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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Russia throws motorised brigade to the Western borders: what to expect the Donbass

Russia began redeployment to the Western borders of two mechanized infantry brigades. Sources in the defense Ministry office, explained that this is our response to the growing activity of NATO in Eastern Europe. Talk about increasing NATO’s military presence in Poland and multi-stage military exercise “Iron wolf-2016”, which in addition to Warsaw involved Denmark, Sweden and Estonia. They began on the first of June, will last for several months and, as already stated the Russian foreign Ministry, destabilisateur the situation near the Russian borders. However, in addition to the official version of the strengthening of border of the Russian group, there are konspirologichesky: Russia is preparing for sirokopasovne the fighting in the Donbass. “MK” asked to comment on her Ukrainian and Russian political analysts.

The redeployment of 28-th separate motorized rifle brigade from Yekaterinburg in Klintsy (Bryansk oblast) has begun, as well as the transfer of the 23rd brigade from Samara in Valuyki Belgorod region. In the future, on the Western borders will be formed three new divisions.

Vadim KARASEV, Director of the Ukrainian Institute of global strategies:

– In Ukraine do not perceive the transfer of Russian infantry to our borders as a threat to the beginning of active hostilities in the Donbas from the Russian side. Russia always acts smarter, so in broad daylight, and even the first to send troops to Eastern Ukraine would not dare. Because it is — and the threat of this great war, and – new sanctions against Russia, which will become disastrous for the Russian economy the scale.

By the way, about a real big war. It would be absurd to deny that the Russian army is stronger. But if you start a full attack, the casualties on both sides are numerous. And if Ukraine to the victims morally and psychologically ready, because for her, this hypothetical war would be a war for the independence of the country, for the protection of the territory, it is unlikely that the Russian man in the street ready to be the victims, to the death of their children is not clear why. And it is unlikely that the Russian government is going to annoy its inhabitant. Putin is very popular in the Homeland, including — thanks to a successful and bloodless military operations. Why would he undermine the credibility of a bloody war with an unpredictable outcome? Despite the obvious military advantage of Russia, Ukraine has the obvious psychological advantage, and this keeps the “party of war” in Moscow on the chain.

So in Ukraine, Russia’s actions near our borders is not seen as a threat to the Donbass, and as the threat of the militarization of the entire region. But in Kiev ready. In addition, competent people who make decisions (and not public policy, screaming from the stands) I understand that the increase of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine is a big plus for Ukraine. This is a warning to the Ukrainian hawks, not to start a military offensive in the Donbass, you need to try to adhere to the Minsk agreements at least on the part of the withdrawal. Thus, the Russian troops have contributed to mutual deterrence in the East of Ukraine, which will allow you to save although fragile, but the relative truce. But on the other hand Russia thus encourage Kyiv to strengthen their military positions, to create parity. To strengthen the defenses, to develop Ukrainian military-industrial complex. It is also useful. This was not done a quarter of a century. But you’ll see in a year or two we will have first results of the reform of the Ukrainian military-industrial complex. More precisely, it is not reformed now, and build from scratch, because for the previous 24 years he was destroyed.

– Where Ukraine will take resources to create a new military-industrial complex?

– Remained the Foundation of the military-industrial complex, built during the Soviet Union. Of course, they need to recover, but it’s still easier than creating from scratch. Yes, and in terms of resources, Ukraine is not Slovakia or Estonia, and even Poland. Ukraine is the largest country in Europe, except Russia. We have an appropriate budget, and we need not believe those who say that it is empty. Ukraine currently spends on defence 6% of its GDP. That’s a lot. No European country can afford to spend on defense more than 2% of GDP. So we are able to quickly and independently even without the help of the West to increase military power.

Igor Korotchenko, Director of the Center for analysis of world arms trade, chief editor of the magazine “national defense”:

– The redeployment of Russian motorized infantry brigades to the borders of absolutely not connected with the problem of Donbass. Russia is one of guarantors of observance of the Minsk agreements. Grouping is enhanced only to neutralize the threats posed by us plans for NATO. Including those that only will be taken at the Warsaw summit of the Alliance on building military capabilities close to our borders. Accordingly, we have to respond, and ahead of schedule.

As for the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s Republic, Russia hopes: there will be preserved the truce. If this does not happen, then we know that the combat capabilities of the armies of the DNI and the LC is high enough. They are able to solve all combat tasks in the framework of war with Ukraine. If Ukraine violate the ceasefire and launch an attack, the army of the Republic will be forced to go on the offensive to expand their territory due to the new liberated areas. Therefore, we understand that it is not in the interests of Ukraine to play a military scenario and not even hypothetically prepared to participate in it.

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