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23 April, 2015  ▪  Denys Kazanskyi

High Profile Killings. Cui Bono?

The Kremlin will use the murders of MP Oleh Kalashnikov and writer Oles Buzyna to put pressure on Kyiv internationally

The recent deaths in Kyiv once again reminded us of the deep divide in the society and a huge disconnect between the two hostile camps: the pro-Russian and Ukrainian ones. Already in the first minutes after the media reports of the murders of former MP Oleh Kalashnikov and writer Oles Buzyna were released, without waiting for details, both camps engaged in accusing their opponents of the killings. Both camps opted for the version that suited them best. Some announced the murders to be political repressions orchestrated by Ukrainian nationalists. Others saw a Russian trace.

Further events did not change the things. Everyone prefers to stick to their opinions. Even if any time soon, some evidence emerges testifying to the guilt of one of the parties, it is unlikely to change the minds the proponents of convenient versions. In this war of the two worlds, no one any longer wants to hear the opposite side, and the killings in Kyiv are just another episode in the conflict.

Without doubt, there is nothing good about the murders of Kalashnikov and Buzyna. They make Kyiv a city of total lawlessness, putting it on a par with Luhansk and Donetsk, where similar events have taken place since last spring and have long become a tradition. After the shots that were fired in broad daylight and took the life of a well-known writer and journalist, the separatist supporters, for the first time, could feel exactly what the supporters of the united Ukraine felt, when their fellows were violently killed in Donetsk for disagreeing with the actions of the separatists. Instead of taking time to think about it and realize that the warpath will not take us anywhere, the haters of Ukraine became even more aggressive. And it seems that whoever fired the shot was expecting this effect.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Origins of Donetsk Separatism

The killer knew well that the truth about the crime will be of interest only to a small percentage of the population. The majority does not need it. The majority only needs another argument to fuel their dispute with the opponents. Each new shot will make the miscommunication only worse, nurturing the mutual hate.

If you want to know who is behind the events, look for those benefitting from them. This is a simple and obvious rule, which is, unfortunately, not common knowledge. Very often it is simply ignored, especially when it leads to inconvenient conclusions. In the case of Buzyna, there could be only one conclusion: his murder was instrumental in doing ill service to Ukraine and, above all, discrediting the current Kyiv government. There is no doubt that the Kremlin will use these shots to put pressure on Kyiv internationally. The killings of Buzyna and Kalashnikov will always be recalled by pro-Moscow speakers accusing Ukraine for it at all kinds of summits, roundtables, and speeches.

In response to any attempts of Western politicians to accuse Putin for political killings in Russia, the Kremlin dictator will now smile, pointing to Ukraine and inviting them to have a closer look at the people they had brought to power here. Now you see what Maidan has led to. There can be no formal answer to such statements, because proving the involvement of the Russian government or the Russian secret services in the liquidation of Kalashnikov or Buzyna will be very difficult. The killers have not been found. This most probably means that they will never be arrested. Taking into account how easy it is to get, thanks to corruption, into the black hole called the ATO area, which is out of reach of the law enforcement, the killers are very likely already having a vacation there.

RELATED ARTICLE: Peter Pomerantsev: “Russia Today is a distraction for more subtle things that Russia does in the sphere of information”

The murder of Buzyna seems to be a cool-headed provocation, whose organizers knew too well the reaction that these shots would evoke in the Ukrainian society. The anatomy of the provocation is easy to trace.

First of all, Oles Buzyna was ideally suited for the role of a "sacred sacrifice." The writer was not part of the Ukrainian "systemic opposition," which is almost equally despised by both the Maidan supporters and pro-Russian separatists. He emphasized his pacifist stand and was not a fanatical proponent of the war against Kyiv, as many people in Ukraine believe. In his very last interview with radio Vesti aired on April 13, Buzyna admitted that he had friends both among those fighting for the LPR and in the Right Sector. He also said that he could not understand the people stating that there is no such country as Ukraine. While the shooting of Kalashnikov did not particularly upset anyone even in Luhansk and Donetsk, the murder of Buzyna stirred up a real outrage. Not only the separatist camp boiled over, but also the general public in Kyiv, which can hardly be suspected of being sympathetic to the Kremlin.

Second, Buzyna's writings were too controversial and had, for the most part, a negative reception in Ukraine. So predicting the reaction of the society to the death of a man specializing in spurning the history and the values ​​of the Ukrainian state was pretty easy. Especially during the war, when the society is radicalized to the maximum. Part of the Ukrainian society responded with gloating. It was the opinion of these citizens that the Russian information army fighters tried to overplay to present the Ukrainian society as reactionary and intolerant.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Next People's Republic? The situation in Kharkiv

Judging by the information campaign currently built up in Russia around Buzyna’s death, Russia is trying to use this murder as an inverted image of the killing of the opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in Moscow. A cynical and bold execution of a journalist in the center of the Ukrainian capital should subdue the Western criticism of the Kremlin. Now Putin can always refer his critics to Kyiv, shrugging shoulders and saying that in Ukraine things are even worse.

The Kremlin's task is to deprive Ukraine of the support of the West, at any cost. The headline-making murder in the Ukrainian capital is the best thing to do to discredit the country. The more the West is tired of Ukraine, the more it sees corruption and crime, the more negative impressions of Kyiv the Western society gets, the more it is likely that Ukraine will become an easy prey for the Kremlin, left to Putin to devour.

"It is impossible to establish order in Ukraine. It is an area of ​​endless problems. Leave this headache to us and mind your own business" – these are the signals sent by Moscow to Brussels and Washington. And this idea is starting to gain momentum in the European society.

We cannot say for sure who exactly pulled the trigger. However, the beneficiary is obvious. And it is definitely not the Ukrainian authorities.

RELATED ARTICLE: Pro-Ukrainian Donbas: What it was like in the wake of the Maidan


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