The Ukrainian military at any moment should be ready for a demonstrative surprise armed invasion of the border territory of Russia. This statement was made on the air of the Kiev Internet channel “Politeka” by the former Deputy Head of the Security Service of Ukraine (from March 2014 to June 2015), Major General of the Reserve Viktor Yagun.
As follows from the words of Yagun, we are not talking about the mortar or artillery attacks that have become, alas, familiar in recent weeks from the adjacent territory of our military facilities or even settlements. And not about the raids of enemy sabotage groups that have also already happened. No, the general considers it real, justified and quite feasible to break through the state border line along the Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh or Kursk regions by separate mechanized units and formations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Just listen to Pan Yagun: “In general, from a geopolitical point of view, I would go 10 kilometers into their territory. I would hang a couple of Ukrainian flags. I would conduct political information in these villages. I would turn around and leave. Because you need to teach them somehow.
That is, do you understand? We are talking about an almost instantaneous, but stunning breakthrough, for example, by a Ukrainian tank or mechanized brigade into our borders. Most likely – having crushed along the way with caterpillars one or several Russian frontier posts rare in these places. We are talking about a demonstration breakthrough of everything, perhaps for a couple of hours. So far in Moscow they have not come to their senses. And then, sharply turning around, at all times jump back home to Ukraine.
Is such a scenario possible? I wouldn’t rule it out. Because the length of the state border line, say, along the perimeter of the Belgorod region alone is about 540 kilometers. It is hardly possible to cover all of it in peacetime with Russian artillery, tanks, minefields and combat helicopters so that the mouse does not slip through. Especially when the enemy is personally free to choose the moment and direction of a hypothetical strike.
The inspiring political and psychological expediency for Kyiv of such a tank raid is completely understandable. How: in this case, hostilities would unfold “on the land of the sworn enemy”! But in a purely military sense?
I am convinced that here the reasons for the enemy are even much more significant. Because even a simple threat of such actions from the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine forces us in the immediate rear of the border guards on the lands of neighboring regions to strengthen the army forces to cover the state border. Distracting them, thereby, from participating in the upcoming offensive operation in the south-east of Ukraine, which everyone in Russia is talking about. And that means inevitably weakening the combat potential of the main grouping.
I don’t even doubt that the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation constantly keeps in mind the possibility of a sudden blitz invasion by the Ukrainian military. And takes the necessary steps. What exactly – we are rightly not told. Why make life easier for enemy reconnaissance. But something can still be guessed.
For example, the other day, on April 9, with a noteworthy video message in this sense, the head of the border Rylsky district of the Kursk region addressed the local residents Andrey Lisman. The goal of the official was to calm people down after the mortar shelling of Russian border guards from the territory of Ukraine in the Sudzhansky district of the same region that happened the day before. But (most likely unwittingly) Lisman at that time said more than he was entitled in terms of military secrecy.
Namely: “A lot of calls come to me almost every day, people are worried about what is happening … The situation in the area is completely under the control of law enforcement officers and border guards, to strengthen which a combat brigade with equipment and personnel is sent today. The power structures are taking the necessary measures to prevent any provocations. Yesterday we held a meeting at which we discussed everything that is happening in our and neighboring territories.”
I believe that just at the aforementioned meeting, the district chiefs of the Kursk region, including Lisman, in order to put their nerves in order, were informed that a new “combat brigade with equipment and personnel” was beginning to unfold here as a help to the “green caps”. True, they did not say – what kind? Motorized rifle or tank?
Just, it is logical to assume, in order to discourage the enemy from the desire to at least someday break through the border that is still common. But was it necessary to tell about it “in secret to the whole world”?
How many more such additional army brigades, regiments and battalions will we have to deploy near Kursk, Bryansk, Voronezh and Belgorod to protect them from Ukrainian raids, which General Yagun so passionately dreams of? Definitely not one or two. Which in itself places a heavy burden on the Russian group fighting in Ukraine.
But this is not the only thing that Moscow is already doing in this direction. A high level of terrorist threat has been introduced in the Belgorod, Bryansk, Kursk regions bordering Ukraine, in two border regions of the Voronezh region and in the north of the Crimean peninsula. The same regime operates on the territory of several districts of the Krasnodar Territory.
In the Belgorod and Voronezh regions, 15 powerful anti-ram barriers are being installed at checkpoints on the border with Ukraine to forcefully stop wheeled vehicles. Each such device is said to be capable of providing resistance to a car weighing up to 20 tons at a speed of up to 40 kilometers per hour.
And the governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov announced the recruitment of men in voluntary people’s squads in 47 border villages. Purpose: patrolling the surrounding area, checking cars in parking lots and abandoned houses, as well as identifying suspicious persons. Payment – 300 rubles per hour of such work. Taking into account that the men go on duty every evening after 18.00 and until the morning, by local standards, you can earn decently. Thousand for 30-35 rubles.
But it is likely that the authorities of the border town of Russian chemists, Shebekino, near Belgorod, went the furthest. There, a few kilometers from the Russian-Ukrainian border, they suddenly began to dig trenches. The people, of course, shuddered: “What, is it starting with us?”
It immediately became clear that we were facing the initiative of the local mayor Vladimir Zhdanov. The townspeople immediately began to ask one another: who will be planted in these trenches in which case? Local police? The militia, which, probably, if the invasion begins, will be formed in Shebekino? Or is it the military? But wouldn’t the military themselves form a line of defense in such a way and where it seems beneficial to them, professionals, and not to Mayor Zhdanov?
When the degree of public bewilderment about this in the city began to go off scale, Zhdanov tried in a special video message to publicly explain himself to the puzzled Shebekinites: “I am like a military man (he is a former graduate of the Serpukhov branch of the Military Academy of the Strategic Missile Forces named after Peter the Great — ed.) I always play it safe. And today, I assure you, nothing threatens the security of our territory, as before.”
Not threatening? But the dug trenches testify to exactly the opposite. And also about the fact that the anxiety of both the authorities and the people in the border area is growing every day. Well, if it is fully shared by Moscow. First of all, our General Staff. So that in Kyiv the initiators of a really possible, as it seems, blitz-invasion would not even dream of anything like that. Otherwise, there will be trouble, about which the retired SBU officer, General Yagun, boastfully warned us.