War with Russia over Ukraine ‘80% likely’, expert says
Konstantin Malofeev, a Russian tycoon who is said to be the sponsor of several orthodox and ultra-conservative pro-Kremlin projects, claimed that an “open military conflict between Russia and Ukraine” can only go one way given the enormous “difference in military potential” between the two. . Calling the crisis a “suicidal conflict”, he largely blamed the West. His comments came as Moscow feared it was preparing to attack Kiev, as it amassed more than 100,000 troops near the country’s borders.
He said: “An 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 great that there can be no than an operation to force peace.
“It will take 48 hours maximum, and we can’t talk about different fronts.”
As fears of war in Eastern Europe persist, Western efforts to defuse tensions also continue.
Mr Malofeev, however, sees the actions of NATO and its allies as a provocation rather than an attempt to prevent the conflict from going further.
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He said: “We see Ukraine as a country temporarily occupied by 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 Western collective.”
Mr Putin’s government insists the current crisis – the latest consecutive stage that escalated in October after a brief surge in early April – is mainly attributable to the threat posed by closer relations between NATO and Ukraine, and in any case does not want the circumstances to see Kiev 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 reportedly says Moscow could wipe out Kiev in 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 responses of the United States and NATO did not take into account the main Russian concerns.
“The key question has been ignored – how the United States and its allies intend to follow the principle of security integrity…that no one should enhance their security at the expense of the security of another country. “
A French presidential official said Mr Putin, in his phone call with Mr Macron, stressed he did not want the situation to escalate.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has previously stressed that Moscow does not want war.
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Russian-Ukrainian crisis: what a military operation could look like
The United States and NATO, after reviewing President Putin’s key security demands, have labeled some of Moscow’s demands as non-starters. However, they did not rule out new dialogue.
Moscow, though unhappy at not getting the guarantees it so desperately seeks, has said it is ready to keep talking, giving hope that an invasion is not imminent.
Mr Malofeev, speaking to Znak media, stressed that an “invasion has already taken place” – but not by the Kremlin.
He said: “American and British special services are already on Ukrainian territory.
“We know that Canadian special forces have arrived in Ukraine.
“We can therefore expect provocations on the border with the DPR (the rebel-held pro-Moscow Donetsk People’s Republic) and the LPR (Lugansk People’s Republic).
“Maybe it won’t be Ukrainians but Anglo-Saxon special forces, who are organizing these provocations, because Americans and British are ready to face the Russians, until the last Ukrainian falls.
“For this reason, the negotiations are not taking place in Kiev, but in Geneva, in Brussels, where it is necessary to talk with the owners of the current regime in Kiev…
“Let’s see if their masters will be ready to make peace without shedding the blood of Ukrainians and Russians, or they will drag Ukrainians into this mad and suicidal conflict.”