Kyiv, 16 April 2014 – According to the expert estimate made by Dmytro Tymchuk, coordinator of the Information Resistance Group, Ukraine has enough resources to carry out a counter-terrorism operation (CTO): “We are powerful enough to carry out a CTO. This type of operations is different from military ones in that it requires different factors to be taken into account, such as the terrorists’ weapons and the specific features of the seized premises. Professionalism of those in charge of the operation is of paramount importance. In our case it is being carried out by the people who have the greatest experience in conducting similar operations in Ukraine,” said the expert during a press briefing at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
As the Ukrainian security and law enforcement authorities have been under a lot of criticism recently for the lack of promptness in conducting a full-scale counter-terrorism operation, Dmytro Tymchuk explained that “it should be appreciated that the CTO management was appointed at the same time as the decree to conduct the CTO was issued by the interim President. It was necessary to assess the situation and determine the strategy and the tactics, which takes time.”
According to Mr. Tymchuk, planning and conducting of the CTO is further complicated by several factors: “Russia wants it to appear as though Ukraine is effectively in the state of civil war. This is why the number one task for the Ukrainian security and law enforcement authorities is to minimize the death toll, both among the civilians and the separatists. As for the Russian officers – or the ‘little green men’ as they are called – we do not have any information on what the order was with regards to them.”
The success of the tactics is demonstrated by the fact that since the operation began on April 14, according to the information available to the Information Resistance Group, there have been no deaths on the part of Ukraine or Russia, while at the same time an aerodrome was successfully retaken in Kramatorsk. Also, Dmytro Tymchuk said that as far as they are aware there have been no cases of armored carriers being captured.
Mr. Tymchuk says that the driving force of the separatists includes Ukrainian oligarchs who want to avoid their corrupt business schemes from being investigated: “Nevertheless, it is doubtful that they wish to join Russia as they all remember Mr. Khodorkovskyi’s story. At present, oligarchs only share the tactical plans with Russia, as federalization is an opportunity for them to stay in power in their local ‘czardoms’.”
Dmytro Tymchuk is pessimistic about the prospects of the Geneva meeting due on April 18: “The most important task for Russia is to divide Ukraine and have the southeastern region secede from the country. At the same time, it is unlikely that it will be willing to accept this region as part of the Russian Federation. The meeting in Geneva on April 18 is unlikely to yield the results desired by Ukraine and the West. Ukraine must act immediately because terrorism is spreading across Ukraine. At the same time, Russia says that it will only negotiate if no force is used in the east of Ukraine. That is why Russia is most likely to wreck the negotiations.”
Dmytro Tymchuk is the Director of the Center for Military and Political Research, coordinator of the Information Resistance Group and a military expert.