Written by Arkady Savitsky; Originally appeared on strategic-culture.org
There is a cause for concern and it’s real and very grave. Ukraine is being pushed to war. Kiev is not bluffing. Encouraged by its American tutors, it’s involved in dangerous games pursuing political purposes. It’s not about sanctions, warnings, statements and declarations – they want to provoke real shooting now. The time is right for ringing alarm bells before it’s too late.
The US President Donald Trump’s refusal to have a separate meeting with President Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina citing the Kerch Strait incident as a reason was not exactly unexpected. Obviously, Washington is interested in aggravating the Russian-Ukrainian relations. The introduction of the state of emergency in the territories bordering Russia, the concentration of Ukrainian troops in the Donbas region, and the call-up of reservists announced by Ukraine’s president – all these moves testify to the fact that war preparations are in full swing. Neither Washington nor Brussels have called on Kiev to show restraint.
Ukraine has recently announced its decision not to allow Russian men aged 16-60 into the country. This policy of Kiev is in stark contrast with what Moscow does. According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided not to retaliate. No, quite the opposite – he ordered to simplify the procedures for Ukrainians asking for Russian citizenship. The move is intended to demonstrate good intentions. In late October, the Russian president signed the Concept of the State Migration Policy of the Russian Federation for 2019-2025 to facilitate the inflow of Russian speakers to the country.
US Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk UAVs and US Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft operate over the Black Sea and eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian officials have confirmed that Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) intelligence officers were on board of the Ukrainian naval vessels detained in the Kerch Strait after crossing Russia’s maritime borders. It’s an open secret the SBU cooperates with American special agencies. The US was involved in the 2014 “maidan events”. It has been reported that former Ukrainian SBU head Valentin Nalyvaychenko has a record of working for US special agencies. The CIA has a long history of intervention in Ukraine. According to Oleg Lyashko, the leader of the Radical Party and the deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko secretly met then CIA Director Mike Pompeo during his visit to Ukraine in March.
Alexander Zakharchenko, the “pro-Russian” leader of self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic was killed on Aug.31. On Sept.1, the next day after the assassination, Vasyl Hrytsak, the head of the SBU, met the delegation of US Congress and Atlantic Council led by former ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst, to discuss the ways to counter “hybrid threats” coming from Russia. The republic’s leadership believes that the SBU aided by Western agencies was behind the Zakharchenko’s murder. Nobody else but John Herbst proposed to ban Russian ships coming out from the Azov Sea to enter the ports of Europe and the United States in his report published by the Atlantic Council think tank on November 21 – just four days before the Kerch Strait standoff took place. The paper urged Washington and Brussels to consider “proactively using sanctions to deter further Kremlin aggression.” In late September, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said a naval blockade against Russia was an option. According to him, “The United States has that ability, with our Navy, to make sure the sea lanes are open, and, if necessary, to blockade … to make sure that their energy does not go to market.”
Indeed, banning port calls would be a blow to Russia’s economy. But the idea needs an international support and the US is looking for the ways to gain it. Provoking Ukraine into pouring more fuel on the fire serves the purpose.
President Poroshenko says Russia is about to seize Ukrainian cities of Berdyansk and Mariupol, while his own country is mobilizing for war and elite troops are being sent to Donbas. The forces in the country’s east are on high alert with reinforcements coming. They are not preparing for a peace mission. It’s not a secret that Kiev is prone to military adventurism seeing it as the way to boost the President Poroshenko’s approval ratings. While “crying wolf” and pointing a finger at Russia, Ukraine is about to stage a deliberate provocation encouraged by the United States.