For several weeks, the possibility of a new Russian invasion of Ukraine became increasingly tangible. Since last November the Russian government mobilize Thousands of soldiers near the borders of eastern Ukraine, threatening to intervene if the West, or rather NATO, does not decide to give up keeping Ukraine under its influence, and thus does not clearly show that it wants to give up the process of “enlargement” to the East. In recent days, concerns have intensified about Possible Russian intervention, and there are reasons to believe that Vladimir Putin’s regime is already considering a military operation of some sort.
The first thing to keep in mind is that any Russian military operation in Ukraine will not be anything new, nor will it be particularly unexpected.
Over the past fifteen years, Putin’s Russia has shown on several occasions that it is ready to use force to secure its influence in neighboring countries that were part of the Soviet Union: It happened for example in 2008 in Georgia, where Russia intervened by expelling the Georgian forces that had invaded South Ossetia; And it happened in 2014 in Crimea, when Putin sent men with hoods to take over the Ukrainian peninsula, then join it Through a controversial referendum.
The second thing to keep in mind is that Ukraine is of particular importance to Russia, and has been for some time.
Putin would like to give NATO, the military alliance of which the United States is an unofficial leader, a formal guarantee that he will not allow Ukraine to join the organization (although for the time being Nobody will do that) it is in sought Hence its presence in the East. These days many analysts long mentioned Element Putin’s publication last July in which the Russian president spoke of the “historic unity between Russians and Ukrainians” and argued, in essence, that Ukraine belongs to Russia and that the formation of a Ukrainian national identity separate from Russia should be seen as an “anti-Russian project.”
The situation that has arisen today is particularly alarming for several reasons.
First and foremost for the number of troops amassed on the border. In April, Russia moved about 40,000 troops to the Ukrainian border, less than half the current 100,000 with accompanying hundreds Tanks and missiles of all kinds. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, an ally of Putin, also announced on Monday that Russian soldiers and vehicles have arrived in Belarus, a country bordering Ukraine from the south, that will participate in joint military exercises that will also take place near the border with Ukraine. Journalists Michael Schwartz and David Sanger write: ‘Another possible method of conquest’ On the The New York Times.
The displacement of the army may be just a step to put pressure on Western countries, to push them to make concessions, but it may also be a preparation for an intervention of some kind.
Another event that has been watched with concern is the partial evacuation of the Russian Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, which began over the past week and which has always been The New York Times He knew Perhaps as part of propaganda, perhaps as part of preparation for an imminent conflict, or perhaps as a ‘hoax’. “How to explain the evacuation has become part of the puzzle of speculating on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s next move,” especially after fail Among all attempts at a diplomatic solution in Switzerland in January between American and Russian diplomatic representatives.
The Russian intervention in Ukraine appears to be such a concrete hypothesis that many analysts, experts, and study centers have begun to envision and comment on the timing and methods of the intervention.
about timing, Per Max Seddon, Reporter financial times From Moscow and an expert on Russia, this would be a good time for Russia to attack Ukraine, especially as the United States focuses its attention elsewhere. US President Joe Biden is putting people and resources into trying to find solutions to the many problems caused by the pandemic, while at the same time countering the rise of China, which in recent years has become the most complex country for the United States. . Moreover, Biden is going through a complicated moment in terms of domestic politics: he is actually facing significant resistance in passing ambitious reforms he has promised, which are often blocked in Congress.
Regarding the modalities, it is not clear how a Russian attack could happen, but also on this point several hypotheses were put forward.
In recent days, several American newspapers have talked about the possibility of “pseudoscience processIn practice, the US and Ukrainian Defense Departments said they had collected information that Russia had trained several people capable of handling explosives, which could launch an attack on Russia itself giving the country an excuse to attack Ukraine This is clearly information to consider: there is no certainty that this is the case or that there is an intention on the part of the Russian government to create an attack gimmick, but it is not even a hypothesis to be ruled out.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a think tank specializing in strategy and international affairs, has also given some speculation about how a Russian military attack in Ukraine might have occurred.
according to relationship From the CSIS, it would be advantageous for Russia to attack between January and February, without waiting for March, when the melting of snow would make a portion of the earth less usable mud for many military vehicles. The attack can develop along three paths. the first from the north of Belarus; the second from the center, it enters Ukraine from the east and advances west; And the third from the south, coming from the Perikop isthmus, the strip of land connecting Crimea with Ukraine.
At this point, wrote the CSIS, Russia could act in several ways.
It could withdraw part of its soldiers, at least temporarily, if it finds the peace agreements satisfactory. It can include only the eastern part of Ukraine, but progress beyond the Donbass, where today’s pro-Russian separatists are located, reach west of the Dnieper River or also include Odessa and the strip of land connecting Ukraine with Transnistria (the pro-Russian separatist state located between Ukraine and Moldova: The latter option would effectively remove Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea).
Russia could eventually invade and annex all of Ukraine, creating a “new iron curtain” that crosses Eastern Europe and the Middle East and reaches China from the border with Finland and the Baltic states. Less likely than others.
Another hypothesis, which is certainly more credible than the complete annexation of Ukraine, is that Russia wants to launch an attack on Ukraine without the specific intention of annexing large parts of Ukrainian territory, but with the aim of weakening and Probably To bring down the Kiev government, which is now particularly hostile to the Russian regime.
– Read also: Another military intervention by Russia
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