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26 November, 2012

Encyclopaedia of Illusions: The State Border of Ukraine

The behaviour of the supreme power in Ukraine in the last 20 years has consistently called forth doubts regarding Ukrainian sovereignty.

Endless speeches on special relations with Russia which often encouraged disregard for the established formal diplomatic practice of inter-state relations and the replacement of international law as the ground for them with informal arrangements made at informal meetings withdisregard of rituals and ceremonies that are necessary in this sphere – all of this formed a very slippery and dangerous background for Ukrainian-Russian coexistence.

But that, which happened to Russian dissident Razvozzhaev in downtown Kyiv graphically highlighted the fact that Ukrainian sovereignty is pure fiction. A brigade of Russian enforcers, who came to Kyiv feeling perfectly at home, captured a person virtually on the steps of the international representative office for refugee issues and transported him to Russia. The hijackers, together with their victim, crossed the border without any problems or misunderstandings with Ukrainian border guards. If necessary, these highly qualified guards are capable of noticing an extra pack of cigarettes, yet they failed to notice a person tied up in a car. So in effect, we do not have special services, we have no border guards, nor do we have an actual border. On top of it all, both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs are great cause for concern. All this looks like a show lasting since Soviet times when the Ukrainian SSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not have a single embassy abroad.

Even before, Russian enforcers felt very comfortable in independent Ukraine, and under the Donetsk-based authority, began to behave demonstratively insolently and even defiantly, showing that they well remember the wonderful words if their supreme boss Vladimir Putin, said to a former US President: “George, Ukraine isn’t even a country.” Indeed, if foreign special forces seized a person in any fully-fledged, albeit very small country, this would call forth a flood of resignations on the part of highly-placed competent officials, responsible for this area of state activity. But from the Party of Regions’ managers and the bosses that appointed them – absolutely no reaction to this public slap in the face of those in Ukraine, who are supposed to guarantee the Constitution, specifically Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, human rights and freedoms, and other good things.

Taxpayers, if a class of people had finally been formed in Ukraine, who would be able to think in such categories, could have asked: why do we pay money to support the Ukraine’s special service - SBU, border services and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which have yet to be able to express something reasonable regarding what happened after the brigandage in the style of Abreks from the Caucasus in the centre of the Ukrainian capital. And where are those with a cool head, warm heart and “mani pulite” (clean hands)? If they didn’t know anything, then this is evidence of absolute official inadequacy and ultimate disqualification. If they knew and didn’t do anything, it looks like a criminal breach of trust. Isn’t this why security services exist in various countries, so as not to allow their foreign colleagues to act brazenly on foreign territories? For example, Switzerland is considered to be the capital of world espionage, because each intelligence service considers it necessary to have its own resident spies there. Local counter intelligence services know everything, track everything, but don’t touch anyone, as long as the foreign cloak and dagger knights remain within the limits of decency, in other words, don’t steal anything or kill anyone. As soon as something of this nature happens, even the government of this country reacts immediately, since this is an invasion of sovereignty and public order.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine we have true international banditism and a kind of enigmatic silence on the part of the Ukrainian authorities. Of course, we see the consequences of the absence of effective public control over the activities of Ukrainian enforcers, which are still unjustifiably closed and lacking in transparency. For example, what does society know about the specific contacts between the SBU and Russian special services? But today, after a fundamental change in the leadership of the service, some witty people call this structure the Federal Security Service of Ukraine or FSBU, the abbreviation being very similar to Russia’s FSB. And the border service, the head of which has reached the hallowed rank of an army general? Can it really protect us from hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants, drug traffickers and the uncontrolled crossing of the Ukrainian border? Does such a thing really exist?

In recent days, “Putin’s eagles” captured a Russian citizen in Ukraine. But, having become convinced of their absolute impunity, will Russian Checkists (as they are called to this day, although it’s difficult to imagine that the special services of modern Germany would proudly call themselves Gestapo agents) seize Ukrainian citizens, against whom they have claims?

Do Ukrainians need such enforcement structures? Our friends in misfortune – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – did not reform the KGB in their countries, but destroyed this punitive body of totalitarian dictatorship, having instead established civilized national special services, without any Stalin-Yezhov-Beria strain.

The incident in Kyiv leaves behind a sense of disquiet: will Ukraine transform into a territory, where the FSB (Federal Security Service), GRU (foreign military intelligence main directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces), SZR (Foreign Intelligence Service) and other special services of the Russian Federation can hunt for the citizens of Ukraine at will? And does this mean that Ukrainian enforcers could return runaways from the time of the Orange Revolution – Bakai, Bodelan and Bilokon, to Ukraine from Russia in the same manner?

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