Tetyana Popova, an expert in strategic communications from NGO the Information Security, examined a dump (a database backup copy) of Surkov’s subordinate, a former counsel the Russian president, namely, 10 gigabytes of Boris Rapoport correspondence mail. The interesting reports are dated back to 2013-2014 and related to events, officials and businessmen in Ukraine.
The correspondence showed not only hidden strategies and plans for Ukraine but also the fact that the Russians had become more active in Bulgaria, Poland, Serbia and Germany by the end of 2014 to influence Ukraine from these countries.
Distrust to Yanukovych
In autumn 2013, Rapoport’s department had just begun to delve into the situation in Ukraine, even before Yanukovych refused to sign the European Association in Vilnius. Russia then currently analyzed and made prepartions for two scenarios – the signing or non-signing of the European Association by Ukraine.
The letters show, that Yanukovych was not trusted in Russia, moreover, even at the moment when he refused to sign the European Association, they remained confident nevertheless that he would eventually abandon them, that this was just his attempt to negotiate, but at the end of the day, he would sign the deal.
After the start of Euromaidan, Rapoport began to analyze Ukraine more precisely, not only in terms of media but also in terms of personalities. Thus, they looked at the politicians and those, who hold the official positions. Detailed reports on them appeared in the mail. Then they begin to analyze the business more deeply.
It is quite interesting that Russia also examined in details the existing conflicts, both internal and external. For example, on walnuts with Turkey, cigarettes with Armenia, Yanukovych’s domestic with Tymoshenko, business conflicts were also analyzed. So, all the conflicts are studied precisely, apparently in order to play them if necessary. They have already published correspondence with Ukrainian politician Oleksandr Granovsky, who had offered Rapoport several projects and cooperation.
To buy everyone
There are also many information projects in the mail – from work with local agitators and opinion leaders to PR materials in the media purchase. And I suspect that considerable budgets for this have been allocated and are still allocated now. Besides, there were proposals to create an information TV channel “Novosti” (recall that one of the holdings belongs to people associated with Russia, we are called “Novosti”). There have been made other steps in the public and non-public sector to involve Ukraine in the Customs Union. Otherwise, to turn off Ukraine from European integration to integration with Russia. For this purpose, daily surveys of the media space and social networks are ordered.
The Crimea: analysis and testing of businesses, interests, conflicts, family members of politicians and entrepreneurs
Regarding the Crimea, there are at least 20 files about the main businesses and businessmen in Crimea, their families, what they engaged in, whom they can be pressured through as well as regarding interesting investment projects in the Crimea and their approximate price in the correspondence. It does not hide that they are buying the Crimea and thus gain control over the peninsula.
The border partnership with almost all the Ukrainian regions along the border with Russia is worked out in details. Rapoport deeply analyzes what businesses there are, which of them belongs to Ukrainians in Russia and which to Russians in Ukraine, as well as through which media, journalists and opinion leaders our territories can be impacted. It all appeared in details in early 2014.
By the end of January 2014, they will enter into a numerical correspondence again with Granovsky, with whom Rapoport was at the seminar at the end of 2013, and accordingly, Granovsky gives his recommendations regarding the media, information and political work with parties and politicians.
After that, in early February, Rapoport requests information about the activities and funding from the “Russian World” Foundation, the events of Russian centres, publishing of Russian books; asks regarding the budgets that can be allocated for the printing the certain materials for Ukraine from the general all-Russian printing.
There is also a large report from Konotopov (the editorial office did not find any mention of him in open sources) about the information and psychological operations in Ukraine, how they can be done, what algorithms should be used. The strategic actions of the project, the means and the goals to be achieved were described elaborately.
Among the goals, for example, the following was stated: «The long-term goal for a year and a half is making of a holistic-oriented strategic choice in favour of Eurasian integration the population of Ukraine. Ensuring the sustainable functioning of socio-political institutions. The coming to power of Eurasian-oriented elites who will implement this choice of the nation. ”
In the short term, “ensuring of the destructive information influences neutralization, Eurasian-oriented elites consolidation, opinion leaders mobilization, in order to form a stable positive image of Russia and the EurAsEC in the mass consciousness of citizens”, was planned.
The mistake regarding Yanukovych
These were the plans for Ukraine. By the way, when the end of the Maidan was approaching on the 12th of February, a statement against the Maidan was allegedly made by the Crimean Soviets, but, in fact, everything had been prepared in the Kremlin. There they made a detailed analysis of social networks (they realized that many communications on the Maidan pass through them).
