Storm in a teapot: why Ukraine is training for the “next Russian invasion”

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June 17, 2017 – Fort Russ News –, translated by Tom Winter –

Teapot tempest: why Ukraine is preparing the officers of the APU for the next “Russian invasion”    

Stepan Poltorak said that Russia is preparing to seize Ukraine. The head of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine believes that the tense situation in the Donbass is indicative of the presence of aggressive plans in Russia. The fact that the situation has become aggravated through the fault of the Ukrainian side, General Poltorak prefers not to notice. Instead, he calls on his listeners, this time graduates of the Ukraine’s National University of Defense in Kiev, named after Chernyakhovsky, to prepare for an imminent clash.

“How quickly we will reform the APU depends on how professionally we will act in our posts, once we have undergone training,” the minister insists.

After that, Poltorak moves on to details, which basically boil down to the fact that young Ukrainian officers need to learn the standards and traditions of NATO as soon as possible.

Stepan Poltorak noted perhaps just one thing of interest: Ukraine has now prepared a 100-thousand reserve of contract soldiers, which can come on stream immediately in case of need. Moreover, this reserve will allow the country’s military leadership to abandon the unpopular mobilization of the people. 

Usually, when they talk about the forthcoming “Russian aggression” in Kiev, it means that Ukraine itself is preparing for new provocations. The Kiev leadership, as it were, tries to whitewash itself in advance, presenting another attempt at a breakthrough or intensification of shelling as a necessary counterattack. 

Will this be so this time? Military expert Boris Rozhin shed some light on this question for the Federal News Agency.

“There are plans for an offensive in the Donbass in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The General Staff of Ukraine speak about them quite often and openly. Nevertheless, now Ukraine will limit itself only to tactical operations, similar to the one we saw at Zhelobok. 

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“Among the goals of the APU, is to advance as far as possible deep into the neutral zone. Ukrainian military leaders are constantly threatening something more – even the repetition of Operation Storm (the Croatian military operation to eliminate the Serbian Kraina in 1995 – Ed.) – but so far they have not received approval from above,” the expert notes.

“Of course, at present Poltorak only reproduces the old rhetoric, voicing the themes which have nothing to do with the real situation. If Russia wanted to change the current state borders of Ukraine, it could have introduced troops back in 2014.

“The recent attack of the APU near Zhelobok, leading to significant losses on both sides, shows that the fault lies not with Russia, but with Ukraine. In any case, the words of Poltorak are very indicative, as they illustrate Kiev’s chosen course: escalating the conflict,” said Rozhin.

“Despite the seeming importance of his title and title, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak is not an independent figure. Therefore, in preparing future Ukrainian officers for the “Russian invasion,” he is only carrying out orders from above.

“Poltorak is just parroting what is said by Alexander Turchynov, Poroshenko, Parubiy, all the other representatives of the “war party” in the highest Ukrainian bureaucracy. Poltorak, in fact, is their conduit to the army, which the Kiev leadership is trying to keep in a state of constant readiness. Kiev needs, as soon as a political signal is given, an army that could immediately move on to active military operations without any additional training and agitation work,” Boris Rozhin explains.

“The APU has plans for a neutral strip. Nevertheless, the clash at Zhelobok showed that, as soon as Ukraine tries to knock out the militia of the LPR or the DPR from their positions, it is immediately rebuffed. In a sense, this stabilizes the situation on the line of contact, and turns the war in the Donbass into a half-frozen conflict.

“As the situation in Ngorno-Karabakh shows, such a positional confrontation can last for years. Now Ukraine supports the war fever of its military, pinning its hopes on an unforeseen change in foreign policy movement: say, to strengthen the confrontation between Russia and NATO. Without any guarantees from the North Atlantic Alliance, Ukraine will not go on an active offensive, fearing countermeasures by Russia,” Rozhin said.

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