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Ukrainian ‘Rebel Leader’ Actually Russian GRU Colonel

From the Washington Free Beacon:

Ukrainian Rebel Commander Identified As Russian GRU Military Intelligence Colonel

By Bill Gertz | June 20, 2014

A key figure in covert Russian efforts to destabilize eastern Ukraine is working for Russia’s GRU military intelligence service, according to U.S. officials.

What a surprise, huh?

Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, who is currently using the nom de guerre Igor Strelkov, has identified himself in press reports as “defense minister” of the self-proclaimed, pro-Russian “Donetsk People’s Republic. This week he called for Russia to send military aid to rebels in eastern Ukraine.

U.S. officials said Strelkov is considered a leading pro-Russian rebel who is undermining stability as part of a major Russian covert action program in Ukraine. Officials said Girkin is a GRU colonel who was first identified by the Ukrainian SBU intelligence service.

The GRU is Russia’s main foreign military intelligence agency. And, in fact, the GRU is Russia’s largest foreign intelligence agency, with more than six times as many agents in foreign countries than the SVR, which is the successor of the KGB’s foreign operations directorate.

Girkin traveled to the Crimea in February and traveled to Donetsk in April. While in the Crimea was a military adviser to Sergei Aksenov, the current head of Russian-occupied Crimea….

But he is not a Russian puppet!

Girkin, the GRU officer, was quoted in a Russian newspaper on Monday as calling for Moscow to send military aid to two so-called “people’s republics,” in Donetsk and Luhansk. The eastern Ukrainian cities are strongholds for anti-government rebels.

“I am calling on Russia as the commander of the [Donetsk People’s Republic] militia and as a patriot of Russia and the Russian people. It can be considered as an appeal on behalf of the Donetsk militia,” he told the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.

“If Russia does not take prompt and decisive action, they [the Ukrainian Army] will achieve their goal,” he told another pro-Russian news outlet. “Several thousand militiamen near the Russian border cannot stand long against powerful enemy artillery and aviation.” …

The Russians are so subtle, aren’t they?

The GRU, acronym for the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian General Staff, is playing the key role in Moscow’s efforts to destabilize Ukraine following the military annexation of Crimea earlier this year.

So far, several GRU officers have been exposed by Ukrainian authorities, including GRU Lt. Col. Kirill Koliuchkin, a naval attaché expelled by Kiev for spying activities…

And there are probably thousands of other spies there. The Russian intel agencies are huge. The SVR/KGB is larger than the US Air Force. And, as we have noted, the GRU is six times the size of the SVR/KGB.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, June 20th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

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