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Western accusations against Moscow over Ukraine ‘lack substance’: Analyst

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows Ukrainian soldiers atop tanks.

An American political analyst says an unprovoked Russian attack on Ukraine is highly unlikely, adding that such accusations by the West “lack substance” and are meant to pile up pressure on Moscow.  

Andrew Korybko, a Moscow-based American political commentator, made the comment in an interview with Press TV on Saturday after the US, NATO and Ukrainian officials raised the alarm about what they claim to be an “unusual” Russian military buildup close to its border with Ukraine.

They suggested that Moscow may be poised to launch an attack on its neighbor, an accusation Russia has dismissed as “fear-mongering.”

“It's highly unlikely that Russia will launch any unprovoked attack against Ukraine. These fears have been shared every few months since the US-Russian dimension of the New Cold War began in early 2014 following EuroMaidan and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Not once did these predictions ever come true, though. Nevertheless, they always conveniently served as the political pretext for justifying further military, economic, and other forms of preplanned pressure against Russia,” Korybko told Press TV.

“In other words, these accusations always lack substance, but they still have a strategic significance in terms of the ongoing information warfare campaign that the West is waging against that country,” he added.

Earlier in the month, Ukraine claimed there were nearly 100,000 Russian soldiers deployed near its border, and the United States issued warnings over a possible attack by Russia.

Moscow categorically rejected the possibility of an attack, saying Washington is involved in aggressive moves in the Black Sea, where Ukraine and the United States recently held military drills.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the West is escalating the situation in Ukraine by providing Kiev with “lethal modern weapons” and holding drills in the Black Sea region.

The Russian leader said Moscow has been "constantly” raising concerns about the US naval exercises in the strategic region, but the West is taking Russia's warnings lightly.

ُSpeaking with Press TV, Korybko suggested that Kiev could have been provoked by the West to start another offensive to seize the eastern region of Donbass, dominated by pro-Russia separatist forces, which would potentially escalate tensions between Russia and Ukraine. 

“A more realistic scenario is that Ukraine is filled with false confidence by its Western allies to launch another large-scale attack aimed at recapturing the Donbass region in violation of the Minsk Accords that it agreed to several years ago and never really respected,” he said.

“Depending on how such an attack unfolds, it could lead to more serious hostilities in the region, including between Russia and Ukraine, and it could very be that this is a strategic card that the West hopes to play as part of its larger Hybrid War on Russia,” he added.

Asked about US President Joe Biden’s recent declaration of Washington’s commitment to defending Ukraine, Korybko said, “Ukraine isn’t a NATO member so the US doesn’t have any mutual defense obligations to the country.”

Korybko added, “American arms and advisors, as well as those of its NATO allies, are already reportedly in Ukraine and have been there for quite a while actually. These weapons can bolster Kiev’s military capabilities against Donbass while those foreign forces can serve as a tripwire for triggering a more formal intervention in Ukraine’s support should their troops be attacked during hostilities.”

President Putin and other top Russian officials have repeatedly warned that the expansion of NATO activities near Russia’s borders is a "red line" for Moscow.

NATO has expressed determination to reinforce the security of member states close to Russia following what it claims to be Moscow's “annexation” of Crimea and its backing for pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Relations between Moscow and Kiev have been strained since the conflict erupted in Ukraine's eastern region of Donbass between Ukrainian government forces and ethnic Russians in 2014.

The US, the European Union, and Ukraine claim that Russia has a hand in the conflict. Moscow strongly rejects the allegation. The Black Sea peninsula of Crimea voted in a referendum to fall under Russian sovereignty that year and more than 90 percent of the participants in the plebiscite voted in favor of unification.           

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