Ukraine-Russia Crimean Conflict Escalates. Will this Turn into a War?

Ukrainian troops bearing contentious flag of Russian-annexed country

Ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia looks headed to armed conflict, says Brad Johnson, CIA Chief of Station (Ret.) The U.S. has stepped in with another $125 millions to support Ukraine in this contested Donbass region. Russia has been using snipers to demoralize the opposition forces, but Ukraine has gone from reacting to direct action with increased equipment and troops. At stake is access to the Black Sea and trade routes to the Atlantic. With maps.

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brad johnson here for americans for
00:02
intelligence reform
00:04
intel reform.org it is march 2nd
00:07
2021 doing an update on what’s been
00:10
going on
00:11
in the crimea the crimea was a section
00:14
of ukraine that was
00:15
annexed by russia under the i’ll call it
00:18
pretext but
00:19
under the justification of there being
00:22
russians in that area that weren’t
00:23
treated well
00:26
the this is is starting to move forward
00:30
to a point where it really looks like
00:33
it’s going to erupt into fighting once
00:35
again
00:36
you’ve got the russians in that area
00:39
have been using
00:41
russian troops maybe individuals brought
00:43
in
00:44
snipers that sort of thing and
00:46
surrogates like from wagner group
00:48
which is uh basically a mercenary
00:51
private sector mercenary
00:53
company that basically belongs to russia
00:56
that it’s an
00:57
extension of russian policy and military
01:00
mine
01:01
and there are people that go back and
01:03
forth between the russian military and
01:05
wagner uh according to the reports that
01:08
are out there so there’s not a lot of
01:10
daylight between those two things and
01:12
certainly involved with
01:14
russian intelligence and all that even
01:15
though it is run as a
01:17
private sector company now russia has
01:20
been maintaining
01:21
a kind of a low low-level conflict in
01:24
that area and they
01:26
sting ukraine and kind of keep things
01:28
going and then they’ll
01:29
they’ll uh do you know kind of limited
01:32
attacks and things like that
01:34
and it looks like what russia has been
01:38
planning
01:38
is uh to to slowly bleed ukraine
01:42
to keep them kind of in a position where
01:44
they’re not really able to do anything
01:46
because they’re picked out here picked
01:47
out there
01:48
and it just it spreads out their
01:50
resources so
01:51
uh it’s it’s interesting to see and just
01:53
as like case in point
01:55
uh i’ve gotten some statistics out of
01:57
that area and in a three week period the
02:00
last week in january and first two weeks
02:02
in february which is
02:03
a month ago um there were
02:06
uh 13 ukrainian soldiers reported killed
02:10
and another 19
02:11
wounded mostly by snipers interesting
02:14
not
02:14
an actual battle but just sniper fire
02:17
going on and that’s one of those things
02:18
that’s done
02:19
to you know kind of pick at the enemy
02:21
and and keep them
02:22
you know uh uncertain and down and you
02:25
know the inflictable
02:26
you know uh wounds on their psyche as
02:30
well as
02:30
you know as the individuals killed or
02:32
wounded in all of this
02:34
um but there’s other things going on
02:37
there so you’ve got this sort of low
02:39
intensity conflict going on
02:41
instigated by russia on the one hand on
02:44
the
02:44
other hand now what ukraine has done is
02:47
as they’ve been very
02:49
limited in their response to these
02:51
things because when they’ve responded it
02:52
sparks a little conflict
02:54
the russians are always better
02:55
positioned because they provoke these
02:58
so they’re ready for them where the
03:00
ukrainians are responding to them and
03:02
not as prepared
03:04
so they’ve changed their tactics and in
03:06
this region the front line region is
03:07
called donbass
03:09
and i may be pronouncing it incorrect
03:11
pronouncing it incorrectly but
03:12
uh in that region which is part of
03:14
crimea it’s all part of this area
03:16
annexed by russia
03:18
they’re now moving in tanks and
03:20
equipment and men
03:21
and materials and all of those things so
03:25
they’ve got now a sizeable force moving
03:28
into the area
03:30
it is where conflict comes from you’ve
03:33
now got forces facing off
03:35
against each other and if they create a
03:37
big enough force
03:38
then they’ll be able to roll through
03:39
some of these russian troops and
03:41
and surrogates and uh you know the local
03:44
forces that are organized
03:46
the united states has responded and just
03:49
came out with another
03:50
aid package another 125 million now
03:53
that’s not
03:54
that much in the scheme of things where
03:55
the total aid going to ukraine over the
