By Lucas Leiroz, journalist, researcher at the Center for Geostrategic Studies, geopolitical consultant.
Apparently, the Ukrainian government is losing control of the actions taken by its own agents. According to a recent report, Kiev’s intelligence service is carrying out operations without previous authorization from President Vladimir Zelensky. Ukrainian spies would even be responsible for unauthorized attacks in Belarus, creating high risks of irresponsible internationalization of the conflict. However, it remains to be seen whether such data are really true or whether they are mere conjectures amid the current wave of “leaks”.
The information was provided by journalist Saagar Enjeti in a publication for a western media outlet on 10 April. The analyst mentions that in leaked documents American officials expressed their suspicion that the Ukrainian government has no control of its own intelligence. Some details about a recent terrorist attack in Belarus are provided as evidence for the claim.
What happened in Belarus was an attack using a military drone against a Russian aircraft that was stationed at the Machulishchy air base. At the time, Minsk’s authorities arrested several sabotage suspects possibly involved in the crime, some of them linked to the Ukrainian secret service. Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, in a statement on the case, also pointed out that the criminals would have carried out the attack with the support of the CIA.
As expected, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied participation in the attack. Kiev’s officials claimed that there was no Ukrainian involvement, which is hard to believe, since the neo-Nazi regime has maintained a strategy of sabotage in the neighboring country since the beginning of the Russian special military operation. Interestingly, Zelensky’s adviser Mikhail Podolyak stated that those responsible for the crime were Belarusian “local partisans” – which may even be true, but does not extinguish the suspicion of Ukrainian involvement, since the Zelensky government maintains open cooperation with saboteurs from Belarus. Many Belarusian neo-Nazis are fighting the Russians on the battlefield and there are intelligence reports showing that some of these partisans plan, with Ukrainian and Western support, to start guerrilla campaigns against the Lukashenko government.
The main problem is that for there to be Ukrainian involvement, apparently, there does not need to be a direct order from the Zelensky government. According to Saagar Enjeti, the Pentagon believes that in fact the SBU carried out the attack, but that there was not any type of prior plan authorized by the Ukrainian president. Evidence for such a claim would supposedly be in American intelligence reports recently exposed on social media. Enjeti says the papers raised a serious question about the actual level of control the Zelensky government has over its own intelligence agents.
“How much control does Zelensky actually have? (…) Perhaps this lends credence to the idea that there are a bunch of rogue elements inside the [Ukrainian] government that are basically doing whatever they want (…) Whenever Ukraine does something, who is doing it? (…) Zelensky presents himself as the leader … but obviously there are elements of the government there that don’t listen to him. Who knows what they’re going to drag us into”, the journalist said.
Although the Pentagon has not yet confirmed the veracity of the documents, it is important to remember that the case comes amid a wave of alleged “leaks”. Papers possibly associated with US intelligence have gone viral on social networks in recent days, exposing classified data on various subjects of strategic interest to Washington. The cases have been seen with many objections by specialized analysts, who find it very difficult that they really are “leaks”. According to experts, the most likely thing is that Washington is deliberately exposing documents or even forging information to meet some specific interests, since in real cases there would be censorship efforts on the part of media outlets and social network moderators.
However, this does not mean that all exposed information is false. It is possible that some true data is being deliberately released. In the specific case of the topic of Ukrainian intelligence, there are many points that seem consistent with reality, even if they are being distorted. The Ukrainian government may have no control over its secret service – and not even over its armed forces or neo-Nazi militias. This is because the Ukrainian government itself is controlled by foreign agents. Kiev’s officials do not obey orders from Zelensky, but from NATO. In this sense, although most of the time orders are given by the western alliance to the Ukrainian government and only then passed on to subordinates, it is absolutely possible that some operations are carried out under direct supervision of the West, without the participation of the Ukrainian government.
What seems more likely is that the Belarusian authorities are right: the SBU certainly operated the Machulishchy attacks with tactical support from the CIA and other Western intelligence services. And it is possible that the Ukrainian government was not aware of the attack, since for NATO Kiev is just a puppet state, paid to obey orders, without the right to control its own employees. And by pointing to an alleged autonomous action by the SBU in the papers, Washington seems to be trying to escape the consequences of possible Russian retaliation, claiming that the Ukrainian secret service acts on its own, out of control and without Western participation. Similar situations were seen after the assassination of Daria Dugina, when Pentagon’s officials said that Ukraine had acted alone.
Considering Ukraine’s high level of subordination to NATO, it is unthinkable that any operation would take place autonomously. There may or may not be previous awareness and authorization on the part of the Zelensky government, but there is certainly deep supervision on the part of NATO, which is the real belligerent side in this proxy war with Russia.