The situation around Ukraine has become very unhealthy recently. For some reason, Western policy-makers and mass media assume that Russia's imminent invasion of Ukraine is a fact. These days, we have witnessed a series of bizarre actions via the diplomatic line.
The US State Department ordered the "evacuation" of diplomatic staff and members of their families from the US Embassy in Kiev.
In particular, The Washington Post, citing an official letter from the US State Department, wrote:
"The State Department ordered the departure of all family members of U. S. Embassy personnel serving in Kyiv on Sunday, citing the "threat of Russian military action. The department also told nonessential staff they can leave the country."
The British Foreign Office released a similar statement via its official Twitter account. The British Foreign Office is "evacuating" its staff with the following wording:
"Some embassy staff and dependants are being withdrawn from Kiev in response to the growing threat from Russia. The British embassy remains open and will continue to carry out essential work.”
Interestingly, The New York Times accused Russia of the same move. However, as it turned out, Russian diplomats and members of their families temporarily left Kiev in late December and early January.
Nevertheless, the decision to "evacuate" American diplomats from Kiev, of course, raised legitimate questions. Many now wonder what the US and other "Western partners" plan to do in terms of military provocations against Russia.
According to Russian officials, the US is readying a number of provocations near the borders of the breakaway Donbass republics.
Speaking at a meeting of the Board of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on December 21, 2021, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu announced the presence of about 120 "military instructors" from American PMCs in the areas adjacent to the borders of the People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
According to the Russian Defense Minister, "tanks with unidentified chemical components were delivered to commit provocations in the settlement of Avdiivka and Krasny Lyman."
In this context, it is worth recalling the speech from Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby, who said in January of this year:
"We do have information that indicates that Russia is already working actively to create a pretext for a potential invasion, for a move on Ukraine."
Alexander Pavlyuk, the commander of the joint forces of Ukraine, was even more eloquent when he stressed in an interview with The Times that the Ukrainians would be tearing the Russians apart with their bare hands in the Donbass.
However, taking into account the information from the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, everything seems to be leading to an operation, in which British or American saboteurs will stage a provocation in the region of the breakaway republics. It also appears that it is going to be a major provocation, because both British and American embassies in Kiev have been evacuated.
Major redeployment of NATO troops to the eastern borders of the alliance, that is to the border between Russia and Ukraine, also suggests large-scale military operations.
It appears that the whole situation is leading to the outbreak of another war, which could quickly evolve into Third World War. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky speaks about the need for the Ukrainian army to go on the offensive to return the territories that Ukraine lost in 2014.
In this situation, many analysts wonder what Russia can do to prevent another massacre in Donbass that the West is so looking forward to.
Russia can do many things, and not all of them envisage a military scenario.
For example, Russia could recognize the People's Republic of Donetsk and Luhansk as sovereign territories, independent states to promote their urgent admission to the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO). This organization has proved to be highly effective in early January in putting down the uprising in Kazakhstan.
Another, more radical method is to include the unrecognised people's republics in the structure of the Russian Federation. These two steps will bury the process of negotiations in accordance with the Minsk format, but it has actually come to an impasse anyway: the Ukrainian administration does not abide by the obligations of the Minsk Accords.
It appears that Russia's move to annex the breakaway republics will cool the military ardor of NATO and the United States. The confrontation may easily develop into a nuclear conflict that will have no winners.
There are, of course, intermediate ways: Russia could temporarily make the "people's republics" part of Russia temporarily, to protect them in an emergency. Afterwards, Russia could acknowledge those territories as Ukrainian, provided that Kiev abides to follow the Minsk Accords.
The Minsk Accords provide a constitutional reform of Ukraine to federalise the state and grant broad autonomy rights to Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
As for military scenarios, many analysts already try to predict the Russian tactics and strategy in the event of a conflict.
"Who said that Russia will send troops, infantry or an armada of tanks to Ukraine? There is no need to do it as Russia has super efficient military aircraft, MLRS systems and missile complexes, such as Caliber and Iskander missiles. There are also air defense battalions, Buk, Tor, S-300 and S-400 systems that make enemy aircraft useless, not to mention the Caspian and Black Sea fleets, which "close" ports.
At the same time, the scenario of a full-fledged military intervention also involves various options.
Needless to mention that all that will trigger a tsunami of sanctions against Russia, let alone bellicose statements, saber-rattling and other global processes that Russia will have to deal with.
All in all, if the Ukrainian army invades the People's Republic of Donetsk and the People's Republic of Luhansk, Russia will have nothing to lose. Sanctions will be the least of the problems that our country will face.
The Ukrainian military, who left the territory of the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, declared their desire to negotiate