Secret mercenaries, chemical provocation and missiles on the doorstep. Russia is stepping up the verbal offensive
After the Russian Orthodox Christmas in the first half of January, negotiations between the North Atlantic Alliance and Moscow on tensions around the Donbas are to begin. Russia has moved 100,000 troops to Ukraine’s borders, and the West has warned President Vladimir Putin that it will pay dearly for its attack.
Although the Russian party on Thursday expressed satisfaction with the content of the phone call of Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden, there is also a verbal offensive and accusations from Moscow against NATO and Ukraine. What are the most serious ones?
1. Incitement to war
On New Year’s Eve, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has cooled hopes that Putin’s phone call with Biden has radically eased tensions.
He accused the United States and NATO member states of inciting war in eastern Ukraine. “The eight-year civil war in Ukraine is far from over. The Ukrainian government does not want to resolve the conflict through diplomacy. Unfortunately, the United States and other NATO countries support Kiev in its militaristic policy. They provide Ukraine and send military specialists there,” he said. Russian diplomacy.
The Kremlin and the Russian media call the war civil. They deny that the Russians are fighting in the Donbas and that the so-called pro-Russian separatists in the occupied territory are controlled by Moscow.
2. Provocation with chemical weapons
Just before Christmas, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made a shocking statement. He said that American mercenaries were secretly preparing special Ukrainian troops to deploy an unspecified chemical. It’s supposed to be a provocation. Thus, he indirectly accused Kiev of going to use banned chemical weapons and the responsibility of throwing Moscow or Russia-backed separatists on Donbas. The accusation was announced to Shoigu at a meeting with army officers, which was also attended by President Putin.
The controversy over the use of chemical weapons has emerged in recent years during the war in Syria. The West and the UN have accused the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad of using them. Moscow, which supports Assad and helped him reverse the war, rejects these claims as inconclusive.
3. Alleged plans of the Ukrainian offensive
The day before Christmas, he answered questions from viewers on Russian President Vladimir Putin on television. The talk also came to Ukraine. “The Americans have deployed their missiles literally on our doorstep,” he said. He accused the Ukrainian government of plotting an offensive in Donbas against the territories on which the two self-proclaimed republics lie: Donetsk and Luhansk. According to him, Russia is not preparing for a war, but Ukraine.
4. Deployment of previously prohibited weapons
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says the North Atlantic Alliance plans to deploy weapons in Eastern Europe that it was previously unable to deploy due to the Medium- and Short-Range Missile Disposal Treaty. According to Ryabkov, Russia must answer that.
Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signed an agreement on the destruction of medium- and short-range missiles in 1987 on behalf of the USA and the then Soviet Union. In 2019, the United States and Russia withdrew from it and accused each other of violating it.
4. Tensions in the Black and Azov Seas
At a meeting with the ambassadors of some countries, Vladimir Putin said in the Kremlin that he was “particularly concerned about US and NATO’s military activities in the Black Sea.” The situation has been tense since 2018, when the Russian Navy captured twenty-three Ukrainian soldiers in the Kerch Strait and detained three Ukrainian ships – two gunboats and a tugboat.
Last December, the Russian secret service FSB announced that a Ukrainian naval vessel was sailing again towards the Kerch Strait and did not respond to Russia’s request for a change of course. Ukraine replied that the ship called Donbas was not armed and was sailing through the Sea of Azov, to which it has a right. The Kerch Strait separates the Crimean Peninsula and Russia.
5. Movements of artillery and pumping weapons
Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharov said in December that Ukraine was moving artillery to Russia’s borders and to territories controlled by pro-Russian separatists in Donbas. “NATO is pumping weapons to Ukraine and Kiev is strengthening its troops on the Donbass front,” a spokesman on Twitter wrote.
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