Oleksandr Turchynov: The Kremlin continues to prepare for a full-scale war that threatens not only Ukraine but other European states as well
The Kremlin continues to prepare for a full-scale war that endangers not only Ukraine but also other states of Central and Eastern Europe and threatens the countries in the Kremlin's orbit with the ultimate loss of independence.
This was stated by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov during his speech at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy to the participants of the international professional development program for top executive-level officials in the security and defense sector. "Russia does not want peace and sees the rise of a strong democratic European Ukrainian state as a direct threat to the survival of Putin's regime", - he said.
According to Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine, under Putin's decree, the number of troops of the Russian armed forces will be increased from July 1 this year, and the total number of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will amount to almost 1,9 million people. The entry to certain military educational institutions of the Russian Federation was expanded.
Along the state border of Ukraine, Mr. Turchynov noted, a ground-based force of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation was deployed; it includes 50 thousand soldiers, not counting militants of the 1st and 2nd Army Corps in the ORDLO temporarily occupied territory. The command of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation maintains in permanent readiness the units of the "North" force deployed in the north of the occupied Crimea, which are periodically put on highest instant alert. Offensive weapons, including missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, are placed in the peninsula.
Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine reminded that the publicly announced increase in the manpower of the 1st and 2nd ORDLO Army Corps from 35 to 50 thousand people is taking place, while a pompous information campaign for recruitment of personnel is carried out in ORDLO, which, according to experts, is to disguise the redeployment of regular servicemen and mercenaries from Russia to Donbas.
Oleksandr Turchynov informed that along the Ukrainian border, three new divisions (the 3rd, the 144th, and the 150th) are being deployed, which are forces within the recently deployed 1st guards tank army, the 20th, and the 8th combined arms armies. "This force is of a solely aggressive nature", - he stated adding that in case Moscow takes a political decision on expanding military aggression against Ukraine, the 1st and 2nd Army Corps will conduct offensive operations after regrouping and strengthening with Russian regular troops. Russian units stationed near the state border are capable of arriving in the territory of our state and assisting hybrid ORDLO troops within 2-3 hours.
"Russia's military-industrial complex is also preparing for war, - Mr. Turchynov said. - The military-political leadership of the Russian Federation devotes significant attention to raising combat readiness level of units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, and such measures are carried out almost constantly. A number of Russia's defense enterprises were switched to enhanced mode. Some of them started working in three shifts".
In addition, Oleksandr Turchynov noticed that the Kremlin places special emphasis on preparing and conducting strategic command-staff exercises "Zapad-2017" in the Western military district, the Far North, Belarus and the Kaliningrad region close to Ukraine and NATO eastern borders, with up to 100 thousand soldiers participating.
"According to military experts, the ultimate goal of these exercises is to test the readiness of Russian troops to conduct operations from regional to large-scale wars in conditions of limited time needed for their strategic preparation, - Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine noticed. - During the preparation for the active phase of strategic command-staff exercises "Zapad-2017" on September 14-20, 2017, we should not rule out Russia's hidden measures to prepare the strategic offensive operation. There are serious grounds that after the active phase of the exercises, the Russian military contingent could stay in Belarus".