Russia still haunts Ukraine, even as Vladimir Putin is shifting his focus to Syria. Kiev has unveiled its new military strategy that says Russia may launch a full-scale military attack against Ukraine, reports Interfax news agency. The military doctrine adds that Moscow’s aggression may include air, land, aerospace and marine operations “with military and political objectives.”
Russia may use separatists to break Ukraine into pieces
Ukraine doesn’t rule out the possibility of Russia using special operations, fire strikes, and non-military means. The doctrine states that, in the event of war, Russia could disrupt Ukraine’s communications, and block its sea ports, airspace, and coasts. Another potential scenario is Russia using separatists to snatch eastern and southern regions from Ukraine.
Last week, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko sought to join the NATO alliance. He said joining NATO was the only option to counter Russian aggression. Even though NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg offered “political and practical” support to Kiev, the Western military alliance has refused to provide offensive weapons to Ukrainian forces.
Russia shifts focus to Syria
The doctrine doesn’t rule out terrorist acts on the Ukrainian territory. These threats to the country’s security could lead to the continued occupation of Ukraine or its separate territories, the loss of its national sovereignty, and direct or indirect control over Ukraine. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin is in New York to attend the United Nations summit, where he will square off with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama.
Russia has stepped up military presence in Syria. And Putin is expected to push for a Moscow-led coalition to fight the Islamic State, pushing Washington on the back foot. According to Al Jazeera, Russia is currently putting pressure on rebels in Ukraine to keep quiet and stay out of the news. Surprisingly, there has been no ceasefire violation in eastern Ukraine since September 1. The coverage of Ukraine by Russia’s state-controlled media has also declined dramatically as Syria coverage is picking up.