The Inglorious End of a Defector Propagandist: Liquidation of Kyva Marks Ukrainian Mission Success

Written by Matt Wickham, analyst HWAG/UCMC

On December 6th, Ilya Kyva, a long-time Ukrainian traitor and agent of Russian influence, was successfully killed in an attack attributed to Ukraine’s SBU (Ukraine’s intelligence agency). According to reports, two shots were fired from a small arms weapon, one to the chest and one to the head. This death marks the 428th individual affiliated to Z War politics to be liquidated as part of Ukraine’s ongoing campaign to eliminate enemies of the state.

With official confirmation yet to be made, many questions remain. What does Kyva’s death represent? A win for Ukraine? Is this an example of what the future holds for all actively working for the aggressor’s genocidal agenda? What are the implications for Ukraine? How did other propagandists and Ukrainian traitors react? And, who is next?

Who is Ilya Kyva?

Ilya Kyva became known to the general public in 2014 as the commander of the Ukrainian “Poltavshchyna” battalion, which operated under the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA). He led the Right Sector’s Poltava branch in 2015-16, along with the Department for Combating Drug Crimes at the MIA.

But there was another side to Kyva, a love for outrage and media attention. At that time, his unhinged mania was flattered by the pro-Russian TV channels operating in Ukraine and owned by Putin’s crony – Viktor Medvedchuk. Thus began Kyva’s vivid but short-lived mesalliance with Russian propaganda. 

In 2019 Kyva appeared in Ukraine’s Parliament, posing as a radical “patriot,”  representing the now-banned pro-Russian bloc, Opposition Platform. It was a party filled with political remnants of Yanukovych’s presidency and those close to odious tycoon Medvedchuk. These individuals remained a crucial component of Russia’s hybrid warfare influence in Ukraine, acting as Russian influence operatives until the full-scale invasion exposed each and everyone of them. 

Kyva’s ‘political career’ has been marked by a string of high-profile scandals, with him frequently at the forefront of parliamentary brawls. He was always the first to escalate any verbal disagreements to a physical level, requiring other party members to restrain him during what can only be described as a maniacal outburst. In short, an individual purchased by Moscow to sow discord and incite uprisings within Ukrainian society. 

An example of Kyva’s ‘work’ is his move to congratulate Putin on his 69th birthday in 2021, hailing the Russian president as the driving force behind his country’s return to glory and a ruler who will go down in history. This is just one of many grotesque examples of how this “unconventional persona” paid his dues to the Russian leadership’s hybrid warfare agenda.

After the full-scale invasion Kyva fled to Moscow. He was later found guilty by the Ukrainian courts for urging the Russian leadership to take Ukraine’s capital, execute Zelensky, and high-ranking members of his team. He frequently appeared on Russian propaganda talk shows calling for the ‘liberation’ of Ukraine.

 In the final few days of Kyva’s life, he wrote on telegram:

Zelensky’s Ukraine is like a disposable condom for Washington and London. NATO wanted to fuck Russia and pulled in Ukraine for this purpose, but when it didn’t work out, they just threw it [the condom] away.” 

Russian propagandists, there is nowhere to hide

After the news broke, Russian propagandists swiftly flocked to their Telegram channels, expressing shock and characterising the incident as a ‘terror attack’ conducted on Russian territory. Within the evening, Sergey Markov, Russian pro-Kremlin ‘political scientist’ dedicated 4 specific posts to Kyva’s death. This highlights the significance the event holds and Markov’s evident concern for his and his colleagues safety. Among these voices, the Telegram channel Poddubny |Z|O|V| edition (749,000 subscribers) acknowledged Ukraine’s successful elimination of the enemy, and Russia’s failure to counteract it, telling:

“Russia has been engaged in the SMO for almost two years now, yet the frequency of terrorist attacks and political liquidations carried out by the enemy remains alarmingly high.” 

Kotsnews (597,000 subscribers) echoed this sentiment by highlighting Kyiv’s ongoing “master class in eliminating traitors.” This underscores the enemy’s awareness of Kyiv’s capability to execute these killings, and Russia’s inability to prevent them. Ukraine’s special forces demonstrated successful operation not only on occupied Ukrainian territory but also in the territory of the Russian Federation, showing there truly isn’t anywhere to hide.

Thus, a common theme observed among Z channels is the dismissal of Kyva’s past betrayal, and a concern such acts can be executed.

Demonization of the Ukrainian people

The demonization of Ukrainians is a narrative pushed by Yulia Vityazeva, Russian propagandist. Her claim that Ukrainians celebrated the murder of former MP Kyva, who apparently “held little interest in Russia,” is a display of her hypocrisy. Vityazeva condemns Ukrainians while regularly expressing excitement over missile attacks killing innocent people—a behaviour that gets individuals listed for SBU liquidation.

Let’s not forget, Kyva actively advocated for the ‘liberation’ (illegal occupation) of Kyiv, urging Russians to seize the capital, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians. The hatred Ukrainians held toward Kyva, described by Vityazeva as “animal joy at an act of terror,” reflects deep contempt for the traitor, which is a completely natural motive.

Russian retaliation?

Nevertheless, this incident signifies a potential moment for retaliation from the Russian intelligence services. Ukrainian journalist Vitali Portnikov tells:

“We have no doubt the Russian services will spare no effort to destabilise the situation in Ukraine and foster an atmosphere of sheer terror. Every collaborator eliminated in Russia serves as perceived justification for a reciprocal response from a Russian propaganda standpoint.” 

Russian propagandist Igor Skurlatov also confirms Portinikov’s prediction, advocating for the lifting of the ban on “special operations against the leaders of the Ukro-Reich,” suggesting that retaliatory actions should commence, starting with targeting Zelensky. 

Portnikov suggests that a significant response of this kind is unlikely, noting that Kyva held minimal influence in Russia, while also causing disruptions in Russian political circles. Russian propagandists confirm this, telling of Kyva’s ‘toxic background judging on his anti-Russian actions in 2014-15.

Disparaging reviews of Kyva after his murder by a number of Telegram Z channels shows that Ukrainian political fugitives are strangers to Russia. There are no former traitors – this principle governs the Russian system in relation to those who sold their homeland for a prosperous life in the suburbs of Moscow.

To conclude

The elimination of Kyva served as another wake-up call to Russian propagandists and traitors to the Ukrainian state, revealing their potential fate. His death demonstrates Ukraine’s SBU’s operational success in eliminating these traitors one by one, having established its own mossad-like unit that can now terrorise propagandists from within the walls of Russia. Every new name removed from the SBU’s kill list earns Ukraine points in PSYOPs, sowing fear in Russian propaganda circles, and this fear has now only grown. Kyva’s death does not only serve as a moral victory for the Ukrainian people, but also as evidence that there is now no place to hide.