Read the original text at dt.ua.
Evil tongues insistently forecast front-line deterioration. Tired with ineffectiveness of the Minsk process, Putin is ready to once again show his teeth. It might happen in September. His aim is to scare the West by escalating situation with Kyiv. Quarrelsome Ukrainian authorities become more sensitive to the wishes of the Kremlin, which continues to insist on "special status" of “Lunask and Donetsk People’s Republics.” That is the third time Moscow plans to repeat the bloody trick.
Some people argue that the mere threat of possible aggravation of military force would expedite the process of consideration of documents of interest to the Kremlin. Others believe that only the roar of guns and threatened the chorus of the scared Western leaders might do it. Still others believe that at least until the end of the year no large-scale military upheavals, no major diplomatic breakthroughs might happen.
Is Putin ready for a large-scale war in September?
First, Putin’s use of military force was always unpunished. In South Ossetia, in Crimea, and in Donbas. And in Syria, where the active intervention of Russia, in fact, gave Kremlin leader status of a key player. Yes, there were countless expressions varying degrees of "concern" and sanctions. However, the introduction of economic restrictions were not only and not so much an attempt to curb the country's aggression; it was a manifestation of the instinct of self-preservation. Politically weak United States and the contradictive EU had to demonstrate the ability to resist brazen attempts to reshape the world order. Russia’s GDP is much more lower than the American or European one. But Russia’s violation of the international rules handicaps any Western leader. And Putin knows it.
Second, many military experts are worried about the nature of Russian military preparations near our borders. This is a typical behavior of a state, which plans to invade. Or to imitate it. Maybe it is a bluff, gambling on the nerves of potential object of aggression and its foreign allies. But those same experts believe that the process is too expensive for the banal simulation. Careful preparation of the theoretical war creates serious temptation of its start.
Third, Putin needed " Ukrainian saboteurs" as a pretence. He might declare a possible way out of the "Normandy format." And hint at the possibility of using brute military force in Ukraine. According to a number of foreign diplomats, he hoped that the Western leaders (fearing that a future war would spoil their election campaigns) came into direct agreement with Moscow. The Kremlin hoped that, given the danger of a major escalation of hostilities or invasion, Washington and Berlin would make concessions. According to diplomats, "Crimean incident" has been a subject of concerns of those who advocated the gradual lifting of sanctions and precise rapprochement with Russia. Story with “Ukrainian terrorists” looked too ridiculous, and subsequent rhetoric of the Moscow leader was inadequately aggressive. And now the EU hastened to assure that the sanctions will be continued.
If Putin counted for initial goal of "power blackmail," now it can move from threats to the quite eloquent acts. That is, Putin might use force. Agela Merkel, a “guarantor” of the Minsk process, is not interested in a major war, as her rating fell to a record low for the last 5 years. According to our German colleagues, Frau Chancellor even thought (for the first time in many years) about a possible waiver to head the government of Germany. Aggravation of the war in the east of Ukraine is not beneficial for the ruling Democratic Party of the United States.
During the G20summit, which will be held in the Chinese Hangzhou on September 4-5, Putin intends to talk with Merkel and Obama (meeting has not been confirmed, but planned). If the conversation does not go smoothly, the risk that the inhabitants of the Kremlin wants to flex muscles northwest of its borders will increase.
Fourth, September is a convenient time for warfare. Just look at the dates. September 5 is the end of the G20 summit, after which Putin to understand the attitudes of Western leaders and measure their compromising abilities. Active phase "Caucasus 2016" military drills to take place September 5-10, which involves "working out practical actions" created on the southwest strategic direction of multi shock troops. The group is in a state of high alert. Very favorable condition for the transition to the fighting.
Fifth, our troops that are on the boundary line, suffer from a very sharp “personnel hunger.” And Russia knows about is. The political decision to cancel mobilization gave rise to security problems – dischargees with combat experience do not participate the defense operations. Conscripts do not take part in the ATO. "Contract" soldiers do not save, because usually they stay in rear.
Sixth. USSR and Russia often "fit" their wars during peak presidential campaigns in the United States (invasion of Czechoslovakia in the 1968, five-day war in Georgia). At this point, the White House traditionally contains from sudden political movements. September 8 is the day of liberation of Donbas from Nazi invaders. For Moscow, it would be a brilliant occasion for starting the war.
Seventh, in autumn, Moscow predicted aggravation of protest moods in Ukraine, which would be caused by the increased tariffs. Reducing the power of the enemy greatly facilitates the conduct of military operations. State which is experiencing problems in the rear, has difficulties with keeping the front.
Eighth. Putin is confident that time is working for him. That at any time he can stop this game. And that he is able to influence public opinion. Putin expects the victory Trump, but he also believed that he could agree with Clinton, "clear and pragmatic politician." He believes in the renaissance of Sarkozy and rise of Le Pen in France. He expects strengthening of the "Alternative for Germany" of coming of Steinmeier.
Russian leader is satisfied with his agents not only in Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Cyprus, but also in our neighboring Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, and Latvia.
Here comes the second question, whether the large-scale war in September is inevitable?
No. The above arguments are essential to convince those who doubt its possibility. The possibility, which significantly increased in recent months. The inevitability of war is constrained by the following factors:
Firstly. Kremlin’s "elephant grace" in Crimea that somewhat cooled the ardor of European "peacekeepers." Natural greed gave way to a natural fear.
Second. Obama, who leaves the post, and Merkel, who thinks (even theoretically) over the retreat, are happy for their role in history. The leaders of the US and Germany have different required arguments for Putin. So there is a chance that during the planned talks with the head of Russia they can convince him to discuss the Ukrainian "road map." It would not remove the problems, but rather it would save from tensions. It is time to work for us, not for Putin.
Third. The question of a possible change in the real scale of the universe caused concern in that part of the "old" Western politicians. The threat of a real large-scale war forced them to think of their fate.
Fourth. Ukrainian authorities have not accelerated the process of political implementation of the "Minsk II." Putin knows it. The relevant laws are not written, the MPs do not work for it. But Putin understands that adoption of the "Minsk" laws would be a too strong provocation for Ukraine’s society. Local military operation in Russia in exchange for the "necessary" laws is one thing; large-scale war is another one.
Fifth. Cautious, but the hostile reaction of the EU and tough reaction of Washington is a reference to Putin. If Putin "breaks bad," the coexistence regime that emerged could be substantially and drastically revised. Putin still does not understand how. War - this is serious.
Sixth. Local clashes in the sector "M" (Mariinka-Krasnohorivka) proved the effectiveness of Ukrainian defense (even in a personnel shortage and problems with weapons). Even small "victorious war" requires more resources than in the 2014-2015 biennium. Is Putin ready to go to such risks in conditions of negative attitude of the West?
The Great War should be omitted, but today it is very possible. And everyone should be prepared for it.