Volodymyr Horbulin: The Russian Federation had been purposefully preparing for aggression against Ukraine
The Russian Federation had been purposefully preparing for aggression against Ukraine. This was stated by the Director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies, academician of the NAS of Ukraine Volodymyr Horbulin during the presentation of materials of the research on the topic: "Crimea. War: preconditions of Russian aggression" at the press conference on Thursday.
According to him, Russia, using the power of Viktor Yanukovych for "dismantling" of the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine", developed and were implementing the strategy, aimed at the collapse of the Armed Forces, the secret services were coming over under the control of Russian curators, an aggressive anti-Ukrainian propaganda and preparation for a hybrid war were conducted.
"Yanukovych was signing infamous treacherous state agreements, and pro-Russian political and criminous groups began an open fight against the Ukrainian state. Strategic industries and sectors of economy were coming over under the control of Russian capital, closely connected with the authorities of the Russian Federation", - Mr. Horbulin stressed.
"During November 2013 - February 2014, - he said, - a consolidation of pro-Russian forces took place in the Crimea, illegal armed groups were being formed, political and organizational infrastructure for the occupation of the peninsula was being created". Volodymyr Horbulin added that Russia at that time had significantly enhanced intelligence-gathering activity and covert intelligence work on our country's territory.
The scientist stressed that the situation in the Crimea, where since February 20, 2014 separatist meetings had been organized, with the Russian citizens brought to the peninsula playing the major destabilizing role, was used by the Russian secret services in attempts to spread destabilization on the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine where "popular uprisings" was to have occurred.
Mr. Horbulin also reminded that 18 large-scale military exercises, "in which more then 100 thousand soldiers participated", were conducted in Russia in close proximity to the Ukrainian border.
At the same time, Volodymyr Horbulin noted that Ukraine «decently responded to the enemy's aggression".