Russia is doubling down on their statement that Ukraine is going to launch a “provocation” in Donbas.
Ukraine is surrounded with Russian tanks along the Russia/Ukraine border. Russian combat aircraft have surged to their highest levels, surrounding Ukraine. The Russian navy has surged into Crimea and the Black Sea. Russian combat commanders have arrived in Crimea. …and somehow Ukraine is going to launch a “provocation”? Methinks Russia is set to launch a Gleiwitz incident.
Historically, anytime Russia predicts such a type of event from an adversary, Russia is firmly behind the incident. Russia then denies responsibility, then blameshifts and accuses their opponent of the dastardly deed. Such was the case in Syria when chemical weapons were dropped on civilians siding with Russian and Syrian opponents. Russia blamed the US and the rebels.
Notice, Russia is pointing to a “land-based” provocation, whereas Ukraine has actually talked about a naval convoy asserting their right of free passage through the Kerch Straits.
Russia has been predicting a chemical weapons attack in Donbas, yet Ukraine has no need to attack Donbas. There is no logical reason for Ukraine to do such an attack. Russia has a history of chemical weapon bombings. Furthermore, Russia is the only country predicting such an unusual event.
Sharpen your pencils, freshen the ink, and fill up your devices with electrons (metaphorically), it looks like Russia is getting ready to do something. Just in time for Christmas, too.
December 24, 2018
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has said “it is quite possible” that Ukraine “might switch to full-scale combat actions within the next few days.”
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova made the statements in Moscow on December 24, repeating claims by Russian officials predicting a “provocation” by Kyiv in the near future.
The unsubstantiated claims come at a time of high tensions between the two countries since Russia seized three Ukrainian Navy ships and their crews near the Kerch Strait on November 25. The United States and the European Union have denounced that action and called on Russia to release the vessels and seamen immediately.
“Apart from a ground operation, Kyiv is also mulling other option to increase tensions in the region and extend martial law,” Zakharova said. “We are really concerned about increasingly more frequent reports by ‘experts’ in Ukrainian media outlets on the possible use of chemical-warfare agents by [Russia-backed militants in eastern Ukraine].”
“This circumstance gives grounds to presume that the strategists in Kyiv have thoroughly analyzed the record of their foreign supervisors in staging provocations involving the use of weapons of mass destruction and are ready to put them into practice.”
On December 1, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Russia was amassing ground forces and weaponry along the border between the two countries.
Speaking at a military event in Kyiv on December 1, Poroshenko said Russia has deployed “more than 80,000 troops, 1,400 artillery and multiple-rocket-launch systems, 900 tanks, 2,300 armored combat vehicles, 500 airplanes, and 300 helicopters” near the border.
On December 22, Russia moved more than a dozen advanced fighter jets to the annexed Ukrainian region of Crimea.
Ukrainian government forces have been fighting against Russia-backed separatists in the eastern Ukraine since April 2014, shortly after Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and forcibly annexed it. Some 10,300 people have been killed in the fighting since early 2014.
Although Moscow denies interfering in Ukraine’s domestic affairs, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in November 2016 ruled that the fighting in eastern Ukraine is “an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.”