03:57
last few
03:58
years has been in the billions this is a
04:00
small addition but it’s one of those
04:02
things that’s going in is
04:03
advisory training equipment and things
04:05
like that which is a little bit of a
04:07
shot in the arm
04:08
as they’re doing this build up those two
04:10
things are not coincidence those things
04:12
are
04:12
causal with the buildup going on this is
04:14
aid to do this
04:16
one of the things that’s very
04:17
interesting out of that two things that
04:18
are very interesting out of that aid
04:20
package
04:20
of what’s been reported
04:24
the they’re trying to improve
04:27
this is one of the things why we do
04:28
joint exercises all the time
04:30
they’re trying to improve how ukraine
04:33
can cooperate with nato so now the eu
04:36
the european union countries and the
04:39
united states have been supporting
04:41
ukraine in this mess and now that
04:44
interoperability
04:45
with nato is becoming a factor and so
04:48
this goes into the training of it
04:50
so that in many ways is a warning sign
04:53
to russia that will not be lost on them
04:56
they’ll view this this is beginning to
04:58
scale up
04:59
as to the potential danger that could be
05:01
there one of the other things that came
05:03
out of this age
05:04
aid package that’s interesting is the
05:08
that budgets in two more mark six patrol
05:11
boats now those
05:12
patrol boats are uh you know they’re
05:15
a coast guard sized vessel if you will
05:19
they are a navy vessel they can be very
05:22
well armed and equipped i’m assuming
05:24
these will be too
05:26
and uh you know radar they’re very
05:29
effective
05:29
on you know in these coastal water areas
05:33
and for black sea or or things like that
05:36
these are effective
05:37
uh vessels so and it’s one of the things
05:40
we’ve been talking about a lot you’re
05:41
seeing a lot of navy
05:42
buildup so this is all in recognition of
05:45
all of that
05:46
and part of it and there is a a
05:48
developing
05:49
arms race if if you will in the sense of
05:52
navy capability kind of ongoing with a
05:55
lot of other countries getting involved
05:57
trying to build up navies
05:58
and specifically in the black sea region
06:02
mediterranean black sea and elsewhere
06:05
certainly the pacific
06:06
as well different theater but uh this is
06:09
this is something that’s starting to
06:10
really spin up
06:12
you i would say the odds
06:15
of there being open conflict
06:19
with ukraine and russia in
06:22
the crimea has just taken a serious step
06:25
up
06:26
so it looks like the ukrainians are
06:28
preparing to go in
06:29
i would say the chances of this as i say
06:32
developing into open conflict
06:34
has become quite high so i would expect
06:37
to see a shooting war
06:38
kick off there here in the fairly
06:41
near future i wouldn’t be surprised if
06:44
they’re waiting for the kind of good
06:45
weather to hit
06:46
if you will and then probably go in it
06:48
should they should have everything
06:49
positioned it appears there be
06:51
that they’re preparing in that way some
06:54
of the questions that remain
06:55
you know the russians are not idiots
06:57
they see all of this coming
06:58
will they do any sort of uh
07:02
attack to to dull the what they think it
07:05
would be
07:06
uh where the or the ukrainians would
07:07
come through they certainly are
07:10
willing to do those sorts of things in
07:12
airstrike or things like that to damage
07:13
the equipment that’s being
07:15
staged to go into this area of donbass
07:18
where the where
07:19
that’s the front line right now in that
07:21
conflict so this has gone to a new level
07:23
where armed conflict
07:25
open not like full-scale war
07:29
but open open fighting
07:32
i would say is is the odds of that have
07:34
become very high
07:35
and it looks like that’s the way that
07:36
it’s headed in the short term
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you
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Brad Johnson, CIA Chief of Station (Ret.), is President of Americans for Intelligence Reform and brings his 25 years of experience as a CIA Operative and Chief of Station serving multiple times overseas in direct support of the War against Terrorism. Mr. Johnson is a certified senior expert in Counterintelligence issues with extensive direct experience in the field. He brings you his unique perspective from deep, international experience and conservative, Christian values.  Now retired, he formed Americans for Intelligence Reform to fight exactly the corruption and politics destroying our intelligence capabilities and threatening our national security.

He is an enrolled member of The Cherokee Nation, a Federally Recognized Tribe.

 

 

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