Ukraine: Is Russia Planning A New Invasion?

Pictured: A Russian-backed rebel observing Ukrainian army positions near Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, May 17, 2015. (Image source: Mstyslav Chernov/Wikimedia Commons)

 

  • Russia’s aggression into Ukraine came in direct violation of its obligations under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.
  • “After four years of war, Russia has at least 260,000 troops deployed along the Ukrainian border,” ready to advance. — Oleksandr Turchynov, Chairman of Ukraine’s National Defense and Security Council, April 13, 2018.
  • The First Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Security Service, Viktor Kononenko, recently reported that Russia might be planning another attempt to destabilize Ukraine in the fall “under the pretext of protecting the Russian-speaking population”.

This April marks the fourth year of the ongoing war in Ukraine between the Ukrainian military and Russian backed separatists in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine, also known as the Donbas region. Prior to the beginning of the war in eastern Ukraine in April 2014, Russia annexed Crimea.

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Russia’s Drills Update

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The following is a list detailing Russia’s military drills during October:[1]

Admiral Kuznetsov Aircraft Carrier

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, currently en route to Syria, will unlikely be involved in exerting control over the skies over Syria. Peskov said: “I do not think that it is necessary to keep somebody away, [or that] somebody can attack [the Syrian government forces] … as there are enough instruments to control the skies, to control the safety of our temporary infrastructure in Syria, which is why there is no such opportunity.” (Sputniknews.com, October 22) Continue reading

Russian Military Expert: ‘Russia Is Creating Three Strong Army Groups On The Border With Ukraine… Capable… Of Launching A Quick Strike In The Direction Of Kiev’

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Russia- Ukraine border with potential directions of Russian attacks (source: Royal United Services Institute)

 

On July 15, the Russian daily Vedomosti published an article by a Russian military expert, Ruslan Pukhov, about Russian military planning objectives.[1] In his article, Pukhov explains that the concern exhibited by NATO members about the Baltic States’ security is misplaced, as Russia did not take any significant measure to bolster its military presence in the Kaliningrad region bordering on the Baltics. On the contrary, Russian forces were radically reduced in the area. 

Pukhov stressed that Russia avoids being drawn into a direct military rivalry with the West, but concentrates its forces around its main and fundamental security issue: Ukraine. Pukhov wrote that Russia is creating three strong army groups on its border with Ukraine, which are capable, if necessary, of launching a quick strike in the direction of Kiev. Therefore, Pukhov explained, current Russian military planning is divorced from any ‘threat from NATO’ or ‘threat to NATO’, but is geared towards creating a powerful force on the Ukrainian border, “which will allow the Kremlin to expand the range of possible [military] force options to the Ukrainian situation.” Continue reading

Russian troops put on high alert as part of massive drills

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin has scrambled thousands of troops and hundreds of warplanes across southwestern Russia for large-scale military drills intended to test the troops’ readiness amid continuing tensions with the West.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that military units were put on combat alert early Monday, marking the launch of the exercise that involves troops of the Southern Military District. Continue reading

Russia, India to Hold Joint Military Peace Exercises in November

MOSCOW (Sputnik)– Military exercises between Russia and India will be held in November in line with a UN mandate, the Russian Defense Ministry’s Southern Military District’s press service said Tuesday. Continue reading

Russian Soldiers Hold Over 1,000 Winter Drone Exercises – Defense Ministry

Southern Military District’s press service announced that Russian military personnel have carried out more than 1,000 tactical and special exercises using drones during the winter training period.

“During the winter training period in South Ossetia’s Dzartsemi and North Ossetia-Alania republic’s Tarskoye training grounds the military base units carried out more than 1,000 tactical and special exercises using unmanned aerial vehicles,” the press release said. Continue reading

Russia to Deploy Armata Tanks, APCs, Air-Defense Missiles in Arctic

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“Commanding officers of the Defense Ministry’s Transport Service will be meeting in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss the transport on railway platforms of Pantsir air defense missile complexes, Armata tanks, armored vehicles and other weapons systems to military units deployed in the country’s Arctic regions,” the statement said.

In all, nearly 70 officers from the Southern, Western, Central and Eastern Military Districts, as well as the Northern Fleet, will be taking part in the meeting. Continue reading

Russia launches massive air force exercise with 250 aircraft

It’s common sense that with Russia announcing 4,000 military drills for 2015 — that’s 11 per day — that you cannot keep such a military running on high adrenaline and so intensely for so long without letting the pressure out. This is not to say war is on the horizon, but you normally wouldn’t do such a thing unless you’re preparing for one on a massive scale. Vladimir Putin must make good on his promises to defend Russian interests against the West at all costs, otherwise he’s out. He also wouldn’t be in power now if he didn’t tow the line of his handlers.

 

The Defense Ministry said in a statement Monday the drills will involve air force and air defense units of the Central, Western and Southern Military Districts totaling 12,000 servicemen. Combat aircraft will deploy to temporary bases and air defense systems will be sent to the Ashuluk and Kapustin Yar shooting ranges in southern Russia for training with live ammunition.

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Russia to Deploy 3 New S-400 Air Defense Regiments in 2014

SOCHI, November 28 (RIA Novosti) – Three new regiments equipped with S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems will be put in service with the Russian armed forces next year, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

“Two S-400 regiments were presented to the Russian military this year. Another three [regiments] should be put in service in 2014,” Putin said at a meeting on the development of Russia’s aerospace defenses. Continue reading