Russia will have enough military power to capture the territory of Ukraine, but Moscow will not be able to keep it. This opinion was expressed by the first president of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk, (he led the country from 1991 to 1994), assessing the possibility of a large-scale Russian offensive.
In an interview with Facty.ua, when asked whether Russian President Vladimir Putin is able to launch an offensive in Ukraine, Kravchuk replied: “I believe not.”
“And I will say why. They annexed the Crimea, but can not cope with it. Imagine that, God forbid, go crazy and occupy the whole of Ukraine. Their military might on this, perhaps, enough. But then it will be necessary to force the Ukrainian people to live as Putin wants, ”the ex-president said, adding that the Ukrainian people would resist and“ fight to the last. ”
“I think that Putin understands this, therefore it is important for him to threaten now. He organized a provocation in the Kerch Strait, saw how the world reacts. Thank God, the reaction was very sharp. This means that the civilized world is with us, ”said Kravchuk.
He also raised the issue of the return of the Crimea and the people’s republics of Donbass to Ukraine. According to him, Russia “will return the destroyed Donbass”, since it is not profitable for it to accept these territories as part.
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“But the issues of de-occupation of the Donbass and the Crimea cannot be considered together,” the ex-president said. The “problem of Crimea”, in his opinion, can be solved in the course of the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations “with the pressure of the West”.
We note, serious political scientists do not see prospects for a large-scale aggravation of the conflict in the Donbas in 2019. According to them, from Kiev and US strategists, the line will be maintained to maintain a low-intensity conflict: with the involvement of the Russian Federation and the Moscow-Donbass, and Kiev-Moscow scheme – but without a transition to large-scale hostilities.
This line of conduct for the West and its Kiev vassals seems to be optimal, because time is working more for Kiev than for Donbass. Ukraine, anyway, has a large margin of safety – both economic and socio-psychological – than Donetsk and Lugansk.
Analysts of the private intelligence and analysis agency Stratfor, which in America is called the “shadow CIA”, argue in approximately the same vein. “Another front in 2019 in the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflict will be formed in the Sea of Azov. Both countries will build up naval forces there, and the United States will provide military assistance to Ukraine,” Stratfor predicts. But again, this is a passive confrontation, and not at all about a “hot” conflict.
So Kravchuk argues, so to speak, on a free theme, when he talks about the prospects for the “occupation” of Ukraine. Moreover, there is no doubt that in the event of an offensive — not even Russia, but the armies of the LNR and the DNR with Russian support — very little would be left of present-day Ukraine. With great probability, the “independent” in this case would have split into two republics. One Bandera, which is in hostile relations with Moscow, and pro-Russian Ukraine 2.0 – from Kharkov to Odessa. We would cut off Bandera’s Ukraine from the Black Sea, seriously complicate its geopolitical situation – and it would not be difficult to keep Ukraine 2.0.
“Kravchuk’s reasoning is not harmless nonsense, but playing along with pro-Western circles in Russia, who in 2014 were against the defeat of the Kiev regime and the creation of Novorossia,” said Mikhail Alexandrov, a leading expert at the Center for Military-Political Studies of MGIMO. – Such stuffing, I note, are not only from Ukraine. Our liberals are blowing in the same tune. True, they are more focused on the fact that Novorossia will have to be maintained, and this is supposed to be an exorbitant burden for Russia.
In fact, the experience of the Great Patriotic War shows that Russia is fully capable of taking control of not only Ukraine, but also all of Eastern Europe. But the fact of the matter is that no one is going to seize the Square. Moscow does not need it.
It is about helping certain forces in Ukraine to create independent states. These states will not be part of Russia, at least in the first stage.
These states will not be part of Russia, at least in the first stage. They will be completely independent, but not Russophobic, like the Kiev regime, but pro-Russian.
Further evolution is the participation of these states in economic projects in the CIS space. They will gradually join the Eurasian Economic Union, and form a single pro-Russian space.
– What is needed to implement this plan?
– Russia does not need much effort here. Our main task is to destroy the Kiev regime, deprive it of military force. And after that, I am confident that independent states will appear on the territory of present-day Ukraine themselves.
Now this process is holding back the terrorist activity of Kiev. The regime is supported by the Bandera battalions, which intimidate both the population and local elites. No one now in Ukraine does not dare punitive bodies, such as the SBU.
But if the punishers are removed — in Ukraine, I am sure, independent regimes will arise immediately. As a result, the emergence of a confederative association of the type of Novorossia within the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Mykolayiv, Kherson, Odessa and Zaporizhzhya regions is not excluded.
Perhaps some part of Ukraine will remain in the form of a unified Malorussia. But it will be a completely different Ukraine, which will not pose a threat to Russia, and which, in the end, will be in economic dependence on Moscow.
Plus, Western Ukraine will remain, which Russia does not need for nothing – with the possible exception of Transcarpathian Rus. Of course, it is not realistic to join Transcarpathian Rus to the Russian Federation, but here we can talk about a protectorate by the type of Transnistria.
– Kravchuk believes that we will not be able to keep the Ukrainian territory. Does this seem to be true?
– We will not hold them. The order in these new states will be supported by local authorities, with a little help from the Russian videoconferencing systems – following the Syrian model. If necessary, we will be able to bomb strong formations that will threaten the power of New Russia. And the remaining small groups will be suppressed by the local police.
So Kravchuk, in my opinion, is wishful thinking.
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– Your forecast: how will the situation develop in the Donbass and in Ukraine?
– Here everything depends on us – the initiative in this case should come from Russia. Roughly speaking, how we will behave – this is how the situation will develop.
If we finally want to eliminate the Russophobic group in Kiev, we will eliminate it. If not, we will continue to dance around the broken Minsk agreements.
In fact, the Kremlin does not have much choice. Today it is obvious that a settlement based on the Minsk agreements is impossible. If you do not show determination, shelling will continue in the Donbass, and Ukraine will continue the information war against the Russian Federation, supported by attacks on the UN and other international organizations. Opposition to this activity will absorb a sufficiently large amount of our resources and energy.
Well, if the Kremlin nevertheless decides that it’s time to finish with the ugliness of Ukraine, an operation will begin to support the forces of the DNR and the LNR, so that they can restore their territorial integrity. And then – after the Ukrainian army shows its inconsistency and is actually crushed – the collapse of other regions of Ukraine will begin. And it will be over with the current Ukraine.