Recent statements made by Ukrainian and NATO officials suggest Kiev is considering new military action in the breakaway regions.
Earlier this week American Gen. Phillip Breedlove, the commander of NATO forces in Europe, was quoted by the CNN as saying that Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defense systems and Russian troops were entering Ukraine. Yet, the General failed to provide the numbers and added that NATO has "seen the same thing that OSCE is reporting."
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has said that its observers spotted large-scale troop movements in the region. It has not identified, however, the origin of the convoys.
Meanwhile pro-independence fighters in Donbass have been warning that Kiev is preparing to break the ceasefire and resume hostilities. This goes well with the recent statements by high-ranking Kiev officials.
Speaking on a TV talk show Shuster Live, Markiyan Lubkivskiy, an aide to the head of Ukraine’s Security Service, said: “I believe that sooner or later we will have to start very active actions”. In fact he only repeated what Yury Lutsenko, an aide to Ukrainian President said last month, pointing that Kiev “only needed ceasefire to get military and financial aid from the West.
So is Kiev planning to break the ceasefire and start another offensive anytime soon?
Vladimir Kozin, Head of the Group of Advisers to the Director of Russian Institute for Strategic Studies:
They are not only wishing to disrupt the peace process that has already started earlier in September, in Minsk, but also they would like to camouflage their own military buildup that is being conducted along the perimeter near the Russian border, near the Russian territory. Only this year the NATO member states will conduct 8 military drills with the participation of the Ukrainian armed forces, naturally. And altogether in 2014 the USA and its closest allies will conduct nearly 50 military exercises around Russia and aimed at Russia.
How is NATO involved in Ukraine?
Vladimir Kozin: Well, actually it is a long story, because soon after the first the peace accord, the Minsk protocol has been signed on September 5, the Kiev authorities approached the US Government. And even much earlier, when Mr. Petro Poroshenko the Ukrainian President visited the US, he personally asked for extra military assistance from the US and from the major NATO countries, and not only for nonlethal military hardware but lethal – that can fire, can destroy, can kill human beings.
And at that time I have come across a top gun at the Pentagon, who said that this option is being under consideration. And the trip of one of the Kiev’s commanders to the US, this story has popped up once again. Kiev is pressing upon the US and other NATO member countries to extend a military hand to Kiev to continue the policy of genocide versus currently the Ukrainian citizens who are mainly the civilians.
The spearhead, so to say, of weaponry is aimed at not only the separatists or freedom fighters, which is the best term in its connotation, but at the armless civilians, the peaceful citizens and with the huge ratio. The infrastructure and the life support systems are being destroyed very heavily using the heavy weapons.
And actually, Kiev announced that it would like to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the immediate future as the full-fledged member. So, I will not be surprised if the American or NATO-made weapons appear on the Ukrainian soil in the Ukrainian armed forces’ hands, because actually the US Government is seeking to expand the forward-based military installations around the Russian Federation.
The Pentagon Chief Chuck Hagel, while addressing the Association of the US Army symposium in the middle of October this year, confessed, or admitted that the US soldiers are deployed or forward stationed in nearly 150 locations scattered around the world. So, they are not only on the doorstep of many countries, but in reality they are directly on their soil. And Ukraine is a loadstar in these military schemes stamped by Washington and the Pentagon.
So, I think that the American military and political establishment is trying to impose qualitatively a Cold War 2. If we admit that the Cold War 1, the previous one, that had been waged in the last century actually was ended officially by signing the Paris charter for the New Europe in November 1990, the today’s military preparations are part and parcel of this kind of Cold War 2.0. So, it is a rather risky game and a rather risky scenario that is hanging over the entire Europe, and not only over Ukraine or Eastern Europe, or the European part of Russia.
That is a very alarming situation, though Washington itself and the capitals of the major NATO countries are denying that they are flaring up the tensions and are creating the second Cold War, which, as I said, qualitatively will be tougher and stronger than the previous one.
Do we have any information as to whether the NATO instructors are present in Ukraine?
Vladimir Kozin: Oh, yes! Soon after the latest President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych was ousted from his position, the new Kiev leaders rushed into the US capital and asked for such a human assistance – to get the instructors, advisors, experts, specialists and what not. Not only the SBU (the Security Service of Ukraine), but currently almost all the Ukrainian ministries and departments are having the US and European instructors, advisors etc who are advising Kiev what to do and what not to do.
And in many cases their advices were utterly incorrect, unfertile and irrelevant. For example, to impose the unilateral sanctions by Ukraine against the Russian Federation – this is laughable. The country, I mean Ukraine, that economically and financially, and energetically is very weak is trying to impose the sanctions against its neighbor – the big and the powerful Russia.
