”, “political violence”, “revolutionary terrorism”, “Marxist/Leninist ideology” etc., are all words and phrases generally associated with the “Red Terrorists” of the 1960 – 1980(ish) period, and the 3rd Wave, as permanently inscribed into terrorism academia by David Rapoport.

Think Red Army Faction (aka Baader-Meinhof Gang), The Red Brigade, Japanese Red Army, and a liberal (or perhaps not so liberal) sprinkling of “Red” Latin American revolutionary groups/guerrilla movements when thinking “3rd Wave”.

3 Communist Party of Ukraine members are certainly “lefties” by definition, “Marxist/Leninist” by ideology.  “Bombings”, “political violence”, “terrorism” and perhaps “revolutionary terrorism” would seem to fit – prima facie.  Thus a possible 3rd (Left/Red) Wave (or perhaps 3rd Ripple may prove to be more accurate) within Odessa – a city that naturally missed it during the 1960’s-1980’s, then being part of a USSR that was busy sponsoring, supporting, and directly assisting the 3rd Wave anywhere it could globally, at the time.

However, without personally interviewing those arrested, the drivers behind any terrorist motivation may not be that easily – or more importantly, fully – identified.

Accepting that the motivation of the 3 arrested is more ideological than financial, or more revenge driven than ideological etc., may be too lazy.  There can be numerous “push” factors (personal problems, trouble with the authorities, socio-economic/socio-political) and “pull” factors (giving life a purpose, religious motivation/ideology, comradeship/group motivation, thrill/adventurism, and of course, martyrdom) that lead people to commit terrorist acts – or stop short of doing so.

The fascists of the future will be the anti-fascists“, cannot be a catch-all identifier for those involved in bombings in Odessa and elsewhere – whether Churchill actually said that, or not.

Only a properly structured counter-intelligence/counter-terrorism series of interviews would be capable of identifying the exact ingredients, and in the right weights, that arrive at the exact recipe resulting in the planting of, and setting off of, 10 bombs around Odessa over the past few months.

It may well be that The Kremlin is/has been directly or indirectly assisting these people – although it has to be said that there is no shortage of guns and/or explosives in the city following a year of war in the east of the nation and an extremely “porous” boundary between Kyiv and anti-Kyiv fighters.  Weapons and explosives have naturally seeped across the nation, and a notorious smuggling and mafia node such as Odessa has an immediate attraction for those buying or selling such fare.

Whatever the case, 3 Communist Party of Ukraine members have been arrested in Odessa, sawn-off weapons, timers and explosives seized, and allegedly confessions to 10 bombings made – and thus there is/or was a “leftist terrorist cell” active in Odessa for the past few months.

Amongst the numerous more urgent questions therefore, are whether they are unique – or not?  Were they in contact with other cells – if so how?  What interaction, if any, with The Kremlin/Kremlin proxies?  Were they tacitly or actively supported by the Communist Party, or acting completely without its knowledge?  Where they self-funded, or externally funded – how and by whom?  How and where did they learn their terrorist repertoire?  Their deadly arsenal acquired where, and from whom?

Of the less urgent, what did they expect to achieve – and to what lengths were they prepared to go to achieve it (considering the current actions are a dismal failure thus far)?

Perhaps most interesting of all, however, is whether this is/was a “left/red” operation in and of itself – be it 3rd Wave, or 3rd ripple.

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