After the Maidan won and Yanukovych fled, Russia began to inflame the situation in the regions of southern and eastern Ukraine. For example, there is a statement of the Anti-Maidan in Odessa, written and agreed with the Kremlin, in the mail.
There is also a letter about Yanukovych from Frolov to Rapoport, where he writes: “Yanukovych is now in Moscow, it’s time to mobilize him religiously. To meet with the Patriarch, to give him a clergyman so that no Westerners can influence him anymore… This is urgently needed until someone works out for Yanukovych again. ”
One believed that the Rada had appointed President Turchynov to resign Tymoshenko after the election (they were confident that Tymoshenko would win). During the Maidan, no negotiations with terrorists, Nazis, murderers, rioters, participants and customers of the coup, criminals on trial, etc.
What should Yanukovych do? To order the troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to take control of key facilities, to order the People’s Army creation on the base of the patriotic Ukrainian front. And also to declare that the decisions of the Verkhovna Rada were illegal, “because a number of deputies were forced to vote under the threat of physical violence,” and so on.
Having realized that this could not be done, Rapoport began to analyze the parties, one has suggested establishing new left parties like the Left Position, the Struggle, the Union of the Left Forces, or even Stalinist pro-Russian parties in general.
Personally, Rapoport wrote that the former “Berkut” must be urgently employed so that “people were sure that they had been not forgotten.” Besides, on February 26, Rapoport sent a letter to himself (probably to be sent later to someone else): «In my opinion, now, apart from our will, a very important moment of the struggle for Ukraine as a whole has come. By no means we should make all those people who are trying to act in our favour, even uncertainly, angry. It is obvious that the oligarchs have agreed, it is clear that both the West and our relations with it, it is even clearer and more obvious that the manifestation of indecisiveness and weakness will give a flash in the current environment and a long-term negative impact.
After that, an analysis of Yatsenyuk’s Government, the post-Maidan government, was made. Besides, the protests were initiated in March 2014 in Ukrainian regions. They even said that it might be worth to make a block with Tymoshenko, they opposed very much against the OSCE and the Geneva agreements in April. After that, they started thinking about the occupation of the South-East. To do this, they collected data where they had “people’s mayors”, “governors”, information activists. They selected the people from Russia, whom they could send here or through whom to influence Ukraine.
“Russian Spring” financing through businessmen close to the Kremlin
There is a letter under 07.05, which contains a very interesting list of people. Some of these people are in Ukraine now and quite known. Others have partial Russian citizenship and live in Russia.
For example, this list includes Malofeev Konstantin, Deputy Chairman of the “World Russian People’s Council” or Shishkin Alexander, a member of the Federation Council. Probably via them, one was going to influence Ukrainian politics or business: to buy assets, to finance the Russian World’s shares. Some of them are known to have done so. As already mentioned, Rapoport had analyzed fellow countrymen and raised the personal affairs of all “LDNR” residents.
Also, quite an interesting case regarding Antyufeyev (if you remember, he was the first deputy of “DNR” Council of Ministers) took place: DNR was just a job for him, though actually at this time he was officially performed in another place. There is also an e-mail about Iryna Berezhna: “Berezhna is my person.”
Well, there was a constant calculation of money, requests for budgets, estimates for rallies, work with media. A separate budget was allocated for lawyers activity, the introduction of bail to get out of prisons their “tetushek”, rallies’ keepers.
Many letters of appeal with the complaints that LDNR commanders had been robbing and looting were sent. In particular, there was an appeal that Pavel Dremov (a commander in LDNR) had been robbing people there.
Surkov also wrote texts and appeals to the round tables of Tsarev and fellow countrymen, the Union of People’s Republics. Quite a lot of operatives are in Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, even the Dnieper and Mykolaiv.
The last idea in the dump is the separation of Galicia and the use of Poroshenko’s conflict with Kolomoisky
Rapoport wrote an article-post about his dismissal 12.12.2014. Prior to that, one of the last materials about the separation of Galicia and the use of confrontation between Kolomoisky and the central government was issued at the end of November. This was their last idea about Ukraine in the dump.
Another interesting fact is that Russians started working in Bulgaria, Poland, Serbia and Germany by the end of 2014. In other words, they became more active abroad in order to beat Ukraine through other countries.
These were the last letters on the Ukrainian topic in the dump. After his release, Rapoport went into private business.
In 2019, he returned and began working for the Russian government. Probably he is not involved in Ukraine case now, but no doubts that the work of Russians in Ukraine does not stop even though the idea of “Novorossiya” had been buried.
Recorded by Natalia Tolub