After the Anschluss of Crimea, the Kremlin has moved on to a second stage of its war on Ukraine, starting a covert operation in the country’s east.
The Russians are replicating the same pattern in mainland Ukraine that they had earlier tried out in Crimea. They first deploy their professional military and mercenaries on the Ukrainian territory. As a second stage, they hire local radicals and criminals to pose as the so-called “pro-Russian forces”. In phase three, they wage information war, trying to present the Russian-orchestrated events in Ukraine as if they were “turmoil coming from within”.
However, such claims by the Russian side are completely untrue. Unlike the December-February Euro-Maidan in Kyiv, this is not a domestic uprising: this is rather an all-out foreign aggression against Ukraine.
Valid data have been obtained that undeniably prove that foreign “special-ops groups” are in fact being deployed on the ground in Ukraine. The groups that are waging a war on the Ukrainian territory do not consist of Ukrainian nationals but of professional Russian mercenaries. Some of those have been identified as Russian servicemen who were also deployed in Crimea several weeks ago. Some of their faces are familiar since the 2008 war on Georgia. Saboteurs holding Russian citizenship are being apprehended throughout Ukraine. Other findings, including intercepted radio traffic, add up to confirm: we are dealing with foreign invaders.
Ukraine is fighting back. We cannot allow Russian-equipped, Russian-paid and Russian-deployed special-ops units to spread fear among the Ukrainian population. People in eastern Ukraine feel intimidated by strangers in green uniforms popping up here and there to ruin their daily lives.
Stopping those strangers and protecting the Ukrainian people are direct and legitimate obligations of the Government of Ukraine. In pursuing these goals, the Ukrainian side should be able to count on global support.
Russia believes it has contrived a foolproof way to wage war: massively distort reality and flatly deny the truth to justify aggression. However, a lie is still a lie, and aggression is still aggression. No matter what Russia chooses to calls it and how much smoke it blows out of its propaganda machine, evidence is all over the place, and the world can still see.
On April 13, Russia called a UN Security Council meeting in order to “express concern” about the situation Moscow had, in fact, created of its own will. Remarkably, Russia never called any UN Security Council meetings while thousands were being killed in Chechnya. This time though, Moscow is suddenly “concerned”. Well, if so, then it can solve the existing problem by taking three simple steps: (1) stop doing what Russia has been doing in Ukraine over the recent two months, (2) start a settlement process immediately, and (3) get Russia back into the framework of international law.