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Ukraine-Russia war. Three conflict escalation scenarios

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“Recently, the statements of Belarusian and Russian politicians have increasingly included the topic of a possible escalation of the war in Ukraine, serious provocations on the border with NATO, and the creation of new fronts. (…) Most of these forecasts are most likely just an element of the information war, but the current situation gives grounds to claim that some of them may turn out to be true“- we read.

The first possible scenario that Belsat decided to analyze is: expanding the conflict to a continental or global level. Here, the authors of the analysis quote the statements of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who assured that he did not intend to attack NATO. However, on the other hand, it comes to mind ultimatum given by the Kremlin leader in December 2021.

The President of the Russian Federation then demanded the withdrawal of NATO infrastructure to its pre-1997 positions. According to experts, the Kremlin's anger has not changed over the past two years. This means that Putin's assurances that he has no plans to attack the North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries may not be true.

Escalation of the conflict. Fights for the Suwałki Isthmus

In the scenario of a Russian attack on NATO countries, this is a likely place The source of the conflict seems to be the Suwałki Isthmus, i.e. the territory separating Belarus from the Konigsberg Oblast. Mastering this space would mean cutting off Baltic countries from allied help. Which, in turn, could result in the Russians quickly occupying Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which would make it impossible to effectively defend against the invasion.

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According to experts, an attack on one of the NATO countries seems impossible, because Russia does not have adequate military potential. All forces were thrown at Ukraine. So the Russians would have to close the Ukrainian front first.

According to one of NATO's scenarios, an attack could take place even next year, provided that the Russians mobilize heavily in the first half of 2024. they would break the deadlock on the front. For this, favorable conditions would have to be created in the international space. Here, Belsat experts mention Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election and cutting off Ukraine from aid from overseas. According to other expert predictions, the Kremlin would need up to 10 years to reorganize its army.

War in Ukraine. Uncontrolled escalation

The next scenario assumes unplanned escalation between Russia and NATO. Here, the authors of the analysis, citing the RAND report, distinguished three situations that could lead to an unplanned confrontation: “death of politicians from NATO countries in Ukraine as a result of a Russian missile attack; death of American pilots as a result of a provocative maneuver of Russian machines; an incorrect assessment of the activity of NATO troops in Eastern Europe may scare the Kremlin and push Russia towards the conclusion that it is necessary conducting a preventive attack on NATO facilities“.

Such situations are all the more likely the more tense the situation is, which forces key decisions to be made under increasing pressure.

Here, it is expected that the exchange of fire in the event of one of the variants would be controlled at first, but there would be a risk of rapid escalation.

Ukraine: Attack from the north

The last scenario is about re-doing Russian attacks from the north, as it happened at the turn of February and March 2022. Then the troops of the Russian Federation were defeated and did not reach Kiev, which in turn kept the defending Ukraine alive.

The offensive was carried out from the territory of Belarus, where the Russians had gathered 30 thousand soldiers. Now this potential would have to be much greater and, according to experts' calculations, amount to 100-120 thousand This is due to the fact that the Ukrainian command is constantly improving the fortifications protecting access to the capital.

An attack from Belarusian lands could also mean attack in the Lutsk-Lviv direction, the aim of which would be to cut off the Ukrainian army from supplies from the West.

The Russians would need to launch an offensive from the north to launch it large mobilization. And this seems to be justified, considering that Putin has just finished the elections and is no longer afraid of unpopular decisions. Moreover, Russian propaganda is trying to place partial blame for the attack near Moscow on the authorities in Kiev, which may be used to create a narrative that would justify a new mobilization.

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Professor Mazur is fighting for the president's seat. It reveals the threat Krakow faces/Interia.pl/INTERIA.PL

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