perjantai 2. maaliskuuta 2018
JANUS PUTKONEN ON US WEAPON DELIVERIES TO UKRAINE
Date of publication: 02 03 2018, 14:25
“First of all, we need to understand that US weapon deliveries are not a new thing. US weapons have been used for years in the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, especially in the hands of nationalist battalions. Lots of western weapons have also been caught as trophies by Donbass People’s Militia forces. What is happening now is a large-scale military-political provocation, directed mainly against Russia, which has done everything possible not to get militarily involved in the ongoing civil war in Ukraine. By offering large amounts of new weapons, the US is pushing Russia to respond symmetrically and of course, after that, to use that as pretext for even wider western intervention in the conflict.
Secondly, all publicly mentioned weapon systems, namely Javelin anti-tank missiles and handguns, which have been officially promised to deliver to Ukraine starting from the coming weeks, brings basically nothing new to the tactical possibilities of the Ukrainian army deployed to Donbass. Ukraine has already used hundreds, possibly thousands of anti-tank missiles against the DPR and LPR People’s Militia over the years.
The effectiveness of weapon systems is measured by their users and tactical capabilities of the troops, but as we know, nothing has notably changed in the Ukrainian forces’ low fighting morale, coordination of the troops, level of training and overall capability to execute complicated military manoeuvres to make any advance. That is why defenders of the Donbass republics are actually not concerned about new US weapons in Ukrainian hands, and I believe that this understanding keeps Russia calm as well.
But thirdly, there is an alarming content in the US weapon deliveries, which should be taken into account. Special representative of the US State Department for Ukraine Kurt Volker stated just days ago, that “military assistance to Kiev forces will not be limited to the delivery of Javelin anti-tank missile systems (ATGM).” In other words, the US administration has already admitted that weapon deliveries will include systems, which are not mentioned in public. This knowledge forces the DPR and LPR, together with Russia, to make special intelligence efforts to understand the real magnitude of weapon deliveries.
It’s absolutely clear that Russia’s interests do not include escalating the war in Donbass, but just the opposite, and Moscow has done everything possible not to get directly militarily involved, as Russia with its weapons and possibly armed forces as well, would face directly already deployed NATO forces in the Donbass frontline. This head-on-head situation with the West would cause serious geopolitical consequences to the European security situation. But in my eyes that is exactly what Pentagon war hawks are after.
As we know well, geopolitically Donbass is a historical part of the Russian world, and we here in Donetsk and Lugansk are located under 1,000 km from the Red Square. As the security of Russians is the main foreign policy priority of the Kremlin, Russia would never allow its fellow Russian brothers and sisters to get slaughtered by the overwhelming Kiev forces with US weapons and allied western troops in its own front yard.”
Janus Putkonen is a Finnish journalist, chief-editor of Donbass based DONi News agency