Dr. Christof Rheinbay                                                                                   10 May 2017

 

Current Security Situation in Ukraine

Dear Clients,

In the previous months, several significant incidents happened; some of them I want to discuss in this newsletter:

I     Terror attacks on Diplomatic Missions

II    Further increase in criminality and burglary into housings of diplomats and business people

III   Contract Killings on prominent persons from business and politics

 

Ad I) Terror attacks on Diplomatic Missions

On 29 March 2017 the Polish Consulate in Lutsk was attacked by an anti-tank grenade launcher at night time. The building was inhabited: If the grenade would not have hit the wall, but the window, people might have died or have been injured. See: http://euromaidanpress.com/2017/03/29/polands-consulate-general-attacked-in-lutsk/#arvlbdata).

There have been several attacks on diplomatic missions earlier and thereafter (e.g. attack on Lithuanian Embassy with smoke grenade on 24.04.2017. See: https://ukrhotnews.com/2017/04/24/near-the-embassy-of-lithuania-in-kiev-unknown-blew-up-a-smoke-grenade/).

But the incident at the Polish Consulate in Lutsk is the first incident in Ukraine that was aimed at killing foreign diplomats. Thus, there is currently a much higher and different security threat than has been earlier.

Most Embassy buildings are well protected against illegal intruders. However, only few Embassies consider threat by heavy artillery weapons.

Grenade launchers are cheap, easy to handle weapons, which have been used several times in Ukraine by terrorists already; e.g. the house of Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi has been attacked twice using these weapons.

The Soviet RPG-22 grenade launcher (which has been used most probably by the terrorists in Lutsk) is a one-shot disposable anti-tank rocket launcher, firing a 72.5 mm fin stabilised projectile. The weapon fires an unguided projectile, can be prepared to fire in around 10 seconds, and can penetrate 400 mm of armour, 1.2 meters of brick or 1 meter of reinforced concrete. The weapon has a weight of 2,8 kg and a length of nearly 1 meter. Maximum fire range is 250 m. (See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPG-22).

There have been attacks on the Polish Embassy earlier (e.g. throwing of hand grenade on territory of Consulate general in Lviv at nighttime), nevertheless the Ukrainian Police failed to prevent the incident in Lutsk. In addition, the Ukrainian Police never could detect the terrorists. So, it seems that there may be done nothing to prevent such attacks.

I have a different opinion.

1)      Prevent investigation of your site

Prior to an attack, terrorists investigate the target. With the help of google maps and internet that is easy to do. Do not put more information than needed on your website. E.g. the address of the Ambassador`s residence is an irrelevant information for regular clients of the Embassy. Ban view on your sites from google maps.

2)      Monitor critical spots

Grenades have a maximum fire range of 250 m; minimal fire range is 50 m; back-blast danger area behind the weapon is at least 15 meters. Thus, there are not so many spots from which such weapons might be fired on your building. Those spots should be monitored by Video CCTV.

Prior to an attack, terrorists will investigate the target: by detecting activities terrorist attacks might be prevented.

Attacks also might occur by hand grenades or hand-held firearms. Therefore, also the outer perimeter of your buildings should be monitored by Video CCTV.

The laws of Ukraine do not allow monitoring public areas without indicating; tables might inform on video surveillance.

3)       Private Security on outside area

There shall be security guards on outside periphery of the buildings, which regularly checks all perimeter by patrol walks and notes all irregular activities on perimeter.

Terrorists will avoid well protected sites.

National Guard is obliged to protect Embassies. However, (from our point of view) performance of security service is low. One of my supervisors has been in Lutsk right after the attack on the consulate: National Guard was at the site at main entrance. However, we could walk all around the building, take photos and investigate the site unhindered. Police did not even notice us. At the Polish Consulate in Lviv, we took photos of the building and photos of the national guards. Police officers just asked us to stop doing so; they even did not ask us for our ID.

4)      Communication between outside and inside security

Most essential is a direct communication between outside security and people inside the building, e.g. by radiophone or mobile siren.

Terrorists will need some time to activate a weapon. In case of threat, outside security shall warn people inside the building immediately, so that they may take shelter. This procedure should be trained.

Please let us know if you need further advice on this issue.

 

Ad II)         Further increase in criminality and burglary into housings of diplomats and business people

Criminality is further increasing. Thereby, recently also apartments and houses of diplomats and businessmen are robbed. This means, that recently burglars also break better protected apartments and houses open, which earlier have been avoided.

Burglars are more professional and better equipped than they have been earlier.

Burglars also robbed apartments and houses, which have been secured by regular alarm systems of private security companies. Most of the alarm systems are linked to the security company by radiophone transmitters. Communication-signals may be intervened by jammers. Then, the alarm signal does not reach the security company.

However, also criminals within the security companies might be a risk: the security supervisor may monitor the alarm system. He sees if you are at home or not from his office, and he may de-activate the alarm system at your home from his office.

Therefore, ARGUS suggests a different and more complex alarm system:

-         Communication to the security company in case of alarm works via radio-signal and via internet; thus the communication may not be jammed.

-          You may monitor the alarm system via your mobile device also. Therefore, if somebody shuts off the alarm system, you get an alarm on your mobile device immediately. In addition, intruder alarm is indicated on your device immediately.

-         We recommend installation of at least 1 IP video camera in entrance area; in case of intruder alarm you may monitor via your mobile device, what is happening at your home.

Please note that Alarm Responses Teams will be at your home in case of an alarm in approximately 12 minutes (depending on your location). If there is an easy access to your home, burglars may rob you and leave before the alarm response team is at yours. Therefore, a mechanical protection against burglary should not be neglected. We may give advice, and we may support in better protecting doors and windows.

Please let us know, if you want further consultation on this issue. We will visit your site and we will give advice free of charge.

 

III   Contract Killings on prominent persons from business and politics

There have been several contract killings on prominent businessmen and politicians in previous months. E.g. Belorussian journalist Pavel Sheremet, Ex Russian MP Denis Voronenkov, banker Roman Chumak, Odessa restaurateur Olexandr Ryazhev, sport club owner Taras Zinovenko, the director of German company Caparol Pavlo Zmozhniy.

In all cases police does not know, who have been the murderers (besides murder of D. Voronenkov: the killer had been shot on the spot by Mr. Voronenkov´s bodyguard) or who ordered the contract killing. Low risk of being punished may encourage others to solve business conflicts violently.

If you are endangered, take advice on how to avoid risk. Hire a professional trained and armed driver to accompany you. We may advice on both issues.

 

With best regards

Dr. Christof Rheinbay