Erik Zimerman Profile picture
Jul 26 14 tweets 3 min read
The thread being long enough, could not fit all I would have wished. But let me add a last and important point. After the release of this information, we learned of two high level dismissals in the Ukrainian government. #Zelensky fired the First Deputy Secretary of the National
Security and Defense Council Ruslan Demchenko. As part of the Council, which among other tasks coordinates security matters and advises the president, he very well may have been involved in clandestine matters such as this operation. He also worked as deputy minister of foreign
affairs. Perhaps more tellingly Zelensky also fired the commander of Special Operations Forces (SSO), Hryhoriy Halahan. Until 2016 these units were under the Chief Directorate of Intelligence (HUR / GUR), and so are highly correlated with this kind of operation. The SSO includes
psychological warfare units and can be regarded as special forces (Spestnaz) of military intelligence. An operation such as the one Bellingcat and Christo Grozev, aiming at the defection of Russian pilots and their planes to Ukraine, would be right up the alley of the SSO.
Note the full quoted thread, including the follow up comments which may not display by default (). The dismissals on top of all the other evidence add up to a very compelling story. In addition we have the dismissal of the head of the SBU, Ivan Bakanov bout
a week ago. Bakanov is a childhood friend of Zelensky and his dismissal, under Article 47 (for "Non-performance... caused human casualties or other serious consequences or created a threat for such consequences...") was quite a surprise. Though a clarification was later issued
stating that Bakanov was suspended rather than dismissed pending an inquiry, it was weak medicine to what was an obvious break of trust. At the time, Zelensky pointed to what amounted to Russian infiltration of too many operatives as the reason. We do not know for how long UA has
known that the operation had been turned on them. It is reasonable to think that if it became clear to them about 1-2 weeks ago, the Russians waited that same amount of time until they were certain the double agent operation had run its course (since UA now knew), and then tied
up loose ends and released the information today. If this is the case, Bakanov's firing was the immediate and drastic response to the revelation. The clarification stating that it was a suspension rather than a dismissal was the action of cooler heads once they realized that
perhaps it would just blow over without too much damage, and when that hope was dashed with the release of the operation by Russian sources today, the dismissals of the two other high level covert-related officials followed. We of course do not how how many lower level people may
have been dismissed as well. The correlation of this counter-intelligence operation with the sudden spree of high level dismissals makes more sense. Imagine the president and others being kept abreast of an upcoming huge coup, the defection of Russian pilots along with their
state-of-the-art warplanes, only to then be told that it appears that the FSB was playing them all along. Of course this is speculation, but whether the SBU chief's dismissal was related to this or only today's dismissals were, together they are further evidence that despite
what the UA government, Bellingcat, and the parrot mainstream media will attempt to spin, it seems Russian intelligence easily toyed with an amateurish attempt at luring some of their best fighters into treason. As I stated from the beginning, regardless of the details of the
cloak-and-dagger stuff that may have occurred, the Ukrainian operation failed because of their misconception of treason (they are obsessed with accusing their own, Russian, citizens with treason) and the motivations of the Russian soldier that opposes them in the field.

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More from @ZimermanErik

Jul 28
#Ukraine has repeatedly hit the #Antonivskiy bridge across the Dnieper river in the #Kherson area. This started about July 19 & yesterday saw some of the heaviest strikes, reportedly by HIMARS. The bridge seems to be structurally intact, though closed due to surface damage.
#Ukraine is putting at risk many bridges and dams across the Dnieper. Besides the 3 around Kherson (1 road, 1 rail & 1 road & rail), they are all in UA hands and the entire Ukrainian army in the east depends on them for even the limited supply they are receiving now. We discussed
previously why these bridges had not yet been targeted.

There was a tacit understanding between the parties not to try to strike at these bridges and dams. In preparation for now more modest UA aims, to regain Kherson and the west bank of the river,
Read 24 tweets
Jul 26
Undoubtedly some very interesting developments here. In the immediate aftermath, @bellingcat & its lead #Russia investigator @christogrozev began damage control regarding the announcement. Mr. Grozev claimed that he was not involved in the operation (as RU sources asserted) but
simply had a front-row seat as a film-maker (for a documentary). He also denied that the Ukrainian operation was a failure or a Russian coup. He portrays it as a mutual attempt at playing the other side, in which the UA came out on top and RU FSB blundered & revealed important
(His thread ), calling it a "blunder for the FSB, disclosing unintentionally identities of dozens of counter intel officers, their methods of operation, and their undercover assets.".
Read 37 tweets
Jul 25
Reports emerging that #Ukraine, apparently believing itself to be 1960's Israel, and #Russia 1960's Iraq, (not to mention Russian pilots to be Christian Assyrians in Iraq), tried to recruit #Russian pilots to defect with their planes (ie SU-24 / 34). The failed UA intelligence
operation was busted and "flipped" by a successful Russian FSB counter-intelligence operation. The UA intelligence agents were reportedly lured to identify themselves, other trusted sources, and UA anti-aircraft systems details & positions. A defecting pilot for example would
reasonably need to know many such details in order to fly over Ukrainian territory with a reasonable assurance of not being shot down and killed. This was a creative idea, one I could see coming form the likes of #Arestovych or other Ukrainian well read in history, specifically,
Read 7 tweets
Jul 22
Note on a predicted #Ukrainian strategy change. Early on the war, when the public was not accustomed to it, the media got great mileage out of every building that was fired on, assuming all are war crimes. As I discussed in more detail then, people are civilians (or not),
and not buildings. If a defender chooses to defend a city (& an attacker to try to capture it), there will be a fight in the city. Cities are not filled with "designated urban combat buildings", just buildings, and that is where the fighting will take place. Given this reporting
eager to call all events "war crimes" and their intention always "genocide", #Ukraine, whose strategy is always shaped & driven by Western perception, did everything it could to stop civilian evacuations from front line cities. They rationalized that it was the patriotic duty of
Read 19 tweets
Jul 22
This speculative movement, far from the reported fronts seems to finally be in good swing. First discussed it in the quoted tweet (itself quoting a thread about the elusive & unreported forest battles), the last few day of VIIRS data show us a serious #Russian advance to secure
the western forest flank of the #Izium supply line. It is done not as an advance westward from the city, but as a pincer movement from the north & south to advance along the high ground & surround any UA forces still operating within the forest belt. More recently we discussed
these #Ukrainian operations in the forest belt including a river crossing (here ). Also noted that in other threads (such as this one ) that UA would be wise to invest more resources in holding this forest & continuing operations from
Read 20 tweets
Jul 20
Yesterday #Russian sources reported that elements of the #Ukrainian "Kraken" unit infiltrated through the forest belt and attempted an attack on Bilohorivka. This was stopped and some prisoners were taken. Geolocated below. While it is possible that the attack came through the
northern forest belt (meaning UA forces crossed the Donets river twice), and this would be quite a daring mission, it is also possible that these were units that were left in fortified positions in the hilly wooded areas south of Hryrhorivka when the RU forces advanced due west
and attacked took the village (leaving the UA troops in the southern wooded areas). These units could have then advance on Bilohorivka (diagonally) attempting to cut off any remaining troops in Hryhorivka. It is also possible that they simply advanced east from Serebrianka and
Read 25 tweets

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