Ukraine’s defense minister reveals possible scenarios for Russian attacks on Ukraine
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov at a briefing on Feb. 21 revealed the possible scenarios for Russian attacks on Ukraine, while insisting that the Ukrainian military is ready to deal with each of them.
The minister stressed that Ukraine is in no way minimizing the threat of a possible Russian attack, and its level is “really high.”
Reznikov added that the Ukrainian government is working on forecasting all possible scenarios and choosing the best tactics to employ in response.
“We’ve considered the scenario that Russia would try to literally surround Ukraine with its troops – from Brest (Belarus) to Taganrog (Russia) by land, on two seas and in temporarily occupied Crimea – and step up activity in the temporarily occupied part of Moldova in Transnistria,” he said.
Russian troops are also expected to escalate in eastern Ukraine, the defense minister said, adding that their actions would be accompanied by other means of pressure, such as cyber-attacks, the bombing of civilian structures, attempts to incite rioting under various pretexts, etc.
Reznikov claimed that these actions were aimed at “undermining Ukraine from the inside, thus forcing it to capitulate.”
The minister is also convinced that the number of Russian troops who are taking part in the Russia-Belarus joint “drills”, known as Union Resolve-2022, was not enough for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier Reznikov said that as of Feb. 20, Russia had not formed any strike group close to the borders of Ukraine, and it was inappropriate to talk about a possible invasion “tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.”
At the same time, he did not rule out the threat of invasion.
Russia has been massing troops at the border since late October.
The U.S. ambassador to the OSCE, Michael Carpenter, said on Feb. 21 that Russia has arrayed between 169,000 and 190,000 troops on the Russian-Ukrainian and Belarusian-Ukrainian border, and in the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and the Donbas.
Russia is also conducting drills near the eastern borders of Ukraine, in the annexed Crimea, in Belarus, as well as naval exercises in the Black Sea.
Russian proxy forces in the Donbas have significantly stepped up the number of attacks on Ukrainian positions since Feb. 17, with over 136 attacks occurring on Feb. 19, resulting in the deaths of two Ukrainian service members.
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