Russia quickly captured Kherson at the beginning of the invasion due to betrayal – Politico

Yuri Kobzar20:41, 21.04.23

One of the main culprits behind Russia’s success in the south was probably the head of the local SBU department.

The quick capture of Kherson at the beginning of a full-scale Russian invasion was probably achieved thanks to the help of top-level traitors. The American publication Politico writes about this .

The authors of the publication delved into the case of the former head of the Crimean department of the SBU in Kherson, Oleg Kulinich, who is suspected of working for the Russian special services.

In early April, the State Bureau of Investigation of Ukraine, together with the SBU, completed an investigation into Kulynych. Law enforcers believe he was an FSB “mole” who infiltrated top-secret meetings in Ukraine and passed sensitive information to the Russians through fugitive Yanukovych-era officials.

According to the investigation, in the first hours of the invasion, Kulinich deliberately blocked any attempts to inform the country’s leadership about the real state of affairs in the Kherson region. At the same time, he did not take any measures to protect the sovereignty of Ukraine and ordered the personnel to leave the place of service. 

Kulinich was arrested last July and charged with high treason. The State Bureau of Investigation and the SBU released wiretaps of Kulynych’s conversations with his alleged liaison, former deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Volodymyr Sivkovich, who fled to Russia in 2014.

Kulinich is known to have studied at the FSB Academy in Moscow with Andrei Derkach, another fugitive pro-Russian lawmaker who was sanctioned by the US for collaborating with the FSB and meddling in US elections. 

According to the SBI, one of Kulynych’s main tasks was to undermine the work of the Ukrainian government from within, introduce enemy agents into it, and unbalance its work. Since at least May 2019, Kulinich had access to state secrets and unofficially oversaw the counterintelligence department.

The SBI believes that, at the direction of Sivkovich, Kulinich appointed his people to some senior positions in the SBU. In particular, he was interested in regional divisions in Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and other border regions. He also regularly misinformed the leadership about the true intentions of the Russian special services, according to the investigation.

Zelensky fired Kulinich in March last year, and then-head of the SBU Ivan Bakanov promptly appointed him as his adviser. Because of this, an official check was carried out against Bakanov himself, the results of which were classified. 

In July last year, a day after Kulinich was arrested, Zelensky fired his friend Bakanov from the post of head of the SBU. 

Case of Kulinich and Sivkovich

On July 16 last year, as a result of a special operation, Oleg Kulinich, the former head of the SBU in Crimea, was detained. He was charged with treason and related crimes. A week later, former Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Volodymyr Sivkovich received suspicion in the same case. According to investigators , they worked for the 5th service of the FSB of Russia.

In early April of this year, the State Bureau of Investigation announced that the investigation into the Kulinich case had been completed. After he gets acquainted with the materials of the case, they will be sent to court.

(C)UNIAN 2023


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