One of recent weeks’ leading stories of atrocities allegedly committed by the Yanukovych regime or Russian secret services in Ukraine has begun to unravel, with growing suspicions that Automaidan leader Dmytro Bulatov’s kidnapping and torture in January was faked. The “Automaidan” is a protest movement of car owners who drive from city to city to highlight the wealth and corruption of Ukrainian government officials. Bulatov disappeared in January, then emerged with visible head wounds and claimed to have been kidnapped and “crucified” by masked men speaking with Russian accents. He is currently in Lithuania for medical treatment.
After media articles questioning Bulatov’s story, two officials of Arseni Yatsenyuk’s opposition Batkivshchyna Party from Khmelnitsky Region yesterday issued an open letter to the population, saying that published evidence showed that the incident was faked. They wrote that “the leader of the Automaidan has sold his civic conscience,” and they “condemn him for this unprecedented act and demand a full analysis of his complicity in planning his own kidnapping, which is a crime against the state and society.” Then articles appeared under headlines like “Yatsenyuk will dump Klitschko as unneeded ballast,” as analysts suggested that Udar Party leader Vitali Klitschko’s complicity in the Bulatov incident could lead to a split between him and Yatsenyuk.
Russian Academician Sergei Glazyev, an advisor to President Putin on Eurasian affairs, yesterday charged the kidnapping of Bulatov had been staged as a trigger-point for a seizure of power. “The provocation with the imaginary kidnapping of Bulatov, the recent unmasking of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Mrs. Nuland, and the [bomb] incident in the Trade Union House reveal the overall contours of a plot by U.S. secret services and their agent network in Kiev,” Ukrainian media quoted Glazyev. Calling the kidnapping an “anti-Russian provocation,” Glazyev elaborated: “Bulatov was supposedly tortured by people ‘with a Russian accent.’ I should note that the majority of the population of Ukraine speaks with a Russian accent, including Klitschko, Kravchuk, Tymoshenko, Kuchma, and all the other well-known figures in Ukraine.”
Also of note is the circulation in Ukrainian media, and also picked up by Russian state television, of another alleged intercept of U.S. Embassy communications. Unlike the recording of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Ambassador Jeffrey Pyatt discussing who should or should not be allowed into the next Ukrainian government, this one is a written transcript only. It purports to be a text message sent by one “Tim” to the head of the Common Cause (“SS”) organization Alexander Danilyuk, before the latter fled to London. Tim instructs him on how to handle SS’s occupation of the Ministry of Justice building, cites a recent meeting with Danilyuk, and gives a phone number that turns out to be one belonging to the U.S. Embassy. Russian Komsomolskaya Pravda, which highlighted the alleged transcript, wrote that the Ukrainian MVD has thanked Ambassador Pyatt for helping to free the Ministry of Justice building from SS occupation on Jan. 27, and asserted that “Tim” was Tim Piergalski, a second secretary at the U.S. Embassy who previous worked in the Peace Corps in Georgia and, like Ambassador Pyatt, arrived in Ukraine only last year.