Russian Federation is carrying out a covert mobilization to attack Europe
The conquest of Ukraine is only one of the Kremlin’s geopolitical goals. Russia uses war in Ukraine as an opportunity for NATO’s involvement in full-scale hostilities. After two months of fierce Ukrainian opposition to Russian warfare aggression, it can be truly stated that the Kremlin’s plans of Blitz-Krieg in Ukraine have been thwarted. Putin, realizing its approach to the “point of no return”, is trying to transform his own defeats into a “position of further development”. Therefore, the analysis of OSINT gives us an opportunity to admit the fact of the covert mobilization processes in Russian Federation (including forcible involvement in hostilities of Ukrainian citizens from the temporarily occupied territories). This all indicates the plans of the Russian military leadership to implement its global goals, among which it is appropriate to highlight:
- Preventing further NATO expansion to the Eastern EU via warfare and military facilities
- Expansion of one’s own political influence, at least in the post-Soviet space, and at most in Central-Eastern Europe, using the ex-members “socialist camp” basis.
- Attempts to demonstrate the inability of the United States and NATO forces to protect their allies and efforts to split the Alliance.
Thus, quoting Mr. Gorbulin, we note that Moscow is trying to destroy the existing world order and create a new one, where it will play its “usual superpower role” (of course, taking into account the strengthening of China’s position).
In addition, this goal of Moscow quite clearly duplicates the Nazi idea of building a “die Neuordnung” (“New World Order”) in Europe.
Based on the above, potential areas for continued expansion of Russia, we consider to be the following:
- Scandinavia. The intensification of Sweden’s and Finland’s aspirations to join NATO is of great concern to the Russian leadership. In fact, the withdrawal of military forces to the Russian-Finnish border has already begun and, obviously, it will only intensify. It will be recalled that the probable approach of NATO to Russia’s borders was one of the reasons of started aggression towards Ukraine. Therefore, the public statements of the NATO leadership about the possibility of rapid approval of the Stockholm and Helsinki integration aspirations could be a trigger for the “Winter War v.2.0”.
- The Baltics. In this context, we propose to pay attention to one specific section – the Suwałki Region, a narrow section 66 km wide, which separates the Kaliningrad region (RF) from the territory of Belarus. The joint strategic military exercises of Russia and the Republic of Belarus “West-2017” demonstrated Moscow’s (albeit theoretical) intentions to seize this corridor and cut off the Baltic NATO members (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) from their allies. From an ideological point of view, Moscow sees the accession of the three Baltic republics to the EU and NATO as a betrayal, and therefore Putin attempts to force them back into his sphere of influence. Taking into consideration the intentions of Sweden and Finland to join NATO, there is a real threat of the bloc’s complete dominance in the Baltic Sea and the isolation of the Kaliningrad region.Moreover, in December 2018, the American publication Business Insider, citing its own sources among the US military command, published information that the Suwałki Region is considered one of the most likely points for the start of the war between NATO and Russia.
- The Balkans. The “old wounds and grudges” that exist on the Balkan Peninsula are seen by Moscow as a favorable environment for military-political provocations. The reason for Russia’s stimulation of escalation in the Balkans may be the attempt to divert the attention of Europe and the United States to this region and thus weaken support for Ukraine. Traditionally, close political contacts between Serbia and Russia can be a tool for provoking instability throughout the peninsula. Examples of escalating conflict could be the political tensions around Kosovo or the intensification of Serb separatists in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which demonstrates a desire to join NATO.
- Information front and sabotage actions. It should also be borne in mind that Russia may resort to “hybrid warfare methods”. These include cyberattacks and large-scale disinformation campaigns, the usage of sabotage groups, and the already mentioned unofficial support of radical political organizations and separatists in various parts of Europe.
These options for further escalation look quite real on the background of Russia’s war towards Ukraine. At the same time, some of them are already gaining a clear shape and are beginning to materialize.
Thus, the Russian Federation, under the guise of “a special military operation” on the territory of Ukraine, mobilizes human and technical reserves in order to create a bridgehead in Ukrainian territory to develop a promising offensive on Europe.
The only scenario in which Russia will have to abandon its aggressive plans is defeat in Ukraine.