December 27, 2018

The Degree of Tension on the Eastern Borders of Ukraine Is Increasing

Will Russia openly attack Ukraine?

According to American experts, one of the reasons for a global military conflict in the world, which will not be ruled out already in 2019, could be an open Russian attack on Ukraine. Including a large-scale offensive operation in the depths of Ukrainian territory.

Actually, NATO leadership agrees. Thus, according to NATO Secretary General, J. Stoltenberg, in 2019 North Atlantic Alliance's main priorities will be the containment of Russia and support of Ukraine.

Unfortunately for Ukraine, all these assessments and plans have a real basis. Russia is really preparing for a war in order to “finally solve the Ukrainian problem.” This question becomes especially relevant to the regime of V. Putin because of the failure of all other attempts to force Kyiv to concessions to Moscow in all major issues concerning the national interests of Ukraine. First of all, in relation to Donbas and Crimea.

As a result, Russia not only can not get rid of Western sanctions, but also falls under new restrictions that have already led to catastrophic consequences for the Russian economy. And here is the fall of world oil prices, which remain the main source for Russian budget and the replenishment of the remaining financial reserves.

In general, the solution of the Ukrainian problem, and in the shortest possible time, is really a question of “life and death” for Russia. And it seems to be going to rely on the old Stalinist method — “there is no man, there are no problems”, and in this case “there is no Ukraine, there is no Ukrainian problem”. And then, what will happen.

In essence, this does not hide the leadership of the Russian Federation, which openly says about “the possibility of Ukraine's loss of its statehood”. Moreover, it relates this to a variety of reasons: from the results of the elections in Ukraine that Russia may not accept — to the alleged Kiev preparation for an attack on the “DPR” and “LPR”, and even — on the Crimea. Moreover, Moscow is already “warns about” Ukraine's “aggression” against Russia.

Similar statements are systematically made by both President Putin and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The last one sounded a few days ago, in which it was said not only about Ukraine's “concentrating” of its troops in the Donbas, but also about its intentions to use chemical weapons against self-proclaimed republics.

The leadership of the Russian Federation openly says about
“the possibility of Ukraine's loss of its statehood”

Typically, such rhetoric is used by aggressors to cover the preparation of their own attack on opponents, which is well known in the world. In particular, it was noted by the US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations K. Volker. On his rather reasonable opinion, Moscow's statements about the provocations of Ukraine in the Crimea and in the Donbas are nothing more than cover of plans for new attacks on the part of Russia. According to K. Volker, Russia is obviously looking for an occasion for an attack on Ukraine.

This is also evidenced by the open military preparations of Russia on the border with Ukraine. Thus, the mass media has repeatedly written about the build-up of Russian troops in neighboring regions of Ukraine in Russia, and in the annexed Crimea and in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. To this we can add urgent return to Sevastopol from the Mediterranean Sea of one of the most combat-capable warships of the Russian Navy — the “Admiral Essen” frigate, as well as the strengthening of the fighter regiment at the Belbek airfield in the Crimea with the modern Su-27SM and Su-30M2 fighters.

The deployment of Russian battalion-tactical groups at the Ukrainian border
The deployment of Russian battalion-tactical groups
at the Ukrainian border

Recently, the armed forces of Russia actually practiced plans for a war against Ukraine. In particular, according to the military intelligence of Ukraine, which was published in the media, from the second half of December 2018 Russian invaders conduct large-scale military exercises in the “DPR” and “LPR”. At the same time, Russian troops and armed militants were brought to a higher level of combat readiness.

According to the headquarters of the Western Military District of the Russian Armed Forces, large-scale military exercises are also planned in the Voronezh, Belgorod, Kursk, Bryansk and Smolensk regions. More than 3 thousand servicemen and about 600 pieces of military equipment will be involved in the exercises. Including modernized tanks T-72B3, infantry fighting vehicles BMP-2, armored personnel carriers BTR-82A, as well as artillery systems “Nona-SVK”, “Msta-B”, “Msta-C”, BM-21 “Grad”, and “Tornado-G”. In addition, during the exercises, single and group launches of “Iskander-M” operational-tactical complexes and the S-400 anti-aircraft missile complexes will be carried out.

Activities related to the preparation for possible military operations are also held in the Southern Military District of the RF Armed Forces. In particular, the creation of airborne units, which can be quickly deployed both in the areas of hostilities and in the enemy's rear, is indicative. The units have high maneuverability and significant firepower because of the use of multifunctional transport and strike helicopters. Such tactics are used not only in airborne troops, but also by motorized infantry and marines. Thus, airborne units are created in the Marine Corps of the Black Sea Fleet and of the Caspian Flotilla.

In January–February 2019, a series of exercises of airborne units will be conducted at different training fields of the Southern Military District, with practicing of tactical airborne landings in low-temperature conditions.

Against this background, the systematic trainings of the troops of the Western and Southern Military Districts of Russia on “the elimination of the consequences of the use of weapons of mass destruction” may confirm Moscow’s possible provocations with the use of poisonous substances. In particular, trainings on such scenarios took place on December 20–22, 2018 in the Stavropol Territory and the Kuban, with the participation of about 3 thousand servicemen from the 49th Army of the Southern Military District.

…Moscow's statements about the provocations of Ukraine in the Crimea and in the Donbas are nothing more than cover of plans for new attacks…

And one more, the most alarming fact. For the first time since the beginning of Russia's aggression against Ukraine in February 2014, forces and units of Western and the Southern Military Districts are field deployed in the winter time for a long period (of almost two months). Practically before the presidential election in Ukraine. At the same time, all of these preparations are openly associated by Russian mass media with Ukraine. Thus, in fact, the situation is repeated of the end of 2013 – the first half of 2014, when Russia was preparing for an attack on Ukraine firstly within the framework of the “hybrid” operation “Russian Spring”, and then in the form of a direct invasion of Russian troops into the Ukrainian territory. With one fundamental difference. If then Moscow concealed the above facts, it is now openly preparing for war.

 

I would like to emphasize that this analysis would not be perceived as some sort of panic-mongering, military psychosis, or playing into ones hands. Of course, I would like to hope for the best and see Russia's military preparations as just another attempt by Moscow to put pressure on Ukraine. But, hoping for the best, you need to prepare for the worst. Moreover, the situation can get out of control at any moment. The main thing is that it will be found the “casus belli”, which Moscow is waiting for the fourth year.