Also, there were a lot of threats from the Ukrainian leaders and authorities to punish Russia, to wage terrorist wars everywhere, including in Moscow, to teach us a military lesson, to use the nuclear capabilities to punish us – what for? – I still do not know what for, etc.
And I think that in the future Kiev, which has embarked upon the path of being a strictly pro-Western country, will invite more and more advisors to its ruling establishment, to the command and control system in the army and the special services, to the energy sector, to handling the financial issues, everywhere. But I think that this kind of special care for rising up the specific personnel in Ukraine will vanish in the haze, because the Americans have proved to be inactive in many-many cases.
And plus, the Ukrainian leaders have also proved to be irrelevant and incapable of stamping a specific constructive and positive plans and schemes of how to handle the country. We have seen a lot of cases. For example, a lot of atrocities that have been conducted in Ukraine, it has not been revealed who is to blame in Mariupol, in Odessa and in Kiev itself, when some people have been killed on both sides, from the Maidan demonstrators and from the Ukrainian police.
So, the Americans have a positive factor, if one can find it a positive factor. They can predict the developments of the situation in many cases. But the negative factor is that they cannot predict for quite a long time, the scenarios for a long-distanced future. And that’s why it happened in Ukraine. They masterminded the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych, the latest President, but they never predicted the Maidan riots and also this genocide and war crimes of the Ukrainian leaders against their citizens in Donbas – in Luhanks and Donetsk people’s republics.
Do you think we could get a long-simmering, a decades-long conflict in our borders or is it more dynamic?
Vladimir Kozin: Well, unfortunately, it is not out choice to confront this rather gloomy and vague scenario. I would not like to give a Cassandra-type prognosis, but, nevertheless, my prediction is that with the US assistance extended to Kiev – moral, military, economic, political etc. – the current Ukrainian leaders will continue the military drive against the Novorossiya, and will amass hardware and heavy weapons, and will use these kinds of weapons against the peaceful citizens.
So, I think that in the short run Ukraine will be proclaimed, if not a full-fledged member of the NATO alliance, but as a privileged partner of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. And Ukraine will expand its ties. It will sing a lot of agreements on the military cooperation, delegations exchange, on using the NATO technologies, methods of conducting the military operations, educational systems, etc.
German political analyst Christoph R. Hörstel:
We have a history already with these short-time governments since the coup in February this year, that the NATO sources are accusing Russia of this and that. They always lack any proof of their accusations. So, this is normal. And unfortunately, what is also normal with NATO is that they generally accuse other countries of what they are doing themselves.
So, what we have here is that NATO-backed Kiev is mounting an attack on the eastern self-proclaimed people’s republics and is accusing Russia of fuelling the conflict. This is a very interesting affair and, of course, unacceptable. And of course we also have the preparations to this Kiev attack on Donetsk, especially, but also on Lugansk, in the past months since the Minsk accords. So, this is a long-prepared attack. And it is now being prepared in the media by the propaganda and false accusations.
Do I get you right that perhaps the NATO strategists are trying to get Russia into some kind of war of attrition in those regions?
Christoph R. Hörstel: Yes, this seems to be the plan. And obviously we have the so-called two-pronged attack. That means that we do attack (we as NATO and the NATO-backed Kiev) the Donetsk and the Lugansk region and, at the same time, beef up our sanctions against Russia and accuse Russia of aggression and all kinds of fingering of conflicts in the area, which exactly is the policy that NATO is in fact conducting. So, whatever Russia will do to help the beleaguered population in Donetsk and Lugansk, it will be used against Russia later on.
And if we return to the point of a probability that the US is training the Kiev forces, we understand that we in fact have the proof that the Nazi killer groups were trained in Poland, part of them, before the coup in February. So, it looks quite probable that these things continue.
Could it backfire on Europe?
Christoph R. Hörstel: Good question, but, of course, this is already in practice now. Any kinds of sanctions, any kinds of hostile or adversary policies against our big neighbor Russia from the European side are counterproductive. We have a lot of damage by the hundreds of millions of Euros to our economy. We are in fact threatened by the recession. And all the sanctions now being planned with Washington, from the Washington’s side and being imposed on Europe to impose them on Russia, this is something which of course hurts our economy quite a lot.
And this is why the German heads of businesses have recently travelled with somewhat installed secrecy to Moscow. And the rumor was that they were trying to circumvent the sanctions’ barriers. I don’t know what is behind that, but one thing is very clear – businesses all over Europe are very strongly opposed to any further sanctions against Russia. And we must say that the sanctions that are already I'm power are bad enough.