Van ambush outside Kharkiv: gaining political points by classic scenario

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Representatives of the “Patriots For Life!” organization have been reportedly attacked as they were riding in a van just outside Kharkiv. The ambush that is reported to have involved gunfire has clear signs of a bloody show for the media, staged by the pro-Russian Opposition Bloc — For Life (OPZZh) political force.

I never enjoy being a harbinger of doom, which I often turn out to be whether anyone likes it or not.

In July, in two of my pieces covering the attacks on members of infamous blogger Anatoly Sharij’s party, I wrote about the fact that the OPZZh and Sharij Party could stage attacks on their affiliates by certain nationalist organizations in order to win popular sympathy and discredit the government.

Moreover, while previous attacks were more about humiliating and embarrassing victims with only minor bodily harm involved, at a certain point, OPZZh and Sharij might need actual blood to be shed. And that’s what happened today.

On Thursday came the reports about unidentified perpetrators opening fire on a van carrying members of the “Patriots — For Life” organization, just recently presented by an odious MP Ilya Kiva. The latter claimed there were killed, wounded, and kidnapped in the attack. Police, however, later clarified no fatalities and abductions had been confirmed.

Meanwhile, all representatives of the OPZZh who regularly appear on TV, all media outlets controlled by this party and supported by their Russian colleagues, have declared it was the National Corps and Azov organizations who were behind the shooting. As simple as that — without any investigation — a blunt statement channeled across hundreds of information platforms.

Let me remind you that literally two days ago, some media warm-up was provided in Kyiv where a bunch of buff guys with the National Corps and Patriots — for Life got into a scuffle. “Patriots” claimed the National Coprs had allegedly tried to kidnap one of their members, Oleh Shyriaiev.

The funniest thing in the story is that Oleh Shyriaiev, before joining the Patriots — For Life grop, headed the Kharkiv branch of the National Corps and organized the Skhidny Corps in that city, which makes the guy a classic turncoat.

In fact, almost two months ago, a very successful media project was launched, where the activists with Sharij Party were turned into cannon fodder for provocations, or “sacred victims,” as they say on Russian television. After all, they can’t be of any real help to the Kremlin rather than be forced to play victim.

But the incident in Vinnytsia and some others that followed were not too bloody and outrageous to draw the required picture for Russian media who have remained blood-thirsty on Ukraine since 2014 and 2015.

On the other hand, the publicity of the previous acts of violence clearly suited both Anatoly Sharij and, first of all, his employers. But a more powerful player than the puppet blogger’s party, I mean the Opposition Bloc — For Life force, needs a much greater effect.

That is why a group titled “Patriots — For Life” is hastily created shortly before being sent to face an ambush staged by its own masters.

As I earlier said that attacks on Sharij Party could add electoral points and popularity to this political pseudo-force, now I’m also saying I won’t be surprised if the probe into today’s attack on the van carrying members of “Patriots — For Life” will expose those very pro-Russian Opposition Bloc — For Life operatives.

Alexander Kovalenko

Post Author: Intercourier

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