Terrorist methods in the Ukrainian war

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By ANDREW KORYBKO*

Reports indicate that Kiev and its Western patrons have weaponized Ukrainian phone scams to orchestrate terrorist attacks inside Russia

The proxy war between NATO and Russia on the territory of Ukraine has been characterized by unconventional and conventional attacks, although the West has largely focused only on the speculative means by which Russia is allegedly promoting what the media Traditionally popularly called hybrid warfare. However, some reports are still coming out indicating that Kiev and its Western patrons have weaponized phone scams by Ukrainians to orchestrate terrorist attacks inside Russia.

These fraudsters have been active for years and used to simply scam their victims at home in Russia and elsewhere in Europe through various phone scams that mainly target the elderly. They have greatly increased their attacks across the continent since the start of Russia's special operation and have provoked such opprobrium from Ukraine's western partners that Kiev has been forced to crack down. A Infosecurity Magazine, based in the United Kingdom, reported at least two such incidents in November e March.

The first concerned “a large online fraud ring responsible for losses estimated at $200 million” across Europe, while the second was comparatively less significant as it “disrupted a prolific ring of Phishing who allegedly stole 160 million hryvnia ($4,3 million) from victims across Europe.” Meanwhile, the BankInfoSecurity, based in the USA, reported in June that Kiev cracked down on “false investment fraud involving the theft of cryptocurrencies and credit card details from European and Central Asian citizens.”

All three cases and others beyond the scope of this article confirm that Ukraine is home to phone scammers who are active across the continent and who have continued to extort ordinary people in the country's Western partners despite the aid of more than $160 billion their governments gave to Kiev. However, these repressive measures did not end this scourge, but caused the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) to take control of these operations and weaponize them to orchestrate terrorist attacks inside Russia.

O Daily Beast reported the Russian Interior Ministry's report in early August about how this is happening more frequently these days. Scammers have begun posing as local law enforcement officials to manipulate their mostly elderly targets into sharing financial information that makes them susceptible to being blackmailed into carrying out these attacks. The specific narratives employed vary, but most have this modus modus in common.

The reason this report from a month ago is newsworthy in the present is the precedent set by these same phone scammers who have been targeting European citizens for the past 18 months. As the Western public begins to grow disgusted with the increasingly likely prospect of indefinitely funding proxy warfare, at least in the absence of a black swan event such as Russia breaking through the front lines to end the conflict in a decisive, the possibility of the SBU ordering its prosecutors to also target Europeans again cannot be ruled out.

This new form of hybrid warfare could be used to orchestrate false flag terrorist attacks in Europe that would be blamed on Russia to manipulate public opinion in favor of Ukraine. Poland is a particularly attractive target from Kiev's perspective, given the escalating disputes between the two countries over the past month, which have been detailed here. The SBU could therefore kill two birds with one stone by punishing Poland and, in parallel, manipulating it into maintaining the flow of aid despite its latest problems.

It should also be mentioned that the members of the “foreign legion” could also play a role by lending their native language skills to this operation in exchange for being relocated to a cozy SBU-controlled call center rather than risking their lives storming Russian minefields under fire without air support. These proven terrorist methods and logical motivation for targeting Europeans mean that any reports relating to “Russian hybrid warfare plots” are likely false flags orchestrated by the SBU.

*Andrew Korybko holds a master's degree in International Relations from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Book author Hybrid Wars: From Color Revolutions to Coups (popular expression).

Translation: Fernando Neves de Lima.


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