Vladimir Putin: How long can you keep Gerhard Schroeder laughing?
Letter 23          20-Dec-2004

"The money to buy weapons came from Akhmetov.  I emphasize that the weapons were purchased at arms depots of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.  The fleet's commander knows about it.  The Russian president himself, Vladimir Putin, knows about this operation." Hryhoriy Omelchenko

             20 December 2004

Vladimir Putin, President
4 Staraya Square
Moscow 103132

Vladimir Putin:

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder with Russian President Vladimir Putin at Hamburg City Hall on 20-Dec-2004 Schroeder happiness as yet unextinguished by news that Putin had already set in motion his latest plan to annex Ukraine, a plan which includes the use of hand grenades and TNT on Ukrainian civilians.

You seem to be good at making Gerhard Schroeder laugh, as the world saw you doing as recently as today, 20-Dec-2004.  And why shouldn't Schroeder laugh when it seems to him that Moscow's attempt to install compromat-controlled gangsters to rule Ukraine has been abandoned, and when as a result of this widespread perception the flare-up in German-Russian tensions has eased?  Why shouldn't Chancellor Schroeder laugh when he imagines that you agree with his assertion concerning the Ukrainian election that "nobody has the right to meddle and the result of the December 26 vote will have to be respected."

I wonder, however, if German-Russian tensions will remain eased, and if Chancellor Schroeder will continue laughing, when he discovers that even before your meeting, you had commanded your Black Sea Fleet to begin distributin firearms, hand grenades, and explosives to Kuchma-Putin-Yanukovych provocateurs who upon the expected Yushchenko election victory conspire to create mass disorder in Kyiv for the purpose of giving Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma an excuse to declare a state of emergency, thereby prolonging Kuchma-Putin-Yanukovych rule over Ukraine perhaps indefinitely?

SBU officer reveals insurrection plans
by Peter Byrne, Kyiv Post Staff Writer
Dec 20, 12:52

Hryhoriy Omelchenko, a ranking State Secret Services (SBU) officer and a deputy belonging to Yulia Tymoshenko's eponymous parliament faction on Dec. 19 asked the presidents of Russia and Ukraine to stop supplying weapons to gangs supporting Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Omelchenko spoke in Russian during the Dec. 19 address, which was aired live on the pro-opposition TV station Era, so that Russian President Vladimir Putin and the commander of the Russian forces based in Sevastopol understood him without translation.  They will receive the footage of his address on Dec. 20.

Omelchenko alleged that weapons belonging to the Russian Black Sea Fleet based in Sevastopol have been transferred to Donetsk in order to arm groups of men who are to arrive in Kyiv Dec. 27 or 28 to incite violence.

Kuchma would then declare a state of emergency, the election results would be cancelled, and the new election would be postponed for as long as half a year, thus allowing Kuchma to stay in power until the recently adopted constitutional amendments come into force.

Omelchenko went on to say that top Russian and Ukrainian officials know about the group's plans, and added that Putin and Kuchma have personally approved of the plan, but Yanukovych remains reluctant to proceed.  Donetsk-based businessman Rinat Akhmetov and Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Klyuev, who support the prime minister financially, are forcing him to go along, he said.

According to Omelchenko, 30 groups of 30 men have already been formed and an unnamed Berkut (elite police force) officer will command the group of 900 men, which has been formed using former convicts, sportsmen and other irregulars.  They will be armed with 100 rifles, 90 hand grenades and 25 kilograms of the explosive trotyl, Omelchenko said.

Kyiv Post at  www.kyivpost.com/top/22092  The second half of the above article is not reproduced here because it moves on to the subject of the Yushchenko poisoning.

Excerpts from the Omelchenko interview are as follows.

Excerpt of the Omelchenko Interview on UT-1 "Era"
19 December 2004
[translated by BBC Monitoring]

The following is an excerpt from Omelchenko's interview with private Era TV broadcast via the Ukrainian state-owned television UT1 on 19 December, monitored in progress:

(Omelchenko) I have information from reliable sources, to be absolutely frank, from an FSB (Russian intelligence) officer.  I have known him since the early 1990s.  The second piece of information is from an officer of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry.  Strange as it is, the top officials of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry know about preparations for this operation, but they follow Yanukovych's order to assume an observing role, and they are not trying to stop what is going to happen on Monday, 27 and 28 December, after the presidential election.  As of today, 30 groups of 30 people each have been formed in Donetsk.  These are the self-defence groups that Yanukovych was talking about.  They consist of ex-convicts and those released during last year's amnesty, former special forces and a small group of sportsmen, martial arts specialists.  Each group is headed by an officer of Donetsk's Berkut (special police task force) in order to coordinate these actions.  This group is 30 per cent equipped with weapons.  As of today, about 1,000 firearms have been brought into Donetsk, handguns and assault rifles, 90 F-1 hand grenades, 25 kg of TNT and 100 electrical fuses.  The groups have already received 15 kg of explosives and 75 fuses.  The specialists understand this, but to clarify for everyone, TNT comes in blocks of 200 g each.  When exploded, this amount of TNT can overturn a loaded lorry and cause insane destruction.  Yanukovych knows about this operation, but he is afraid to give it a go-ahead.  Maybe some moral principles are holding him back.  I heard today that he visited a monastery, the (Svyatohirsk) Lavra, and spoke of some things, but his close entourage, (Donetsk businessman Rinat) Akhmetov and (Deputy Prime Minister Andriy) Klyuyev, are forcing him to implement this violent scenario.  The money to buy weapons came from Akhmetov.  I emphasize that the weapons were purchased at arms depots of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.  The fleet's commander knows about it.  The Russian president himself, Vladimir Putin, knows about this operation.  Putin is hesitating on moral grounds, what the consequences may be.  But he knows that the weapons have been sold.

