Crimean case of Security Service, Semenchenko's PMC, price of Biden's call to Zelensky

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Find out watershed political events of the last days
13:29, 29 March 2021

Ukraine's Security Service
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These days the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) appeared in the public focus. The secret service suddenly decided to conduct a search in the office of the Ukrainian Choice organization, suspecting it of illegal activities.

Ukrainian Choice, led by Viktor Medvedchuk, has been inactive for more than two years, and the office, which was searched, has been owned by the organizational structures of the Opposition Platform - For Life party for a year and a half.

Therefore, it is obvious that it was not the search for traces of the disappeared organization, but the intimidation of the opposition party that was the main goal of the SBU. But even so, everything was ridiculous.

Because the secret service was even more late with the accusation against the Ukrainian Choice than with the addressee: Medvedchuk's former organization was accused of facilitating the annexation of Crimea to Russia by actively participating in the organization of the March 2014 "referendum".

In the context of the "historical research" that the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) conducts every week, such a belated accusation against the organization is not too surprising. The selective approach used by the security forces in the search for those responsible for the annexation of Crimea is surprising.

Perhaps some Crimean activists of the Ukrainian Choice in March 2014 really helped organize the "referendum". But Ukrainian Choice, of course, was not such a large-scale organization that its branch could seriously influence the course of events. But other structures could.

Among them, the Crimean Directorate of the SBU held a key position. And today it is not difficult to find news that this department in its entirety took Russian citizenship and turned it into the Crimean department of the FSB. So the first on the list for the search (by analogy with the Ukrainian Choice) should have been the central office of the SBU itself.

And after him it would already be possible to search the Ministry of Defense, most of whose Crimean subordinates, led by the commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Berezovsky, went over to the side of Russia, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Office of the Prosecutor General, and so on. It remains to be hoped that the SBU is consistent in its actions and will not forget about these searches either. And, of course, she will start with herself.

Related: Semenchenko: I have always acted in the interests of Ukraine and deny SBU accusations

Semenchenko and PMC: has the ex-battalion commander violated the law?

The day before the search in the Opposition Platform - For Life, the Security Service conducted another special operation - to hand over suspicions to the former People's Deputy and the former commander of the Donbas battalion Semen Semenchenko and "NABU agent" Yevgen Shevchenko. Both are accused of trying to create an illegal armed formation on the territory of Ukraine - a private military company.

Security Service detains ex-MP Semenchenko, NABU 'agent' Shevchenko on suspicion of organizing private military company
Ukraine's Security Service

Head of the Executive Committee of Reforms Mikho Saakashvili spoke in defense of his former (or not?) Colleague, who accused the SBU of sucking the whole story out of the finger - they say, there are already several PMCs, for the creation of which Semenchenko and Shevchenko are persecuted. years and quite legally trains his fighters in Poland and Ukraine. Saakashvili predicted the collapse of the case and proposed to disperse the SBU, which drives outright bullshit.

Related: Private military company associated with Semenchenko worked in interests of Kolomoysky, - journalistic investigation

But it’s not that simple. The only common thing between the bullshit about the Ukrainian choice and the "bullshit" about the Semenchenko-Shevchenko PMC is that in both cases the special service got the criminal cases from the dusty archives and tried to make them relevant.

However, in the case of PMCs, the violation of the law is still on the face: even if we proceed from Saakashvili's version, an armed formation still operated (and is acting?) On the territory of Ukraine, which is not provided for by any laws. As no laws provide for the possession of firearms by someone other than government agencies and persons officially awarded them.

However, from the central office of the SBU, you can go down just one block - to the "Cossack House" chosen by the National Corps, in order to find another "formation" there. And much more active than PMC Semenchenko. And the addresses of the bases where the fighters of far-right "Azov" or "Right Sector" undergo military training are also not a big secret.

Therefore, in this case, the SBU also admitted a "strange" selective approach. Although, in fact, there is nothing strange about it - just the rest of illegal armed groups, unlike the Semenchenko PMC, have a "protector" in power - including in the SBU itself. And this "protector" makes them inaccessible to the law.

Related: Court sends Semenchenko to pre-trial detention center for two months without bail right

Ambulance gets stuck in the off-road

The red zone of the epidemic continues to expand. Mykolaiv and Cherkasy regions got into it, and the "reddening" of the latter is quite indicative since Cherkasy has always been among the more or less prosperous regions (except for the scandals between the mayor of the city and the president of the country).

In fact, hitting these two areas means that an all-Ukrainian lockdown is inevitable. Experts predict its start next week, although in fact, it is already late. And it is not a fact that the government will react properly when the number of "red" regions exceeds 50% of the total (and before that there were only two regions left).

