Representative of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Oleksandr Tkachuk told a briefing, Censor.NET reports citing the SBU press service.
About 50-70 people arrived in the village of Hriada in the Zhovkva district of the Lviv region between 10 and 11 a.m. They tried to gridlock the traffic and started burning tires giving a negative impression about Ukraine for the media they had been paid for.
"The rally was supposed to be held until 10 p.m. while its participants were to commit acts of violence against law enforcement officers," Tkachuk said. He said that the rally participants were holding posters reading "Stop crackdown on Poles," "Volyn is in our hearts" in Polish. "The printing quality of the posters was very high, which means that the rally was plotted well beforehand," the law enforcer said.
The rally participants were brought to the spot by buses from Khmelnytskyi, Zakarpattia, and Ivano-Frankivsk regions. Moreover, the organizers hired protesters from among individuals of no fixed abode hanging around local markets.
"The law enforcers promptly restored traffic. Apart from individuals of no fixed abode, there were a large number of minors among the protesters," Tkachuk said adding that the organizers of the rally included a native of Luhansk region and a female resident of Lviv with a mental illness history.
The SBU representative also noted that the demonstrators-for-hire who were blocking the highway were not ethnic Poles and had nothing to do with the local Polish community. Furtermore, most of them were under influence of drugs, alcohol or both. They were promised 200 hryvnia (about $7) for participation in the fake rally.
The law enforcement officers seized instructions with the sequence of actions during provocation from the organizers, smoke bombs and flares from the participants.
The rally was planned to be filmed by a drone and televised online via the Internet simultaneously with the information attack carried out through the nationwide media.
"This unsuccessful provocation is obviously a part of a master plan under the Russian-sponsored special operation aimed at inciting ethnic strife between Poles and Ukrainians, as well as manipulating public opinion in Europe," Tkachuk said.
SBU prevented provocation on ethnic minority grounds organized by Russia in Odesa, - SBU Chief of Staff Tkachuk(0)