Ukrainian Security Sector

Key challenges and risks in the field of security and defense in the first half of June 2019 year

In the first half of June 2019 year, the center of gravity of risks has been shifted to the field of internal political events and personnel decisions of the new President of Ukraine. In addition, these are extraordinary events of the internal life of the state took place against the backdrop of a significant escalation of armed confrontation of the Ukrainian Defense Forces with the Russian armed faction in the Donbass, in the light of the first manpower mistakes made by President Zelensky and his first personal "slips".

It's a shame that the newly-elected President of Ukraine, in his reaction to exacerbations at the front, allowed himself an expression that immediately aroused fair disturbance and concern among specialists. In particular, when after the death of two Ukrainian servicemen and injured in the wounding of 7, Vladimir Zelenskyi, following the death of 11 in June, the following was noted: "The flagrant violation of the Minsk agreements - the use of artillery - suggests, at least, the partial loss of control and control over the mercenaries. We hope that the Russian side will restore control over these units. " Subconsciously or by chance, but the head of state was playing against hostile Kremlin host Putin, who was constantly disconnected from the participation of Moscow in this war. It is clear that such a mistake by the head of state negatively affected his perceptions by the expert circles as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, but at the same time he showed the existence of such risks.

The unfortunate case has intensified with groundless and extremely ill-conceived statements on the eve of the appointment of the Zelenian representative of Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group Leonid Kuchma - regarding the consolidation of the agreements on the next regime of silence in the zone of the OSA prohibition on the Ukrainian military to open the fire in response and lifting the blockade of the ORDLO. This provided a fair ground for opponents to say "betrayal of Ukrainian interests," while the fifth president of Ukraine, Pyotr Poroshenko, even expressed fears that the current head of state would implement the Russian scenario for Donbass. You can already make a well-grounded conclusion that Kuchma's appointment is a complete mistake by the head of state. Given that the second President of Ukraine could hardly forget that the National Security and Defense Council 15 March 2017 decided to end economic relations with the occupied territories in response to the capture of Ukrainian public and private enterprises, the introduction of a ruble zone and the Russian tax system into the ORDL.

It is important that society instantly reacted to a difficult situation. Several thousand people gathered near the Presidential Administration in Kiev on 10 June with demands to prevent the surrender of national interests in negotiations with the Russian Federation. Participants of the action "Stop the capitulation" express indignation in connection with the scandalous statements of Kuchma. In turn, the new chief of the General Staff, Ruslana Khomchak, was arrested, who stated that nobody ordered the troops to open the fire in response.

Meanwhile, the society ambiguously perceived some appointments in the power block. If the attitude towards Ruslana Khomchak is equal and commendable, the appointment of "close" people by the leaders of the SBU and SZR is perceived as questionable. This is especially true of the figure of Vladislav Bukharev - because of the unclear things that an official could not honestly earn. The same was true of the Chief of the Special Service, due to the Russian citizenship of his wife.

The rhetoric of conversation with the aggressor is itself a new challenge. On the one hand, society expects the president to end the war with Russia, on the other hand, most of it is not prepared to do it "at any cost." Therefore, the conditions for a compromise to complete the Russian-Ukrainian war today are the most important aspect of the whole system of preparation of state decisions.. Moreover, the experts undoubtedly emphasize: Ukraine was without reliable allies and could not create a powerful anti-Putin coalition. It must be agreed with Director of the Institute for Foreign Policy Research Grigory Perepelytsya ("Day", June 11) that "any modification of the Minsk process will not solve the problem, since the current Minsk process, in particular its full implementation, means legalizing separatism in Ukraine."

Estimation of current military threats to Ukraine

Russia has substantially increased the intensity of fire attacks, as it tries to accelerate the negotiations of Kiev with controlled occupation regimes. Moscow insists on this, it is ready only for strategic negotiations with the West, aimed at revision of its role on the international arena. Incidentally, it is not about the implementation of the military scenario by the Kremlin - primarily because The Kremlin is counting on the creation of a powerful pro-Russian parliamentary force. Based on pro-Russian anti-Ukrainian politicians - Medvedchuk, Boyko and Rabinovich.

