Eurasian Secret Services Daily Review

Yanukovich’s team in Ukraine concentrates economic and power levers of administration in its hands
Scale of mass disturbances in Kharkov, Ukraine, has not been not known since 2001
Ukrainian parliament’s committee head insists on law enforcement bodies reforms
Replacements in Security Service of Ukraine come to capital city of Kiev
Security service prevented series of explosions in public places in Nikolaevo, Ukraine
Yushchenko holds joint Ukrainian-Polish National Security and Defense Council
UK investigators to visit Russia again on Litvinenko case
Communist secret files past comes back to haunt Eastern Europe’s high flyers
Czech civilian intelligence to open Communist secret police agents’ files
Romania’s ex-King Michael views communist-era secret police files on him
Poland’s bishops wants investigations into Communist secret services files to continue, denounce moves against credibility of Church Lithuania’s President wants to supervise secret services in a new way
Egypt cooperating with Kazakhstan to launch spy satellite

Yanukovich’s team in Ukraine concentrates economic and power levers of administration in its hands

Vladimir Radchenko  

Appointment of the ex-chairman (1995-98) of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Vladimir Radchenko as Vice-Premier on January 12, is described by the online paper as an unprecedented move.
The number of vice-premiers is continuing to grow, and persons from the former entourage of ex-President Leonid Kuchma have been emerging on the surface. The personnel selection way of the government has already been referred to in the mass-media as ‘reincarnation of Kuchma’s regime’.
Taras Chornovil from the Party of Regions, having commented Radchenko’s appointment, assumed that new Vice-Premier was a compromise figure as he is close enough to the President and his entourage. In its turn, underlines that Radchenko was till now a ‘free-lance’ adviser of the Prime Minister, and concludes that this is why it is difficult to speak about him as a compromise figure close to the President. Knowing the style of work of Yanukovich’s team, it is difficult to imagine that among his advisers there are people anyhow sympathizing to his political opponents. The paper considers that Chornovil just has wished to smooth the next personnel attack against the President from the coalition’s.
Radchenko will be engaged in coordination of activity of security structures. In the case of abolition of the country’s Security and Defense Council, as such a draft has been submitted to the parliament, it is probable that the Vice-Premier, supervising the security structures, would receive a part of functions of the council.
Concentration in hands of the government not only of economic levers of state administration, but also of the security structures, would actually transform Yanukovich’s team into a monarchic group, comments.
As today, Radchenko takes under his control the Ministry of Interior, headed by a representative of the coalition, and the SBU, that after resignation of its ex-head Igor Drizhchany has even more bent aside the parliamentary majority. The online paper calls ‘domestication’ of defense Minister Anatoly Gritsenko as Radchenko’s obvious key problem on the new post. Radchenko will try to reveal all flaws of the work of the Ministry of Defense, it marks. “The government increases its muscles, trying to take under the control the security structures that are not completely supervised by the government”. 

Scale of mass disturbances in Kharkov, Ukraine, has not been not known since 2001
Vladimir Radchenko, the newly appointed Vice Premier of Ukraine, supervising country’s security forces, and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), has declared that to analyse challenges of national security of Ukraine and to put the things in order is one of the most important problems that the law enforcement agencies have been facing today.
In an interview to the newspaper Zerkalo nedeli Radchenko told what exactly he ranks as such challenges, and mentioned the Kharkov oblast.
The SBU has brought a criminal case on the fact of mass disorders in Kharkov on December 16, 2006 when a “peaceful” meeting against construction of a TARGET supermarket ended with dismantling of a fence and mass punch-up.
Radchenko said he wanted to pay attention to several points: “legionaries of an unknown party have been openly acting on our TV, that is reproached by one of our major partners and in this connection Ukraine risks to remain without energy carriers; on places, in particular in Kharkov, there are mass disorders, which in similar quality the country has not known since 2001; the Crimea still remains a rather complex territory, etc., etc.” According to the Vice Premier, it is necessary to be engaged in these and similar on the level of gravity questions touching interests of the state and the society, irrespective of the political views of any part of the population.

