Edinburgh is twinned with the Ukrainian capital Kiev. Is Russia about to invade? -Steve Cardownie
Now, as Russian troops mass on the border with Ukraine, fears are growing that these military maneuvers are the forerunner of a full-scale invasion.
This is the concern that earlier this week, US President Joe Biden spoke to leaders of the UK, France, Germany and Italy who have agreed to “use all tools available to them ”to prevent aggression.
Moscow, in turn, accused Western countries of provocation, saying it had no intention of invading Ukraine. But, according to the White House, Western leaders “have shared their concern about the strengthening of the Russian military” and have also come up with a common strategy “to inflict significant and serious damage to the Russian economy” if things escalate into the future. an invasion.
Against this background, there is an important school of thought that although Russian tanks have headed for Ukraine, there is no reason for Russia to raise the stakes by escalating the current conflict in the Ukraine region. Donbass, where she supports separatist forces, while denying that he is directly involved.
Although Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov has said around 90,000 Russian troops are now deployed near the border and an attack could be launched early next year, some analysts believe Russian President Vladimir Putin is sending a signal to the United States that he will not tolerate the establishment of NATO bases in what he sees as Russia’s backyard, Ukraine.
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Some experts say Russia was irritated by the use of Turkish “Bayraktar” drones by the Ukrainian army in the current conflict on its eastern border.
Ukraine’s desire to join NATO is well known – as is Russia’s insistence that it will not tolerate such a move – so the military build-up may be nothing. more than Putin sending a signal to the West that he had better stop his “infiltration” of Ukraine with NATO infrastructure, including the supply of new types of weapons.
It is doubtful that Russia wants to provoke the West to introduce more punitive sanctions by launching all-out war with Ukraine. What’s more likely, some analysts say, is that what Putin really wants is another summit meeting with Joe Biden.
Any subsequent discussion that might develop about NATO and Russian intentions towards Ukraine could lead to a better understanding of the positions of both sides, which hopefully could lead to significant de-escalation.
As is usually the case in such cases, there is a lot of speculation about what the next step might be – but questioning Putin is no easy task.
It is therefore not surprising that recent events have caused an atmosphere of heightened nervous tension in the corridors of power in Kiev.
Presidents Biden and Putin spoke by phone yesterday – hopefully a diplomatic solution to the current crisis was found during the call.