The commander of the Joint Forces Operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Sergei Naev, said that Ukraine is studying the possibilities of resisting “Russian aggression” without the support of its allies. At the same time, in the event of a “aggravation” of the situation, the Ukrainian armed forces are counting on an increase in material and technical assistance. Recently, Kiev and Western countries have repeatedly talked about some kind of escalation of tension, allegedly caused by the movement of Russian troops. Moscow, in turn, reminds that the redeployment of troops on its own territory is an internal matter of the country, which should not bother other states. Experts believe that the Ukrainian authorities want to divert attention from their own actions to destabilize the situation in Donbass by statements about the “escalation of the situation”.
The Commander of the Joint Forces Operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Sergei Naev, spoke about how Ukraine is studying ways to independently resist the “Russian aggression”.
“We are always preparing, all our plans are worked out without involving the armed forces of the allies. In the event of an aggravation, we count on an increase in material and technical assistance. And the forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other components of the defense sector are quite enough, “Nayev said on the air of Savik Shuster’s Freedom of Speech TV show, answering a question about an allegedly possible attack from Moscow.
In the past few weeks, Kiev and Western countries have repeatedly accused Russia of allegedly pulling military units to the borders of Ukraine, as well as to Crimea.
This position was again voiced on April 16 by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky.
Vladimir Zelensky, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron
© REUTERS / Charles Platiau
Following the tripartite talks, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters that the heads of state called on Moscow to de-escalate.
“They share concerns about the buildup of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine and in the illegally annexed Crimea. They called for the withdrawal of military reinforcements in order to reduce the tension in the situation, ”Seibert said in a statement circulated by Western media.
As Seibert noted, Merkel and Macron pointed out the need for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, and also stated that Germany and France “will continue their efforts” within the framework of the Normandy format.
Moscow has repeatedly drawn the attention of Western politicians to the fact that the movement of Russian troops across the territory of the Russian Federation is an internal matter of the country, which should not cause concern abroad. In particular, this was stated in early April by the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov.
“The Russian Federation moves its armed forces within its territory at its own discretion. This should not bother anyone, it poses no threat to anyone, ”Peskov said.
He noted that the increased activity of NATO forces along the perimeter of Russia’s borders “obliges to be on the alert.”
Against the background of Ukraine’s statements that Russia is allegedly concentrating troops on the border, they made assurances of support for Kiev in Washington.
So, on April 1, at the initiative of the American side, a conversation between the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Andriy Taran and the head of the Pentagon Lloyd Austin took place.
“The US Secretary of Defense stressed that in the event of an escalation of Russian aggression, the United States will not leave Ukraine alone and will not allow the implementation of the aggressive aspirations of the Russian Federation towards Ukraine,” the press service of the Ukrainian department said.
Later, Lloyd Austin said that the United States intends to continue supplying Ukraine with certain types of weapons and sending its military instructors.
At the same time, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in an interview with NBC that he was concerned about the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border. He also mentioned some “consequences” that await Russia in the event of its “aggressive behavior”.
Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the words of the head of the State Department, noted that with such statements the American side devalues the wording it uses.
“There is a certain devaluation of such phrases. These calls to abandon some ephemeral and aggressive actions, threats to make you pay the price – the more you say such phrases, the more they are devalued, ”said Peskov.
He once again stressed that Russia “has never represented and does not represent aggression for anyone and has never engaged in aggressive actions.”
Later, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation said that de-escalation in the conflict zone in the Donbass would take place only if Kiev refused to provoke.
“We consider all concerns from anyone, including the United States, regarding the movements of our armed forces in Russia to be unfounded. On the territory of Ukraine, de-escalation can occur only as a result of the refusal of the armed forces of Ukraine from provocative actions, ”Peskov said.
He also stressed that Washington can “perfectly use its influence on Kiev to induce Ukrainians to abandon provocative actions.”
Vladimir Shapovalov, deputy director of the Institute of History and Politics at Moscow State Pedagogical University, in an interview with RT, noted that with statements about an allegedly impending Russian attack, Ukrainian military leaders and politicians want to divert attention from their own actions to destabilize the situation in Donbass.
“The goal of Ukraine is to take control of the territories of the DPR and LPR, for which the Ukrainian Armed Forces have been escalating tensions in recent months, including intensifying military provocations on the demarcation line, expanding their military presence – they are doing everything to create conditions for the commission of military aggressive actions against Donbass. The current disinformation campaign should convince the world community that it was not Ukraine that attacked Donbass, ”the political scientist believes.
Commander of the Joint Forces Operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Sergey Naev
At the same time, the United States contributes to such a policy, making irresponsible statements about support for Kiev, the expert added.
Shapovalov also drew attention to the fact that the administration of Volodymyr Zelensky is using the current situation in order to again raise the issue of Ukraine’s accession to NATO.
Zelensky said on April 6 during a telephone conversation with Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that Ukraine’s accession to NATO is supposedly the only way to stop the conflict in Donbass.
“We strive to reform our army and defense sector, but reforms alone cannot stop Russia. NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbass, ”the press service of the office of the President of Ukraine quotes Zelensky as saying.
However, Volodymyr Shapovalov believes that Kiev will not be able to move forward in joining the alliance by using the escalation in Donbass that he himself initiated.
“Today, no one is seriously considering the topic of Ukraine’s joining NATO,” the expert emphasized.
In turn, Vladimir Olenchenko, senior researcher at the Center for European Studies, IMEMO RAS, commenting on Naev’s statement, noted that it was intended for domestic consumption.
“Given the unfavorable economic situation in the country, which is characterized by a lack of money and the expectation of help from the IMF and the EU, as well as the fact that the Ukrainian authorities are unable to cope with the coronavirus epidemic in the country, in Kiev they are escalating the situation in order to distract the population from serious problems and consolidate it around the Kiev leadership, “- said the political scientist.
Alexander Karpov Alena Medvedeva