19:27 23.10.2023

During war, SBU, GUR liquidate dozens of Russian officials, collaborators in occupied territories, in Russia

3 min read

During the full-scale aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the SBU and the Main Intelligence Agency of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine eliminated dozens of Russian officials in the occupied territories, collaborators, Russian officers and supporters of the war on the territory of the Russian Federation, says The Washington Post.

In a story based on interviews with former and current intelligence and security officials from the United States, Europe and Ukraine, published on Monday, the publication notes that many of Ukraine’s clandestine operations “have had clear military objectives and contributed to the country’s defense.”

“The car bombing that killed Daria Dugina, however, underscored Ukraine’s embrace of what officials in Kyiv refer to as ‘liquidations’ as a weapon of war,” the publication says.

The WP notes: “Over the past 20 months, the SBU and its military counterpart, the GUR, have carried out dozens of assassinations against Russian officials in occupied territories, alleged Ukrainian collaborators, military officers behind the front lines and prominent war supporters deep inside Russia.”

Referring to the words of Ukrainian and Western officials, the publication says that those killed include “a former Russian submarine commander jogging in a park in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar and a militant blogger at a cafe in St. Petersburg [Vladlen Tatarov].

According to WP, such operations somewhat complicated cooperation with the CIA.

Even those who see such lethal missions as defensible in wartime question the utility of certain strikes and decisions that led to the targeting of civilians including Dugina or her father, Alexander Dugin — who officials acknowledge was the intended mark — rather than Russians more directly linked to the war,” the article says.

Also, as the publication says, in some cases, including the bombing of the Kerch Bridge, U.S. officials expressed concern.

In total, according to WP, since Russia first seized Ukrainian territory in 2014 — a period during which the services also forged “deep new bonds with the CIA.”

“The missions have involved elite teams of Ukrainian operatives drawn from directorates that were formed, trained and equipped in close partnership with the CIA,” the WP said referring to current and former Ukrainian and U.S. officials, specifying that since 2015, the CIA has spent tens of millions of dollars “to transform Ukraine’s Soviet-formed services into potent allies against Moscow.”

“The CIA maintains a significant presence in Kyiv,” the article reads.

“We never involved our international partners in covert operations, especially behind the front lines,” the ezine said referring to a former senior Ukrainian security official. According to him, SBU and GUR operatives were not accompanied by CIA counterparts, and Ukraine avoided using weapons or equipment that could be traced to U.S. sources.