Saturday, 13 August 2016

What we know of the foiled terrorist plot in Crimea

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s main intelligence directorate terror plot foiled in Crimea August 2016 SITREP, by Scott

12 August, 2016

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s main intelligence directorate terror plot foiled in Crimea August 2016 SITREP
I will keep updating this post over the next couple of days.
I have a large amount of information mostly in Russian, that’s why it takes me long time to translate.
Please, keep checking back for updates.
How it’s all started
The shooting took place in the area of the Isthmus of Perekop,  the narrow, 5–7 kilometers wide strip of land that connects the Crimean Peninsula to the Ukraine. The shootout occurred early in the morning on the border of Russia and Ukraine in Krasnoperekopsk district of Crimea. As a result of the incident one border guard was killed, three others got wounded. The victims were taken to a local hospital.
The Colonel Cassad had just posted an image of an announcement made by the administration of  the town of  Novo-Krymsk
Important Announcement
According to the information received from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a severe crime was committed on the territory of Armyansk. In connection with this crime, the law enforcement is looking for four individuals wearing Russia’s khaki colored general armed forces uniform with a diamond shaped chevron on the left sleeve with the flag of the Russian Federation. They could be on a move using motorized vehicles or on foot.
All of them have Slavic appearance. A description of two of them:
180-195 centimeters tall, with athletic body type and blonde hair. Approximately 30-35 years old.
All these individuals are heavily armed with fire arms. Report them to your local law enforcement, or your local civil authorities.”
What was reported on August 8, via the Russian blogosphere:
  1. The FSB in Crimea received information that near Armyansk was found a cache of explosives. The operative group went to the scene.2. When the FSB group arrived in the designated place, they found a group of 20 heavily armed men engaged in loading explosives from an underground dugout onto their vehicles. These men immediately opened fire on the task force.3. A fight ensued during which one officer was killed. Then the FSB called for reinforcement from the military. During the clashes, the enemy acted quite competently.4. In the ensuing battle, an unidentified group broke up. 14 or 15 people moved by water (water is knee deep for 3 kilometers) and dragged along with them 1 200x, and unknown number of 300x ) onto the Ukrainian territory. At this time, armored vehicles came into water on the Ukrainian side, and provided fire support for the terrorists group.5. On our side, there was another one 200x and one 300x. 4 people from the group remained in the Crimea and now the manhunt is underway, that’s why newspapers published a photo robot and the announcements. It looks like this operation is called the “Fortress”.6. A cache of up to 500 kilograms of explosives (not just TNT explosives) was seized. Now there is a search for 4(5) people. The order is to apprehend them alive. That’s explains why we had so many killed and wounded. There is a possibility that they might be able to withdraw from Crimea, or lay low somewhere.
On August 8th, as soon as the rumors about the shooting reached the Ukrainian side, the state border service of Ukraine announced the temporary suspension of admission of people and vehicles through all three checkpoints on the border with Crimea on Sunday.   According to the statement, such measures taken in response to actions of the Russian side allegedly suspended similar operations. “That’s why moving from mainland Ukraine at the checkpoint “Kalanchak”, “Chaplynka” and “Chongar” on the territory of the Crimea is also not possible,” stated a press release.
When people, who were waiting at the checkpoints to get to Crimea, heard that checkpoints were closing, they started to run across the border.
August 8th, the day when border control closed and people were running across the border from Ukraine to Crimea

