The head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergei Naryshkin went on record yesterday:
ПЕТРОПАВЛОВСК-КАМЧАТСКИЙ, 27 ноя - РИА Новости. Никакого "российского вторжения" на Украину не будет, утверждения о нем - это злонамеренная пропагандистская акция госдепа США, заявил директор Службы внешней разведки России Сергей Нарышкин."Должен всех успокоить: ничего такого не будет", - сказал Нарышкин в интервью Сергею Брилеву в программе "Вести в субботу" на телеканале "Россия 1", отвечая на вопрос о заявлениях американской стороны про якобы готовящееся Россией вторжение на Украину. "Вообще все, что сейчас происходит вокруг этой темы, это, конечно, такая злонамеренная пропагандистская акция госдепа США... Госдеп накачивает этими фальшивками, этой ложью и своих союзников, и руководителей средств массовой информации, и руководителей политологических центров Соединённых Штатов Америки с тем, чтобы они эту ложь множили, множили и множили. И они вокруг этого раздули довольно большой пузырь"
After years of disillusion with the West, Putin has gradually sidelined voices in his inner circle who had called for limiting tensions and is increasingly isolated from other views by Covid-19 restrictions, according to people close to the leadership. Surrounded by hardliners, he sees Russia — and his two-decade rule — as under attack by the U.S. and its allies. Efforts at outreach and cooperation that he made when he first came to power have been replaced by showdowns, sanctions and threats. Putin now sees pushback as the only language the West understands. With both sides dispatching warships and planes to convey their seriousness and warning of a new arms race as treaties lapse, the hardened approach raises risks far beyond Russia’s neighborhood. Disputes with Europe over gas supplies have shaken markets, while a refugee crisis the European Union says was orchestrated by Putin’s closest ally in Belarus is pressuring the bloc and fears of conflict in Ukraine have battered the ruble.
Second, the conflict would inevitably lead to a sharp change in the Western approach toward providing Ukraine with modern weapons and military equipment. In the United States and in the West as a whole, the new situation would be considered as an emergency and they would not limit funds to support the armed forces of Ukraine. Moreover, in this case, all possible types of conventional weapons will be supplied. Large-scale military aid from the West would prolong the conflict. Russia would not be able to block such supplies. The United States and its allies will not enter open military confrontation with Moscow. However, the level of support for the Ukrainian army will grow significantly.
1. Timofeev needs to get down from his Ivory Tower and look around, especially in terms of what Russia was doing for the last 7 years which was, hm, getting ready to "a sharp change" in every single respect. From economy to politics, to what have you and, the issue which immediately pops up here is...
2. Can Mr. Timofeev tell us HOW this "sharp change" in providing Ukraine with "modern weapons" and not limiting funds will manifest itself?
I omit here the fact that the issue of Russia's national security doesn't fit into the traditional framework of cost-benefits analysis because military threats to nation is not the matter humanities-educated (even from MGIMO) diplomat can fully grasp. For starters:
a) WHAT "modern weapons" Timofeev is talking about? What can possibly NATO provide 404 with that can qualitatively change the balance in region, without it being, even if such transfer will ever happen, annihilated on arrival? Ukraine is already supplied by NATO with small arms and weapons of Javelin variety, plus some basic battlefield equipment ranging from anti-battery radar to nigh-vision goggles and communications. It will continue no matter what. Does Mr. Timofeev expect the US (and NATO) to supply 404 with Patriot PAC3 air defense complexes or, maybe, THAAD or maybe F-35. Not that they would make much difference if Russia seriously gets involved.
b) Even if to imagine that US Congress and POTUS give the green light to whatever weapons Mr. Timofeev have in mind, has it occurred to him that if Russia gets "all in" the first thing which will be done will be a naval blockade which will prevent any deliveries by sea of anything.
c) Who will operate those weapons? NATO troops?
And on, and on, and on--we all can be in this "peeling off layers" mode for a long time. But Timofeev fails to mention the main issue here which many of us, ranging from Andrei Raevsky to Dmitri Orlov, to Patrick Armstrong, to Alexander Mercouris to you name it write for years (I mean Anglo-sphere)--Russia DOES NOT want Ukraine no matter if 404 already formed some political nation, which it did, I write in this blog about it for years, or not--this is not the main reason, the main reason is that apart from security pain in the ass, 404 is nothing but the drain of Russia's resources, which otherwise could be directed towards Russia and Russians' needs. Even if to imagine that Russia indeed "gets in", Russia's main concern will be not West's position--no one exercises any illusions on this position in Kremlin, and that is what only matters in the end--but the fact that Russia will have to deal with largely hostile, humiliated (even more--military defeats are extremely painful) and effectively destitute population of what--20-25 million? Who needs that? As they say on Russian streets today--one has to deserve Russian occupation.
If, however, things will get really bad for Russia's security, the decision on Russian side will be based not on "Cost-Benefit analysis" but on Russia's national security imperatives, West's objections, sanctions and other threats notwithstanding. In other words, Russia will do it in the time and place of her choosing. In the end, Timofeev forgets the main reason for this hysteria in the West--increasingly obvious economic, social and military demise. This is the key factor in all this media activity. Finally, he should admit, as I do all the time, that Russia's Military-Political leadership knows more, much more, than any of us does and we have all reasons to believe that they know what they are doing.
This week I gave interview to Mike Welch of Global Research News. We discussed my latest book and you can listen to my Runglish by following this link.