October 11, 2016 –
By Eduard Popov for Fort Russ – translated by J. Arnoldski –
Last Sunday, Ukrainian defense minister Stepan Poltorak requested lethal weapons from the US, specifically anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems. In my last article, I interpreted this as the Americans reopening the Ukrainian front of the impending war against Russia. It was suggested that this war, the likelihood of which is quite high, will have a local character and will most likely be waged without the use of nuclear weapons, or at least without the use of strategic nuclear forces.
The author of these lines has over time made a number of accurate forecasts which seemed bold at the time. For example, in March 2014 I predicted that Grad volley rocket systems would be used against the cities of Donbass and that preparations were being made to destroy a civilian plane in Ukrainian airspace. I was slightly mistaken with the second prediction, as I had suggested that it would be a Russian civilian airliner that would be destroyed. Of course, it cannot be ruled out that that the Ukrainians indeed aimed to destroy a Russian plane, but this is already a matter of conspiracy speculation.
The forecasts of mine that have turned out accurate give me reason to believe that my new forecasts wield the necessary minimum of realism. The last thing one wants is to be considered the author of “sensationalist” stories in the spirit of the “yellow press.” But the situation is such that the threat of a “flank” war is gathering all the more clear contours.
On October 9th, the deputy commander of the DPR operative command, Eduard Basurin, issued a sensational statement. According to him, the intelligence services of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic have revealed 6 Ukrainian mortars at the contact line as well in conjunction with the arrival in Donbass of snipers from the US.
On October 10th, similar information was released by the Lugansk People’s Republic. According to the official spokesperson of the People’s Militia of the Lugansk People’s Republic, Andrey Marochko, Kiev is sending foreign mercenaries to the frontline in Donbass. In Marochko’s words, “In the area of the residential area of Popasnaya in the respective operational zone of the UAF’s 59th separate motorized brigade, a company of Polish mercenaries has arrived whose task is carrying out acts of sabotage on the territory of our republic.”
The DPR and LPR’s intelligence has released similar statements before. My friends and partners from the Donbass republics’ military circles have told me more than once in private conversations about the evermore ambitious forms of the participation of Western soldiers in the Donbass conflict. They speak most often of all about Polish mercenaries from private military companies, but have also noted the presence of American mercenaries and even regular servicemen.
Therefore, it seems that Basurin’s statement should not be perceived as a sensation or scare alarm. Nevertheless, his words do evoke concern. Insofar as the fact of American troops’ participation in the Donbass conflict is confirmed, it can be said that the confrontation between the US and Russia so notable in Syria is acquiring its Ukrainian flank. Amidst the aggravation of Russian-American relations, the sending of American troops to Donbass is evidence that the US has chosen a confrontational scenario. Everything points to the fact that the US is seriously preparing for possible military confrontations with Russia.
Minister Poltorak’s request for anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, as we have already written, is a preparation for war, not with the armies of the Donbass republics, but against Russia’s land and air forces. The involvement of American snipers in the positional war in Donbass is probably only the tip of the iceberg of American and NATO involvement in the conflict. And this impending conflict will, unfortunately, draw in not only the “overseas US,” but also their European allies in NATO, such as Poland.
I do not think that this forecast is ambitious, but rather obvious. The Pentagon has apparently hedged its bets on war and is perhaps acting independently of the political centers of decision-making in Washington. Is there the possibility that the “peace party” in Europe will stop the impending large war, at least on the local Ukrainian flank of the front? No matter how petty the chances, they should be taken advantage of to the fullest extent. Perhaps the more active participation of German and French diplomats and the deputies of European countries’ national parliaments can prevent a confrontational scenario in the former Ukraine.