The probability of a large-scale Russian operation remains high

Ukrainian Military Pages

This was stated by Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Lytvynenko during the VIII National Expert Forum "Ukraine: in pursuit of balance" held today in Kyiv.

According to Deputy Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine, if Russia won't succeed in a destabilization campaign, it can resort back to a large-scale military aggression. He mentioned as an example the deployment of the two new Russian armies - the 8th and 20th Combined Arms Army, three newly created divisions - the 150th, 3rd, 144th, and the division, which is being created in the Caucasus, as well as the rapid rearmament of the Army of the South and Western military districts, where new aircraft arrive.

"We should also mention the rapid deployment in the occupied Ukrainian Crimea, where the Russians created an A2/AD zone - a zone of unauthorized access to aircraft and ships with a completely traditional purpose for the Russian military machine - the dominance in the Black Sea region", - he said.

Mr. Lytvynenko also underlined that Western sanctions against Russia are working. "They restricted very serious Russian military programs, such as the creation a new fifth-generation front aviation fighter aircraft, a new tank "Armat", a new armored platform; moreover, the volume of resources they can spend on the modernization of their defense-industrial complex was decreased". However, he noted that "despite that, Russians find necessary resources to deploy troops at the Ukrainian border on a permanent basis, which was proved by the "Zapad-2017" training".

Deputy Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine added that our country is not the only one, but a key Russian front. "Russia wants to reinstate its position of a leading superpower using all power methods for this". "Russians are actively interfering in internal affairs of not only Ukraine but also of the United States, Britain, Spain, and are actively working in information and cybernetic spheres. In particular, over the last two years only, three powerful waves of cyberattacks against Ukrainian critical infrastructure and state authorities have been registered", - Mr. Lytvynenko noticed adding that Russia is implementing a comprehensive strategy to undermine the current world order, and in this situation, Ukraine is countering a very strong and experienced enemy.

At the same time, Mr. Lytvynenko stressed that victory in this war is possible only if Ukraine achieves development.

"Our country needs development: economic, social, development of public institutions, strengthening of the Armed Forces, the National Police, the SSU, intelligence agencies, the State Border Guard Service, the National Guard. After all, new challenges await us", - he underscored.

Answering the question on Ukraine-NATO cooperation, Oleksandr Lytvynenko noted that according to the National Security Strategy adopted in May 2015, the development of partnership and relations with the leading European states was defined as the major direction of Ukraine's foreign security policy, and our country will become a NATO member when it reaches the required level for this.

"We will become NATO members when we meet their criteria, reach the appropriate level of interoperability. I am convinced that while our security is, first of all, our business, but by helping us NATO helps itself", - Mr. Lytvynenko summarized.

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Staff of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine