The Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine (SZRU) sees political destabilization as one of the dimensions shaping up Russia's hybrid aggression targeting Ukraine, says the agency's chief, Valeriy Kondratiuk.
"We are observing the attempts by Russia's secret services to carry out special operations aimed at sowing discord in Ukrainian society and undermining the foundations of Ukrainian statehood," Kondratiuk said, according to the SZRU press service.
"They bid on systematically compromising the Ukrainian national idea and Western civilizational choice, as well as claiming 'the artificial nature of Ukrainian identity and state' (recently, this discourse has been imposed on us both externally and internally). Moscow is actively manipulating the factor of the temporarily occupied territories, trying to play the people of Ukraine and the "Kyiv authorities" off against each other, claiming that the latter allegedly betrayed election promises regarding the long-awaited peace in Donbas," the statement reads.
The top spy underlined Russia's political goal, which is "to destabilize socio-political life to an extent that would allow the Kremlin to raise the issue of the need for 'humanitarian assistance' and choke Ukraine with its 'fraternal' embrace.
"In fact, these are attempts to incite in our country a 'war of all against all' and to conduct against this background an operation involving political sabotage and/or violence to topple the country's government in the medium term," said Kondratiuk.
The intelligence chief noted "diverse, multivariate, and non-standard" forms and methods Russia applies.
Read also Ukraine's top intelligence official talks Russian threats in media domain "Acts of provocation, the use of agents of influence, terror, and political assassinations are frequent 'branded tools', which has been repeatedly confirmed both in Ukraine (assassinations of intelligence operative M. Shapoval and Russian politician D. Voronenkov in Kyiv, counterintelligence operative O. Kharaberiush in Mariupol, etc.) and beyond.
Among last year's incidents of such nature, Kondratiuk noted assassinations in Germany and Austria (targeting Russian political immigrants Zelimkhan Hangoshvili – in Berlin and Mamihan Umarov – on the outskirts of Vienna), "which once again makes the civilized world wonder whether Russia has become a sponsor of terrorism."