Monday, January 17, 2005

Revelations from Ukraine

The New York Times is carrying a sensational 6-page article on the role of the army and security service during the recent presidential elections in Ukraine. It's a remarkable story; the S.B.U. (Security Service of Ukraine, the local successor to the KGB), led by its chairman General Ihor P. Smeshko, and other intelligence organisations decided 'to save their country' when it became apparent that Yanukovich would be declared the victor through the use of widespread fraud. It is believed that the S.B.U. bugged the Yanukovich campaign and made available recordings which showed that the results had been manipulated. The security services also refused to co-operate when Yanukovich wished to declare a state of emergency; they insisted on a peaceful resolution of the crisis. Further, when troops of the Ministry of the Interior (M.V.D.) were on their way to begin a crackdown on demonstrators in the capital, General Oleksander Petruk (the army chief of staff) warned the Interior Ministry that the army was on the side of the people, and that M.V.D. troops would face the army and special forces, not the unarmed protesters they were expecting.

Read the whole fascinating account of the post-election crisis. (I blogged about this subject previously here, and linked to these three posts by Dan Drezner.)

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