Archive for March 15th, 2018

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The PGO goes after Savchenko

March 15, 2018

Recently an entry appeared relating to the arrest of Volodymyr Ruban and allegations of plots to assassinate leading political figures associated with the leadership of the national security and defence institutions of Ukraine.

It concluded with several obvious questions one of which was – “That would clearly have to involve more than just Mr Ruban – and thus is a reader is to expect further arrests relating to the assassination plot?”

Since that entry and the arrest of Mr Ruban, the SBU has conducted over two dozen raids around Ukraine, allegedly seizing propaganda, weapons, explosives and other subversive materials.

Attending Mr Ruban’s court remand hearing was Verkhovna Rada MP Nadia Savchenko, most famous for her capture and detention within the temporarily occupied territories, and later within Russia.  With both Mr Ruban and Ms Savchenko widely believed to be creatures of the loathsome Viktor Medvechuk, her attendance at the court hearing was perhaps to be expected.

It may also be related to the two having an input, officially, nefariously, or otherwise, in the swapping of captives over which Mr Medvedchuk has significant influence as interlocutor between presidents Poroshenko and Putin.

Such is the populist nature of Yulia Tymoshenko that Ms Savchenko was placed Number 1 on the Batkivshchyna Party list, above Ms Tymoshenko herself.  As the blog stated at the time, and prior to Ms Savchenko’s release, a military heroine does not automatically transform into a competent or viable politician –  that not withstanding the fact that the ego of Ms Tymoshenko and Ms Savchenko would never last within the same political party structure.

So indeed has that come to pass.  Upon her release Ms Savchenko has proven to be a dismal politician, and the inevitable departure from Ms Tymoshenko swiftly occurred too.  Ms Savchenko then appears to have become a political creature of Mr Medvedchuk (if she wasn’t already – which she probably was).

Whatever the case, whether through Mr Medvedchuk or not, Mr Ruban and Ms Savchenko know each other – if for no other reason than a common interest in facilitating the swaps of captives.

On 12th March the SBU requested Ms Savchenko attend for questioning.  Ms Savchenko however had left Ukraine at 0400 hours that day for Europe on the morning of that request.

She has subsequently returned.

Should a reader want to know what Ms Savchenko was doing whilst in the EU, she states – “In Europe, these 3 days, I managed to testify to the European legal and judicial authorities against Poroshenko’s corruption, against the criminality of our power and on political persecution.”  Whether that testimony related to Mr Ruban or an impending sense of personal doom is unclear.

However the Ides of March for Ms Savchenko have clearly arrived.

15th March witnessed Prosecutor General call upon the Verkhovna Rada to strip Ms Savchenko of her parliamentary immunity.

The claims are such that there is indisputable evidence of her collusion and conspiracy in an attempt to bring down the Verkhovna Rada and those within – quite literally.

Some rather stunning allegations were made.  “The investigation has solid evidence that Nadezhda Savchenko personally planned and personally instructed how to conduct a terrorist attack in this room, destroying two government and guest boxes with military grenades, smashing the dome of the Verkhovna Rada with automatic weapons and destroying those who survived by submachine guns. today I, as the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, will submit to the Verkhovna Rada a proposal to bring to criminal responsibility, detention and arrest of People’s Deputy Savchenko.

Presumably there is either SIGINT, or witness testimony, or both, to support such serious allegations.

It is without doubt that Ms Savchenko holds the current Ukrainian leadership and many of her colleagues in contempt.  To be blunt, the feeling is probably mutual.  Following her SBU interview of 15th March she stated “I know that now there are many military people who hear me, who agree that a military coup in Ukraine is quite an expected and probably quite a right event.

She has also displayed a course of action that calls into question any regard for the security services of Ukraine by occasionally ignoring protocols, and thus drawing SBU angst, regarding undisclosed visits to the temporarily occupied territories.

Without dwelling upon the pre-existing personal issues of Ms Savchenko prior to her captivity, clearly detention within the occupied territories, and subsequently Russia, will have a psychological effect – particularly so as there is no question that she will have been subjected to various forms of interrogation – and various degrees of severity of interrogation with regard to method and application too.

Who would fully trust anybody that claimed they were unchanged having emerged from such an experience?

Clearly whatever the substance to the allegations made, Ms Savchenko can no longer remain a member of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security and Defence until the matter is resolved.

It remains to be seen what will make it into the public domain.  It has become habit for the PGO or certain Ukrainian politicians to produce evidence in the (social) media long before any court case begins. The court of public opinion seemingly taking priority over the court of law with regard to evidence and its disclosure.

Regardless, there will be intense interest in what now follows, and not only domestically – for which foreign ambassador to Ukraine upon her release did not host, be photographed with, or (despite what may have been otherwise privately expressed) fail to publicly orate robust words of support for Ms Savchenko?

The fall of Ms Savchenko then, will have to be achieved under the gaze of many particularly sharp eyes.

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