‘Coup Plot’ Video: Summary of the Savchenko-Ruban Plan

March 24, 2018
Ukrainian MP Nadiya Savchenko has been detained by Ukrainian security officers on accusations of plotting to carry out a terrorist attack and stage a coup. Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko presented a 28-minute video clip that contains evidence to support their accusations. Without making any evaluations or judgements, let us offer you a brief summary of the video.
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The only judgement we will make is that a woman on the video looks like and talks pretty much like Savchenko, and a man on the video – is pretty much like Mr Ruban. Savchenko herself confirmed that the video is authentic, although she said that she "staged" these conversations knowing that she was being followed.

The video shows several conversations (recorded with a hidden camera or hidden microphones) that Ms. Savchenko had with the former hostage swap negotiator Volodymyr Ruban, who was arrested a few days ago on accusations of preparing massive terrorist acts in Kyiv.

Other participants in the conversations are named by the Prosecutor-General of Ukraine as servicemen Kit and Berezen. As stated, the conversations took place in November-December 2017.

Here is a short summary of the Savchenko-Ruban plan.

  • Savchenko says that [Donetsk-based separatists] understand that Russia will hand them over to Ukraine and there are no chances for independence. However, they do not want to come back to Ukraine while Poroshenko is president. They demand a change of power in Kyiv. Also, [the Donetsk-based separatists] ask that Oleksandr Turchynov, current Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, be handed over to them, for personal revenge.
  • Ruban gives a short description of the plan to take people on the streets of Kyiv, blowing up the Parliamentary building and killing or expelling Poroshenko.
  • Savchenko proposes a coup and physical destruction of all top politicians. She suggests doing so in a mass action over the course of a day or several days. Her message is that Parliament could be blown up from inside – on the day when the President gives his [annual] address to Parliament and all the ministers are gathered in the session hall.
  • Savchenko says she is ready to throw grenades herself at senior Ukrainian officials, and she is ready to die as a result of the attack
  • Ruban's rhetoric is that Ukrainian land has all been covered in blood, and that the Government plans to lift the moratorium on selling agricultural land means that all Ukrainian land will be sold off (he seems to consider this very dramatically, as one of the reasons for the planned coup)

In another day's conversation Savchenko and Ruban test weapons given to them by separatists. The conversation goes:

  • Savchenko says there need to be 400,000 deaths as the result of the coup. Three [Poroshenko, Turchynov and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov] is not enough.

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