Orange Shadows

How some of the siloviki went over to Yushchenko and, in their account, helped prevent a crackdown in Kiev on or around November. One of the reasons the orange revolution didn’t end in blood red.

Difficult to check, of course, and naturally the services want to ingratiate themselves with the new regime, but consistent in its outlines with what we were hearing at the time, too.

While wet snow fell on the rally in Independence Square, an undercover colonel from the Security Service of Ukraine, or S.B.U., moved among the protesters’ tents. He represented the successor agency to the K.G.B., but his mission, he said, was not against the protesters. It was to thwart the mobilizing troops. He warned opposition leaders that a crackdown was afoot.

Simultaneously, senior intelligence officials were madly working their secure telephones, in one instance cooperating with an army general to persuade the Interior Ministry to turn back.

The officials issued warnings, saying that using force against peaceful rallies was illegal and could lead to prosecution and that if ministry troops came to Kiev, the army and security services would defend civilians, said an opposition leader who witnessed some of the exchanges and Oleksander Galaka, head of the military’s intelligence service, the G.U.R., who made some of the calls.

Read the whole story before it disappears into pay-per-view.

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About Doug Merrill

Freelance journalist based in Tbilisi, following stints in Atlanta, Budapest, Munich, Warsaw and Washington. Worked for a German think tank, discovered it was incompatible with repaying US student loans. Spent two years in financial markets. Bicycled from Vilnius to Tallinn. Climbed highest mountains in two Alpine countries (the easy ones, though). American center-left, with strong yellow dog tendencies. Arrived in the Caucasus two weeks before its latest war.

One thought on “Orange Shadows

  1. One item that did not appear in the story (unless I missed it) is that the transcript of the conversation among Yanukovich operatives was also delivered to the Supreme Court during the hearing that resulted in the overturning of the election. There is no way for me to confirm this, but several Ukrainian attorneys with whom I work also volunteered to assist the Yushchenko campaign and mentioned it to me. As I watched the hearings, I could not help to notice two things – the utter incompetance of the Yanukovich legal team as compared to Yushchenko’s lead counsel and the complete, obvious disdain displayed by the senior justice toward the Yanukovich lawyers. The latter may have been the result of the transcripts.

    Anyway – we are hoping for an inauguration this Saturday. One million expected in and around Maidan. It will be better than the coronation and ushering in of the new ‘Guilded Age’ in DC.

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