Society 10:32 03/09/2014

Russian citizens joining Ukraine resistance – analyst

Press TV has conducted an interview with Jeff Steinberg, Executive Intelligence Review from Leesburg, about Ukraine’s defense minister warning of imminent war with Russia.

Press TV: There is no doubt that the situation in eastern Ukraine is escalating yet when Kiev warns of an imminent war with Russia; one that will include nuclear weapons and tens of thousands of lives being lost. What do you make of that?

Steinberg: I think you’ve got to take the context in which a lot of this is happening.

On Thursday, September 4, there will be a meeting in Cardiff, Wales of the NATO heads of state and the number one agenda item at that meeting is the further eastward movement of NATO, the establishment of a special relationship with Ukraine around arms sales and other security arrangements.

I think it’s also important to bear in mind that on Friday afternoon well after President Poroshenko was talking about a full-scale invasion by Russia involving, quote “hundreds of tanks,” the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) monitors there on the border said that there is no such thing happening. They said that there are clearly streams of Russian volunteers who are crossing into eastern Ukraine as individual volunteers to assist the rebels who are fighting against the Ukrainian government.

President Putin on Friday warned that there were comparisons between the kind of siege that was being laid on Donetsk and Lugansk and the siege by the Nazis of Leningrad during World War Two. So there are very much two sides to this story.

Presidents Poroshenko and Putin met for four hours a week ago in Minsk and I think what makes a great deal of sense at this point is for all sides to allow the diplomacy to go forward, to de-escalate the fighting and try to reach a resolution. That’s been something that officially both Putin and Poroshenko have said that they’re in favor of.

So, the hype about thermo-nuclear World War Three is something that would only be conceivable if you had a full-scale NATO war with Russia.

Press TV: Speaking of which we are seeing Russia time and again calling for a ceasefire, but at the same time NATO has increased its military preparedness; it has conducted at least one military exercise every two days; it’s speaking of expanding eastward.

Do you think that the West is right now adopting policies to draw out Russia into some sort of direct conflict?

Steinberg: I would say there is a great deal of truth to what you just said. There are other voices including in Washington that are saying to the Obama administration – because you are talking about a major conflict with Russia over Ukraine.

The British have very loud mouths in this. David Cameron has been touting a new conflict with Russia louder than anybody, but Britain has no credible military capability. It’s really the US.

Yesterday on national television Senator Dianne Feinstein – a Democrat from the President’s party and Chairwoman on the Senate Committee on Intelligence – said John Kerry should be sent to Moscow to talk to Putin. He’s the guy in charge and we should reach some kind of a resolution to deescalate.

Nobody, least of all the US military, wants World War Three, but yes the NATO moves eastward. The building of the missile defense; the bringing in of countries that were formerly Warsaw Pact in to the NATO alliance; the establishment of a rapid-reaction force that will include some Ukrainian forces – all of these things from Moscow’s vantage point are an attempt to encircle, contain and potentially even destroy Russia. 

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