Tom Rogan writes an opinion piece for the Washington Examiner that presents the possibility of Russian intelligence operators being behind the assassination of a pro-Ukrainian man in a British crown territory.
On January 8, a car was found set alight on the British crown territory of Guernsey. Inside the car were skeletal remains in the driving seat believed to be those of the vehicle’s owner, Mikus Alps. Alps, a Latvian who fought with pro-Ukrainian volunteers against Russia’s incursion into south-eastern Ukraine. Rogan says the authorities believe then that the burning of the car was the result of an assassination against Alps perpetrated by Russia no less.
Guernsey is normally a quiet, peaceful place on a small island in the English channel. Alps’ friends said, however, that he had been contending with escalating threats in recent months.
There were also prior reports that Alps was providing cars to Ukrainian forces fighting the Russian-aligned rebels. Such, Rogan says, makes Alps a more prospective target as his support for Ukraine forces is a strong motive for the assassination.
Rogan also adds that the Russian intelligence service is known for working persistently to coerce individuals against opposing Putin’s interests in Ukraine. They achieve such mostly through issuing horrifying threats. But things can also escalate into assassinations.
Rogan also discusses that the degree of damage sustained by the vehicle in the fire and the limited skeletal remains found suggest that the fire was extremely intense. Trained killers could be involved then to carry out such an “intricate” operation. Reports have it that the skeletal remains found in the driving seat are no coincidence. Rather it reeks of Russian intel’s fetish for the so-called “’pageantry of death.” It is not enough for them that a target is eliminated, Russians also like to send aggressive messages to their enemies as they do so.
The victim appeared to be dead already before the car was set on fire- a small act of “mercy’’ on the part of the assassins. There is also no evidence to show that the victim has been bound to the steering wheel.
Rogan also puts forward another belief: There’s another thing Russian operatives wanted to prove in the assassination if in case they are really the ones behind it. The British government recently pledged to crack down on Russian intelligence operations in the U.K. This represents a significant challenge to the seeming ease with which Russian intel officers, agents, and interests have sought their ambitions in Britain over the recent years. Russia’s chilling message to London could very well be: “We are undeterred.”
The U.S. is also providing arms to Ukraine so it is safe to assume that the country may also be a target.