In terms of its potential, Russia could launch an open military invasion of Ukraine, because its troops conduct exercises annually along the Ukrainian border, including on the territory of Belarus, but this would lead to major problems for the Kremlin chief, Vladimir Putin, says Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), Serhiy Kryvonos.
In an interview with Apostrophe, Kryvonos said Moscow had been developing various scenarios of aggression against Ukraine, ranging from missile strikes to repeat the Yugoslavia option, and then deploying troops, or instead of deploying troops, to simply bring Ukraine to its knees with high-precision missile strikes.
"They are strengthening military presence in Crimea, creating new units, allowing for a swift deployment of troops and striking [Ukraine] from Crimea. Moving from Chernihiv and Sumy regions [the Kyiv direction] would cause them no problems at all..." Kryvonos suggested.
The official added that Russia's military potential is very strong, so the main task for Ukraine is to set up territorial defense.
The Kremlin may go for outright aggression, but they will then find it extremely difficult to keep everything under control.
"It's very important for the Kremlin to put a puppet government here [in Ukraine] as soon as possible, which would start dancing to their tune. It will be even easier for them to succeed if they first make us hate each other," summarized the deputy secretary of the NSDC.