US Won’t Intervene in Donbass War in Ukraine, Will Stage Provocations on Crimea, Russian Expert Forecasts

US Won’t Intervene in Donbass War in Ukraine, Will Stage Provocations on Crimea, Russian Expert Forecasts

A map showing the Crimean Peninsula annexed by Russia and the Donbass War with a pro-Russian insurgency in Ukraine. The map is from a Wikipedia page entitled “Russian-Ukrainian War” which is about the conflict that began in 2014. Map: Wikipedia

The United States is going to abstain from actively participating in the War in Eastern Ukraine, also known as the Donbass War, in which the Ukrainian military has been fighting pro-Russian forces since 2014, even if the conflict becomes “hotter”, a Russian expert has forecast.

Instead of actively backing Kyiv against the pro-Russian insurgents in the Donbass region, however, the US is going to stage provocations with respect to the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014, according to Russian political expert Vladimir Zharikhin.

Zharikhin is deputy director of the Institute of the CIS Countries at the Moscow-based Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) (with “CIS” standing for the “Commonwealth of Independent States”, an international community of the former Soviet space set up in 1992, and including most of the republics which were part of the Soviet Union).

According to the Russian Post-Soviet Space expert, the United States is not interested in getting involved in a military conflict in the east of Ukraine, should it flare up.

Instead, he predicts that the US is going to “shift the emphasis on provocative actions towards Crimea.”

“The United States will be providing advice to Ukraine, building military bases and staging provocations over Crimea. Also, it will shift the center of provocative actions towards the peninsula,” Zharikhin said about the likely course of developments surrounding Ukraine, as cited by the state-run news agency Tass.

As a case in hand, he pointed out an initiative of the Ukrainian government for creating a “Crimean Platform” to coordinate international efforts to return the peninsula to Ukraine. Under the plan in question, work on the “Crimean Platform” would being with an inauguration summit set to take place in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on August 23, 2021.

Zharikhin also noted that two ships of the US Navy are expected to arrive in the Black Sea in the near future.

“Some Ukrainian agents have already been detained for spying in Crimea and bringing explosives to the peninsula,” the Russian expert said, predicting that tensions between the West and Russia over Crimea may start to grow very soon.

A map showing the Crimean Peninsula annexed by Russia and the Donbass War with a pro-Russian insurgency in Ukraine. The map is from a Wikipedia page entitled “Russian-Ukrainian War” which is about the conflict that began in 2014. Map: Wikipedia

According to Zharikhin, while the United States will be building up different measures to pressure Russia on the war in Donbass in Eastern Ukraine, it would not be prepared to be involved in the actual fighting there in any form.

“In the near future, the United States will go ahead with information, economic and political pressure, but not military pressure for the time being, because it is well aware that Russia will participate in it with a good reason,” said the Russian expert on the Post-Soviet Space.

“NATO supports Ukraine but not to a point of going to war for it,” Zharikhin stressed.

He acknowledge, however, that Western countries were already interfering in the situation in Donbass in varying degrees.

“The scale of interference varies. There are supplies of military equipment and there are US military advisers,” he said.

Zharikhin’s forecast comes against the backdrop of what Ukraine says is a giant military building by Russia on Ukrainian border near Donbass and in the Crimean Peninsula, a development seen as deeply worrying in the West and causing fears of a full-fledged Russian military incursion in Ukraine.

In the winter of 2013-2014, the Euromaidan Revolution in Kiev ousted Ukraine’s pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych, and promised to bring Ukraine closer to the West, including through EU and NATO membership.

In response, led by President Vladimir Putin, in February – March 2014, Russia occupied Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in the Black Sea, and then declared itself part of its territory after holding a referendum.

Shortly after Russia’s seizure of Crimea, a pro-Russian insurgency likely supported by Moscow began in the Donbass region in Eastern Ukraine.

Since then, the war in Ukraine has claimed some 14,000 lives, according to conservative estimates, and has displaced millions of people.

The US, the EU, and other Western nations have imposed sanctions on Russia over both the annexation of the Crimea and the insurgency in Ukraine’s Donbass which the West deems to be instigated and supported by Moscow.

Source

***

Ivan Dikov, the founder of HeartlandHinterland.com, is the author of the book “Madman Diplomacy: Is North Korea Trying to Bring Back Regime Change?“, among other books.