National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Olexandr Turchynov named six main threats for Ukraine in 2019 from the Russian side as reported by LIGA.net.
“Military aggression is at the first place. It is not only the exhaustion of our country in consequence of the constant military provocations in the east, the continuation of the military occupation of Donbas and Crimea. It is also a large-scale deployment of the military infrastructure along our border with Russia, orientation towards holding of the combat actions in the strategic Ukrainian direction for a few Russian armies of the south and western military districts. It shows that in the case of the failure of Russia to establish control over Ukraine politically, it will move on to the large-scale military aggression,” he emphasized.
According to Turchynov, the second threat is the information aggression and attempt to influence politics, results of the political choice of the Ukrainians through the information means (media, socials) and support of direct and hidden Russian creatures in Ukrainian politics.
The third place belongs to cyberaggression, “which, according to the result of the losses for the country is comparable to the military one.” “Now the serious confrontation continues at the cyber front but we did a lot for the significant strengthening of the cyber-defense of our country,” he noted.
The fourth threat, according to Turchynov, is the economic war. “The main problem is the continuation of the blockade of the transit of the Ukrainian goods to Asian countries through Russia, the blockade of the normal functioning of the ports in the Azov Sea, loss of significant markets for the Ukrainian goods, use of the wide arsenal of the provocations at the external markets of production with the military purpose,” he noted. As was reported in June 2018, Russia has increased its exports to Ukraine, Ukraine’s State Statistics Service stated. Imports from Ukraine to Russia increased by 31% ($2.6 billion); Ukraine’s exports to Russia dropped by 6 percent during January-April, 2018, compared to the same period of last year
“The fifth threat is the energy issue. The attempt to block the work of the Ukrainian gas transporting system through the construction of the bypassing gas pipeline, particularly, in the territory of our strategic partners,” Turchynov added.
The terrorist threat occupies the sixth place. In other words, the active use of the subversion and reconnaissance groups of the Russian agency and mercenaries for the terrorist acts, attempt to spread gloom, fear, destabilization of the situation in Ukraine and the Ukrainian special services actively counteract them.”
Turchynov also added that it is not the full list of the threats implemented by Russia within the hybrid war against Ukraine.
At the same time, NSDC Secretary is sure that Ukraine has the great potential to become a regional leader of Eastern Europe. “But we should do, first of all, change the economic situation in the state to reach it. The current GDP growth rate is not enough not only for the regional leadership but even for the provision of the security prioritized programs, which are necessary for the reliable protection of the state,” he concluded.
Ukraine constantly faces the escalation of the conflicts with Russia. The last one is the Azov Crisis.
On November 25, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy attacked the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. Ukrainian ships were rejected passage via the Kerch Strait, Russian coast guards opened aimed fire on them.
All 24 sailors on board were captured and delivered to Moscow – 21 of them were delivered to Lefortovo remand center, another - to the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison.
On December 3, the Russian prosecutors officially accused Ukrainian sailors with the 'illegal crossing of the state border' during the attack in the Kerch Strait.
Facing an extension of the sentence term, Ukrainian POWs detained in the Kerch Strait refused to testify in Lefortovo court. Sailors were distributed into six groups, four people in each. On January 15, 2019 Moscow's Lefortovo district court decided to keep 20 Ukrainian sailors in remand until April 24. On January 16, the court extended the detention term for another 4 sailors.