The Security Service of Ukraine has exposed the intelligence network of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Federation (former GRU), which was supposed to help the occupiers capture Ukraine. According to the investigation, it included, among others, Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach, the press service of the SBU reported.
According to law enforcement officers, the operational development of this network has been going on for a long time. It was finally neutralized at the beginning of the war, when Derkach's former aide, Igor Kolesnikov (nicknamed "Veteran"), was detained. He was an unspoken employee of the General Staff of the Russian Federation, a liaison and financial courier between the special services of the Russian Federation and Derkach.
According to Kolesnikov, Derkach was recruited in 2016. He worked personally with the top leadership of Russian intelligence: the head of the department Igor Kostyukov and his first deputy Vladimir Alekseev.
The Ukrainian MP received money from Russia to create private security structures in various regions of Ukraine (including eastern and southern), which the Russians planned to use to capture Ukraine — once every few months Russia allocated 3-4 million dollars for this purpose. According to the investigation, a significant part of these funds ended up in Derkach's wallet.
After his detention, Kolesnikov himself accepted a plea agreement with the prosecution and testified to Ukrainian law enforcement officers. In May, a court sentenced him for high treason.
According to Kolesnikov, private security structures were to ensure the passage of Russian equipment and the "peaceful entry" of the occupiers into the cities.
Thus, during the capture of Kyiv, the Russians planned to use two special forces brigades and special operations forces to enter from Belarus, move quickly to the capital, seize the government quarter, and convene a chamber in the Verkhovna Rada to vote for a new government. However, this was not possible due to the resistance of the Ukrainian military.
Who is Andriy Derkach?
Derkach has been a Ukrainian parliamentarian since 1998. His father, Leonid Derkach, was a KGB general. Derkach Jr. himself studied at the Academy of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation in 1990-93, where he defended his dissertation.
In December 2019, Derkach met with Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and discussed the creation of an inter-parliamentary group "Friends of Ukraine STOP Corruption."
No updates on the activities of the group had been heard since, but an investigation into the impeachment of US President Donald Trump has revealed that Giuliani was one of the overseers of the so-called "irregular, informal" channel of US foreign policy towards Ukraine.
The channel tried to put pressure on the newly elected Ukrainian authorities to announce (and possibly launch) investigations against Burisma and Biden Sr. and Jr.
On September 10, the United States imposed personal sanctions on Derkach for interfering in their election process. And the US National Counterintelligence and Security Center pointed out that Derkach could have been used by the Russian side to meddle in the US presidential election.