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27 Oct, 2023 23:14

CIA-linked agency shot former Ukrainian MP – BBC

Kiev’s SBU has told multiple outlets that it had targeted Oleg Tsarev in Crimea
CIA-linked agency shot former Ukrainian MP – BBC

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) was behind the assassination attempt on former lawmaker Oleg Tsarev, the BBC and several Ukrainian outlets reported on Friday, citing a source from the agency.

“Tsarev is an absolutely legitimate target. He is not just a fanatic of the ‘Russian world’, but personally came together with Russian tanks to seize Kiev,” the SBU source told the BBC’s Ukrainian service.

Ukrainian outlets Babel, Ukrinform, and Ukrainska Pravda have also reported that the SBU was behind the attack on Tsarev, likewise quoting an anonymous agency official.

Tsarev was attacked on Thursday night at the sanatorium he runs in Yalta, Crimea. He was reportedly shot two times and had lost a lot of blood before being taken to the hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

The Russian authorities have opened a criminal investigation into the attack on Tsarev but have yet to attribute blame.

The 53-year-old former Ukrainian MP had retired from politics and settled in the Russian peninsula several years ago. He had served as a deputy from the now-banned Party of Regions in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada from 2002 to 2014. Following the US-backed Maidan coup in Kiev, Tsarev endorsed the rebellion in Donetsk and Lugansk and eventually became the speaker of the parliament of ‘Novorossiya’ – as the two Donbass republics dubbed their union at the time.

The BBC’s source in the SBU described Tsarev as “on the list of traitors who must answer for their crimes,” presumably referring to Ukraine’s notorious Mirotvorets (Peacekeeper) database. As a number of prominent journalists and other public figures featured on the website as “enemies of Ukraine” have been murdered over the years, it has been dubbed Kiev’s “kill list.”

The Mirotvorets page for Tsarev has been updated to blame Thursday’s attempt on his life on “Russian security services.” The site has made the same claim about the assassinations of journalist Darya Dugina and blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, which US spies later said were the work of Ukrainian intelligence.

Valentin Nalivaichenko, the former head of the SBU, admitted to the existence of a secret assassination unit last month in an interview with The Economist. The Washington Post published a lengthy feature last week about CIA support for the SBU, admitting that the US invested “tens of millions” of dollars in the Ukrainian intelligence agency and its military counterpart, the GUR, but insisted it had nothing to do with the “dozens of assassinations” that Kiev’s spies have undertaken.