Analysis of the security environment around the Ukrainian state border shows a growing threat that the Russian Federation may use its military force, said Chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, Colonel Kyrylo Budanov.
“Overall, analysis of the security environment around Ukraine shows an increasing threat of Russia’s use of military force. The goal is to keep Ukraine in the sphere of its geopolitical influence, make it abandon its Euro-Atlantic aspirations and resolve the issue of the occupied territories on Moscow’s terms,” Budanov said at the meeting of Parliamentary Committee on National Security, Defence and Intelligence on Wednesday.
According to the estimates of the DI of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, Russia can implement three options against Ukraine.
First, it can be a demonstration of force near the state border of Ukraine and in the occupied Crimea through military measures. Secondly, in order to solve the problem of water supply to Crimea, the armed forces of the Russian Federation may begin a military operation and seize part of the southern area of Ukraine. The third option, according to Ukrainian intelligence, is to provoke units of the Joint Forces of Ukraine to start military actions in the non-government-controlled areas of Donbas and then accuse Ukraine of violating the existing agreements.
Budanov also stressed that the adversary’s command system functions in full force, and this March, the Russian Armed Forces intensified reconnaissance at Ukraine’s facilities.
“Such measures are not typical for this period, and the number of troops massed around Ukraine reaches the number at the beginning of Russian aggression against our state as of July 2014. We believe that these measures are an element of operative masking of troop deployment, the real purpose of which is to check operating capability of troops in case the Kremlin makes a relevant political decision,” the Chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate added.
According to him, as of early March this year, the armed forces of the Russian Federation were deployed near the state border of Ukraine. They are composed of two Air Force and Air Defense armies and the Black Sea Fleet. Besides, 28 battalion tactical groups were ready for use in the Orel-Voronezh, Don and Crimea operational sectors.
The total number of deployed groups was 89 thousand people.
Budanov notes that the full deployment of the Russian forces and means near the state border of Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea is expected to be completed by April 20.
“From April 20, the total number of personnel will increase to 110 thousand people,” Budanov stressed.