Situation in Crimea looks ominous, three scenarios possible, - The Guardian

President Vladimir Putin of Russia may believe that the time is ripe for another invasion.

Censor.NET reports citing the article by Luke Harding for The Guardian.

" The situation in Crimea looks ominous. Russia's FSB spy agency said on Wednesday that it had foiled a series of attacks by armed Ukrainians on the peninsula. Minutes later, Vladimir Putin accused Kyiv's pro-western government of choosing terror over peace. Meanwhile, largely unnoticed by the outside world, Russia has been stealthily shipping military vehicles to Crimea, which Putin annexed in the spring of 2014, " the article reads.

Read more: Poroshenko instructs to bring all units at border with Crimea and demarcation line in Donbas on high alert

According to Luke Harding, another military offensive seems distinctly possible as previous invasions have coincided with Olympic Games, a time when the international community is distracted or on holiday - Georgia in 2008 after Beijing, and Ukraine in 2014 (after the Winter Games in Sochi).

There are other propitious circumstances this summer. The presidential election is paralyzing the U.S., and the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, has hinted that as president he might recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea. He seems uncertain as to where Ukraine actually is. Europe meanwhile is in disarray in the wake of the Brexit vote and an ongoing migration crisis.

The author of the article believes that there seem to be three possible scenarios. One is that Putin will try to leverage this latest crisis to persuade EU countries to drop the sanctions imposed over the Ukraine conflict. Another is that he is preparing a limited military incursion, possibly to set up a security corridor, which doubtless would include the electricity station in the nearby Ukrainian city of Kherson. A third is that he is planning something bigger.

Read more: Turchynov: Putin is planning escalation of situation and disruption of Minsk accords

A land corridor would certainly be an attractive solution to Crimea's current woes, and would at a stroke solve Russia's short and long-term infrastructure problems. There would be political dividends too. From the Kremlin's point of view, a further Ukraine adventure would conclusively demonstrate the west's weakness and incapacity.

At a time when U.S. swimmers are openly taunting their Russian rivals in the pool, it would also be payback for the doping scandal and international attempts to ban Russian athletes from the Olympics. The WADA report on Russian state-sponsored doping has been presented inside Russia as a western conspiracy. Putin may be showing who is boss.

See more: Image of "Ukrainian saboteurs' tent" in Crimea taken from Fotolia image bank. PHOTOS

On Aug. 10, the FSB released an official statement about averted terrorist attacks in annexed Crimea "prepared by the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine's MoD in order to target critical life-supporting and infrastructure facilities inside the peninsula."

The Ukrainian MoD refuted the FSB's allegations on the involvement of Ukraine's intelligence in subversive activities in Crimea and called them an attempt of the Russian Federation to justify its aggression in the territory of the annexed peninsula.

The Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine's MoD denies the information about an alleged breakthrough of Ukrainian "subversive and terrorist groups" in the territory of Crimea. According to Defense Intelligence representative Vadym Skibitskyi, such allegations by the FSB is one of the elements of incitement and destabilization of the situation in Ukraine: "provocation is an element of the hybrid war which the Russian Federation is waging against us."

President Petro Poroshenko said the Russian allegations were groundless and served as "a pretext for more military threats against Ukraine."

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n401365