Alexei Mozgovoi: Casualty of War or Contract Hit?

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by Seth Ferris, Neo: 

The recent addition of Alexei Mozgovoi of the “Prizrak”(Ghost) battalion to the body count in Ukraine was not a surprise. Some big gesture had to be made, as the Western and Kiev authorities have backed themselves into “a little dirty war” that could continue for years to come, having ignored all the lessons of both political and military history.

The slaying of this top battalion commander with a bomb and apparently finishing him and others off with automatic weapons bore all the telltale signs of outside interference. Such operations take intelligence and planning, and the plan of action executed indicates that American special services, whose playbook is now practically public property, were behind it.

Stating the obvious

Mozgovoi was the obvious target for an external, rather than internal, operation. Of course, as a battalion commander in the so called “rebel” army of Eastern Ukraine he would be a target of the Ukrainian Army and its Western friends anyway. But his distinguishing feature was that he was the most vocal critic of both the Russian-backed separatist leadership and the Minsk accord signed with Kiev.

In reality this meant little on the ground – he would just keep fighting as before, regardless of any ceasefire, everyone knew that. But the point of agreements is not to get opposing sides to agree but to isolate those who can’t.

Agreements between opponents are “civilized”, and those who can’t sign an agreement, even one no rational person could accept, are branded as “too radical” to be treated as genuine opponents from that point onwards. Then you can do what you like to them – in fact, it is often expected that the irreconcilables will meet a violent death as soon as they have been put beyond the pale in this fashion.

If the West thought the Minsk accord would lead to peace it would have withdrawn its support for Poroshenko straight away and attacked Russia directly if it were still believed to be supporting the rebels. It was simply designed to isolate those the West knew couldn’t accept it. This prepares the public for those who continue to live by the sword dying by the sword, or in this case a bomb. If it had been that easy to get Mozgovoi with a bomb, one wonders why it has only happened now this is expected, aside from an earlier failed attempt.

Devil in the lack of detail

According to open sourced media reports, such as those of the BBC, “there are no details on who may have carried out the attack, which was said to have taken place on the road from Luhansk to the city of Alchevsk.”However there is a wealth of other detail about the attack.

For example, it apparently took place near the spot where Mozgovoi had survived a previous assassination attempt, as if travelling that road made assassination inevitable for some scientific reason. We also know that six other people also died, including a pregnant woman. We are also told that it was a planned ambush, and that the bomb was followed by gunfire.

This is more information than is generally known about any unexplained death reported in the press. In most of those cases, there is some speculation as to who might have been responsible, even if it is officially denied. But Western press outlets are making an effort to point out that there are “no details” on who might have carried out this attack, refusing to point fingers even by insinuation.

Some years ago it was suggested that Caroline Kennedy, of the famous Kennedy political dynasty, might run for Hillary Clinton’s US Senate seat. This suggestion was made in the media, to gain maximum publicity, before any nomination process had been gone through. Independent media outlets then threatened to give chapter and verse of Caroline’s long history of cocaine abuse in public places such as the then-notorious Studio 54. All of a sudden, for unknown reasons, she decided against running.

On that occasion too no reason for her change of heart was given, suggested or implied in the mainstream Western media. It knew that if it pointed the finger anywhere that finger would be turned right round to poke it in its own eye. As on many previous occasions, we are told we have “no details” about who was responsible for this attack, not because we don’t have them but because they are too dangerous to reveal.

Signals speak with forked tongue

This killing has naturally has sent a shockwave throughout East Ukraine, as intended. The locals don’t take their opinions from the Western press, and are expected to believe that Kiev has renounced seeking victory in the field and is now trying to knock off the rebel leadership and bleed those living in East Ukraine into submission.

If true, this suggests that Kiev and its Western partners expect a long and protracted conflict, not peace. This adds further fuel to the argument that the Minsk accord was never intended to produce the peace it talked about but to create an excuse for just this strategy to be pursued.

