April 11, 2013

Heads of the Services: It’s a Conspiracy or a Russian Operation


Heads of the Services: It’s a Conspiracy or a Russian Operation(photo )
After the Smolensk catastrophe, there should be analyses from the special services evaluating two hypotheses. The first is a conspiracy on the part of officials and firms with the goal of intercepting a contract for the renovation of the Tu-154. The second: an action by the Russian special services resulting in the acquisition of access to the airplane during the renovation.

According to the authors of the assessment, Jerzy Kicinski, acting head of the ABW in 2007, as well as Andrzej Kowalski, former acting head of the Military Counterintelligence Services, included in the report of Antoni Macierewicz’s team, the Federal Service of Military-Technical Collaboration (FSWTW), which played the main role in directing the bidding process for the renovation of the Tupolev, is posing as a cover for Russian intelligence. In relation to this, the representatives of the TSWTW who have established contact with Polish institutions that are essential to Polish affairs should be subject to reconnaissance by the Military Counterintelligence Services (SKW) and the actions of the FSWTW around the world should be under constant SWW observation. Operational actions that would allow for the identification of people employed in the FSWTW and those suspected of working on behalf of the SWR/GRU intelligence should be carried out.   

Kicinski and Kowalski notice that because of the field of work and contacts, the Polit-Elektronik firm – one of the winners of the bid for the renovation of the Tupolev –should have been given the status of a cover company by the SKW for the actions of the military intelligence of the Russian Federation (GRU). Counterintelligence should have specific information about this firm’s contacts among representatives of the Polish administration (mainly the MON) as well as other institutions (including Parliament) as well as journalists (especially from trade publications describing air forces) – emphasize the authors of the assessment.

Also, the introduction in the Russian Federation of the regulations of the Russian president’s decree from January 16, 2009 – which had an effect on the outcome of the bid – should be subjected to analysis regarding the influence of the new regulations on the shape of the collaboration and the selection of the associates for the Russian side.

Two main hypotheses

The former heads of the services also list other oversights on the part of the Polish special services. They write that the bid for the renovation of the Tu-154M should have been screened by the counterintelligence veil of the SKW and that there should be documentation regarding the renovation from the moment the decision was taken not to buy new airplanes for VIPs and after the decision to renovate in Russia the planes being used at the time. Moreover, the selection of the contractors on the Polish side (Polit-Elektronik and MAW Telecom), due to what is being ordered, should be a cause for gathering documentation in the SKW and undertaking monitoring actions towards these companies so that they will attain the highest standards of carrying out the renovation contract.

In the SKW’s documentation, two main databases should be distinguished: one regarding the security of the renovation on the site of the renovation factories and the monitoring of its quality, as well as one containing all information about intelligence and terrorist threats that could be related to the renovation of the plane.

Finally – as Kicinski and Kowalski emphasize – analyses evaluating two main hypotheses should be assigned.

The first of them states that there was a conspiracy of officials and companies with the goal of intercepting the contract. The simultaneous action of the Russian and Polish governments speaks to the credibility of this hypothesis, for instance, the regulations of the President of Russia’s decree from January 16, 2009, which were used to steer the bid for the renovation of the Polish TU-154M airplanes, and the elimination by the Polish side – probably under Russian influence – of competing offers to the company promoted by the Russian side.

The authors of the assessment do not discount other possibilities either, such as that the specific business group, wanting to commit a crime by fixing the bid, built a cover concealing the actions of intelligence. Or that Russian military intelligence was executing a special operation during which, thanks to a maximum contract payment, certain individuals (on the Russian and Polish sides) gained additional illegal revenue.

What Was Not Done

The principal mistake – or the intentional oversight of the Polish government – was, according to Jerzy Kicinski and Andrzej Kowalski , not deciding to buy new planes from the economic-technical sphere beyond the exclusive operational reach of countries that are enemies to Poland (mainly Russia and China). The consequence of this was the necessity of renovating the government planes in Russia which, in the case of two Tupolevs, meant giving them into the hands of the Russian special services. As we read in the report of the parliamentary team – in the Russian reality, it did not matter whether the companies conducting the renovation that were a cover for the Russian special services collaborated with these services, were staffed with officials or collaborators of these services, or were temporarily tasked and controlled by the services. 

The Polish government must have recognized these realities, but nothing was done to minimize the threats on the part of Moscow. A firm unmistakably associated with Russian subjects was allowed to win the bid, the operational course of the bid was not monitored, and constant surveillance of the renovation was not assured.

Kicinski and Kowalski come to the conclusion that the Polish bid for the renovation of the planes was fixed by the Russian side. This speaks to a tragically high level of infiltration of Polish military and security structures by the Russian services – write the former heads of the services. And they add that it would not be an exaggeration to state that part of the Polish decision makers could be playing the role of Russian marionettes in the case of the Tupolev renovations.