Armies grow stronger, diplomacy falters, and fear grows. After a stalemate in talks at the highest levels, in which talks between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin led to a public promise to continue dialogue, Ukraine is preparing for war. In the past few hours, supplies of the Stinger anti-aircraft missile system have landed from Lithuania, while another 180 tons of ammunition have been transferred by the United States, for a total of about 1,500 since the start of the crisis. But in the meantime, another war has already begun. Weapons do not fire, but they still provoke panic, sabotage without the need for conquest, because in the ether the red lines do not appear: it is the hybrid war in Moscow, made up of economic pressures, cyber attacks and false tactics. Bomb alarms, which are carried out to exhaust the nerves of the country.
Russia causes indignation to justify the intervention
The Russian goal, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cites sources from Kiev, is to gradually weaken the country, causing resentment and protests similar to those stoked in the east of the country in 2014 to justify the intervention. In January alone, Ukrainian police received nearly a thousand anonymous letters, mostly via email, with false alarms about bombs placed in some 10,000 places, from schools to basic infrastructure: every time, everyday life crumbles, mortgaging lives the people. citizens in general.
Kiev fell between fear and desire to move forward
Under the pressure of fear and a desire to move forward, Kiev nonetheless attempts to throw water on the fire, criticizing the panic that arose among the population and in the markets due to the decisions of many Western allies to recall their own compatriots and non-essential staff in embassies: a defensive move by Blinken, who described it as “more things are safe.” For its part, Russia also said it was “concerned” by the OSCE’s decision to move part of its staff from Ukraine.
Airlines stop flights over the Black Sea sky
As with hybrid warfare, another front of daily life is already in crisis, and that is air traffic. Although Dutch national carrier KLM has already halted flights and many carriers are effectively avoiding Ukrainian skies, insurers backed down and local carrier SkyUp forced a flight from Portugal to Kiev to land in Moldova on Saturday for a decision by the company. Managed by, Kiev insists not wanting to close its airspace. “This is illogical and would look very much like self-isolation,” said Mikhailo Podolyak, Ukraine’s presidential adviser. The government is committed to “risk prevention for airlines”, but at the same time it advises against flying over the Black Sea from Monday to Saturday, coinciding with Russian naval exercises.
Along with diplomatic failures, fear of an armed invasion is growing among even the wisest advisers yet. Starting with Berlin, which on the eve of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to Kiev and Moscow raised the tone and spoke of a “critical” situation threatening to impose “immediate” sanctions. Frank-Walter Steinmeier also reaffirmed the position on the day of his re-election as president. “I appeal to President Putin: loosen the noose around Ukraine. Join us on the path to maintaining peace in Europe. And warned the German head of state in his inaugural address, do not underestimate the power of democracy.
US Secretary of State Blinken, again, sounded the alarm on the “false pretext” for the invasion of Ukraine: “No one should be surprised if Russia causes an accident to justify the military action it has always planned.”
The United States: In the event of Russian aggression, the response will come “quickly and decisively”
Coordination with allies of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky remains firm. After a late-morning interview with European Council President Charles Michel, who reiterated the solidarity of the 27, a new briefing arrived with Biden, who updated him after the phone call with Putin. The White House reiterated that in the event of Russian aggression, the response would come “swift and decisive,” explaining that the two leaders agreed on “the importance of continuing to pursue diplomacy and deterrence.”
However, the climate in the Chancellery persisted on the eve of the war. From the juxtaposition of the British Defense Secretary between negotiations with Putin and the Munich Conference, which in 1938 saw the diplomatic capitulation of the Nazi regime to Adolf Hitler, to Poland declaring preparations for a wave of refugees in the event of a cross-border conflict with Ukraine, the Allies are trying this time not to be surprised by Moscow’s moves. Which at the moment is limited to observing chaos.
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