Ukraine played with fire recently with good reason. When Ukraine’s security services believed they had credible information on a plot to assassinate Russian journalist Arkadiy Babchenko, they concluded that the only way to save his life was to implement an undercover operation and catch the plotters.
The ensuing debate continues to be polarized, with some believing that by putting out a “fake news” story Ukraine has shot itself in the foot, forever tarnishing its credibility. Others have rejoiced in the fact that their friend and colleague was not, in fact, dead, and have heaped praise on the sting that saved Babchenko’s life. Those in the former camp should be aware that such operations are not uncommon, especially when it’s a matter of life and death, Ukraine did not invent and do not have exclusive rights to this tactic.
In the final analysis, here’s what we should keep in mind… Babchenko was resurrected faster than Jesus. As soon as operational secrecy was not required the truth was revealed. If Ukraine’s credibility can be permanently doubted for a single and brief period of (operational) dishonesty, by comparison, where is Russia’s credibility for their ongoing catalogue of brazen dishonesty? In the gutter.
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