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DECEMBER 2020

New Ukrainian Special Forces Commander Attempted To Defect To Donetsk’s Side

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New Ukrainian Special Forces Commander Attempted To Defect To Donetsk's Side

President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) and Special Forces Commander Grigory Galagan (R). Click to see full-size image

On August 25th, the Ukrainian Special Forces Commander was replaced by Grigory Galagan.

Galagan is known for his attempt, in 2014, to defect to the side of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

This was announced reported by the Telegram-channel WarGonzo, citing sources in the intelligence services of the DPR.

It is noted that Galagan himself proposed his candidacy to an influential DPR militia commander, whom he approached through his contacts in the Crimean “Alpha Group” (a branch of the Security Service of Ukraine), where he served till 2014.

There he served as a sniper until the referendum on the reunification of the peninsula with Russia, after which he left for Kiev.

The details of the transition of the new head of the elite Ukrainian special forces to the side of the DPR were supposed to be discussed at a personal meeting, which was to take place in Istanbul.

“The negotiations broke down because of the sum requested by Galagan, which he demanded as a reward. It was unreasonable,” the cited source claimed.

After the breakdown of negotiations, Galagan, who was considered one of the best snipers in the CIS in the professional community, began to hunt for high-ranking Crimean volunteers who fought in Eastern Ukraine, the reported continued.

Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky made Galagan commander of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on August 25th. Prior to appointing Galagan, Zelensky dismissed Igor Lunev from this position.

Major General Lunev was appointed Commander of the Special Operations Forces (MTR) in January 2016.

The Ukrainian leader explained this appointment by a change in the tasks of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) in the context of the ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine.

“There will be more provocations from pro-Russian militants, therefore both the command and the personnel of the Special Operations Forces must work more to prevent them and prevent them,” Zelensky explained.

Zelensky also drew attention to the need to introduce more aggressive measures to counter emerging challenges and adequately respond to provocative steps by the enemy.

Among the measures that the new special forces commander still has to take, Zelensky called the continued development of all components of the Special Operations Forces.

As such, the new more-aggressive posture makes no sense at all in view of the ceasefire, but it is showing far Kiev plans to adhere to it.

After all, approximately a month passed and Zelensky already claims that “provocations” are expected from the DPR and LPR, and at the same time more aggressive actions would need to be carried out by Kiev, “in response.” Apparently, the potential defector was the best candidate among those that Ukraine has to appoint for such a responsible position in these conditions.

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