Newly-appointed NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov does not exclude the possibility of Russian aggression growing into a “full-fledged continental war.” The ceasefire which, according to him, “is being constantly violated by Russian terrorist groups,” may grown into a new hard conflict at any moment. Turchynov adds that Ukraine has to prepare for this and mobilize not only human potential, but all the resources the country has. If needed, a state of war will be declared in Ukraine, however, so far, there is no talk of this happening.
“Our task, first and foremost, the task of the NSDC, is to ensure full mobilization of all the resources available in the country. In order to build a powerful defense complex, to be prepared to rebuke the aggressor. Our war, dear friends, will only end when all Ukrainian territory is freed, including the Autonomous Republic of Crimea,” Turchynov said.
Expert: Lavrov’s rhetoric may be a distracting maneuver
According to Olexiy Melnyk, a military expert from Razumkov Center, Turchynov’s warnings are worth heeding. According to Melnyk, the Secretary of the NSDC “is one of the few people in Ukraine who really understand the seriousness of the threat on Russia’s part.”
The expert also emphasizes that it is worth noting the rhetoric of Russia’s official leaders and representatives when evaluating the threat. In particular, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told France 24 on December 16 that President Petro Poroshenko “is the best chance for Ukraine.” In light of this rhetoric, “we observe a great deal of disparity between Moscow’s claims and real actions,” says Melnyk. According to the expert, Turchynov is right in preparing the country for mobilization: “the war is following the templates of KGB or FSB special operations.” As such, Melnyk claims, such elements of misinformation issued by the Kremlin are not worth listening to.
“I would take Lavrov’s statements with a punch of salt, most likely, it is a distracting technique. Harsher sanctions may be imposed on Russia. Especially in light of today’s economic turmoil, it may be a distracting maneuver Russia had executed many times before,” Melnyk says.
On the other hand, he notes that many Ukrainian experts are inclined to consider such softening rhetoric on part of Lavrov “Kremlin’s first signal that they are ready to retreat.” However, Melnyk himself is inclined to think that it is important to mobilize all forces: Russia is only trying to negotiate for better conditions on the eve of the international roundtables.
The NSDC plans to increase the Army reserve to 100 thousand
NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov also emphasized that the country is definitely going through serious economic problems, however, the army is the current priority. In particular, the NSDC plans to increase the reserve of the Armed Forces to 100 thousand people.The new wave of mobilization will have several stages. Gradually, the rookies will replace the soldier who had been summoned before – all during the gradual rotation. However, Turchynov did not say when exactly mobilization may be declared.
“One of the tasks we have to execute is the issue of gradual retirement, despite all the treats, of our citizens who were mobilized to the Armed Forces last year. This is an issue for the next year. It will not happen at once. The priorities will be constructed in concordance with mobilization. First and foremost those who were mobilized first, and so forth,” Turchynov added.
Confirming this, head of the General Headquarters Viktor Muzhenko claims that the fourth wave of mobilization in Ukraine would take 1,5-2 months. However, just like Turchynov, he does not say when it will start.
“There is a necessity for mobilization – partial mobilization, the fourth wave, first and foremost with the goal to rotate personnel, decrease psychological tension and improve preparation,” Muzhenko said.
The previous wave of mobilization in Ukraine started on July 24 and lasted for 45 days.