[천지일보=이솜 기자] The move by Russian forces on the Ukrainian border has raised concerns that Russia is considering air strikes. Many experts believe that Russia is unlikely to actually invade Ukraine, but agree that military tensions have been unprecedented in recent years.
Reuters reported on the 23rd (local time) that after talking to more than a dozen sources, including Western intelligence officials and Russian officials, nearly all agreed that an impending invasion was unlikely. A more plausible scenario is that President Vladimir Putin is using the threat of military force to signal that Russia is serious about defending the ‘red line’ against Ukraine.
Sources also believed Putin was as adept at escalating and mitigating the crisis as he was last spring when more than 100,000 Russian troops gathered near the Ukrainian border and withdrew. In this way, he says, he is making the Russian front guess his intentions and reminding the West that Russia is a force that cannot be ignored.
If war really breaks out, will Ukraine be able to deal with Russian forces?
According to the International Institute for Strategic Issues (IISS), the active-duty manpower of the Russian army is 900,000 and that of Ukraine is 209,000, a difference of more than four times. IISS senior researcher Samir Puri told the news agency that the fact that Russia has proxies already fighting in the war on separatism in eastern Ukraine is the most advantageous. He said Russia could consider a naval attack targeting Ukraine’s Odessa and Mariupali from the north (via Russia’s ally Belarus), east or south (via Crimea) for a broader invasion.
The West, which has imposed sanctions on Russia since Russia’s occupation of Crimea in 2014, could add painful measures, such as stopping Russian gas from being pumped to Germany through the newly built Nord Stream 2 pipeline if an actual war breaks out. . But if Putin had launched an invasion, he would have already risked a complete severance of relations with the West. It is unclear to what extent NATO will be involved in the defense of Ukraine, which carries risks on all sides. Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but it would seem indifferent if NATO did nothing.
Researcher Puri said that this situation is “a tactical game at the end of the day.” “Both NATO and Russia must have calculated what would happen if NATO intervened. “It is very unlikely that Ukraine will become a battlefield, but it is true that Russia and NATO are currently at a standstill in Ukraine,” he said.
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