In the first half of February 2019 took place a number of important events for Ukraine that directly affect the security environment.
The electoral race, which has gained momentum, has shown that election programs, such as the struggle of candidate strategies, will not have a significant impact on the results of the race.
At the same time, a significant number of candidates and political forces behind them use technologies that are generally considered to be prohibited. For example, kindergartens, orphanages and photo-videos with children (Radical Party Lyashka, Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, Opposition Bloc), administrative resource (opening of the repaired Philharmonic by President Petro Poroshenko), etc. It is possible to consider the introduction of amendments to the Constitution to the Verkhovna Rada, strengthening the strategic course of Ukraine for membership in the European Union and NATO. For the decision of 7 in February, all factions, except for the former regionalists from the "Opposition bloc" and several non-factional ones, voted in favor of a successful selection of "passage" decisions and use it as support for their own course. Despite the fact that real membership of Ukraine in the EU and NATO can never happen at all.
"What is waiting for Donbass, the Crimea? What will be the Ukrainian economy in the next 5 years? There is also no understanding of whether the current rivals are ready to bury the "ax of war" after the election of a new president and to unite for the construction of a strong state. This means that at this stage of the struggle, those who want to occupy the presidency, put personal ambitions and insults above the state interests. " - Such, in our opinion, a fair opinion was expressed by political scientist and journalist Sergiy Rudenko
At the same time, in the context of the analysis of the impact of external risks, one can state that the course of the presidential campaign does not actually affect the general situation in the security sector, although some elements are in an unbalanced state. Among such signs are the approval by the government (and the signing by the Prime Minister of Ukraine) of the State Defense Order only in February 13 (ie, the loss of rearmament for at least a month).
At the same time, the last month of the Russian-Ukrainian war was almost unchanged and characterized by the positional successes and challenges (attacks) of the tactical level. At the same time, the media recorded several cases of the use of Ukrainian military high-precision weapons at the front. For example, last week, the fighters 30 OMBr named after Konstantin Ostrozhsky destroyed the fire point of Russian mercenaries at the Svitlodar arch, using the Ukrainian CTSAR for this purpose. Among other things, this means, first of all, the appearance on the forefront of the weapon itself, which was not even in 2018 year.
Cautious at this stage is the position of the Russian Federation. "It is obvious that in the Kremlin do not want new sanctions in connection with Azov, so we see the so-called "Operational maneuvering" around the Kerch Strait - a kind of game with an effort to show a beautiful face with a bad game. It should be added to Moscow's desire not to miss the moment in the construction of the "Nord Stream-2". Both factors have prompted the Kremlin to become a geopolitical stretch between its regional, continental and global interests, which have serious condits. " - Admiral Ihor Kabanenko says (interview with the newspaper "Day", February 5).
Russia vs. Ukraine
In Russia itself is beginning to recognize the facts of armed aggression against Ukraine. About the fact that on the Donbass "came 30 thousands of Russians, and we killed people", confessed last week the terrorist Zakhar Prilepin, whose books are issued in Russia. It is rather symptomatic that he himself announced that he had left the "post" of the "deputy commander of the battalion of the army" of the "DPR" because the occupied territory has become a kind of "another region of Russia," where the division of business has just begun.
No less symptomatic was the confession of Viktor Medvedchuk, who is close to Putin (who is a trustee of the Russian president). He said that in Ukraine after the election, "the opposition will be able to work on the" Venezuelan scenario, "and he himself" hopes for an "understanding of Russia" on this issue. "Opposition forces may not recognize the outcome of the presidential election in Ukraine," Medvedchuk said after accusing the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine of treason in the broadcast of the Russian propaganda "First Channel". On the one hand, it is part of the election pressure that the Kremlin carries out through its "man" in Ukraine. On the other hand, part of the real blasting activity that now has the character of sensing the reaction of the official Kyiv, but eventually may become part of the real Kremlin plan.
It is worth mentioning that Victor Medvedchuk has declared plans to create an autonomous region "Donbass" in the east of Ukraine as part of the plan for a peaceful settlement of the situation in the region. According to him, this plan foresees the creation of public administration bodies in the Donbass, such as parliament, government and other bodies.
