The Budapest Memorandum, signed on 05 December 1994 by Ukraine, the U.S., Russia, and Britain, resulted in Ukraine renouncing its status as the world’s third largest nuclear power. In return, the other signatories provided “security assurances” of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, independence, sovereignty and freedom from interference. The Budapest memorandum committed Washington, Moscow and London, among other things, to “respect the independence and sovereignty and existing borders of Ukraine” and to “refrain from the threat or use of force” against that country. The United Kingdom and United States continue to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Russo-Ukraine War - 2021 - November
On 10 November 2021, the United States and Ukraine signed a “Charter on Strategic Partnership” that called for Ukraine to join NATO, condemned “ongoing Russian aggression” and affirmed an “unwavering commitment” to the reintegration of Crimea into Ukraine. "Guided by the April 3, 2008 Bucharest Summit Declaration of the NATO North Atlantic Council and as reaffirmed in the June 14, 2021 Brussels Summit Communique of the NATO North Atlantic Council, the United States supports Ukraine's right to decide its own future foreign policy course free from outside interference, including with respect to Ukraine's aspirations to join NATO. The United States and Ukraine intend to continue a range of substantive measures to prevent external direct and hybrid aggression against Ukraine and hold Russia accountable for such aggression and violations of international law, including the seizure and attempted annexation of Crimea and the Russia-led armed conflict in parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, as well as its continuing malign behavior. "
Politico published an article on 08 November 2021 in which, referring to satellite images taken by Maxar Technologies, argues that Russia is gathering its troops and military equipment on the border with Ukraine. Politico published satellite images of an area near the town of Yelnya in the Smolensk region (bordering Belarus, but not Ukraine). According to the publication, Russian military, as well as “armored units, tanks and self-propelled artillery” were deployed near the city of Yelnia, in the Russian province of Smolensk, which it is located more than 200 kilometers from the Ukrainian border. Among the deployed units are the forces of the First Guards Tank Army, the text said. Likewise, Politico cited an analysis by the British publication Jane’s that indicated that the team of the fourth Russian tank division was displaced to the region, near the cities of Kursk and Bryansk, in the proximity of the border of Russia. Ukraine. Elements of the 1st Guards Tank Army are also located in the region, according to the article.
The presence of a large military contingent near the Russian-Ukrainian border on 03 November 2021, at the Aspen Security Forum was announced by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Millie. "What does it mean? We don't know yet, it's too early to speak," he said. Russian President Dmitry Peskov's spokesman, in turn, explained that "Russia maintains a military presence on its territory where it deems it necessary." At the same time, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that media reports about the withdrawal of troops to the border with Ukraine "are not true."
The European Commission received "rather worrying" information about the situation on Ukraine's border, a spokesman for the EU's executive body said, responding to the comments from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on 11 November 2021. "We continue to watch, and we continue to monitor the situation, and the information we gathered so far is rather worrying," a Commission spokesman told a news briefing on 12 November 2021. The United States briefed European allies in Brussels on Russian troop movements on the eastern Ukrainian border. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken doubled down on comments made a day earlier over the buildup. "We're very concerned about some of the irregular movements of forces that we see on Ukraine's borders," Blinken said.
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Western allies had stepped up diplomatic efforts to caution Russia against military escalation. To this end, France warned Russia against harming Ukraine's territorial integrity, with Defense Minister Florence Parly and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian issuing a statement after meeting their Russian counterparts in Paris. "The two ministers expressed their concerns about the deteriorating security situation in Ukraine and clearly warned of the serious consequences of any further possible damage to the territorial integrity of Ukraine," the statement said.
Ukraine's Defense Ministry claimed that about 90,000 Russian troops were stationed close to its border and in rebel-controlled areas in Ukraine's east. Ukraine said units of the Russian 41st army had remained in Yelnya, a town about 260 kilometers (160 miles) north of the Ukrainian border, after conducting war games.
On 15 November 2021 Putin signed a decree on "the provision of humanitarian support to the population of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine." The document noted that the decree was signed in order to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens and provide humanitarian support to the population of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine and "to prevent a further decline in living standards in the context of the ongoing economic blockade." In addition, measures were taken against the backdrop of a worsening situation in connection with the coronavirus pandemic and based on the principles and norms of international humanitarian law.
“I decide: the Russian government, within a month, to ensure, as an exception, for the period until a political settlement of the situation in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine on the basis of the Minsk agreements: recognition in Russia as valid certificates of the origin of goods issued by bodies (organizations) actually operating on the territory of these areas, ”the document said.
Kirill Budanov, head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, showed the Military Times an English-language infographic showing which forces would be used against the Ukrainian army. The infographics showed that at least 40 battalion tactical groups with the support of 1,600 artillery units, 330 aircraft, as well as the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy will be deployed against Ukraine. The graphic depicts a 4-prong attack, and these are the General locations were Russian forces are deploying. They were assessing not a repeat of “little green men” of 2014, but air strikes, navy involvement, airborne as well. They are predicting a full multi-domain operation.