Ukrainian parliament’s committee head insists on law enforcement bodies reforms 
Chairman of the National Security and Defense Committee of the Supreme Rada (parliament) of Ukraine, Anatoly Kinakh, is sure of necessity of carrying out of the complex review of security sector and adoption of the concept of reforming the country’s law enforcement bodies, news agency LIGABiznesInform reports. Kinakh’s press-service quoted the committee as saying that “development and adoption of such concept, as well as carrying out of the system review of the security sector, should put an end to attempts of some political forces to debalance activity of security and law enforcement departments that is taking place today”.
Chairman of committee reminded that in due time, according to decrees of the President of Ukraine, some sessions of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) and the Interdepartmental commission concerning reforming of law enforcement bodies had already been held. “However, despite of a number of positives of activity of such commission, it has not finished its work, not having given professional expert judgments on the reforming the power and law enforcement block, reduction of its work in accordance with the world standards of security”, Kinakh noted.
Therefore, according to the Chairman of the National Security and Defense Committee of the Supreme Rada, the committee will suggest to include in the plan of the National Security and Defense Council sessions in 2007 a question concerning development of the concept of reforming of law enforcement bodies and the complex review of security sector. “It is necessary finally to put an end to imitation of reforms in the law enforcement and security block and to build such system that would provide appropriate protection of the rights, freedom and interests of the person and the citizen, a society and the state from illegal encroachments”, Kinah is cited by the press service.
The committee’s chairman also has expressed his strong opinion that in the prime order it is necessary to consider and approve the bill of activity of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). Kinakh underlined that the concept of reforming of the SBU should take place on the basis of depolitization of the agency’s activity, strengthening of its basic counterintelligence function that is being prepared by the Interdepartmental commission on the SBU reforming, established according to the Decree of the President.

Replacements in Security Service of Ukraine come to capital city of Kiev

  Vasily Gritsak

At the end of December, 2006, President of Ukraine replaced the head of capital city’s directorate of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Anatoly Pavlenko, Delovaya stolica writes.
Observers are marking that the personnel castling, first of all, is aimed to strengthen influence of President Yushchenko on Kiev’s authority. Vasily Gritsak, who has filled the post of the chief of Kiev directorate of the SBU, in opinion of experts, should limit the too vigorous mayor of the capital city, Delovaya stolica notes.
The former head of the Kiev directorate Major-General Anatoly Pavlenko, who supervised the capital city directorate since May, 2006, was dismissed. According to the official version, the general who in due was sent by the President for putting the security service in Kiev in order and to suppress corruption in the country’s capital, was dismissed together with a number of high-ranking officers from the central and regional directorates following the President’s decision to reform the SBU.
Malicious languages have been claiming that the weighty reason of Pavlenko’s dismissal was the growing conflict between the entourage of the President and the Kiev authority, the paper writes. According to Delovaya stolica, one of the basic versions of the purpose of appointment of Anatoly Pavlenko on the post of the chief of the capital city security service was Yushchenko’s idea to supervise the city authority through the SBU. However this intention has failed, and the decision was taken to replace Pavlenko with a person closer to ideals of the President, as the paper puts it.
On December 28, 2006, Yushchenko appointed Major-General Vasily Gritsak to the vacant post. Since the spring of 2005 Gritsak since was heading the SBU directorate of Kiev oblast. His previous post was filled by the SBU colonel Alexander Dzhuma.
Arrival of the new SBU chief of the capital city has generated many rumors and versions, Delovaya stolica marks. It is said that Gritsak was recommended to Yushchenko by the governor of the region, Vera Ulyanenko, who at present has developed constructive enough relations with the general. Besides, Gritsak is considered by many as a person who is close enough to the entourage of the President, the paper adds. Security services employees name him as one of the ideological inspirers of the thought up in the Presidential Secretariat draft on reforming of the SBU, to considerably amplify its role in the system of Ukraine’s security forces. Gritsak is a member of the commission on development of the concept of the SBU reforming.
Against this background, serious personnel rearrangements can be predicted in the Kiev directorate of the SBU. According to the Delovaya stolica, informed circles assure that the reforms are to be expected in the Main directorate on struggle against the organized crime and corruption, and also in the departments on drugs control, gangsterism, economic criminality, smuggling, control over militia, tax control and some Kiev interdistrict departments of the SBU.
Experts presume that Gritsak’s appointment can mean desire of the President to establish though supervision over the capital city authority.
Observers are inclined to believe, that after cooling attitudes between the city mayor Leonid Chernovetski and President Yushchenko and advances of the mayor with the Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, the President has decided by the means of the SBU to pacify ardor of the city mayor, the paper writes. Local analysts believe that already in three months time Kiev will be overflowed with a wave of corruption scandals with the participation of high-ranking city administration officials.

