Putin's elite unit's goal: Spetsnaz seeks to eliminate Ukraine's leaders

In civilian clothes and in the heart of Ukraine, this elite unit is seeking to assassinate, eliminate or arrest the top political ranks.

Russian soldiers march in Almaty, Kazakhstan, January 13, 2022 (photo credit: REUTERS/PAVEL MIKHEYEV)
Russian soldiers march in Almaty, Kazakhstan, January 13, 2022
(photo credit: REUTERS/PAVEL MIKHEYEV)

Defense officials from Europe claim that the Russians have placed inside the very center of Ukraine, with emphasis on Kyiv, fighters from the "Spetsnaz," an umbrella term for Russian special forces. This includes the notable "Zaslon" unit, defined as the assignation arm for covert missions of the Russian Intelligence and as the "alpha unit," which specializes in the war against terrorism in extreme conditions, but also operates far from the Russian borders.

These are some of the best fighters in the Russian Army, carefully selected by the high command. Their goal in war is to penetrate the heart of the enemy's territory; assimilate into civilian populations in order to harm the top of the military, defense and political echelon; and eliminate strategic facilities in the country.

In the last few years, this "alpha unit" activity has been exposed in Syria by its use against heads of the rebels and terrorist organizations that were the main challenge to President Assad, Hezbollah and the Russian army. The Russian fighters demonstrated impressive achievements in targeting the heads of those organizations.

It appears that the penetration of those fighters from Spetsnaz in small fire teams began long before the start of the war, their goal being to gather precise intelligence on specific personnel in order to later plan special operations to harm or stop personnel of importance.

According to European defense experts, evidence of Spetsnaz fire team fighters has been piling up in the last few days, as they patrol the streets in civilian clothes. In one case that was documented by the Ukrainian public, Spetsnaz forces were identified driving a civilian SUV, and when the people surrounded them, the driver ran people over and fled the scene.

By accounts from European defense experts, it is still unclear if assassinations have been avoided due to the quality of the security around the Ukrainian heads of state – or if the level of expertise of the fighters is not as high as previously thought.

The Ukrainian Security Services was established after the dissolution of the USSR and the KGB. The USS is responsible for national espionage countermeasures: protecting the country from espionage, internal subversion and the war on terror.

Experts do not rule out that, aside from transporting weapons and equipment in the last few days, the West has delivered intelligence that helped the Ukrainian political ranks with real-time information and future warnings. It is important to stress that two years ago, a senior USS operative was charged with espionage for Russia, after which reforms were made to prevent future recurrences of "moles".

 A Kyiv-based TV tower was shelled (credit: BABYN YAR HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL CENTER) A Kyiv-based TV tower was shelled (credit: BABYN YAR HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL CENTER)

One of the experts warned that intel regarding the ceaseless efforts of Russian President Vladimir Putin to eliminate the top ranks of the political and military echelon have created quite an alarm among the public.

Along with handing out rifles to citizens to protect the cities once Russian forces enter urban territory, there have been a few cases of civilians shooting on fellow civilians fearing they might be the Spetsnaz undercover forces. Experts fear that as time passes and civilians continue taking up arms, more chaos will be created in the streets.