“It is already time to understand that the crisis which has begun is not like the previous one: it is slow, deep and long. And it will not be cured by oil prices alone,” Zubarevich says.
Staunton, VA, January 5, 2016 — One of the aspects of Russia’s occupation of portions of Ukraine is that with each passing day, Russian propaganda outlets are operating in many cases without any Ukrainian efforts to counter them, a reality that is creating facts on the ground as diplomats like to say that Kyiv will find it ever more difficult to reverse.
Today, Zoryan Shkiryak, an advisor to the Ukrainian interior ministry, suggested that the recent deaths of two military commanders who undoubtedly have access to many of Putin’s most closely held secrets suggests that the Kremlin leader may be killing off witnesses to his own crimes.
He points specifically to the death on December 27 of Major General Aleksandr Shushukin, who led the occupation of Crimea, and of Col.Gen. Igor Sergun, the head of the GRU, who has long done secretive dirty work “at the order of the Kremlin in the war against Ukraine.”
Of course, the two deaths may be a coincidence, but they are convenient and getting rid of the executors of regime policy has long been a tradition for the Soviet and Russian security services. They in this as in much else operate according to the principle “no person, no problem.” That Putin might do the same should not surprise anyone, Shkiryak says.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick