Ukraine’s Interior Ministry claims to have foiled plot to orchestrate public unrest

31 January 2022, 05:51 PM

Ukrainian police have detained two suspects charged with “intending to orchestrate mass unrest” in the city of Kyiv and four Ukrainian oblasts, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry announced at a briefing in Kyiv on Jan. 31. 

According to Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, the suspects planned to instigate a series of riots around the country.

The first, supposedly involving 5,000 people, was planned to take place in Kyiv on Jan. 31, according to the Interior Ministry.

“There would have been bloodshed,” said Monastyrsky.

Video of day

“There would have been riots aimed at destabilizing the situation in Ukraine,” with the Interior Minister adding that 1,500 of the rioters would have been paid provocateurs who would intentionally escalate with the police, calling the goal of the alleged riots “demonstrable violence.”

The suspects, say Ukrainian law enforcement, had fake blood supplies and had recruited medical workers who were supposed to certify that there had been casualties. Their testimony would later be broadcast on television. The riots would spread from Kyiv to four other regions Ukraine: Sumy, Chernihiv, Poltava and Cherkasy.

According to Ihor Klymenko, head of the National Police of Ukraine, the first riot was to have taken place in front of the Presidential Office at 1100 Kyiv time on Jan. 31, and had been planned quickly ramp up to street violence.

The alleged organizers of this supposed riot had planned to inform law enforcement they would hold a “protest,” but only on the day of the “protest” itself, and downplay the number of participants to catch the police unprepared, say police.

The budget for the riot is said to have been UAH 1,000,000 ($35,000) and the supplies included 200 flares, 200 smoke bombs, twenty tires, ten fire extinguishers, twelve radio transmitters, and fake blood.

Klymenko said that according to the plotters’ plans, the protest would have started with one of the organizers giving a speech. Then the provocateurs would have initiated clashes with the police on a code word signal. One “actor” would have been sprayed with fake blood to imitate an injury. That incident would have been used as a pretext for further violence, said Klymenko.

Klymenko said he believed  that the riots were aimed at destabilizing the situation in Ukraine and attracting negative international media coverage, adding that the two detained suspects – the alleged “protest” organizer and an accomplice – had previously been members of Ukrainian law enforcement, and that the investigation into their alleged crimes would be looking to see if they had ties with Russian security services.

If found guilty, the suspects could face up to eight years of imprisonment for organizing mass unrest.

At the briefing, Monastyrsky and Klymenko showed a video they claimed was evidence of one suspect’s involvement with the alleged crime, where a figure resembling one of the alleged riot organizers can be heard going over the details of the riots with a potential “rioter.”

According to the video, the participants were supposed to meet at 1030 on Jan. 31 next to one of the exits of the Khreschatyk metro station in central Kyiv, not far from the presidential office on Bankova Street.

A “performance with burning tires and clashes with the police” was scheduled to take place between 1115 and 1130. Later, between 1200 and 1300, violent clashes would commence. Provocateurs would attack police using fire extinguishers, flares and smoke bombs.

“There should definitely be fighting,” the voice on the video says.

“I want a couple of guys to put on a show.” The voice then goes on to describe the idea of “an injury” involving fake blood. Numerous riots spanning a period of a few months are discussed on the video.

Ukraine’s Interior Ministry also showed slides with pay rates for “rioters,” and details about their equipment. Part of the alleged riot organizer’s budget was also to be allocated to paying bail for detained “rioters.”

A number of U.S., UK, and EU officials have warned in the past week of possible “false flag” incidents, staged by Russian intelligence services, in Ukraine, amid a threatening buildup of Russian military forces on the Russian and Belarusian-Ukrainian border. The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said that one potential scenario of conflict with Russia would be “Russia’s attempt to destabilize the Ukrainian government by means of hybrid attacks.”

On Jan. 22 the UK foreign ministry released intelligence indicating that Moscow intended to install a puppet government in Kyiv headed by former Ukrainian MP Yevhen Murayev and four former Ukrainian officials from the inner circle of Viktor Yanukovych, the fugitive former president of Ukraine.

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