A more worthy suspect? SBU bombing, Odessa

October 2, 2015

Following this entry immediately following the bombing of the State Security Service (SBU) building in central Odessa, an entry that suggested caution when speculating as to offenders –  “Perhaps he is correct in where he apportions the responsibility for this latest terrorist blast, although “The fact that this crime – the work of the FSB of Russia, no doubt” is perhaps a little presumptuous, for some doubt there surely is when making such statements within a few hours of the explosion.

Of the several dozen bombings that occurred late last year and early 2015, all were swiftly blamed by politicians in Kyiv upon The Kremlin, pro-Kremlin groups, or “professional Russians”. (“Professional Russians” are those who become “Russian” for money when a protest, brawl, or other headline grabbing acts are required. They are not a new phenomenon to Odessa, for they can be “professional whatever” for whomever is paying on a different day. Rent-a-mob for rent-a-cause.)”

The following day, a local to Odessa well known for his unfortunate mental disorders claimed responsibility for the bombing“Mikhail Dolgov who identifies himself as the “Virtual head of the Odessa Underground” and claims that “we”, as in the “Odessa Underground” partisans were responsible for the blast.”

As stated, in the above entry – “Whether Mr Dolgov and whomever else “we” consist of actually carried out the bombing remains to be seen.”

Emails to the blog followed asking about the “Odessa Underground” – for it had not appeared on the usual radars.  As far as can be ascertained at the time of writing there is a good reason for that – it appears to be an entirely phantom entity (outside the certified troubled mind of Mikhail Dolgov).  That said, moths gather around a flame and what is phantom today may take on some physical form tomorrow.

Also received was a request to keep certain readers updated with any developments.

Thus for those readers that find matters such as these secondary to the far more interesting, difficult and gargantuan tasks that lay ahead for Ukraine – apologies – your author shares your opinion, but will dutifully adhere to certain emailed requests.


It now appears that the SBU has a suspect in the frame – but with absolutely no direct evidence released to the public (or whispered in private).  The suspect is in the frame due to certain entries on his VKontakte page, such as “This bundle at the back door into your office – is just the beginning,”.

The suspect is a man from Odessa called Pavel Brigadir, born 26th February 1980.  He and two other unnamed/unknown men, now have the SBU’s attention regarding this incident.

Mr Brigadir is a well known holder of very extreme views from the Kulikova Field pro-Kremlin (rather than Soviet nostalgia) groups.

In March 2014 he created a group with radical views called the “Emergency Response Brigade” which he hoped would get the attention of the Russian Secret Services and funding for the group activities would therefore follow.  That funding never came, whether perhaps the Kremlin spooks were not impressed by Mr Brigadir as the leader, whether they felt it was a possible “dangle”, or whether the group’s short lifespan literally prevented any funding prior to its disappearance from the scene remains unknown.

What makes Pavel Brigadir’s self-inferred responsibility more plausible to any previous claims is not his creation of the “ERB”, nor his radical and extreme views that are well known.

What is different about Pavel Brigadir, is that has already been arrested by the SBU for bombing two Bratkivshchyna Party offices in Odessa during 2014 under the “ERB” banner.  The first bombing on 16th April on Pushkinskaya and the second on 18th April on Dobrovolsky.  On 20th April the “ERB” took to lobbing molotov cocktails about on Dovzhenko.

On 25th April 2014, he and several others of the “ERB” were arrested and subsequently charged with offences under Part 2 of Article. 109, Part 1 of Article. 161, Part 1 of Article. 263, Part 2 of Article 258, Part 1 of Article. 258-1 and Part 2 of Article 194 – Conspiracy to overthrow the state power, possession of weapons and ammunition, the creation of a terrorist organization and terrorist attack, as well as destruction of property by arson.

A serious charge sheet it has to be said – and he was duly remanded in custody pending trial.

Thus the “ERB” lasted a little less than two months.  Certainly the Communist 3, Orthodox Cossacks, Black Sea Knights et al, managed to last somewhat longer.  Such groups will continue to come and go.

However, on 14th September 2014, Pavel Brigadir was subject to a “prisoner swap” for Ukrainian prisoners in the occupied territories .  Once released he promptly took up arms against Ukrainian forces in the east.

It is believed within the Ukrainian security services, that aside from actually fighting, he is now involved in briefing and sending those sent to Odessa to carry out terrorist acts.

As such, the two unnamed men that are currently centre frame with the SBU in Odessa for bombing their building are far more likely to be the actual bombers than Pavel Brigadir, who may very well still be, and probably is, in the occupied territories in eastern Ukraine.

Nevertheless, inferred self-incrimination in the events on VKontakte is not evidence of involvement fit for due process in a court despite a clearly active and recent terrorist past of a very similar nature.  It certainly appears that those who physically planted the bomb are neither of whom that have thus far either claimed or inferred responsibility – any conspiracy charges not withstanding.


As a postscript – There will be no blog entries for a few days as you author heads to Gdansk “think-tanking” with a room full of people far cleverer than he.

One comment

  1. I am a regular reader of your blog. I will go to Odessa at the end of October and would like to meet you.

    Willy Fautre
    Director of Human Rights Without Frontiers (Brussels)

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