Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Coup preparations in Ukraine actively supported by Russian troops

Authorities ready to oppress opposition protests
over disputed elections with foreign armed forces

From Our Ukraine

According to the latest reports, after 19-00 local time several planes with Russian special military units have landed in Boryspil International airport near Kyiv. The precise number of planes as well as the number of militants is unclear for now.

Earlier today Oleksandr Zinchenko, the head of Victor Yushchenko's election campaign, declared that Russian Special Forces "Vityaz", up to 1000 strong, have been deployed in Kyiv. They had been brought to Ukraine from Russia on the eve of 21 November elections and remain in Kyiv, it is alleged. "All members of the Russian Special Forces are dressed in Ukrainian uniforms and none of them have any identification documents" announced Zinchenko.

Zinchenko stated that "Vityaz" special-forces have three main tasks: "first – ensuring the disappearance of 10-15 key opposition leaders. Second – isolating via arrests several influential members of the Victor Yushchenko's team, who are not people's deputies of Ukraine and do not have immunity. Third – provoking violent confrontations and conflicts in the streets of the capital to create conditions for introducing an emergency situation". The presence of Russian military personnel is viewed as the last resort of Kuchma's personal security, because, according to sources, he is not confident in the loyalty of Ukraine 's Security Service personnel in case of actions of mass protest.

According to information from dwellers of Irpin city outside of Kyiv, a big unit of Russian Vityaz special forces are being deployed near Ukrainian capital. Local town residents witness that Russian special forces are known for their brutal operations in Chechnya and are being equipped with Ukrainian special police force uniforms as well as civil dress.

"Vityaz" special forces that landed at a military airport near the Ukrainian capital yesterday, are supposedly based in Bryansk (Russia). According to experts they also specialize on carrying out special operations abroad, but most widely known for their operations in Chechnya and defending the Moscow TV Tower in 1993. The ex-commander of Vityaz unit was awarded the "Hero of Russia" award for operation against Russia's Duma in 1993.

According to the Ukrainian Constitution, foreign armed forces can be located on the territory of Ukraine only if granted permission by Ukraine's Parliament.

Official sources deny Russian forces are deployed in Ukraine. According to the Member of Parliament Yuliya Tymoshenko, foreign armed forces are located in the courtyards of the presidential administration, currently surrounded by protesting citizens.

Yesterday, November 23rd, Ukrainian MP Yuliya Tymoshenko witnessed Russian special forces are backing Ukrainian police around presidential administration.

Today another Ukrainian MP and colonel of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) Georgiy Omelchenko demanded the Head of the SSU Ihor Smeshko uncover all information on the foreign troops illegally present in Ukraine. He also appealed to Smeshko to use all means and power necessary to remove concealed foreign troops even through use of Ukrainian Alfa special security units. Olexandr Zinchenko also demanded "that Russian Special Forces leave the country immediately. If that is not done, Ukraine and Russia will be involved in an international scandal with unpredictable international consequences."


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