International election observers arrive in the US ahead of presidential vote
For teachings &# 171; West-2017&# 187; will be observed by international observers
According to experts, up to one hundred thousand servicemen can be involved in military exercises on the territory of Belarus
KIEV – The Ministry of Defense of Belarus told Radio Liberty that about eighty international observers were invited to the joint exercises with the Russian troops “West-2017”.
“Representatives of international organizations have been invited to observe the exercises: UN, NATO, CSTO, CIS, International Red Cross. Also, representatives of the military diplomatic corps accredited with the Ministry of Defense were invited as observers of the exercises "West-2017"”, – reports the Belarusian edition of Radio Liberty.
The publication quotes the statement of the Belarusian military department that representatives of the military departments of Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Norway have been invited to the events as part of the implementation of regional confidence and security measures, as well as bilateral agreements..
What additional bonuses could Russia count on in the event of hypothetical aggression??
At the same time, an article by the British weekly Economist devoted to the Zapad-2017 exercises emphasizes that “despite the Kremlin’s assurances of the defensive nature of the Zapad-maneuvers, which are held every four years, the Zapad-2009 exercises ended in a simulated nuclear strike. in Warsaw, which does not really fit into the meaning of the word "defensive"”, Notes the Belarusian edition of Radio Liberty.
The British weekly, examining the data on the number of participants in the Zapad-2017 exercises, adds that “according to NATO estimates, up to one hundred thousand troops can be involved in them, although the figure is officially called thirteen thousand.”.
The Belarusian-Russian exercises “West-2017” are scheduled for September 14-20 this year. Over the past several months, the Ukrainian military, experts and journalists have expressed concern about their impact on the national security of the country..
Teachings – legal for Russia
Expert on international and legal issues Andrey Buzarov says that today there are no substantiated arguments why Russia should create conditions for direct or indirect military aggression against Ukraine.
“By a direct threat, I mean the intervention of the armed forces or the Russian navy, and by an indirect threat, I mean the intensification of hostilities in the Donbass by the DPR-LPR, where the separatists, with the support of the Russians, can conduct their military operations. In order for these types of aggression to become real, political and geopolitical preconditions are needed. But they do not exist today, “Andrei Buzarov tells the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America..
Andrei Buzarov believes that any escalation of the conflict on the part of Russia will lead to a significant deterioration in relations between official Moscow and the United States and the European Union..
“This is fraught with the introduction of new economic sanctions, which are clearly not of interest to Russia. What additional bonuses could Russia count on in the event of a hypothetical aggression? When we talked about Crimea, it was still possible to understand that Russia is trying to solve regional and geopolitical problems, when we talk about Donbass – there is a certain understanding that Russia is using it as a factor of influence on the domestic political economic situation in Ukraine. But direct military aggression will not solve any problems, it will only bring big failures, ”emphasizes Andrei Buzarov.
This is nothing more than an attempt to carry out a “soft” – “Crimean scenario” of the occupation of Belarus
He recalls that the conversation about a possible Russian military aggression on the northern borders of Ukraine has been going on for the past three years..
“Each of the experts who talk about the invasion has his own motives. Russia conducts military exercises legally, in the system of agreements of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. And within the framework of the union state of Russia and Belarus, without violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine. In the same way, Ukraine conducts military exercises on its territory – this is legal, and the usual work for the military, “says Andriy Buzarov.
About hypothetical post-exercise scenarios
Political expert of the “Ukrainian Club” Vitaly Litvinenko suggests that the escalation of the armed conflict on the part of Russia is an urgent issue not only for the post-Soviet republics – Ukraine and Belarus, but for the nearest EU countries – Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
“A Russian armed group and equipment will be delivered to Belarus during the exercises. After the exercises, they will remain, formally not violating the laws of a union, unified state, but at the same time Russia may declare its desire to create military bases on a permanent basis. This is nothing more than an attempt to carry out a “soft” – “Crimean-scenario” of the occupation of Belarus, ”Vitaly Litvinenko tells the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America.
Vladimir Putin is well aware that he can come for a new term only in the form of a collector of Russian lands, and this is possible at the expense of Ukraine and the Baltic countries.
Vitaly Litvinenko believes that hypothetically, the Russian-Belarusian troops will be able to create two bridgeheads: on the borders of Belarus with Poland and Lithuania, and on the Ukrainian border.
“We see that Lithuania, following the Ukrainian example, has begun to build its own wall on the border with Russia, and in my private conversation with Lithuanian experts there were statements that the Ukrainian struggle with Russia is also a struggle for the independence of Lithuania. The Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union, which includes forty thousand people, has stepped up its actions – every house of a member of the organization is a de facto firing point. It is commendable when the national idea of the country’s security is supported in the government and at the level of understanding by ordinary citizens, ”says Vitaly Litvinenko.
He believes that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine could not end with intermediate results – the occupation of part of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the annexation of Crimea.
“Beginning with the military aggression in 2014, Russia has drawn conclusions, that something has turned out well, something is not very good, and now Russia can go beyond the positional war in Donbass and the annexation of Crimea. What is it for? Vladimir Putin understands very well that he can come for a new term only in the form of a collector of Russian lands, and this is possible at the expense of Ukraine and the Baltic countries, ”emphasizes Vitaly Litvinenko.
The expert reminds that in 2014 no one believed in the possibility of Russian aggression, and to Ukraine’s western partners, it seemed temporary and fake.
About the Russian army near the Ukrainian borders
Political scientist Petr Oleshchuk writes on his Facebook page on August 11 that Russia is building up its military presence in Belarus and is preparing to take control of its border with the deployment of anti-missile defense systems.
“The number of the Russian Armed Forces on the eastern border is constantly growing. In Russia itself, the buildup of military propaganda continues. The introduction of new American sanctions closes the possibilities for a “big deal with the United States” and may serve as a reason for the radicalization of Russian policy, “says Petr Oleshchuk.
He notes that against the background of these actions, the Ukrainian Minister for the Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons Yuriy Hrymchak announced on August 10 that “Russia will leave Donbass in 2018”.
“And she would have left earlier, if not for the“ blockade of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions ”. I am reading this and I do not know whether to put up with it or to yearn for it, ”emphasizes Petr Oleshchuk.
According to the report of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, observers record an increase in the use of prohibited weapons, damage to civilian houses due to shelling, as well as the death of three civilians from July 24 to August 8, 2017. Ten more residents of Ukraine were injured, the OSCE SMM in Ukraine reports on its website.
Russia strengthens air defense
The website of the State Duma of Russia on August 11 reports that President Vladimir Putin has submitted to parliament a draft federal law concerning amendments to the protocol on joint protection of the borders of the Union State by air defense systems.
“The implementation of the Protocol will increase the reliability of the protection of the external border of the Union State in the airspace, will contribute to strengthening the security of the two states and will not require additional allocations from the federal budget,” the document says..
At the same time, on August 11, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine announced retaliatory measures for the deployment of the Russian missile defense system in Belarus. The deputy head of the public relations department of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Yuzef Venskovich, told reporters about this..
“We monitor any situation and take appropriate measures,” said Yusef Venskovich, according to the Ukrainian National News Agency..
The representative of the Ukrainian defense department noted that the Armed Forces of Ukraine do not violate the air borders of adjacent states, that is, they do not give a reason for the use of these means.