On the border of Ukraine with Crimea there are three car checkpoint: “Kalanchak” (on the Russian side, “Armenian”), “Chaplynka” (“Perekop and Chongar” (Dzhankoy).
In July, the Crimean border Department of the FSB of Russia accused their Ukrainian colleagues in slowness. Since the Ukrainian side was too slow, the Russian checkpoint “Dzhankoi” experienced long traffic queues.
Immediately after the shootout, the Ukrainian side started spreading  rumors alleging concentration of Russian military equipment on the border and military control of the border crossings.  There was no actual evidence to support these rumors, at the time.
Movements of military equipment took place in Ukraine: the accumulation of military equipment of Ukraine and NATO troops in the Kherson region (perhaps with the aim of transfer them to the Mariupol direction through Berdyansk. It is possible to strengthen the group in the South of Kherson region).
According to the observation of Colonel Cassad, on our side, contrary to the West spread rumors, people observed the moving columns of armored vehicles across the Kerch Strait to Russian mainland, which disproves the Ukrainian rumors that Russia is amassing troops in Crimea. Considering that the concentration of the troops of the Russian Federation in the Northern Crimea surpasses everything that Ukraine has concentrated in the Kherson region.
On August 8,  the News Front reported that it was the staged provocation of the Ukraine
Ukraine staged a provocation on the border with Crimea. This was announced by the head of news Agency News Front Konstantin Knyrik on his page in facebook.
Enough with the rumors. Yes indeed, last night in Armyansk was a provocation by the Ukrainian saboteurs, trying to break on the Crimean territory. After that the Ukrainian side unilaterally closed the pass on the border for more than 1,500 people. The Ukrainian border guards didn’t let people to pass , but they say that the Russian side had closed the pass,” wrote Konstantin Knarik.
He added that  there is no proof  of  “the break through on the territory of  a Sabotage and Reconnaissance groups (DRG) nowhere there is no proof, about the victims on the part of our guards, too, but the fact of provocation from the Ukrainian side took place. That’s all for now…”
On August 10th, the FSB announced that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has prevented terrorist attacks in Crimea that were planned by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s intelligence agency.
The FSB announcement
Press Release
Translated by Kristina Kharlova
FSB prevented terrorist acts in Republic of Crimea prepared by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine
The Federal security service of Russian Federation prevented terrorist acts in Republic of Crimea prepared by the Main intelligence department of the Ministry of defense of Ukraine, targeting critical elements of infrastructure and life support of the peninsula.
The purpose of sabotage and terrorist acts was to destabilize the socio-political situation in the region during the period of preparation and the process of elections of federal and regional authorities.
As a result of the investigation activities on the night of 6th to 7th August 2016 near the city of Armyansk, Republic of Crimea, a group of saboteurs was discovered. During the arrest of terrorists an employee of FSB of Russia was killed in a firefight. On the site of the clashes the following evidence was found: 20 improvised explosive devices with total capacity of more than 40 kilograms of TNT, ammunition and special means of initiation, regular antipersonnel and magnetic mines as well as grenades and special weapons used by special units of the armed forces of Ukraine.
Measures were taken on the territory of Crimean peninsula to liquidate a network of agents of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Armed forces of Ukraine. Detained persons were citizens of Ukraine and Russian Federation, assisting in the preparation of terrorist acts, who had confessed. One of the organizers of the prevented acts of terrorism is Panov Evgeniy Aleksandrovich, 1977 year of birth, the inhabitant of the Zaporozhye region, the employee of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) of Ukraine, who was detained and has confessed.
On the night of the 8th of August 2016 special forces of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine carried out two attempts of a breakthrough by sabotage and terrorist groups, which were prevented by law enforcement units of the Russian FSB and other involved agencies. Breakthrough was attempted under the cover of a massive attack from the neighboring state [Ukraine – FR] involving armored vehicles of Ukrainian armed forces. During the firefight, a soldier of the Defense Ministry of Russian Federation was killed.
Based on the results of the investigative and combat operations, the investigative department of the FSB of Russia in the Republic of Crimea and city of Sevastopol opened a criminal case. Additional operational activities and investigation are conducted.
Additional security measures were taken in places of public gatherings and recreation, and also for the protection of critical infrastructure. Security at the border with Ukraine has been strengthened.”
FSB released video

The same day, during the press conference with the President of Armenia, President Putin said: 
I think it’s obvious that Kiev’s current authorities are not seeking ways to solve problems through negotiations, but have turned to terrorism.”
Putin also named the Lugansk people’s republic by its full name and without obligatory “self-proclaimed.”
He also called an attempt on the life of the head of LPR, Plotnitsky, an act of terror.
No more “Petr Alexeevich” or “Ukrainian president.” Now on, when writing about Ukraine everyone should use “current Kiev’s authorities.”
Putin on Ukrainian saboteur groups captured in Crimea August 10th 2016

August 11, “Panov was detained on suspicion of preparing and attempting terrorist attacks in Crimea
KIEV, August 11. /TASS/. Yevgeny Panov detained on suspicion of organizing terrorist attacks in Crimea is a Ukrainian national, a spokesman for Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service, Oleg Slobodyan, told a news conference on Thursday.
According to the FSB, one of the organizers of the planned terrorist attacks was Yevgeny Panov, a resident of Ukraine’s Zaporozhye region born in 1977, an employee of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s main intelligence directorate who was detained as well and is giving a confession.
The Russian Federal Security Service reported on Wednesday that it had spotted and detained a group of Ukrainian saboteurs overnight to August 7 near the city of Armyansk (Crimea) and that it had prevented terrorist attacks in Crimea prepared by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s main intelligence directorate. Their planned targets were critically important infrastructure and life support facilities. Twenty improvised explosive devices containing more than 40 kilograms of TNT equivalent, ammunition, fuses, antipersonnel and magnetic bombs, grenades and the Ukrainian armed forces’ standard special weapons were found at the scene, the FSB said.”
Russia: FSB says Ukrainian detainee Yevgeny Panov admitted plotting attacks in Crimea