Why do I emphasize this?  Because this video tape will be on Putin's desk tonight or tomorrow morning.  Mr Putin, I appeal to you for the third time, as intelligence officer to a fellow intelligence officer, as colonel to a fellow colonel.  Stop further sales of weapons, give an order to the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet to stop it and take measures to return weapons back to the Russian depots.  Finally, stop blatant meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs.  I saw you on television today speaking at some international forum, and you said it was immoral to permit bloodshed and violence in Ukraine.  Mr Putin, you have two daughters, and I have two sons.  I already have grandchildren and I wish you the same.  But it is up to you now to stop these processes in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma also knows about this operation, but his position is similar to the one he took concerning the decree on printing ballots.  He is just observing.  But it is in Kuchma's interests that the election be disrupted or voided under various pretexts in order for him to prolong his stay in office by three or six months, or maybe even till the next autumn when the (amendments to) constitution come in effect.  Since the top officials at the Interior Ministry have assumed this criminal position, I want to point out another thing.  Even though the commander of the Ukrainian Interior Troops, Lt-Gen (Serhiy) Popkov, had in effect given a criminal order (to put troops on alert during opposition protests), this information has been officially received in response to my parliamentary query to the Security Service of Ukraine, instead of dismissing him and launching criminal proceedings, Kuchma issued a decree appointing Popkov deputy interior minister.  After the second round of the election (21 November), when a peaceful, democratic, orange revolution began in Ukraine, Yanukovych spent several nights at Popkov's military base of the Interior Troops.  Popkov, who has an alcohol problem, swore that he would carry out any order by Yanukovych in order to ensure his victory in the presidential election.

The Interior Ministry's operatives reported to their superiors about a large amount of weapons being brought into Donetsk and that those groups received them.  But the Interior Ministry's top officials assumed this position.

(Passage omitted: Omelchenko calls on top security officials to prevent a violent scenario.)

Tomorrow I will try using the government phone line to call the presidential administration chief, Viktor Medvedchuk.  I have many questions to him, and I have a moral right to ask questions, because I have known Medvedchuk since 1972, we went to Kiev State University together.  No-one knows Medvedchuk's strengths and weaknesses and moral principles better than I do.  I will discuss the situation with him.

Also, I will try calling Yanukovych before the end of the day tomorrow, I know it is the day of the presidential debate, I will try talking to him not as an MP to a presidential candidate, I hope he does not get offended, but as a security service colonel to a former archive agent of the 9th directorate of the KGB USSR.  I will ask him to say live on air during the debate, to tell his self-defence groups, these 300,000 that he plans to bring to Kiev, to stay in Donetsk, to return weapons, the bats, metal rods and so on.  Because he will be responsible for what happens.

Neither Kuchma nor Yanukovych nor Putin nor the Interior Ministry can now say that they did not know about the preparations for this operation.  If, God forbid, anything happens in Kiev, some explosions, shootings or violence, Kuchma, Yanukovych and his entourage will face not only moral responsibility, but also criminal responsibility and the highest responsibility before God.

The complete Kyiv Post article of which only the first part is reproduced higher above, along with the excerpts from the Omelchenko interview immediately above, were among the items delivered by email on 20-Dec-2004, #318, to subscribers of The Ukraine List (UKL), compiled by Dominique Arel, Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Ottawa.  For a free subscription to UKL, write to [email protected]

It would appear that your disinclination to think ahead, except perhaps when playing chess, has resulted in your having failed to anticipate three things.

  1. That when you plot evil, you suffer defections.  Thus, the above information concerning your planned coup d'etat in Ukraine comes from the Russian FSB, on whose loyalty you obviously cannot depend, and comes also from the Ukrainian SBU, on whose loyalty Leonid Kuchma cannot depend either.  Traditional Soviet methods can only be implemented with the help of an ongoing purge which casts its net wide in an effort to catch as many of the disloyal as possible.  However, a broad and ongoing purge of those who in fact are most moral and most competent has become unfeasible in today's Russia and in today's Ukraine.

  2. That the flow of information has been greatly unblocked since the days when Soviet methods still enjoyed some measure of success, for which reason you should have counted on your coup d'etat being disclosed to the world while still in its preparatory stages.  Soviet methods require greater secrecy than is today possible.

  3. That if you use your Black Sea Fleet to support a coup d'etat in Ukraine, and even if you use it merely to support the initial stages, then the 1997 agreement allowing the Fleet to be based in Sevastopol for 20 years will be nullified, and the Russian Black Sea Fleet will no longer be welcome on Ukrainian territory or in Ukrainian waters.

It would appear that Russia and Ukraine, and indeed the whole world, would benefit from your firing all Kremlin employees who continue to dream of restoring Russian empire using Soviet methods.  That purge of the immoral and the incompetent completed, all would subsequently benefit from you yourself resigning.

Lubomyr Prytulak