The SBU exposed a network of Russian intelligence agents who planned to help take over Ukraine. It included Rada deputy Andriy Derkach

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) exposed the intelligence network of the Main Directorate (GU) of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, which included Verkhovna Rada deputy Andriy Derkach. According to the SBU, the network was supposed to help in the capture of Ukraine.

Derkach, according to investigators, was recruited into the Russian foreign intelligence agency in 2016. The top leadership of the GRU personally worked with him - the head of the department Igor Kostyukov and his first deputy Vladimir Alekseev. Derkach oversaw the creation of a number of private security companies in various areas in order to use these structures to quickly take over the country. When Russian troops entered Ukraine, these private security companies were supposed to “ensure the passage of equipment, sit on armor with Russian flags, and thus ensure peaceful entry into the cities.”

“The Main Directorate of the General Staff allocated 3-4 million US dollars every few months for the implementation of its plans. According to the materials of the investigation, a significant part of these funds ended up in Derkach’s pockets.”

The SBU also announced that it had finally neutralized the intelligence network at the beginning of the war, detaining the former assistant to the people's deputy, Igor Kolesnikov. “In fact, he, being an unspoken employee of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of Russia with the call sign Veteran, was a signalman and financial courier between the Russian special services and Derkach,” the statement says.

“Kolesnikov said that the GRU, when capturing the capital, planned to use two special forces brigades and special operations forces that were supposed to enter from the territory of Belarus. From there - move quickly to Kyiv, capture the Government Quarter and convene a veche in the Verkhovna Rada, which would vote for the creation of a new government. However, these plans were completely destroyed by the Ukrainian defenders.”

Earlier, Derkach was already linked with Russia. In 2021, Current Time reported that the United States imposed personal sanctions on seven Ukrainians who are Derkach's "accomplices". Then the US State Department stated that Derkach himself “has been an active Russian agent for more than 10 years, maintaining close ties with the Russian special services.” Sanctions against him were also introduced in 2020. “Derkach, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, has been an active Russian agent for more than a decade, maintaining close ties with Russian intelligence agencies. Derkach directly or indirectly participated in, sponsored, concealed or otherwise complicit in foreign interference in an attempt to undermine the upcoming 2020 US presidential election,” the US Treasury Department said in a statement.

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