Published on Aug 11, 2016
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested a Ukrainian man in Simferopol, Thursday, on suspicion of organising terrorist attacks on the territory of Crimea. The suspect was identified as Evgeni Panov, a resident of Zaporozhye region in southern Ukraine. According to the FSB, Panov has pleaded guilty to plotting the attacks in Crimea.
SOT, Official (Russian): “What is your relation to the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine?”
Evgeni Panov, Suspect (Russian): “I was invited to Kiev [*JUMP CUT AT SOURCE*] … I was told that a group was being organised for carrying out sabotage actions on the territory of Crimea.”
SOT, Official (Russian): “Who were the members of the group?”
Evgeni Panov, Suspect (Russian): “The group included staff officers of the Ukrainian military intelligence. Members of the group were Alexander Kirillov with the call name ‘Kiril’; staff officer Dmitri Semyanin; Oleg Petrenko with the call name ‘Fox’; Aleksei Sandil with the call name ‘Sai’; as well as a man with the call name ‘Deshek’; and myself. The staff officers were Aleksei Sandil who holds the rank of lieutenant; Vladimir Serdyuk – captain, Dmitri and [Alexander] Kirillov were also officers, but I am not aware of their titles.” *JUMP CUT AT SOURCE*
SOT, Official (Russian): “What is the role of the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence in this operation?”
Evgeni Panov, Suspect (Russian): “As far as I know, this operation was planned by the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence with the help of its staff officers.”
SOT, Evgeni Panov, Suspect (Russian): “I understood the risk of this operation. According to my sources, an explosion of military hardware of the Russian Ministry of Defence was expected. Of course, there was a risk of a high death toll.”
Russia: Ukrainian detainee Ridvan Suleymanov tells of alleged plan to bomb Simferopol airport

s of alleged plan to bomb Simferopol airport

Published on Aug 12, 2016
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested a Ukrainian man in Simferopol, Friday, on suspicion of organising planned terrorist attacks on the territory of Crimea. The suspect was identified as Ridvan Suleymanov, a resident of the Zaporozhye region in southern Ukraine, who was allegedly recruited by the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence in October 2015.
SOT, Ridvan Suleymanov, alleged agent of the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence (Russian): “I went to Simferopol airport on July 30 where I contacted Pavel Nikolaevich and informed him that I was in position and had successfully planted the bomb. He texted me an ‘+’ which meant that I should wait until they contacted me with a conference call with the police.
I walked around, waited and then they phoned me. During the conference call I heard something that shocked me: ‘I’m Amir Karimov. Today other brothers and I are turning from a small to a big jihad. Promptly at 12 o’clock we will blow up the central airport of the city of Simferopol and also the central bus stations of Simferopol, Yalta and Sevastopol and the Kerch Strait ferry line.’
After that I went directly to the airport to monitor the reaction of law enforcement agencies. I took five photos and sent them to him through the ‘Line’ app. After that I was arrested by the law enforcement agency.”
Russia: FSB seize explosives allegedly earmarked for Crimea attack [Thanks, Baaz, for links]

On August 11th, the Russia’s MID (Foreign Ministry) issued a statement
Terrorists’ Plans
The Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (HUR MOU) was preparing to target the Russian peninsula’s critical infrastructure, the FSB announced on Wednesday.
A group of infiltrators was discovered near the town of Armyansk in northern Crimea near the Ukrainian border in a special FSB operation over the weekend, the agency said, adding that fire was exchanged as the terrorists were being apprehended.
The infiltrators also planned to blow up a highway in the region at the time motorcades with local officials and federal authorities would have been driving through it.
Arrested officer of the Ukraine’s military intelligence Panov: “Oil depots, ferry lines and chemical plants were the targets of our sabotage operation

Captured saboteur Panov is singing like a bird. mission was planned by military intelligence service.
Ukrainian terrorist Panov has also admitted to take a part in punitive criminal actions against civilians in Donbas, so called “ATO”
Диверсант Панов и в карательной операции мирного населения Донбасса поучаствовал.Нужно обязательно осудить и за это.
August 12, The footage of Ridvan Sulemanov questioning was released by the Russian Federal Security Service
The agent recruited by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s intelligence service has described how he selected places for planting bombs at the airport and bus station in Simferopol, Crimea’s capital.
The footage of Ridvan Sulemanov questioning was released by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) on Friday.
Crimea terror attacks foiled
·        The Russian Foreign Ministry has named two suspects detained in connection with the foiled terror attacks in Crimea: Yevgeny Panov and Andrei Zakhtei.
·        Attack on Crimea: a suspect in a terror plot Evgeniy Panov’s confession
Poroshenko said he has ordered Ukraine’s foreign minister to initiate phone conversations with Russia’s President Putin, as well as the German, French, and US leaders, and the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk.
Vladimir Putin held a briefing session with permanent members of the Security Council.
Consequences and development
·        Panicking, Kiev authorities called for the emergency meeting of the UN Security Council
·        As for the rest, I think that it was useful for us. We provided the information on the incident,” Churkin concluded.
Churkin earlier said he was puzzled by Kiev’s decision to focus the attention of the UN Security Council on the situation in Crimea as Moscow sees actions of Ukrainian infiltrators in Crimea as a clear instance of sabotage and terrorism.
This was a clear act of sabotage and terrorism and I’m astonished that they raised the issue at the UN Security Council,” Churkin said on Thursday before the beginning of a meeting of the Security Council on Crimea.
On August 12, First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov received EU Ambassador to Russia Vygaudas Ušackas.
During their conversation, the officials discussed urgent issues of European security and Russia-EU cooperation as well as a number of international problems, including developments in Syria and Ukraine.Mr Titov gave detailed explanations to Mr Ušackas regarding the attempts by employees of Ukraine’s Defence Ministry to stage acts of terror in Ukraine, which were foiled by Russia’s competent authorities.
August 12, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said earlier on Friday that he does not rule out that diplomatic relations with Ukraine could be severed
Thank you for your time,

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