Security service prevented series of explosions in public places in Nikolaevo, Ukraine
The regional directorate of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the Directorate on struggle against the organized crime of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine during a joint operation in the Nikolaev oblast have revealed and detained a local resident who is suspected of undermining a self-made explosive in the locality of a hotel in Nikolaevo on November 27, 2006, online paper reports.
According to the SBU press-service, the malefactor threatened the administration of a private hotel with a series of further explosions in case it will not give him $5,000, the online paper writes. As a result of operatively-search activities in brief terms the person of the malefactor was established, a 26-years old inhabitant of Nikolaevo, a former inspector of the city’s customs office. Chemical components and other items that can be used for manufacturing self-made explosives, and a pistol without registration papers have been withdrawn during a search in a place of residing of the arrested person. It was found out that the man actively prepared for fulfillment of next explosions in public places of Nikolaevo that could lead to human victims with the purpose of extortion of money. 

Yushchenko holds joint Ukrainian-Polish National Security and Defense Council
President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, held a meeting with the Secretary of the country’s National Security and Defense Council Vitaly Gaiduk and Secretary of the National Security Council (NSB) of Poland, Wladislaw Stasiak, online paper RUpor reports today, referring to the press service of the President of Ukraine. Questions of Ukrainian-Polish cooperation in the field of security and defense were discussed during the meeting, according to the press service. Later today a joint briefing of Vitaly Gaiduk and Wladislaw Stasiak was to take place following the meeting with President Yushchenko.

UK investigators to visit Russia again on Litvinenko case

Yury Chaika  

Russia’s top prosecutors have received a request from British investigators to visit the country again to probe the murder of former FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko, Prosecutor General Yury Chaika said today, according to RIA Novosti news agency.
London Police detectives last traveled to Russia in December, but Tony Halpin, Moscow correspondent of The Times, said that Yury Chaika made clear that UK investigators would not be allowed to return until Russian police also probing the Litvinenko death had been allowed to visit Britain. In a commentary for Times Online, Halpin said that the exiled billionaire Boris Berezovsky and Akhmed Zakayev, the Chechen separatist spokesman, who were both friends of Litvinenko, would be top of their list of interviewees.
Chaika said, according to RIA Novosti, that Russian investigators were expected to head for the UK in the near future, adding that they intended to question fugitive oligarch Boris Berezovsky, exclusively on the Litvinenko case, and they also would like to question Leonid Nevzlin, the co-owner of the YUKOS. Berezovsky, who lives in the UK, is wanted in Russia on charges of fraud and attempts to organize a coup, the news agency says.
Chaika claimed that Russia’s prosecutors “were interested to reveal this crime, as he [Litvinenko], first, was a Russian citizen, and second, we have our own versions of the murder.” The Prosecutor General did not exclude that Litvinenko was killed by “Russian citizens, located abroad”. Simultaneously Chaika has denied reports on misunderstanding between Russian and British prosecutors, RIA Novosti adds.
In another development today, Alex Goldfarb, head of the Civic Liberties Fund, told radio Ekho Moskvy that Boris Berezovsky would be ready to give his testimony to Russian investigators in the case if the British side would ask him to do so.
Neither Scotland Yard nor the representatives of the British Home Office gave any comment today to Russian news agency ITAR-TASS about the proceeding of investigation in Litvinenko case. Responding the question about the British experts arrival to Moscow the only thing the ministry representatives say is that the Scotland Yard is the only investigator of the case.

