Speculation around a Russian military mobilization at the gates of Ukraine

Russian paratroopers during a joint military exercise near the border with Poland and Belarus, November 12, 2021 © AP

Text by: Stéphane Siohan Follow

3 min

For several weeks, speculations have swelled on a new Russian military mobilization, and on the possible risks of an armed offensive on Ukraine, against the backdrop of growing tensions between the Kremlin, the Europeans and the Americans, on the issue of Belarus among others.

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From our correspondent in Kiev

Life takes its course in Kiev.

But a little insidious music has crept into people's daily lives, especially this weekend, when radio and television began to report the words of the head of Ukrainian military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, who announced that the Russia was going to invade Ukraine at the end of January.

This high-ranking official said that the Kremlin was preparing an offensive, coming from the east, but also an amphibious attack, in the Black Sea, as well as incursions to the north, via the Belarusian border.

A war through the media

In any case, in the east, nothing new: the daily fighting continues in the Donbass, with casualties.

They never actually stopped.

But, regarding a massive invasion of Ukrainian territory, no major alert, no mass mobilization, no recall of reservists.

Truth be told, we have the impression that the all-out war is rather unfolding, in the media and on social networks.

However, the Western and Ukrainian services report a reinforcement of Russian troops at the borders of Ukraine. 

► To read again: Ukraine: in the Donbass, new fights between the separatists and the Ukrainian army

We know that since last spring, the Russian army has mobilized many units and equipment near Ukraine. But the question is rather whether the Kremlin is using these troop movements as a means of pressure and a lever for negotiations in a global framework in order to consolidate its position on the international scene, or whether there are real intentions. to launch a military offensive on Ukraine. In this case, it would be a real disaster. Ukrainian forces have grown noticeably seven years after the start of the Donbass War, and losses on both sides are said to be far greater than in 2014 and 2015.

Ukraine has been at war for over seven years.

It is a daily reality that we tend to forget in Europe.

There are deaths, every week, and the reality is also this dimension of the hybrid war: pressure strikes, threats, psychological warfare, and this feeling when you get up in the morning, in Ukraine, that overnight, anything can happen, especially the worst, and that is a major destabilizing element. 

Period of turbulence

Recently, Ukraine has stepped up its military cooperation with the Americans, the British and Turkey, in particular with the arrival in Ukraine of these famous attack drones,

Bayraktar 

TB2, which we have seen at work between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Russia does not like this development at all.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will step down soon, French President Emmanuel Macron will return to an election campaign and the year 2022 could be an extremely dangerous year. 

► To read again: Ukraine and Turkey announce the installation in Ukraine of a Bayraktar drone factory

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