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Four Military Scenarios in Ukraine on Table for Moscow
April 8, 2014 23:07

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Russia has a wide range of options in Ukraine, says a recent report by a UK defence think-tank. The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) has presented four possible military scenarios for the Ukraine crisis.
According to the first one, troops build-up near the Ukrainian border is ‘no more than muscle-flexing on the part of Moscow’ that wants the seizure of Crimea to be accepted as a fait accompli. The Kremlin can always pull back the units to show its willingness to de-escalate.
In case of the second scenario, “Russian forces would covertly support, or even engineer, civil unrest throughout south-east Ukraine”. RUSI insists it could become a good excuse for Russia to secure a land corridor to Crimea through Donetsk and other neighbouring regions.
The third scenario is that tension and separatist calls in southern and eastern Ukraine may tempt the Kremlin into a move to split the country in two, along the Dnieper River.
The fourth scenario, insist the authors, would “involve Russian troops executing a move of grand strategy, creating a western corridor from Transnistria in Moldova into Crimea through Odessa and Mykolaiv Oblasts, which would encompass the historic city of Odessa itself.”
If the Kremlin ever dares to bring such expansionist plans into life, the experts say, the move could destabilize Moldova and neighbouring Romania, which is, by the way, a NATO member.
This analysis by RUSI is complemented by a breakdown of Ukraine’s army and Russian troops located near the border.

What’s also interesting is that one of the co-authors is Dr Igor Sutyagin, an arms control and nuclear weapons specialist, who was sentenced to 15 years for high treason in Russia in 2004 but was later pardoned and in 2010 exchanged in a swap with the US that involved 10 alleged Russian  spies. He moved to the UK and is currently a Research Fellow in Russian Studies at RUSI. 

Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Ukraine crisis Crimea    

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