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The reason is trivial – finance: the government understands that it may not be able to find funds for another all-Ukrainian lockdown, paid entirely from the state budget.

Meanwhile, even in areas that are not yet formally "red", the situation becomes critical. Hospitals in the still "orange" Kharkiv are overcrowded, and the city is already negotiating with the districts to place its patients in their hospitals.

Against this background, the news appeared very significant that in the Kharkiv region the ambulance could not get to the patient's house due to off-road conditions, so they had to call the State Emergency Situations Service, who carried him in their arms for more than two kilometers.

The plot was shown as laudatory, and in fact, honor and praise were given to both resourceful doctors and hardy state officials. However, the story, laudatory to specific people, is at the same time a sentence to the reforms of recent years - both medical and administrative.

Both were based on a reduction in the number of regional hospitals with an increase in the maximum distance for transporting a patient to 50 km. This plot proves that such a reform dooms many seriously ill patients to death.

2020 has proven, and 2021 continues to prove, that the cuts in district hospitals need to be reversed immediately. It is our happiness that an extensive network of medical institutions remained from the Soviet Union, and its support is more important today than the support of cinema, culture, national memory, etc. combined. Because without the restoration of this network, there will be neither culture, nor national memory, nor the nation itself.

Related: Lockdown in Kyiv may get tougher due to public transport overcrowding, - mayor

Biden's call

As for the concept of "national pride", it seems that Ukraine has already lost it. For several weeks, all Ukrainian politicians wondered when the new US president would call his Ukrainian counterpart; then he stopped guessing and despaired of waiting for the call. And yesterday a solemn event took place - not yet the call itself, but an explanation from the State Department, why, after all, Joe Biden does not find an opportunity to communicate with Zelensky. The explanation turned out to be such that no self-respecting country would tolerate it.

Volodymyr Zelenskyand Joe Biden
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To begin with, this explanation was given by a certain George P. Kent, whose position sounds like "Deputy Assistant Secretary of State." That is, we are not talking about the fact that the Secretary of State himself remembered about Ukraine, but even his assistant shoved the "honorary mission" onto his deputy.

And this Mr. Kent said that "the affection must be earned" - that is, the call must be "supported by actions." More precisely, it "must be the right actions and the right reforms."

No more and no less. Mr. Kent's words should be understood so that now Zelensky is doing wrong actions and wrong reforms, but if he does the right ones, then Joe's grandfather will call and praise. And the degree of "correctness" of actions will be determined, naturally, in Washington.

At such moments, one cannot help but recall how President Holoborodko legendarily sent him to... at the IMF. However, it is already clear that President Zelensky is not capable of such an act.

This is what it would be worth doing - starting with the promised peace, for the sake of which it is worth meeting with the "bald devil" and ending with the revision of the discriminatory law on language. But, most likely, the "deputy assistant" means something else.

Related: US State Department explains why Biden has not yet spoken to Zelensky

Navalny's headquarters does not "give" Crimea to Ukraine

An unexpected and at the same time expected conflict took place between head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis Refat Chubarov and the headquarters of the main Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

This headquarters launched the site "Freedom to Navalny" and posted on it a map of Russia, including Crimea. Chubarov, naturally, did not like such a map, and in a "personal" he suggested to the head of staff Leonid Volkov erase Crimea from the map of Russia. He, giving some arguments, refused - and an angry Chubarov made this fact public.

What he did not disclose was Volkov's arguments. Although they are obvious: no movement will gain popularity in Russia if it "distributes volosts", even if only on the map. And Navalny's team, unlike the dissidents of the 1970s, expects to take power one day.

REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

And the question arises: what kind of power do Bankovaya and the “patriots” rely on coming to Moscow, declaring that “Crimea is Ukraine” and planning to return it with such slogans?

After all, even if you imagine that Navalny will come to power in Russia, then even he will have to enlist the support of the population. Because do not forget: of all the acceptable options, the States always support the one that is most popular in a particular country. And popularity in Russia, as already mentioned, is impossible without the "Russian Crimea."

Related: Zelensky signs decree on strategy for de-occupation of Crimea

This means: if Moscow suddenly turns out to be a government acceptable to Washington, the States will simply close their eyes to the Crimean problem. This, in turn, means: there is no chance of returning to the peninsula based on the current strategy of the President’s Office.

If based not on slogans, but on reality, the only chance to get Crimea back is to win over its population in order to eventually achieve a return through an internationally recognized referendum. But for this, it is necessary not to create a "Crimean platform", but to give the Crimeans at least water. In the meantime, Kyiv is doing everything so that we say goodbye to the peninsula forever.

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