October 7, 2016 –
By Eduard Popov for Fort Russ – translated by J. Arnoldski –
In late September, the US Congress passed a law authorizing the transfer of lethal weapons to Ukraine. Although the document has not yet been approved by President Obama, Ukraine is already voicing its wishes. Within a matter of hours, Ukrainian defense minister Stepan Poltorak named the types of lethal weapons which Kiev will request from the US if Washington officially declares its readiness to provide them. “We will mainly request anti-air weapons, and we will ask for anti-tank weapons – the things that we need first and foremost.”
The American president is hardly likely to not approve Congress’ decision and he won’t leave everyone waiting too long. After all, relations between the US and Russia are getting all the hotter. Another batch of fuel was poured on them the other day when Washington refused to condemn the mortar attack on the Russian Embassy in Syria. It is difficult to imagine a situation in which Russia would refuse to condemn an attack on a US Embassy in Libya…
Poltorak’s statement’s undoubtedly lurk in the shadows of Syria, not Donbass. This was done on the fields of the Russian-American diplomatic war. This is evidenced not only by the time these statements were made, but also by the list of weapons which Kiev hopes to obtain as gifts from the US.
Earlier, Ukrainian generals frightened the world with the news that “separatist” forces in Donbass wielded a tank corps of over 700 units. This, without a doubt, is a much exaggerated figure put forth in order to frighten ordinary Europeans and elicit the most support as possible. Ukrainian strategists’ motives are logically understandable insofar as they hope to obtain means for combatting tanks. However, as my acquaintances in the Donbass militias have told me, they have already had to deal with such systems, as with other American weapons which are illegally on Ukrainian territory. And still not everything is clear: how will “anti-tank weapons” be used in what is supposed to be a defensive war? The attacking side in the Donbass conflict is, like always, Ukraine.
Even more fog surrounds the request for anti-air weapons. As is known, the DPR and LPR do not have their own air forces, although the republic’s anti-air forces have managed to greatly thin out Ukraine’s air fleet. Against whose air forces is Ukraine preparing to fight? The answer is obvious: against Russia’s aerospace forces.
Poltorak’s statement means that the US is preparing to open the Ukrainian front in a future hot war against Russia. One would like to hope that this war will remain diplomatic or, in the least, local, but the preparations for it are formidable. The words of Ukraine’s defense minister placed in this context should be perceived as Ukraine’s active preparation for “defending” against advancing Russian land and air forces. Several months ago, the entire top echelon of the Ukrinian state (President Poroshenko, national security and defense secretary Turchinov, speaker Parubiy, etc.) stated the need to prepare for defensive, including guerrilla warfare against invading Russian troops.
Polotorak’s words are a development of the idea of Ukraine as a “besieged fortress.” Poroshenko and co.’s earlier statements were perceived more as an act of information-propaganda war, whereas Poltorak’s statement was straightforward in “warning” the world about the alleged aggressive plans of Putin’s Russia conspiring to occupy poverty-stricken and paranoid Ukraine and maliciously take upon itself the burden of feeding tens of millions of its population.
One hopes that these words will remain mere words and will not be followed by the realization of the American plan of a hot war with Russia via proxies on a territory far away from the US.