In addition, the RF substantially strengthens the Crimean bridgehead, turning the tourist region into a military base. So, there are currently five anti-aircraft missile batteries C-400 (the complex is able to intercept targets at a range up to 600 km, hit them at a range of 400 km and up to 30 km), as well as additional troops and modern fighters, in addition, There are also carriers of nuclear weapons. This allows Moscow to control the Black Sea, to threaten Europe and the Middle East. Recently, Russia has increased the number of its troops, planes and weapons in the annexed Crimea. The Defense One newspaper notes that the Russian military now has an 81 aircraft and helicopter in the Crimea, and the Russian Black Sea Fleet has recently added 10 warships that can launch a Caliber cruise missile: six diesel electric submarines and four surface ships, the official said. Now the Caliber rocket can hit targets at a distance of 2400 km. The militarization of the Crimea allows the Kremlin to keep merciless rhetoric and cherish itself with hopes that the West will agree with military "arguments" and begin to talk on equal terms, not with an invader who has violated international law.

At the same time, one should not lose sight of the fact that Moscow does not retreat from the intentions of obtaining Ukraine as a vassal entity, but is prepared to use the whole arsenal of opportunities from information warfare to terrorist-sabotage measures. In addition, one should pay attention to the Kremlin's activity in returning the lost status in the Council of Europe, the desire to impose freedom through international organizations.

However, as stated at a presentation just created by leading Ukrainian military experts The Ukrainian Institute for Security Studies, its member of the Board and the director of Information Express and Defense Export Sergey Zhoretz, in the wars of the 21st century, it is not the one who has a large army and arms but who can use these resources more effectively at the theater of war. The expert described three priorities that he considers most important for the new Supreme Allied Commander in Ukraine. First of all, the manageability of the control of the army, which includes modern communication, automation and means of electronic warfare. "Now, on the battlefield, not combat potentials compete, but systems and management models. Anyone who is faster and more adaptive can be outnumbered by an army that has more potential in combat. The second priority is the means of defeat in any format. They also rely on information contours to enable the missile shield's potential to be deployed at an appropriate time and place. The third component is the Force of Special Operations as an element of a new adaptive army. On the Special Operations Forces, you can adapt and test those models that can then be transferred to the Armed Forces, including robotics and other things, "said Zgurets.

The Ukrainian authorities are increasingly concerned about the prospect of siege - the formation of a pro-Russian neighborhood. Today, experts already note the extremely unfavorable environment of the borders of Ukraine on the part of Belarus and Moldova, where Russian military contingents are located and conditions are created for the rapid overthrow of powerful enemy strikes. Thus, the Kremlin has already significantly shaken the situation in Moldova, which is why the danger of implementing the pro-Russian scenario appeared. In this regard Deputy Head of the SBU in 2014-2015 years Viktor Yagun noted the following ("Verdict with Sergey Rudenko", Espresso, 12.06.2019): "It's not so dangerous that the Russian contingent that is in there is how dangerous the infrastructure itself protects. In particular, it is a renewed 2014 year military airfield capable of receiving large military aircraft. This is a springboard for a genuine hypothetical attack on the south of Ukraine. Well, and actually, all that is happening in Moldova, experts say, is one of the scenarios for Ukraine and a rehearsal how to divide Ukraine into a Moldovan scenario. "

In this context, Mr. Yagun made a very interesting initiative for the new government. Namely, the expert believes that it is necessary to create problems for Russia within its territory in order to divert hostile forces and resources to resolving internal rather than escalating external conflicts: "If we begin, for example, to support those independent movements that are in the Caucasus, in the Urals, then it is clear that there will be other processes there, and Russia will be forced to disconnect from us. It is necessary to create problems in the first place for Russia itself. " Or, for example, to carry out a special operation of delivery to Ukraine of a convicted state betrayal of former President Viktor Yanukovych. However, neither the previous nor the current presidents of Ukraine demonstrated political will for such special operations or the transfer of the burden of an aggressive war on the territory of the aggressor.