Most important on the international front
Experts note that Russia's withdrawal from DRMDD provides Ukraine with new opportunities to produce missile weapons without restrictions that existed until this time. The termination of the agreement on the elimination of medium and short range missiles (RSMD) between the US and Russia under certain conditions is beneficial for Ukraine. Among other things, Ukraine may offer the United States to place its missiles within itself. What should help to contain the aggression of the Russian Federation.
So the question lies in the area of technological capabilities of Ukraine and diplomatic efforts. In general, so far, this is only a hypothetical potential, which can only be realized by years of consistent efforts and political will of official Kyiv.
According to the American side, Russia with 2012 year has constantly violated the agreement of the RSMD. She tried to create a so-called missile crisis in Europe, and create conditions for the collapse of NATO. "In view of this, Ukraine may propose that the US station its missile forces in Ukraine, and not in NATO countries. After all, Russia can use it in its propaganda and new hybrid technologies, "said Mikhail Samus, deputy director of ZDAKR, during a press conference this week.
It is worth mentioning such an event as Ukraine's Alliance's request for support in the Black Sea. This happened before the meeting of NATO defense ministers 13-14 in February. The request, in particular, contains a request for financial, political and demonstrative support (ie presence in the Black Sea), as well as organization of joint exercises. "We are requesting assistance in developing the infrastructure of our Naval Forces, bases, shipbuilding, anti-shipbuilding funds. Intelligence, radar, exchange of information - all that the military should ask other countries for military assistance ", - explained the position of Ukraine's diplomat Vadim Prystaiko. Such a step is significant in the established system of communication with NATO and aims to support dialogue with the content of the necessity of joining the Alliance to a clearer position in the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Incidentally, the United States expressed concern that Poland could become the next object of aggression on the part of Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. This was announced in Warsaw during a meeting with Foreign Minister of Poland Jacek Chaputovich, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. This move marks an increase in Washington's engagement in motivating European NATO nations to respond to Russian aggression and exacerbate rhetoric. Washington is going to make an impact on key European countries through a key ally in the region that became Poland. Not least, in support of such a level of relations are the PTS projects - Poland has already made a number of significant purchases of aircraft and missile technology.
Russia vs. the West
Russia itself, according to the West, is carrying out an offensive policy and is actually preparing for war. In particular, as informs the media, Russia secretly deploys missile systems capable of striking the West. So last week it was reported (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, referring to the intelligence 11 February) that Russia has deployed four battalions equipped with launchers for so-called cruise missiles 9M729. Writes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Russia has deployed missiles at Kapustin Yar firing range in the Astrakhan region, near Yekaterinburg and near Mozdok in North Ossetia and in Shuya that 300 km north-east of Moscow. According to the German edition, the radius of 9M729 missiles - more than two thousand kilometers, which allows the Russian armed forces to attack targets in Western Europe. So far, Moscow has assured that the flight radius of these missiles does not exceed four hundred and eighty kilometers.
Another unobtrusive and vulnerable event for Ukraine was the promotion of North Stream-2 project by Russia. "Compromise" of France and Germany at the expense of Ukraine's interests "said the event, known profile expert Mykhailo Honchar. President of the Center for Global Studies "Strategy XXI" in an interview with "The Day" (11 February) praised the actions of the governments of Germany and France, have made a compromise amendment to the EU Gas Directive, which once supported the Committee of Permanent Representatives of countries - members. The changes, in particular, stipulate that the EU will be responsible for applying the EU rules, where the gas pipeline joins the European Union gas transportation system (GTS). Thus, it will allow Berlin to be the main negotiator with Moscow for the construction of the Nord Stream-2 pipeline, AFP writes. The EU Council and the European Parliament have the final say in the changes. "It seems that Germany, with the blessing of Paris, may ignore the concerns of Central and Eastern Europe, the risk of sanctions from the United States and put Germany's interests above the interests of the overall security of the entire EU. This would be a frightening demonstration of Vladimir Putin's influence on European politics that divides her unity and ignoring her failure to comply with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron as the main principle of European countries - Multilateralism (multilateralism), "Rebecca Harms, a member of the European Parliament, commented on the news.
