“Putin is Putting Europe on the Verge of World War III”: Ukrainian Intel General

The XX Committee

The Parisian daily Le Figaro has run an interesting interview about the situation in Ukraine with retired General Ihor Smeshko, who is well positioned to understand the realities at play. Once a Soviet Army officer, Smeshko served as Ukraine’s military attache in the United States in the 1990s, was promoted to general, then was head of military intelligence (HUR) from 1997 to 2000. He subsequently served as chief of the Security Service (SBU), Ukraine’s domestic intelligence agency, from 2003 to 2005. While Smeshko is a somewhat controversial character, he remains active in politics and his insights on the current crisis merit consideration. The interview follows in toto, with my comments after.

Q: Moscow has annexed Crimea, and Ukrainian troops are to leave the peninsula. How do you feel?

A: I feel enormous humiliation. I have been an officer, first in the Soviet Army, then in Ukraine’s. Never could I have…

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