After the tensions continued for several weeks and increased the risk of war, military activity has increased.
Russia conducted military exercises in the Black Sea in southern Ukraine and stated that as NATO’s activities near its borders intensify, it needs to strengthen its conventional and nuclear combat readiness.
Ukraine and its ally, the United States, expressed belief Russia It may be preparing for an invasion, holding its own exercises near the Belarusian border.
The increase in military activity on both sides increased after the tension lasted for several weeks, which increased the risk of war between the two neighboring countries, although Russia denies Intent of aggression and Western intelligence sources told Reuters that they believe that no invasion is imminent.
America and NATO They have shown their support for Ukraine in what Moscow considers provocative, including conducting warship exercises in the Black Sea this month and delivering US patrol boats to the Ukrainian Navy.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Terrass told Reuters on Wednesday that the attack on Ukraine would be “a serious mistake in Russia.”
According to Interfax news agency, during the military exercises held in the Black Sea on Wednesday, Russian fighters and ships practiced repelling air strikes on naval bases and responded with air strikes.
In addition, the news agency quoted Defense Minister Shoigu as saying that Russia needs to further develop its armed forces. This is determined by “the world’s complex military and political situation and the increasing activities of NATO countries near the Russian border.”
He said that improving the capabilities of the armed forces, supporting the readiness of nuclear forces, and strengthening the potential for non-nuclear deterrence are priorities.
Shoigu complained on Tuesday that US bombers had carried out nuclear attacks on Russia from two different directions earlier this month, and complained that the planes were too close to the Russian border. The Pentagon said these exercises were in line with international agreements.
Ukraine “Special Operations”
Ukraine held so-called “special operations” at the border with Belarus on Wednesday, including drone exercises and military exercises by anti-tank and airborne forces.
It has sent 8,500 more soldiers to its border with Belarus, saying it is worried about being involved in the immigration crisis. The European Union accused Minsk of flying in from the Middle East and pushing them into neighboring Poland. Belarus denies provoking the crisis.
Kiev also fears that the border with Belarus, a close ally of Russia, may be used by Russia to launch military attacks.
The head of Ukrainian military intelligence told the Military Times this weekend that Russia has assembled more than 92,000 troops near the Ukrainian border and is preparing to launch an attack at the end of January or early February.
Moscow considers these proposals to be inflammatory, saying it does not threaten anyone and defends its right to deploy troops according to its own will.
Intelligence sources, diplomats, and analysts say that Moscow may be using the escalation of tensions with Ukraine as part of a broader strategy to put pressure on Europe, including supporting Belarus during the immigration crisis and using it as the largest natural gas on the European continent. The influence of the supplier country has come to pressure its rapid regulatory approval of the New Beixi 2 pipeline to Germany.
Samir Puri, senior researcher of mixed warfare at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said: “It feels… more like another coercive lever used by Russia in this strategic situation in Eastern Europe.”
“It is very likely to be valuable on this alone, without having to carry out a full-scale invasion, which would be politically disastrous for Putin.”