Ukraine’s Minister of Defense, Oleksiy Reznikov, said that it was “important” that Ukrainian society “did not panic”. On December 6, the armed forces of Ukraine celebrate their holiday. On this occasion, President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the soldiers fighting in the Donbas.
The Russian side often “uses pressure and bluff to try to raise the stakes and achieve some goal,” stated Reznikov. – But the Russians are extremely pragmatic, although they try to seem so unpredictable. They assess the risk very well – he added.
Referring to the spring concentration of troops on Ukrainian borders, the minister stressed that Russia’s goal at that time was to attract the attention of the United States and force Washington to talk without exposing itself to new sanctions. – They got what they wanted. Bullying was a way of achieving the goal, he said.
According to Reznikov, “it is extremely important that Ukrainian society does not panic.” – If in the Kremlin they saw that we were shaking, they could try to break in. The demonstrative escalation testifies to the fact that the Kremlin is failing in the talks in the current format, when Russia tries to play the role of an intermediary between Ukraine and its puppets. So he starts swinging the gun, said the minister.
The situation near the borders of Ukraine
In the opinion of the head of the Ministry of Defense, the current escalation at the Ukrainian borders is similar to the situation in the spring, “but no one knows exactly what the Russian chiefs have in mind.” Reznikov believes that Russia is trying to “create a spectrum of possibilities and a favorable ground, including for the implementation of the military scenario.”
– The shortest path (leading) to this is the chaos in Ukraine, internal destabilization, panic, skepticism. Hence the news, attempts to use the anti-COVID-19 vaccine movement and others, he continued. – If the Ukrainian society does not lose its head, if foreign partners fill the declarations with concrete actions, the credibility of the escalation decreases – he added.
Russian maximum plan
In the minister’s opinion, the maximum plan for Russia is “to make sure that there is no Ukraine at all”. “It’s not a secret,” he added.
The Minister of Defense recalled that during his November visit to Washington, he met a journalist from the Washington Post who had previously written about gathering Russian troops near the border with Ukraine. Reznikov said he thanked the reporter for “drawing the attention of American and European audiences to Russian aggression.”
– Our war (in Donbas – ed.) Has been going on for eight years and it is not new to us. However, ordinary people in America or Europe may not know about it. They may also be influenced by Russian propaganda or Moscow lobbyists. The only thing that I emphasize when meeting with foreign partners is that if they recognize the threat and anticipate a full-scale invasion, what should our joint response be? A possible escalation must be avoided, because it will be a disaster both for Russia itself and for Europe, emphasized Reznikov.
President on the front line in Donbas
On December 6, the armed forces of Ukraine celebrate their holiday – on December 6, 1991, the Ukrainian parliament adopted the law “On the Armed Forces of Ukraine”. On that day, President Volodymyr Zelensky visited soldiers in Donbas who were fighting against pro-Russian separatists. “We will win with people like you,” he said. Zelensky was in Ukrainian positions in the Donetsk region. – I have the honor to be with you today. Thank you for defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, he addressed the military.
The president wrote in social media that for 30 years the Ukrainian armed forces “have been guarding the freedom, independence and sovereignty of Ukraine”. On behalf of the Ukrainians, he thanked the military and veterans for their service and heroism.
Main photo source: president.gov.ua