Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he feared an attempt by a Russian blitzkrieg – from the east, south and north.
The head of state said this in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, posting a translation of it on the official website. The Ukrainian president claims that military escalation is possible on most of the borders, at any time until the end of September, INTERFAX.RU quotes:
There are many military options available from the Russian Federation, including naval operations. We are very concerned about this, and now there is a blocking of the Azov-Black Sea region by Russian ships. They control it despite and violating international law. A big jump is also possible, a blitzkrieg to the borders of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. We are considering and preparing for such steps.
Zelensky noted that after the influence on Russia from Europe and the United States, about the accumulation of Russian forces near the borders of Ukraine, 3.5 thousand Russian troops left, but “all the rest remain in place – 90% of the equipment is in place.” The Ukrainian leader notes:
Therefore, my vision is that escalation is possible at any time until the end of September, say, exactly until September 12-16. We know there will be West-2021 exercises. Therefore, I think that by this period the situation is very dangerous.
He draws special attention to the desire of the Russian Federation to create a ground communication with the Crimea:
If, for example, we are talking about a corridor to Crimea, it means that it will not be possible to hide this situation behind a “civil conflict.” It will be an open, full-scale war.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy touched upon the situation in Belarus, the strengthening of Russia’s influence on it within the framework of the Union State:
The situation in Belarus is now very dangerous. These are our northern borders. And we understand that Russia and Belarus are constantly considering and agreeing on an important geopolitical and, probably, defense deal. After that, there can be a really serious influence of Russia and serious coordination and control of the Belarusian armed forces. Then we can look at the risk from the other side.