Julian E. Barnes and Eric Schmitt reporting in the New York Times on 19 November 2021 wrote that "American intelligence officials are warning allies that there is a short window of time to prevent Russia from taking military action in Ukraine, pushing European countries to work with the United States to develop a package of economic and military measures to deter Moscow, according to American and European officials. Russia has not yet decided what it intends to do with the troops it has amassed near Ukraine, American officials said, but the buildup is being taken seriously and the United States is not assuming it is a bluff. Avril D. Haines, the director of national intelligence, traveled to Brussels this week to brief NATO ambassadors about American intelligence on the situation....""
On 20 November 2021 top US diplomat Anthony Blinken said Washington had "real concerns" about Russia's troop movements and about Moscow's rhetoric regarding Ukraine. "We know the playbook of trying to cite some illusory provocation from Ukraine or any other country and using that as an excuse for what Russia plans to do all along," Blinken said.
Michael McFaul stated 20 November 2021 "U.S. failure to deter Putin from invading Ukraine again will have negative consequences for the U.S. goal of deterring China from invading Taiwan. An effective China strategy requires an effective Russia strategy."
After NATO and Russia traded accusations of amassing troops near Ukraine's borders, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed claims that Russia was preparing an incursion. "This hysteria is being intentionally whipped up," Peskov told state television in remarks broadcast on 21 November 2021. "We are being accused of some sort of unusual military activity on our territory by those who brought in their troops from across the ocean," he added, pointing to the US. "Those who have brought their armed forces from across the ocean are accused of some unusual military activity on our territory. That is, the United States of America. Well, this is neither exactly logical nor exactly polite."
The Kremlin is planning an attack that should be much larger than any Russian military action since 2014. Kirill Budanov, head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, noted that the attack would likely include airstrikes, artillery and armored attacks, followed by landing strikes in the east, landing attacks in Odessa and Mariupul, and a smaller invasion through Belarus, Ukrainskaya Pravda reported. The Russian military exercises Zapad-2021 showed that Moscow can simultaneously deploy more than 3,500 airborne and special operations personnel.
Budanov warned that any such attack would follow only after a series of psychological operations, already being carried out by Moscow, aimed at destabilizing the situation in Ukraine and undermining the country's defenses. These efforts, according to intelligence, include actions by the Russian Federation to organize long-term protests against covid vaccinations, fomenting economic and energy-related unrest. Russia is trying to raise anti-government sentiments in Ukraine with the help of the so-called "Wagnergate".
"The Russians want to push for unrest through protests and rallies that confirm the anti-government sentiments of the people. Russian psychological operations are used to show that" the government has betrayed the people, "Budanov said. Budanov noted that the assumptions of American and Ukrainian intelligence regarding the timing of a possible Russian attack are very similar: “Our assessments are almost the same as those of our American colleagues.” We are talking about late January or early February 2022. According to him, a probable attack could begin with airstrikes, artillery and armored attacks with an amphibious assault in Odessa and Mariupol. In addition, a lesser invasion through Belarus is possible.
The new Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov said that Kiev still does not know "whether Vladimir Putin has made the final decision" to attack Ukraine. Actually, this confirms the version that the Ukrainian military at the moment do not have a consensus regarding the "intentions" of the forces of the Russian army stationed in the border area with Ukraine.
Prime Minister Denis Shmygal called the tense situation on the border of Ukraine with the Russian Federation due to the accumulation of Russian troops. "As for the intensification of hostilities, then, of course, these are already issues of our military, our intelligence. And we control these issues every day. The movement of significant armed forces on Russian territory near the Ukrainian border exists. This is confirmed by foreign partners and all special services. Today the situation is tense, but we do not see any signs of an offensive, "Shmygal said.
Ukraine has already paid and continues to pay a high price for the freedom of citizens. This statement was made 21 November 2021 by the President of the country Volodymyr Zelensky on the occasion of the Day of Dignity and Freedom. According to the Ukrainian leader, Kiev will never forget those who gave their lives for the freedom of Ukrainians, and will not forgive everyone who was involved in the murder of citizens. “And it's time to change self-perception and thinking. We are not victims, we are not suppressed, we are not divided, we are not captured. We are a wonderful, strong, brave, intelligent, talented people. Invincible,” the president’s video message said.
Dmitry Trenin on 23 November 2021 wrote "NATO membership or not, seeing Ukraine turn into a U.S.-controlled unsinkable aircraft carrier parked on Russia’s border just a few hundred miles from Moscow — an apt comparison by my Carnegie colleagues in Washington — is no more acceptable to the Kremlin than that other unsinkable aircraft carrier, Cuba, was to the White House almost sixty years ago. Any Russian leader would seek to prevent such anchorage, using whatever means they have at their disposal."
Gav Don observed in the November 24 edition of bne intellinews that if Russia invaded, “Peoples of the western powers would be forced to abandon the belief that the Russian ‘threat’ to Europe is a figment of the fevered imagination of the paranoid or of the military industrial complex, and accept that Russia has returned to its old habits of being a violent and expansive polity with a wish to move its borders westwards.” That realization would galvanize the West capitals to increase military spending and step up military preparations for war with Russia. Russia’s bid to keep Kyiv out of NATO would result in the Western Alliance becoming a much bigger military problem for Moscow.
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