US ambassador to Ukraine stressed need for continued support
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink weighs in as lawmakers are split over more military aid
Ukrainian officials have taken credit for a car bomb that killed a Russian-backed politician Wednesday, calling the act retribution.
Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense wrote on Telegram that “traitors to Ukraine and collaborators with terrorist Russia in temporarily occupied territories … will receive just retribution! The hunt continues!”
Andriy Cherniak, representative of Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Directorate, told Politico “it was our operation.”
The Telegram post claimed that members of the resistance in the occupied territory helped carry out the killing of Luhansk legislature member Mikhail Filiponenko, who had survived a previous car bombing just days before Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
TOP UKRAINIAN MILITARY AIDE KILLED BY BIRTHDAY PRESENT GRENADE
Filiponenko formerly led Moscow-backed separatist troops in Luhansk and represented the group in the cease-fire monitoring center in the region before the start of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion last year, Radio Free Europe reported.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy waits for a car after laying flowers in front of the Cenotaph for the Victims of the Atomic Bomb at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, after he was invited to the Group of Seven nations’ summit in Hiroshima, Japan, May 21, 2023. (Eugene Hoshiko/Pool via Reuters)
The directorate alleged that Filiponenko had organized and participated in the torture of prisoners of war and civilians, calling him “the executioner.”
Rebekah Koffler, president of Doctrine & Strategy Consulting and a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer, told Fox News Digital that Ukraine is turning to “targeted killings” as a result of failing to realize the gains anticipated from their counteroffensive this year.
EU OFFICIALS RECOMMEND BEGINNING NEGOTIATIONS TO BRING UKRAINE INTO THE EUROPEAN UNION
“It’s an irregular form of warfare used by modern militaries when they are unable to produce a clear military victory with conventional approaches,” Koffler explained.
Ukraine’s security service officers secure St. George Cathedral during a search operation of the premises of religious sites in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Dec. 14, 2022. Ukraine’s SBU security service said on Dec. 14, 2022 it carried out “counter-intelligence” measures in churches and monasteries across the country in its most recent descent on religious sites of the Russia-linked Ukrainian Orthodox Church. (Yuriy Dyachyshyn/AFP via Getty Images)
“Waged largely in the shadows, this way of war entails planned assassinations by a state — i.e. its special forces — of specific individuals who belong to the opposing force, in order to gradually degrade, demoralize, and deter the adversary,” she said.
“While this new strategy is highly unlikely to achieve Ukraine’s ultimate goal of driving the Russian military out of occupied territories, it will eventually bring the Russia-Ukraine conflict into a new state – a low-intensity, protracted phase, which will eventually turn it into a ‘frozen’ conflict,” she added.
ZELENSKYY RULES OUT ELECTION WHILE UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR DRAGS ON
The Moscow Times noted that several “high-profile backers” of Russia’s invasion have been attacked since the operation commenced last February, but Ukraine has rarely claimed direct involvement in any of them.
Servicemen from Russian-controlled parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions released in a recent prisoner exchange in the course of the Russia-Ukraine conflict arrive in the town of Amvrosiivka, Donetsk region, Russian-controlled Ukraine, Nov. 6, 2022. (REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)
The pivot from an outright offensive against Russia to targeted assassinations has raised some concerns as it appears to indicate an unfocused approach, according to some insiders.
One source from the Ukrainian domestic security service known as SBU told The Economist that the approach made them “uncomfortable” as some of the targets hit are “marginal figures.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
A former SBU fifth-directorate officer suggested to the outlet that the assassinations in some cases are aimed to impress Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, quipping that “Clowns, prostitutes and jokers are a constant around the Russian government.”
“Kill one of them and another will appear in their place,” he argued.
Peter Aitken is a Fox News Digital reporter with a focus on national and global news.