Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov
President Poroshenko has spoken about the extraordinarily high risk of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Given the recent fighting in Mariinka this is a completely logical statement, even though it does not mean that the invasion will begin tomorrow. It does not even mean that the invasion will begin at all. It means that Ukraine has adopted the tactic of mirroring the aggressor.
Putin likes to keep Ukraine in a state of high tension. That is his main goal. He needs us to think not about reforms but about a possible war. To keep investments away from our country. To prevent us from establishing mutually beneficial relations with the European Union. To make us nostalgic for the days when rabid hordes were not massing at our borders.
We need to pay him in the same coin. To make sure that he is not the only one preparing for war, but that we can prepare as well — so that we can repel the attacks of thugs effectively. So that our army is present on the border with the occupied areas. So that the international community is aware of every Russian provocation. So that there will be no question of lifting sanctions but rather serious discussion of lowering oil prices and investigating the corrupt practices tied to the awarding of the soccer championship to Russia. So that Putin remembers nostalgically the time when he could supply his subjects with gratuitous “petrodollars,” and they did not ask him any questions about the future.
Only then will Putin be ready if not to retreat then at least not to advance. Only then will he remember that apart from Ukraine there is also Russia. And that this Russia is already in a critical state, and things will only get worse later. And that in order to retain power and the ability to continue robbing his country he will need to concentrate not on the war in Ukraine but on satisfying the needs of his own citizens.
In order to prevent the Russian invasion we must consider it a serious risk until the invader withdraws from the Donbas and from Crimea. Things are always very dangerous when the enemy is so close.