Communist secret files past comes back to haunt Eastern Europe’s high flyers
Online edition of the Monday Morning turns back to look at some of the cases when nearly 20 years after the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, secret police files aimed at keeping the lid on any public dissent had shattered high-flying careers.
The latest casualty is the archbishop of Warsaw, Stanislaw Wielgus, adjusting his mitre before what was to have been his inaugural mass. Just two days earlier he had confessed that he had collaborated with Poland’s hated communist-era secret police, the SB.
The paper notes that similar revelations were also the undoing last October of Varujan Vosganian, a renowned economist and member of Romania’s parliament , in his bid to become his country’s candidate for European commissioner. Even President of Romania Traian Basescu has had to fend off accusations by government and opposition politicians that he was hiding his links with the country’s secret police, known as the Securitate.
Meanwhile in Slovakia Jan Hurny, Secretary of State for construction, was two years ago forced to resign after his past as a secret police agent became public, while in Hungary, news of former Prime Minister Peter Medgyessy’s murky past saw his popularity nosedive in 2002, according to Monday Morning.
The paper marks that it is not just top officials whom the past has come back to haunt. In Berlin, Thomas Klippstein, the director of the Hotel Adlon was forced to resign, as it was alleged, he had briefly acted as an informer for the DDR’s notorious Stasi secret police when he was 25.
Parents, children and partners were also roped in. East German opposition Member of Parliament Vera Wollenberger, for instance, was alarmed to discover that her husband had for 10 years detailed to the Stasi the minutest details of their married life, Monday Morning writes.
Former agents even went in Eastern European countries on to form new political parties after Communism collapsed, as was the case in Bulgaria, where Petar Baron, a former Communist secret police agent, headed an anti-Communist party in 1991.
Monday Morning points out that in Hungary and Poland it remains extremely difficult for a citizen to look at his own file, while elsewhere dossiers on certain figures — former Romanian President Ion Iliescu being a striking example — have mysteriously disappeared. 

Czech civilian intelligence to open Communist secret police agents’ files
The Czech civilian intelligence service, Office for Foreign Relations and Information, UZSI, will facilitate access to the documents concerning former Communist espionage activity since so far some information was not open to the public at all, UZSI spokesman Bohumil Srajer told CTK news agency. Under the new regulations, people requesting information will have immediate access to the files of the agents that were kept by the civilian intelligence more than 30 years ago. They will receive complete information about these agents including their personal data. The only limit will be the assessment whether the documents contain classified information the revelation of which could harm the national interests. So far, access to these documents in which many historians and ordinary people are interested has been complicated by the different interpretation of the law by the UZSI and the Interior Ministry. The ministry maintained that the new archive law applies to all the documents concerning the activities of the former communist state police (StB), CTK says. The law allows those who request it to see all the documents, including personal data. However, the UZSI acted on the basis of the law on the opening of files which, it believes, is superior over the archive law. People thus had to ask access to the files of secret agents through the Interior Ministry where issuing the permission took many months and documents with blackened personal data were finally produced. However, the UZSI recently obtained a legal analysis made by the Interior Ministry archive department that settled the matter. The files that are older than 30 years and that do not contain secret information will be opened in the easiest possible way and completely. The UZSI has first started processing the older documents from the end of the 1940s and the beginning of the 1950s, but gradually other documents including the files of secret agents for the period of up to 1977 will be opened.
CTK expands that all the lists will be published on the Internet and with the help of keywords they will be able to find the documents in which they are interested, according to Srajer.

Romania’s ex-King Michael views communist-era secret police files on him

  Ex-King Michael I 

Romania’s ex-King Michael I, forced to abdicate 60 years ago, yesterday perused files made about him by the Communist-era secret police. According to The Associated Press, Michael spent less than one hour reading two files about him that are stored at the National Council for Studying the Securitate Archives (CNSAS). Accompanied by his wife Ana Bourbon-Parme and eldest daughter Princess Margareta, Michael met with several council officials. He made no comment after the visit.
Ticu Dumitrescu, a board member of the council, said the files were written in 1948 by the National Siguranta and the Detective Corps, predecessors of the dreaded Securitate secret police. One informer in the case was identified as Romeo and was probably an insider at the royal palace, Dumitrescu said. “We only have a few files, I suppose there must be more, because if King Michael was not under surveillance, then who was?” Dumitrescu said at the end of Michael’s brief visit.

Poland’s bishops wants investigations into Communist secret services files to continue
In a statement released to the press, following January 12 Polish episcopate extraordinary conference, Polish bishops stress the role played by the Church in the defense of “freedom and truth” during the Communist years, demands respect for people’s dignity and calls on political leaders to ensure that secret service files be examined by an independent court. In its statement the Polish Church has responded to its critics and rejects unilateral and untrue interpretations of the role the Church played during the totalitarian period.
As for bishop Wielgus, who stands accused of collaborating with the secret services, the statement regrets that “the widely accepted rule of the presumption of innocence” was not applied in his case, thus “creating an atmosphere of pressure around the accused archbishop, which did not make it easy for him to present the public opinion with an appropriate defense, to which he was entitled.”
For Polish bishops, the “records kept in the Institute of National Remembrance archives uncover a part of the vast areas of enslaving and neutralizing the Polish society by the security services of a totalitarian state. It is not, however, a complete and singular record of past times. Only a critical and solid analysis of all the available sources can allow us to approach the truth. One-sided reading of documents created by officers of the repression apparatus of a Communist state, hostile toward the Church, can seriously harm people, destroy the links of social trust and as a consequence prove to be a posthumous victory of an inhuman system, in which we were fated to live.”
The Polish Church expresses its willingness to work for the truth, but calls on political leaders to make sure that the Communist-regime files be examined by an independent court—an issue currently before the Polish parliament—without encroaching on the rights of people and on history. Cardinal Jozef Glemp has asked why only files about priests are seeing the light of day, AsiaNews marks. Similarly, former Polish President Lech Walesa said in an interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera that nothing comes out by chance from the Communist secret police archives. He is convinced that former secret services officers, hiding in important places, especially in trade unions, are shrewdly pulling the strings.

Lithuania’s President wants to supervise secret services in a new way
President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus during a meeting with the Chairman of the Sejmas (parliament) of Lithuania Viktoras Muntjanas and members of parliament yesterday, has suggested to create a parliamentary body which would constantly supervise activity of security services of Lithuania, news agency Regnum reports, referring to the press-service of the President of Lithuania. In opinion of the head of the Lithuanian state, the check of activity of the State Security Department of Lithuania (VSD) by the parliamentary commission has caused inconsistent estimations and “an unnecessary pressure” in the society.
On December 21, 2006, after a meeting between the head of the VSD, Arvydas Pocius, and the President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus, the head of the state declared that the VSD Director leaved his post. Resignation of Pocius took place after the end of the parliamentary investigation on the VSD activity, Regnum notes. The post of the head of security service still remains vacant.

Egypt cooperating with Kazakhstan to launch spy satellite
Israeli intelligence officials said Egypt was poised to launch its first spy satellite from Kazakhstan to monitor the Middle East, news website Ynet reports. Tal Inbar, a senior researcher from Israel`s military Fisher Brothers Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, told the 220-pound Egyptstat 1 satellite was designed by the Ukrainian company, Yuzhnoe Design, and was scheduled to be launched today. The device will orbit the earth at an altitude of about 410 miles, and transmit back black and white, color and infrared photographs at relatively low resolution. Inbar estimated the cameras would be capable of spotting objects larger than 13 feet high or across.

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