Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

War or criminal showdown?

Dmytro TYMCHUK: “Kyiv is turning into a theater for never-ending acts of terror and sabotage. Something is to be done with this”
1 November, 2017 - 17:54
Photo from Amina OKUYEVA’s Facebook page

Explosions and shootouts in the country’s rear are, unfortunately, becoming a daily occurrence. The fear of danger benumbs some and prompts others to show a hysterical reaction, particularly in social media. The murder of Amina Okuyeva on Monday evening brought about the main version of the tragedy – the settling of scores between Ramzan Kadyrov and the Chechen married couple. All the more so that a recent explosion wounded MP Ihor Mosiichuk who had also been receiving threats from the Chechen dictator and with whom Amina Okuyeva and Adam Osmayev planned to meet. Incidentally, Okuyeva was Mosiichuk’s assistant. When Viktor Yanukovych was still in power, Russia demanded that Ukraine extradite Osmayev whom the Kremlin suspects of preparing an attempt on Putin’s life. In November 2014 an Odesa court dismissed the Putin attempted assassination charge against Osmayev, and the latter and his wife volunteered to the ATO as fighters of the Kyiv 2 special-purpose police regiment.

There was an attempt on their life in early June. At that moment, Amina reacted quickly and aimed a pistol at the killer. Incidentally, it is the interior minister’s advisor Anton Herashchenko who gave her the pistol. The attacker was the Saint Petersburg-based Chechen killer Artur Denisultanov-Kurmakayev. They were provided with security guards whom the couple gave up after Adam had been discharged from hospital. Amina and Adam thus became obvious targets. This flouting of security looks very strange, to say the least, because Amina said in an interview that she considered herself to be in greater danger in the rear than at the front. Tellingly, official bodies reacted with great reservation to this high-profile event, mostly confining themselves to sympathies and then traditional stories about the Russian and Chechen connection. The police interpret this crime as a contract killing of ATO volunteer Amina Okuyeva. An interception operation was announced on Monday evening.

The interior minister’s advisor Anton HERASHCHENKO said in his turn that “there are two principal versions [of Okuyeva’s murder]: first, a murder aimed at destabilizing the situation, whipping up the atmosphere of terror in Ukraine, and, second, vengeance on Adam Osmayev for Kadyrov.” Besides, the MP specified that any other versions would also be considered if necessary.

Kyiv oblast police spokesman Mykola ZHUKOVYCH told the 112 Ukraine TV channel: “We are taking into account information from local residents, adding all the information we receive to the materials of criminal proceedings, conducting an investigation, but we are not disclosing the number of people and the weapons used because we are clarifying all this.” According to journalists, there were at least two attackers.

Social media users have already begun to post pictures of the well-known people killed in the past few years. They are thus mixing the names which perhaps should not be put next to each other. Still, it is noteworthy that even the murders of special-force officers, such as Oleksandr Kharaberiush in March this year and Maksym Shapoval in June, have not yet been solved. Yet explosions in the center of Ukrainian cities, including the capital, are causing, to put it mildly, an element of deep concern in society.

According to experts, only those who work at the crime scene can suggest plausible versions of the murder. All the other versions can in any way be accessible to the general public. The number of terrorist acts that occur on the seemingly peaceful territory of Ukraine proves the weakness of security and police bodies. Experts believe that this weakness can be put down to the transitional period and some controversial reforms which have resulted in the loss of a large number of specialists.

Chechen politician Ahmed ZAKAYEV, now residing in London, presumed in a Priamyi TV channel program that Russian security services are standing behind the murder of Okuyeva and suggested a version that there is a large terrorist group in Ukraine, which works for the Kremlin. Zakayev also links the attempt on the life of Ihor Mosiichuk with the murder of Okuyeva. But far from all experts agree that the explosion near the Espresso TV channel office, which claimed the life of two policemen, should be linked to Mosiichuk only. The politicization of this incident only obscures matters.

“We have reached the moment when we can put ticklish questions to law-enforces,” MP Dmytro TYMCHUK says to The Day, “because the city of Kyiv is turning into a theater for never-ending acts of terror and sabotage. It is absolutely unacceptable. In the three years since the beginning of Russian aggression, we have seen Odesa as a city that deserved 7 to 8 points by the 10-point scale of risk. The same applied to Kharkiv. Now that reconnaissance and sabotage groups have supposedly been neutralized in Odesa and Kharkiv, Kyiv is a bridgehead for their activities. Something is to be done with this. I am going to ask the Interior Ministry and the SBU directly at the next session of the National Security and Defense Council about the measures they are taking. It is easy to ascribe everything to the Russian connection, which is true in many cases. But if there is a well-ramified network of Russian special services in Kyiv today, which carry out sabotage and terrorist acts, it is at least an occasion to draw very serious conclusions.”

It seems to be common knowledge what the surgeon Amina Okuyeva was doing at the front. Her heroism is undeniable. Her comrades-in-arms as well as General Staff officers speak highly of her. But what did Okuyeva do in the rear? Very few can answer this question. The version “the Kremlin is killing them” seems to be so obvious that it drowns other versions which many are just afraid to discuss among the general public. This gives rise to the rumors which nobody is ready to confirm or to deny. This series of high-profile murders so far resembles the 1990s, when the chaos in society was being quelled with tough special operations, such as explosions in jeeps and submachine-gun fire. In the period of instability, special services and law-enforcement bodies used to regain their positions by way of a systemic pin-point liquidation of those who posed a potential threat to the system as a whole. The recent showdowns between the former volunteers, some of whom sided with the Interior Ministry and others were recruited by some politicians, only prove that there are serious problems in our rear.

By Valentyn TORBA, The Day