Ukraine's SBU exposes Russian agents, Ukrainian MP Derkach among them
Ukraine's SBU security service has exposed a Russian GRU intelligence network operating in Ukraine that included Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach, the SBU said in a Facebook post on June 24.
According to the investigation, Derkach "supervised the creation of a number of private security companies to use them to quickly capture Ukraine."
The Prosecutor General's Office has launched a pretrial investigation into the lawmaker.
The SBU noted that the operational development of the network had been carried out for a long time, but it was finally neutralized at the beginning of the war after the arrest of the former assistant to the MP, Ihor Kolesnikov.
"Actually, being an undercover agent of the Main Directorate of the Russian General Staff, aka 'Veteran,' (Kolesnikov) was a liaison and financial courier between the Russian special services and Derkach," the report says.
According to Kolesnikov, Derkach was recruited in 2016. The GRU's top leadership personally worked with him – the head of the department Igor Kostyukov, and his first deputy Vladimir Alekseev.
The SBU stated that the lawmaker had received funds from the Main Directorate of the Russian General Staff to create private security structures, which the enemy planned to use to capture Ukraine. The GRU allocated $3-4 million every few months to implement its plans.
"According to the materials of the investigation, a significant part of these funds settled in Derkach's pockets," the SBU said.
The agency stressed that Kolesnikov himself had entered into an agreement with the prosecution after the arrest and gave "a lot of interesting evidence."
"In May, the court already sentenced him for treason. He then told the details of the network's activities and its role in preparing for a full-scale war," the agency said.
Kolesnikov said that during the entry of troops, these "private security companies" "had to ensure the movement of equipment, sit on armored vehicles with Russian flags, and thus ensure peaceful entry into the cities."
Kolesnikov also said that during the capture of Kyiv, the GRU had planned to use two special forces brigades and special operations forces, which were to enter from Belarus. From there, they had to move quickly to Kyiv, seize the Government quarter, and convene a meeting in the Verkhovna Rada to vote for a "new government." However, these plans were completely thwarted by Ukraine’s defense forces.
The SBU is continuing to take operational and investigative measures to bring to justice all persons involved in the extensive GRU intelligence network.
In August 2021, Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council imposed sanctions against MP Andriy Derkach.
In September 2020, the United States imposed sanctions against Derkach. According to Washington, he has close ties with Russian intelligence and has been an active Russian agent for more than a decade.
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