The Channel Islands were the only British territory to be occupied by the Nazi regime during World War Two. Located off the coast of Normandy, the quaint islands of Guernsey and Jersey are their own worlds, sandwiched between the Continent and the United Kingdom, primarily offshore tax havens for British subjects.
The island of Guernsey took on an ominous tone of international intrigue over the weekend as Russia has been accused of torturing, killing, and burning the body of a Latvian member of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army, who was providing vehicles to the Ukrainian troops fighting in Donbass against pro-Russian separatists. The skeletal remains were found in a burned-out vehicle in a remote part of the island on January 8th.
“Skeletal remains since found in the driving seat are believed to be those of its owner, Mikus Alps, a Latvian who had fought with pro-Ukrainian volunteers against Russia’s incursion into south-eastern Ukraine…according to Mikus Alps’ volunteer friends, he had suffered escalating threats in recent months. In addition, according to Ukrainian press reports, Alps was providing cars to Ukrainian forces fighting the Russian-aligned rebels,” writes the Washington Examiner.
Press reports stated the remains were burned in an intense fire, suggesting the murder was done by professional intelligence operatives.
“Of course, the operative point is that Mr. Alps was delivering cars for the Ukrainian volunteers and that the skeleton was found in his driving seat. This suggests the killers intended to draw a very specific connection point between his activities with regards to Ukraine and his apparent death in Guernsey,” reports Washington Examiner.
Andriy Gergert, commander of the eighth detached battalion of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army, wrote on Facebook: “He was tortured and burnt in the car he used for the military needs of the battalion…The Sicilian Mafia is a kindergarten compared to the methods used by the Kremlin to achieve its imperialist goals. For them there is no difference whether they kill in eastern Ukraine or in centre of Europe. And they won’t stop…I have no doubt that this was the Muscovites.” wrote The Telegraph.
Relations between London and Moscow have been tense since the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, a former member of the FSB and KGB, who was murdered in London by radiation poisoning by Russian security services in 2006.