nAt the discretion of NATO, Russia continues to build up troops on the border with Ukraine. “Russia continues its military deployment, with tens of thousands of combat-ready forces armed with heavy capabilities,” the NATO Secretary General said. Jens Stoltenberg On Monday after a conversation with Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Olga Stefanichina. She came to Brussels to attend the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Committee, in which Kiev was supposed to participate, before the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council scheduled for Wednesday.
Stefanishina, who is responsible for European and Euro-Atlantic integration in the government, assessed the consultations as an affirmation of the principle of “nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine”. It rejected the demands made by Russia and demanded the withdrawal of Russian forces before the negotiations. “Russia is trying to impose its agenda on us instead of returning to the negotiating table.” Meanwhile, she said, everything must be done to prevent Moscow from launching another “total invasion” of Ukraine.
These comments made the precarious situation of Ukraine This weekend is dominated by talks with Russia in Geneva, Brussels and Vienna. Although all allies assured the country that its sovereignty and territorial integrity are non-negotiable, Kiev itself is only sitting at the table when the OSCE Permanent Council meets on Thursday. In this context, non-military issues will be discussed in particular.
Meetings will not solve all problems.
Stoltenberg himself tempered expectations about talks with Russia this week in advance. He described it as a “positive sign” that NATO– The Russian Council convened for the first time two and a half years ago, but he also said: “I don’t think we can expect these meetings to solve all the problems.” It is hoped that agreement can be reached on the continuation of the dialogue, a series of other meetings.
The NATO foreign ministers voted last Friday. Then Stoltenberg described the Russian deployment more accurately as follows: “You are going step by step with more forces and more capabilities.” You can see armored units, artillery, electronic warfare equipment and “many different military capabilities”. In coalition circles, the number of tactical battalions near Ukraine is estimated at about sixty groups. These are the basic maneuvering elements of the Russian Armed Forces, they are reinforced tank and infantry battalions of 800 to 1,000 soldiers, capable of conducting limited independent operations.
At the beginning of December, the American side estimated the number of the battalion at fifty, while the Ukrainian military intelligence said it was forty. At internal briefings in mid-November, the Americans said that Moscow wants to gather a hundred of these units near Ukraine by the end of January in order to prepare for a far-reaching invasion of the country.
“Food practitioner. Bacon guru. Infuriatingly humble zombie enthusiast. Total student.”