by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:
The drumbeats of war are growing louder. Fighting in eastern Ukraine between separatists and pro-government forces has risen to an intensity not seen in well over a year, and the Russians claim that they recently foiled a “Ukrainian plot” to conduct terror attacks in Crimea. As tensions in the region have increased, the Russians have used the cover of “military drills” to move massive amounts of troops and military equipment up to the border with Ukraine. This is something that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, but things have intensified since then, and a huge military exercise is planned for September. Needless to say, the Ukrainians are quite alarmed by this, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is warning that a full scale mobilization of the Ukrainian military may be needed. If something is going to happen, it is likely to happen soon. As you will see below, once we get into October it will become much less likely that we would see a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
We aren’t hearing much about this conflict in the U.S. media, but over in Europe this is a very big deal. Just consider the following excerpt from an article in the Independent entitled “Russia is teetering on the brink of ‘all out war’ with Ukraine“…
Ukraine is holding a major military parade in Kiev today to mark its 25th anniversary as an independent state. But, at a time that should otherwise be a moment of national celebration, a serious crisis with Moscow is flaring up. So serious, in fact, that on Tuesday the Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande were forced to hold a three-way phone call to try to de-escalate the situation.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has even warned that there is growing risk of a “full scale Russian invasion along all fronts,” ratcheting up what is already the bloodiest European conflict since the wars over the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
And the truth is that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has some very good reasons to be concerned. As the Washington Post has pointed out, the Russians have used military exercises as an excuse to stage forces for military action in the past…
As violence in the east heats up, Ukrainian officials have suggested that Russia may use the upcoming military drills, called Kavkaz (Caucasus) 2016, as cover for military action against Ukraine. The drills are the first to integrate the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, into the country’s military planning, and thousands of Russian troops will be brought in for air, land and sea exercises.
Ukrainian government analysts have recalled that exercises served as staging grounds for troop incursions in 2014, as did Russian military exercises held shortly before the Georgian war of 2008. Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations suggested that Russia may have “bad intentions,” while the West has also said it would like observers to be present.
If there is going to be a Russian invasion of Ukraine in September, Kavkaz 2016 will likely be used as cover for invasion preparations. It is a yearly exercise, but in 2016 it looks like it will be much bigger than ever before, and some analysts have pointed out that the Russians have not conducted a mobilization on this scale since the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Here is more on Kavkaz 2016 from the Daily Signal…
In September, Russia has plans for a large-scale strategic military exercise called Kavkaz-2016. The exercise, which is an annual event, will include units deployed near the borders of Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaijan—including two Russian military districts in the Southern and Northern Caucasus, the Russian Black Sea Fleet (headquartered in occupied Crimea), and the Caspian Flotilla.
It is not immediately clear the exact size of this year’s exercise, but last year it comprised 95,000 troops, 7,000 vehicles, and 150 aircraft, according to a report by IHS Markit, a U.K.-based intelligence and analysis firm.
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