Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov believes that the only real way for Western countries to prevent the escalation of Russian aggression on the border with Ukraine is to convince Moscow that the price of a new offensive would be too high to contemplate. This is stated in his article published on the Atlantic Council website on November 3.
"This price would be in purely military terms and in the form of negative political, economic, and social repercussions. Failure to respond decisively to Russia’s latest threats will only raise the cost of containing the Kremlin," he said.
In June, US President Joe Biden announced that he would be watching Moscow’s actions closely during the next six months. According to the minister, since then, the Kremlin has effectively completed the Anschluss of Belarus, mounted a hybrid attack against NATO and EU member states by funneling migrants towards their borders, and blatantly weaponized energy supplies, which, coincidentally, Western leaders had pledged to prevent.
Russia is now conducting a fresh military build-up on the Ukrainian border.
"If the response to these actions is limited to expressions of concern and calls for a new round of talks, Russia will regard this as an invitation for further aggression," he added.
US intelligence sources told the Washington Post on Friday that Russia is planning a military offensive against Ukraine as soon as early 2022, with about 175,000 troops involved. One source said the plans include “extensive movement of 100 battalion tactical groups with an estimated 175,000 personnel, along with armor, artillery and equipment.”
Russia has denied the allegations, calling the reports “malicious propaganda.”