Significant events on the international scene and conclusions for Ukraine

Estimates of the June period clearly testify to the offensive against Ukraine on the international scene, which can be linked to a number of factors: the testing of a new Ukrainian government, the Kremlin's attempts to take advantage of the electoral situation in Ukraine and to strengthen its anti-Ukrainian positioning, as well as the desire of some countries or individual politicians to implement their own ambitions, including at the expense of Ukrainian interests.

On the one hand, support for Ukraine is in place. In the 2020 fiscal year, the US plans to allocate Ukraine's military assistance from 300 to 450 millions of dollars. The Alliance did not recognize the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russians and condemned Russia's aggressive actions in the Black Sea. He also welcomed the decision of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea on the Kerch incident, urging Russia to immediately release 24 prisoners of war Ukrainian sailors and return three ships that were illegally captured by Russians in November 2018 year.

On the other hand, the West's position remains ambiguous. A statement by Emmanuel Macron about the need for a "strategic discussion" with the Russian Federation took place recently, the intentions of the Council of Europe Commissioner to visit the occupied Crimea. "It is necessary to rebuild a new grammar of trust and security with Russia, and it should not go exclusively through NATO," Macron said, adding - "But there must be a strategic debate. That is why this week I will have a new fruitful discussion with Vladimir Putin as president of France and G7. " The French president articulates the effects that are dangerous for Europe, in particular: "It would be wrong to leave Russia to return to China." However, these French speeches are related to Ukraine as a minor player in the international arena, which in itself is a challenge.

An interesting comment on this was provided by Yuriy Kochubei, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to France in 1992 - 1997 ("Day", June 12): "As for Vladimir Zelensky's visit to France, I think that he should come as they say, not empty pockets. He should offer Ukraine's participation in the pan-European security system and ensure that France supports us in our desire to join the EU and NATO, because it is in the interests of France itself. " Will this be done by the newly elected head of state against the background of a rockfall, a completely new problem for him?

It is worth paying attention to a new special operation of the Russian Federation: in the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunya Mijatovic intends to visit the annexed Crimea, noting "the agreement reached on the trip to Crimea 7 - 11 in October of this year." In addition, the PACE Regular Committee, in fact, made a step towards Russia's return to the Parliamentary Assembly, approving the draft report and the text of the resolution, which could complicate the imposition of sanctions on Russia.

The more and more danger is that the aggressive activity of Moscow is not limited to the territory of either Ukraine itself or neighboring states. It has to be admitted that Russia has been working very well in various areas, in particular in the former Yugoslavia and even in NATO countries. Even the controversy with Turkey, which almost never reached a military conflict, succeeded in Moscow succeeding in supplying that country with the C-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to neutralize Turkey and to make it, if not an ally, to strike a wedge within NATO. We must take into account that the special services of Russia have always had global ambitions that they inherited from the Soviet Union. It is important for us to understand that the line of the front is not one in us, and that it passes not only in the Donbass. There are several of them. Even within Europe, in organizations such as the OSCE. The Russian side fights every centimeter of its influence. This is done at the expense of business, at the expense of preferences, due to the fact that shredders hold on salaries in Gazprom and so on ...

Therefore, Russia's aggressive intentions remain a key challenge for Ukraine in the security sector. But the new president of Ukraine and commander-in-chief Volodymyr Zelensky should be stepped up to focus on Moscow's activity in third countries and European institutions. And also to move to the active phase of building the Ukrainian army on modern principles of warfare.

