A person shaking hands with another person

Description automatically generated
[Source: nytimes.com]

On December 12, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was again given the red-carpet treatment of a rock star as he made one of his regular visits to Washington, D.C. to plead for more U.S. military aid.

This time, however, the act of the former comedian had begun to grow thin as President Joe Biden was hamstrung by congressional Republicans intent on blocking further military aid to Ukraine, at least temporarily.[1]

During a press conference, President Biden implored Republicans to pass an aid bill to Ukraine before they break for the Holidays, stating that, if they did not do so, they would be giving Russian President Vladimir Putin “the greatest Christmas gift they could possibly give him.”

Biden’s comments reflected an attempt to guilt the Republicans by feeding off the demonized image of Putin cultivated in the media over the last decade.

Biden additionally warned that Putin was planning to bombard Ukraine’s electrical grid this winter if the U.S. did not act and that, with the aid, Ukraine could win.

The latter claims were delusional as Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive was a disaster ensuring that there is no hope that Ukraine will break through further Russian lines.

The New York Times reported on December 17 that with the “Ukrainian military facing mounting deaths and a stalemate on the battlefield, army recruiters were becoming increasingly aggressive in their efforts to replenish the ranks, in some cases pulling men off the streets and whisking them to recruiting centers using intimidation and even physical force.”[2]

Zelensky, for his part, was delusional in his attempt to appeal to Ronald Reagan’s legacy of standing up to Russia and in arguing that keeping Ukraine in the fight was in America’s national interest as a way to secure Eastern Europe from Russian aggression.

Ukraine had in reality provoked Russia by brutalizing the people of eastern Ukraine for years after they voted for their autonomy following a U.S.-backed coup in 2014 triggered by a false flag incident that unseated a democratically elected pro-Russian leader, Viktor Yanukovych.

The moral halo long placed on Zelensky is further perverse considering Zelensky’s role in overseeing a large-scale terrorist program, modeled after the U.S. Phoenix operation in Vietnam, which has extended into Russia.[3]

On December 6, Illia Kyva, a 46-year-old former member of the Ukrainian Parliament was savagely gunned down in broad daylight while out walking in a park near the Velich Country Club in Suponevo, just west of Moscow.

Kyva was the leader of the Socialist Party in Ukraine’s Parliament from 2017 to 2019.

He had opposed official Ukrainian government persecution of Russian speakers in Ukraine following the February 2014 Maidan coup and was given a 14-year jail sentence by Ukrainian authorities on charges of high treason for allegedly calling for Ukrainian troops to surrender after Russian troops entered Ukraine in February 2022.

After fleeing to Russia, Kyva criticized Volodymyr Zelensky and right wingers in the Ukrainian military who had for years staged attacks on the Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine. Hours before he died, Kyva had in his final social media post predicted that a defeated Zelensky, whom he had accused of being a British MI6 stooge, would be forced to flee to Britain.

Former Ukrainian MP Kyva claimed Volodymyr Zelensky was an MI6 stooge and cocaine addict
Illia Kyva [Source: dailymail.co.uk]

The Ukrainian Security Services (SBU) took credit for carrying out the mafia-style hit on Kyva, releasing a video afterwards that showed the killer lurking amid the snow and trees waiting for his target, and then Kyva’s body lying in the snow, with the weapons supposedly used to liquidate him hanging on a tree nearby.

Andrii Yusov, the spokesman for Kyiv’s Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR), declared: “Indeed, we can confirm that Kyva is eliminated. Such a fate awaits other traitors of Ukraine and lackeys of the Putin regime.” Yusov added that Kyva was one of the most “repugnant turncoats, traitors, and collaborators,” referring to him also as “disgusting scum.”

This is the kind of dehumanizing language used by oppressive regimes worldwide to justify the liquidation of their opponents—mafia-style.

The SBU secret service made clear the images and footage of a dead Kyva were deliberately released as a warning to other Ukrainians collaborating with Vladimir Putin’s invading forces. “This is a signal to all traitors and war criminals who have gone over to the enemy’s side,” a Ukrainian source told the media. “Remember, Russia will not protect you…Death is the only prospect that awaits the enemies of Ukraine.’”

After reading such statements one may easily wonder how American liberals, who fashion themselves champions of human rights and the underdog, can justify supporting further military aid and intelligence collaboration with a regime whose behavior resembles that of a collection of mafia gangsters. And how they could continue to display fealty toward a man—Volodymyr Zelensky—who adopts methods similar to John Gotti and Tony Soprano.[4]

A Trail of Corpses

Kyva was only one of many victims of Zelensky’s reign of terror.

The RBC-Ukraine news agency published a hit list of politicians in Russia, which includes former President Viktor Yanukovych, former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, former MP and leader of the Opposition Platform—For Life Party Viktor Medvedchuk, Kherson Region Governor Vladimir Saldo, and former MP Oleg Tsaryov.

Tsaryov was shot last month in Crimea in a failed assassination attempt claimed by Kyiv. Oleg Popov, former deputy of the Luhansk regional parliament, did not survive his assassination attempt; he was killed in a car bombing in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk city on December 3.

Popov’s death came a few weeks after fellow Luhansk regional lawmaker Mikhail Filiponenko, the former head of the army in the Luhansk People’s Republic, was killed in a similar car bombing attack that was claimed by Kyiv.

Oleksiy Kovalyov, 33, a senior official in charge of agriculture in the Moscow-appointed military-civil administration in Kherson, was killed at his residence in the city of Hola Prystan earlier this year with a pump-action shotgun by a Ukrainian government assassin. His wife, 38, was stabbed and her throat slit in the savage attack before she died in a hospital, local media reported. 

Oleksiy Kovalyov, 33, (centre) a senior official in charge of agriculture in the Moscow-appointed military-civil administration in Kherson, was killed with a pump action shotgun at his residence in the city of Hola Prystan earlier this year
Oleksiy Kovalyov (center), 33, who was murdered, along with his wife, by Ukrainian terrorists [Source: dailymail.co.uk]

The most famous assassination by Ukraine was that of journalist Darya Dugina, daughter of Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin, who was killed last August when a remotely controlled explosive device planted in her SUV blew up as she was driving on the outskirts of Moscow, ripping the vehicle apart.[5]

Besides systematic killings, the SBU has carried out sabotage operations targeting key infrastructure, trying to blow up the bridge linking Russia and Crimea, for example, and blowing up a rail connection in Russia’s Far East near the border with China that served as a major transportation hub.

These attacks bear the hallmarks of the CIA, which The Washington Post showed to be running the shadow war in Ukraine.

The CIA’s alliance with right-wing nationalists/terrorists in Ukraine fits with a pattern that goes back to the Rollback operations after World War II when the CIA trained commando operatives with a fascist background to try and sabotage the pro-Soviet government taking root in Ukraine.[6]

Ukrainian intelligence forces bear parallel also with past CIA proxies such as the Cuban counter-revolutionaries involved in the Operation Mongoose and Contras in Nicaragua that used terrorist methods in an attempt to destabilize governments perceived as adversarial to the U.S.

Recognition of this in the mainstream would undercut the rationale behind the U.S. military aid to Ukraine and the new Cold War.

A striking contrast is apparent in that it has never been proven that Putin killed any of his opponents[7], while Ukraine’s regime celebrates the death of dissenting politicians like Ilya Kyva. So the fight in Ukraine is not between democracy and autocracy as it is advertised, but for something much less noble.

  1. Russia specialist Gordon Hahn wrote an obituary to Zelensky entitled “Sad Clown With the Circus Closed Down” here.

  2. Thomas Gibbons-Neff, “‘People Snatchers’ For Ukraine Use Harsh Tactics To Fill Ranks,” The New York Times, December 17, 2023, A1. In at least one case, Ukrainian recruiters tried to send a mentally disabled person to military training. Videos of soldiers shoving people into cars and holding men against their will in recruiting centers are surfacing with increasing frequency. In an attempt to reverse the tide of the failed counteroffensive and recapture territory from Russian troops, Ukrainian Marines have spearheaded an assault across the Dnipro River in the southern regions of Kherson, which soldiers described as “futile” and resembling a “suicide mission.” Carlotta Gall, Oleksandr Chuko and Olia Komovaleva, “To Ukrainian Marines Battle in Kherson Feels Like ‘a Suicide Mission,’” The New York Times, December 17, 2023, A6. Zelensky had claimed that Ukrainian troops had gained a foothold on the eastern bank of the river, which Marines and soldiers interviewed by The New York Times say overstated the case and was not true. One in particular said that it was actually impossible to gain a foothold there and that the battle in Kherson was not even a fight for survival but a suicide mission.

  3. The Ukrainian assassination program was initiated after the 2014 Maidan coup, and well before the Russian invasion of February 2022. The Phoenix program was a terrorist program in Vietnam in which the CIA shared blacklists with South Vietnamese intelligence agents who kidnapped and tortured or executed people on those lists. The victims included many civilian government officials and supporters of South Vietnam’s National Liberation Front (NLF) which was intent on expelling the U.S. and overthrowing the U.S.-installed client government in South Vietnam and reunifying Vietnam under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh and Vietnam’s Communist Party.

  4. Zelensky was clearly aware of SBU’s murderous activities and met with SBU chief Vasyl Maliuk to discuss efforts to crack down on those who cooperate with Russia, Ukrinform reported. In a recent article, Edward Lozansky, a professor at Moscow State University, predicted that Zelensky’s historical legacy would be that of a modern version of the 4th-century B.C. Greek vandal Herostratus, known for destroying the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and, concomitantly, seeking fame at any cost.

  5. Russian blogger Vladlen Tatarsky was also murdered by a bomb planted in his belongings that went off in a St. Petersburg café.

  6. See Peter Grose, Operation Rollback America’s Secret War Behind the Iron Curtain (New York: Mariner Books, 2001).

  7. See Amy Knight, Orders to Kill: The Putin Regime and Political Murder (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2017). This study is significant because while it does provide evidence suggesting that Putin was behind political murders of opponents—something the author believes that he was—it acknowledges that the proof is not definitive. (Knight wrote: “I do not claim to have definitive proof of the complicity of Putin and his allies in these crimes [assassinations discussed in the book].” (p. 6) In many high profile cases where Putin has been blamed for killing, other theories have been suggested, including that Putin was set up by Western intelligence agencies to make it look like he was a killer.

CovertAction Magazine is made possible by subscriptionsorders and donations from readers like you.

Blow the Whistle on U.S. Imperialism

Click the whistle and donate

When you donate to CovertAction Magazine, you are supporting investigative journalism. Your contributions go directly to supporting the development, production, editing, and dissemination of the Magazine.

CovertAction Magazine does not receive corporate or government sponsorship. Yet, we hold a steadfast commitment to providing compensation for writers, editorial and technical support. Your support helps facilitate this compensation as well as increase the caliber of this work.

Please make a donation by clicking on the donate logo above and enter the amount and your credit or debit card information.

CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your gift is tax-deductible for federal income purposes. CAI’s tax-exempt ID number is 87-2461683.

We sincerely thank you for your support.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s). CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI), including its Board of Directors (BD), Editorial Board (EB), Advisory Board (AB), staff, volunteers and its projects (including CovertAction Magazine) are not responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. This article also does not necessarily represent the views the BD, the EB, the AB, staff, volunteers, or any members of its projects.

Differing viewpoints: CAM publishes articles with differing viewpoints in an effort to nurture vibrant debate and thoughtful critical analysis. Feel free to comment on the articles in the comment section and/or send your letters to the Editors, which we will publish in the Letters column.

Copyrighted Material: This web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. As a not-for-profit charitable organization incorporated in the State of New York, we are making such material available in an effort to advance the understanding of humanity’s problems and hopefully to help find solutions for those problems. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. You can read more about ‘fair use’ and US Copyright Law at the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School.

Republishing: CovertAction Magazine (CAM) grants permission to cross-post CAM articles on not-for-profit community internet sites as long as the source is acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original CovertAction Magazine article. Also, kindly let us know at info@CovertActionMagazine.com. For publication of CAM articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: info@CovertActionMagazine.com.

By using this site, you agree to these terms above.

About the Author


Leave a Reply