Mozgovoi’s death is described as an ambush by those who allegedly don’t know anything about it. The Minsk accord established a demilitarised line which was supposed to separate the warring parties. It was also supposed to separate all those who might have wanted Mozgovoi dead from their target, if we take the accord at its word.

So how could any ambush have been set, and by whom, at a spot which is actually well inside the demilitarisation line? This takes planning, which can only be done when you have accurate intelligence and people willing to take enormous risks to fulfil the plan – professionals.

Few who have been following the tit-for-tat killings of commanders in East Ukraine believe that Kiev has the capacity to launch such an elaborate attack deep inside rebel-controlled territory.Indeed, Kiev’s complaints about the alleged Russian supply of heavy armaments to the rebels would not be being made if it had this capacity, as these weapons would not prevent Kiev doing what it wants in its own territory.

Too clear for comfort

So who might these professionals be? Theoretically, there are many possibilities, from mercenaries wanting to improve their CVs to terrorist groups fighting other wars who want to take advantage of the Ukraine situation. Any number of people could be blamed, therefore, for an action which would attract accusations in most circumstances.

But the one thing we know for a fact is that US military trainers have recently arrived in Ukraine to assist Poroshenko’s army. We also know that a number of aid agencies and “democracy promotion” bodies with track records of covert intelligence and arms smuggling in countries like Georgia are active in Ukraine. We also know that the Georgians who knew most about the operations of such bodies in Georgia have mysteriously ended up in the new Ukrainian government, even when they can’t speak the language.

It would be too farfetched to think that the Nazi Kiev battalions which have replaced the reluctant Ukrainian Army and their US Army, CIA and MI6 supporters carried out this operation directly. It would have been too much of a risk, especially if a member of the hit squad had been captured. What is credible, however, is that experienced special operations personnel left over from the many engagements in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere were responsible.

There are many unemployed defence contractors and veterans around looking for work, who find it difficult to move outside the intelligence orbit and recast their histories as those of respectable private citizens. They know which side their bread is buttered and won’t be allowed to forget it. We may recall how some Chechen commanders and innocent bystanders in the Pankisi Gorge who knew too much were summarily executed in the presence of US advisors, and every irregular conflict sponsored by a national government has given us similar examples.

Such unofficial but knowledgeable people could easily get behind the lines, given the right information and equipment, and conduct a bomb attack without it coming back to haunt their sponsors. It would be a big payday, and provide greater protection for them and their families. When you’re in too deep to back out this is a major concern. Mozgovoi himself understood this, and these irregulars would have no difficulty understanding him, his motivations and his movements, and are thus the most qualified people to rub him out if this is found necessary.

Another link in someone else’s chain

So what is to be gained by murdering a rebel commander? His battalion is unlikely to give up and go home. Indeed, it has gained a martyr, and in an Orthodox Christian country this is significant. Not only will it seek to avenge his death but it will believe, rightly or wrongly, that he is still fighting with them, in a place the enemy cannot get him anymore.

The US has made it clear, and not only through the foul mouth of Victoria Nuland, that it is using Ukraine to destabilise both Russia and the EU to leave itself unchallenged. If Russia has a bonfire on its border, and the EU has to commit itself to stoking it further to avoid losing all political credibility, the US will be free to play for larger stakes in Syria and Iraq.

For now the US is leaving the natives to fight it out in these places, its initial interventions having been unsuccessful and in danger of leaving it with another Vietnam. But when they have worn themselves down, US boots will re-enter to restore peace and order in what will be left of Syria and Iraq. What is left will, of course, include vast oil resources which will be used to create a US and allied energy monopoly which will create a unipolar system without the need for diplomats or troops. But this can’t happen if Russia has the means to pursue its own energy policy, the greatest real threat to the West today.

Having exhausted international goodwill by its actions, the US is pinning all its hopes on perpetual war. After all, an essential component of the concept of the American Dream is that if you work hard and do your best everything will work out for you in the end. Alexei Mozgovoi was demonised by the Minsk accord, as its signatories knew he would never accept it. His death is designed to show everyone that the West will always meet fire with fire before we start to conclude that this is because it has little moral high ground left.

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