Poland is an impressive example for Ukraine. So, days ago, US President Donald Trump and Polish leader Duda signed a joint declaration on defense cooperation, according to which Washington intends to deploy a MQ-9 reconnaissance drone squad in Poland. "The United States intends to exchange information obtained through the operations of this squadron, as necessary, in support of our defensive goals," one of the declaration items circulated by the White House press service said. According to an official report, the United States also plans to expand its current military presence in Poland. There are now about 4,5 thousand servicemen. In addition, the construction of the military airfield is planned "for the purpose of preparation or in the event of unforeseen circumstances," and the deployment of the headquarters of the US division and the United States Special Operations Force units to support air, land and sea operations. Such a dynamic implementation of the strategy of bilateral cooperation between the United States and Poland transforms the latter into a fortress, and here it makes sense to learn the very establishment of such bilateral relations of the Allies.

Incidentally, in Russia, too, there are interesting changes in the security sector - a plot against Putin rises. In particular, Igor Girkin, a former leader of the Russian terrorist group operating in the Donbass, said recently that he considered the current president of the Russian Federation an immitator. In Russia, there will be more and more rejection of the Russian leader, the elite and the media will turn it into a stranger, proving their beliefs Hirkin on the air of Roy TV. He believes that in Russia, liberals are actually going to launch the restructuring of 2.0. "In fact, they are going to launch the restructuring of 2.0 with the self-determination of the regime to some extent, and we can say that a part of the so-called security forces from another faction of the Putin authorities, indeed, somehow escaped the onslaught", - ex-leader of the Russian terrorist the group operating in the Donbass. It is important to take into account the following statement by Girkin: "First of all, because they themselves do not know what to do. The economic crisis in the country is developing, ... their own ideas how to get out of this situation, they do not. Certain part - business and state-owned - ... they no longer seek to hide their frank opposition to Putin and the security forces. " What is the tendency to rethink Putin's role in Russia? Not only the recognition of Putin's impasse, but also the probability of a quiet palace coup. When Putin's replacement comes the person of the "transitional period" - from his environment, but with the intent to "clean" his most infamous and destructive disadvantages. And among other things, on the background of changing rhetoric, to establish relations with the West. However, such a scenario is not obvious. By itself, it will not work. But in the event of a strong Western pressure and an increase in the pace of development of Ukraine, it is quite probable.

Reformist efforts of Ukraine. Estimates of the current state

Among the positive information of the June period, it should be mentioned, first of all, the statement of the new Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslana Khomchak about plans to "reduce to the optimum quantity" the number of military units. So, in June, 12 in an interview with Radio Liberty, the general informed that he had already given appropriate instructions, the corresponding structures work in order to bring the number of military units to the optimum amount that should be. Of course, without reducing the combat capability without reducing readiness to respond to those threats and challenges facing the state. " Although the head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine emphasized that it is not about reducing the number of military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, this could be the first step towards redefining the paradigm of the development of the forces of defense. And, perhaps, even the formation of an effective and realistic State Program for the creation of a professional army. The number of which will be gradually reduced due to the reduction of non-military structures, and the supply of new weapons will increase.

It is in this context that it is worth mentioning the completion of the state trials of the new Ukrainian RSAW "VILLA-R" 13 in June. It is rather symptomatic that the production of this unique powerful high-precision weapon, which in its combat capabilities exceeds similar weapons of Russian production, will be carried out in a closed cycle.

At the same time, it makes sense to speak about a number of negative trends within Ukraine. Thus, in Kharkiv, police conduct searches in the case of the demolition of the bust of Zhukov, in particular, the searches of two Kharkiv activists Vyacheslav Duda and Maxim Zinchenko in the case of the demolition of the bust of Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov. This fact, unfortunately, testifies to the biased attitude of the local authorities to anti-imperial symbolism and creates renewed risks of revenge. Another example is to strengthen the thesis in favor of creating a professional army. Formally, it is said that in Zaporizhia a military enlistment officer took bribes of 29 thousand UAH for introducing a corruption scheme to evade young people from passing military service. For receiving a bribe, the Deputy Military Commissioner was detained in the manner of Art. 208 CPC of Ukraine. Incidentally, this is a clear indication of the need to reject the call in a heterogeneous society and to set a course of motivation for service - through the development and implementation of new content contracts. Which will increase the responsibility of the parties and develop the authority of the army itself.

Valentin Badrak
Director of the Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies