War with Russia over Ukraine is ‘80% likely’ says expert
Konstantin Malofeev, a Russian tycoon said to be a sponsor of several pro-Kremlin Orthodox and ultra-conservative projects, claimed “open military conflict between Russia and Ukraine” can only go one way given the massive “difference in military potential” between the two. Calling the crisis a “suicidal conflict”, he largely blamed the West for it. His comments came amid fears Moscow might be preparing to attack Kyiv as it has amassed more than 100,000 troops near the country’s borders.
He said: “Open military conflict between Russia and Ukraine cannot be a war, or, at least, a long-term war, because the difference in military potential is so big that there can be only an operation for forcing the peace.
“It will take 48 hours maximum, and we cannot talk about different fronts.”
As the fears of war in Eastern Europe persist, the West’s efforts to defuse tensions continue, too.
Mr Malofeev, though, considers NATO’s and its allies’ actions a provocation rather than an attempt to stop the conflict from going any further.
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Ukraine’s weak ‘military potential’ makes a ‘long-time war’ impossible, it has been claimed
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He claimed: “We consider Ukraine as a country temporarily occupied by the Anglo-Saxon special services, in which there is no sovereign power, which is completely under the control of these special services.
“So, we are not talking with the Ukrainian authorities, but with the collective West.”
Mr Putin’s government insists the current crisis — the latest step in a row that took strength in October after a brief build-up earlier in April — is mainly attributable to the threat posed by the tightening of relations between NATO and Ukraine, and wants under no circumstances see Kyiv being made part of the alliance.
NATO promised as far back as 2008 to admit Ukraine one day, and while it has no immediate plans to admit them, it says Moscow cannot dictate its relations with other sovereign states.
Russian tycoon Konstantin Malofeev was cited as saying Moscow could wipe out Kiev within two days
The Kremlin said of a conversation between the Russian leader and French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday: “Attention was drawn to the fact that the US and NATO replies did not take into account Russia’s principal concerns.
“The key question was ignored – how the United States and its allies intend to follow the principle of security integrity … that no one should strengthen their security at the expense of another country’s security.”
A French presidency official said Mr Putin, in his telephone call with Mr Macron, had stressed he did not want the situation to escalate.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has previously underlined Moscow does not want war.
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Russia-Ukraine crisis: What a military operation might look like
The US and NATO, after considering President Putin’s main security demands, have called some of Moscow’s requests non-starters. However, they have not ruled out further dialogues.
Moscow, though dissatisfied over not getting the guarantees he so desperately seeks, said it was ready to keep talking, offering some hope that an invasion is not imminent.
Mr Malofeev, speaking to Znak media, emphasised an “invasion has already happened” – but not by the Kremlin.
He said: “American and British special services already are Ukrainian territory.
“We know that Canadian special forces have arrived in Ukraine.
“Therefore we can expect provocations on the border with DPR (pro-Moscow rebel-held Donetsk People’s Republic) and LPR (Luhansk Peoples’ Republic).
“Perhaps, these won’t be Ukrainians but Anglo-Saxon special forces, who organise these provocations, because Americans and British are ready to take on the Russians, until the last Ukrainian falls.
“For this reason, negotiations are not taking place in Kyiv, but in Geneva, in Brussels, where it is necessary to talk with the owners of the current Kyiv regime…
“Let’s see if their masters will be ready to make peace without shedding the blood of Ukrainians and Russians, or they will drag the Ukrainians into this crazy and suicidal conflict.”