"As to the consequences of this decision, I have not yet painted apocalyptic scenario, although in principle the German side hopes that through the so-called compromise way the question" Nord Stream-2 »will be closed from the point of view he should be or not to be . But there is still a certain process of formalizing this compromise. He argues that, on the basis of an agreement, the procedure for its elaboration and harmonization through the European Parliament, known for its anti-North-Streaming sentiment, should take place. Moreover, the European Parliament last year adopted a very rigid resolution against the North Stream-2. Therefore, now, on the basis of so-called compromise wording, a tripartite trial of the representatives of the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament should be held in tripartite format, which will result in the procedural drafting of the document being submitted to the European Parliament for consideration. But it is important that the European Parliament, the cadence of which ends with 20 in April of this year, had time to consider it ", - quoted the" Day "by Mikhail Gonchar.
He added that our diplomacy in these recent days, unfortunately, did not show itself. Because we have the 274 article on the Association Agreement, which clearly states that the EU should take into account our available free gas transportation potential. Therefore, the EU's position should not only be to satisfy the German-French ambitions, but, taking into account the Association Agreement, to speak that the EU should take into account the free capacities of Ukraine's GTS for additional gas transit to Europe. And the idea situation would be such that the EU gives go-ahead for the "North Stream-2» when lacking capacity of Ukraine's GTS, just and free transit capacities that are equal in terms of capacity "Nord Stream-2». But we see that the EU was in this situation a very weak player and could not implement the amendments initiated by Romania and Poland in the proper form. So in essence they went with "Franco-German correction."
Another worthy of note is the research findings that 90% of Russians still believe that the annexation of the Crimea was correct. In particular, the authors of the Security Radar study, issued by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Foundation, conducted representative surveys in seven European countries, which, according to the authors, are important for European security. The respondents' answers in Germany, France, Latvia, Poland, Serbia, Russia and Ukraine were evaluated by experts. Results to a certain extent can be considered impressive. Thus, respondents in all seven countries are afraid of wars and armed conflicts: such fears are typical for most respondents (the average for all seven countries is 78%). However, Eastern Europe is seen as the armed conflict between Russia and the West (considered such a threat, mainly in Russia) - 59%, in France (75%) and Germany (60%) people do not believe such a scenario.
Answering the question of which country poses the greatest danger to the world on the European continent, the Europeans called two: the United States and Russia (50 and 43%). The authors call this data a reflection of the "latent anti-Americanism" in German society, which, in their words, contradicts the role of the United States as a safety guarantor of the Federal Republic of Germany for many decades. But the real challenge for security in Europe, the authors of Security Radar 2019 call the dissatisfaction of some Eastern European countries with their own international status. Respondents from Russia, Serbia and Ukraine said that other states prevented their countries from taking a worthy place in the international community. In Russia, for example, with this thesis agree 69% of those polled. However, while Russia is not satisfied with the country's place in the international community, Russians do not really want to take responsibility for the international order: only 39% have agreed with such a responsibility of the country.
Most respondents, with the exception of residents of Russia and Serbia, consider the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula with Russia an annexation, that is, illegally detached part of the country (from 62% and above). And at the same time respondents from EU countries oppose the expansion of sanctions against the Kremlin. 56 percent of all respondents are confident that their countries should strengthen their cooperation with the Russian Federation. In Russia, the annexation of the Crimea is welcomed and considered correct by 90% of respondents - and this is even five years after the conflict began..
Among other things, one should admit that this state of affairs is directly related to a number of information influences in Russia: a) the direct processing of the population of the RF for a long time; b) conducting continuous informational influence on the territory of European countries; c) the powerful work of special services and the introduction (active participation) in a large number of projects at the level of "society-society".
The assessment of Ukrainian realities at this stage indicates the need for the active formation of mechanisms of information influence on the environment (for different audiences, first of all, scientific, journalistic, socio-political). Extremely necessary deployment of pro-Ukrainian the projects of "society-society", the formation of a stable thought about Ukraine's status as Russia's powerful antagonist and its ability to oppose Russian aggression to increase the welfare and state's economy, as well as the development of society itself.