The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that there is the possibility of a full-scale Russian invasion, citing “Kavkaz 2020”, a military exercise Russian armed forces will be conducting in September.
Ukraine fears the exercise could escalated into a full-fledged military attack on the country, according to Vasyl Bodnar, Ukraine’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, citing military experts and analysts, including NATO’s.
“A significant number of military experts and analysts share the same opinion about the possibility of a military offensive. NATO also understands how real it is for Russia to use its military potential against Ukraine, and its activation is possible in the very near future. Therefore, we need to be mentally prepared for the fact that Russia will not stop using armed forces to achieve its political or economic goal”, said Mr Bodnar.
The Ukrainian deputy Foreign Minister noted an increase in military capacities on the eastern border of Ukraine and a increasing number of Russian troops in Crimea as possible indicators of new Russian invasion.
“Any exercise can quickly go into the active phase of hostilities, so the risk is clearly growing, and, of course, the military sees this. Recently there was a statement from a representative of the Russian GRU, the military clearly understands the threats from such actions”, he explained.
The deputy minister pointed out that the reasons for a Russian invasion could be both Russia’s internal instability in connection with the vote on amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation and dissatisfaction with the results or, for example, the issue of water supplies to Crimea.
Previously Ukraine had stopped freshwater supplies to Crimea. “This is a matter of principle for us, we made a decision – water cannot be to the Crimea until it is de-occupied. Therefore, this may also be one of the reasons why Russians can resort to active hostilities”, said the politician.
Last week Ben Hodges, the former commander of US forces in Europe, said that Russia, under the cover of the large-scale military exercises Kavkaz 2020, may attempt to seize a dam in Kherson, which blocks the water from the Dnieper to the territory of Crimea. The Kremlin could justify the new invasion with a humanitarian catastrophe on the peninsula.
This article was based on reports from Strana.ua.