Wednesday, May 25, 2022

    Kremlin launching another wave of destabilization in Ukraine: NSDC deputy secretary

    Ukraine is facing a new round of destabilization in various areas, which is being masterminded by Russia: from the energy crisis to the military threat.

    That’s according to the outlook by First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Ruslan Demchenko, Fakty reports.

    “A new wave of destabilization is approaching Ukraine, or more precisely, externally provoked internal turbulence in all fields,” Demchenko said.

    According to him, the Kremlin-provoked internal destabilization is possible in the following areas:

    1. Energy crisis due to the curbing of gas transit through Ukraine, opportunities for reverse gas supplies to Ukraine, and blocking the country’s access to alternative energy sources. The NSDC official recalled that Moscow had already blocked thermal coal supplies to the country and is now hindering supplies from Kazakhstan;

    2.Antivaxxers’ protests provoked through social networks, Russian government-controlled media, and agents of influence of Russian intelligence agencies;

    1. Efforts to compromise Ukrainian authorities under the pretext of various accusations – from the one of becoming fully controlled by the West to being corrupt or in contact with Russian intelligence;
    2. The incitement of right-wing radical forces to street protest and riots against the so-called “internal occupation”;
    3. A military threat, which implies the use of military force by Russia. Demchenko thinks the Russian armed forces are most likely to be involved once the general picture of total destabilization in Ukraine has been created.

    “On the other hand, constant military maneuvers near the borders of Ukraine and the threat of offensive operations (local or large-scale, including through the territory of Belarus) are gradually becoming an instrument of maintaining constant tension and anxiety in Ukraine. At the same time, the line between blackmail, the threat of an offensive and real preparation for it is being blurred, while a pretext for military aggression could be found at any moment,” the deputy secretary of the NSDC wrote.

    1. Manipulation of the security situation on the line of contact. The official says the Kremlin exercises effective control of the occupation forces and has at its disposal an arsenal of mechanisms for managing the escalation level in Donbas.
    2. Naturalization of residents of the temporarily occupied territories, which could be used to play a card of “Russian citizens” living in the said areas.

    The peak of such destabilization, Demchenko suggests, may be observed either in November-December 2021 or in February-April 2022.

    Thus, the background is being formed to destabilize the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine, the peak of which as Russian “strategists” suggest may be seen in November-December 2021 (amid the convergence of energy, pandemic-related, and socio-political factors, as well as the temptation to provoke “gas collapse” in the EU to speed up the Nord Stream 2 certification process), or in February-April 2022 (a more likely option, when Ukrainians may reach a “boiling point” under the influence of a range of Russia’s hybrid actions).

    At the same time, Demchenko noted the high level of combat-readiness of the Ukrainian Army and support on the part of Ukraine’s international partners, which he believes will help Ukraine address any potential challenges.