Gordon M. Hahn
Gordon M. Hahn is Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington, D.C. Senior Researcher and Adjunct Professor, Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program, Monterey, California
Sorry to report this, but regrettably its constitutes the facts. Americans please be wary of what you read from the US mainstream media and DC think tank community. The owner of the falsified data presented below is a frequent presenter on Ukraine and Russia at the Heritage Foundation and elsewhere. He is a former writer at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and has taught in a university in Estonia.
In a recent post published in Johnson’s Russia List on February 20th, Paul Goble claimed that Russian newspaper Novaya gazeta editor Dmitrii Muratov discussed on the ‘Osoboe mnenie’ (Personal or Special Opinion) talk show on radio station Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) said a document in his possession "confirmed that ‘the plan of war in Ukraine was developed in the administration of the president of Russia,” that is, by Putin’s entourage” (Paul Goble, "Putin Aide Linked to Maidan Killings,” Window on Eurasia posted in Jounson’s Russia List, No. 32, 20 February 2015, http://russialist.org/putin-aide-linked-to-maidan-killings/).
Goble has falsified the facts. Nowhere in this interview or anywhere elese does Muratov say this. He in fact said: "This document, which purportedly was prepared by a group of people, in which, purportedly, participated the well-known oligarch, a man, who stole credit in VTB (VneshTorgBank or the Foreign Trade Bank), who is close to AFK ‘Sistema’ (a major Russian hiolding company), a person who is the creator of his own large foundation – I have in mind that Orthodox Christian, major oligarch Konstantin Malofeev… (interviewer interrupts) … Someone from his circle, I think, that people (in his circle) have greater opportunity than he to go to the administration of the president, to the Kremlin, and they brought this scenario of possible events there” (echo.msk.ru/programs/personalno/1494328-echo/).
So instead of a plan drafted in the Kremlin, as Goble falsely claims, the scenario was written by a private group. Some in the group, in the editor’s opinion, had better access to the Kremlin than the groups’s leader, the oligarch Malofeev, and, in Muratov’s opinion, they were in a position or actually took this draft of scenarios and contingencies to the Kremlin. Even if the report was brought or sent to the Kremlin, it would have been one of tens of such reports, some of which would have been from much more powerful entities than a private group – the SVR, GRU, FSB, and MoD, just to mention a few.
Goble further claims: "The ‘document shows, Muratov said, that this plan was developed in the Kremlin between February 4 and February 15 of last year, that is, before Viktor Yanukovich fled from Kyiv’.”
Again Goble has falsified Muratov’s claims: In fact, Muratov said nothing about the document being drafted ‘in the Kremlin.’ He said: "We can presuppose that this (the occurrence of the drafting) was in the period approximately from 4 to 15 February 2014, and there had still not been any overthrow of Yanukovich” (Russian: "Мы можем предположить, что это в период приблизительно от 4 до 15 февраля 2014 года, еще никакого свержения Януковича нет” – seeecho.msk.ru/programs/personalno/1494328-echo/).
Goble also cites SBU chief Valentin Nalivaichenko’s claims that Putin aide Vladislav Surkov organized and coordinated the alleged police sniper attacks that killed tens of civilians on 20 February 2015 as evidence that Putin sponsored those attacks (echo.msk.ru/programs/personalno/1494328-echo/). As usual Nalivaichenko presented no proof; he simply said they had evidence. Moreover, the preponderance of proof ever since the first days after those events shows that in fact elements within the Maida protest movement were behind the sniper shootings, which targeted both police and demonstrators. A recent BBC report included claims by one armed demonstrator that he had fired at police. The work of Katchanovskii is also recommended (www.academia.edu/8776021/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine), not to mention the well-publicized March 2014 audiotape of the Estonian foreign minister saying that the general opinion in Kiev was that the elements within the Maidan were responsible for the sniper attacks.
We have heard this type of thing before from the SBU and other Ukrainian leaders. Left out of Goble’s ‘report’ is that the SBU, including Nalivaichenko, have lied on numerous occasions about capturing 20, then 100 GRU agents and other matters going back to at least April of last year. The supposedly captured GRU agents were never shown in public, and after a few weeks were never even mentioned again.
Also in April last year, the SBU’s claim of evidence of one particular alleged GRU agent was exposed as fake, forcing the New York Times and NATO’s Atlantic Council to back off their claims based on the SBU-misrepresented photographs (see my post and another by Sergei Saradzhyan in JRL, No. 94, 24 April 2014,http://russialist.org/russia-ukraine-jrl-2014-94-contents-with-links-thursday-24-april-2014/).
More recently, Ukraine passed photographs of Russian tanks allegedly in Ukraine to a US Senator who presented them in a presentation on the floor of the Senate, but only to have them exposed this time by a surprisingly, suddenly wary NYT, which showed that the photographs were from the 2008 South Ossetiya war (http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/02/14/world/europe/sifting-ukrainian-fact-from-ukrainian-fiction.html?referrer&_r=1).