According to experts, what is happening in Ukraine according to Russia’s pre-planned plan is directly related to Georgia and poses a great threat to the region. What can happen if episodes of armed confrontation escalate into a full-scale war?
The Ukrainian side reported that on April 4, the ceasefire agreement was violated again and they attacked the positions of the Ukrainian military in Donbas with mortars and automatic weapons. There are no casualties this time. According to various reports, Russian hybrid forces killed at least 7 Ukrainian servicemen in March and April. In March, they opened fire 248 times.
The fact that, according to various official and unofficial information, Russia is bringing more and more military equipment and manpower to the borders of Ukraine raises expectations for the escalation of the armed conflict.
- The New York Times reported about four thousand Russian soldiers gathered near the Ukrainian border.
- At the end of March, Ruslan Khomchak, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, announced a plan by Russia to mobilize up to 30 battalions for the declared military exercises and to add another 25 battalions.
Actively disseminating information that Russia The forces are moving not only from the western and southern military districts, but also from the central military district.
Number plates of military equipment moving through Rostov Oblast are disguised to make it difficult to identify, eyewitnesses said.
Russia does not deny it. Asked about this on April 5, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said:
“Russia does not pose a threat to any country in the world, including Ukraine. But we always pay close attention to our own safety. “
Moscow has previously said that its armed forces will hold exercises and train near the Ukrainian border to repel unmanned aerial vehicles. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, more than 50 battalions are expected to take part in the exercise, which means about 15,000 military personnel.
Russia’s aggressive actions have been a growing concern in the West in recent days. Support for Ukraine is actively stated as From the EU, Also from Washington.
- The U.S. European Command on April 1 put its troops on high-level combat readiness after Russia began actively mobilizing troops along the Ukrainian border and in Crimea.
- Ministry of Defense of Ukraine According to the information, Minister Andrew Taran received a firm promise of assistance from US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin a few days ago – “In the event of an escalation of Russian aggression, the United States will not leave Ukraine alone and will not allow Russia to pursue its aggressive aspirations.”
- Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told a briefing on April 1 that they were aware of the movement of Russian troops along Ukraine’s border and that the United States was discussing the issue with NATO allies.
The Georgian government has not responded to the tense situation in Ukraine with official statements. We did not receive any comments or explanations from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Zurab Batiashvili, a researcher at the Rondel Foundation, tells us that in the face of such a tense situation in the Black Sea region, the Georgian government should convene an emergency meeting of the Security Council and plan the next steps in detail.
According to Batiashvili, Russia’s actions towards Ukraine are part of one big scenario. Russia is in a hurry to strengthen its position before the end of the administration of the new US President Joe Biden. According to Batiashvili, if he reaches the crossroads in Ukraine, the next target for Russia will be Georgia:
“Russia is trying to do its best if it is allowed to do so. It should seize more territory in eastern or southern Ukraine and possibly even block access to the Black Sea for Ukraine.
The plan of the new Soviet Union, which Russia has, definitely includes Ukraine and Georgia. “This process has intensified since the events in Karabakh, and part of that is the ongoing events in Armenia, where Moscow wants to oust Prime Minister Nikol Fashinyan and replace him with a loyal figure.”
Zurab Batiashvili calls it unfortunate that today the issue of Georgia’s occupation is not discussed in the same basket as Ukraine, while the West is speaking louder against Russian aggression.
“Russia’s policy of non-irritation has turned our government into an ostrich. It ends with the beast coming to the ostrich and eating it. ” Batiashvili tells us.
It is a sad fact for experts that when talking about Ukraine in the context of Russian aggression, world leaders often do not mention Georgia.
In recent years, relations between Ukraine and Georgia have visibly cooled for experts, and the processes were mainly related to the activities of the third president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, in the Ukrainian government. In August 2020, when the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Andri Taran, paid his first official visit to Georgia, he was met by none of the high-ranking government officials except his then Georgian counterpart, Irakli Gharibashvili.
The Foreign Ministry had no information at all about Andrew Taran’s visit. However, Tarani was newly appointed to the post at that time and he chose Georgia especially for his first official visit.
Since being granted NATO’s “Extended Capacity Partner” (EOP) status in June last year, Ukraine has been actively working with international partners to adopt a Membership Action Plan (MAP), which, along with Georgia, was rejected at the Bucharest Summit in April 2008. .
Some experts believed that being in the same basket with Ukraine over NATO was not beneficial for Georgia, as Georgia was more successful on this path. However, Tengiz Pkhaladze, an associate professor at GIPA and former secretary of state for ex-president Margvelashvili’s administration, fears that if Georgia fails to find a solution to the domestic political crisis and strengthens democratic institutions, it may lose support for both NATO and the EU.
The problem of the political crisis, according to experts, also diminishes the public’s attention to external threats and leaves almost no room for public discussion on foreign challenges. These challenges, in their view, are becoming increasingly dangerous after the Karabakh truce. The key to easing internal tensions in Georgia so far can not The European Union Found.
“The situation is dangerous” – Tengiz Pkhaladze tells us. According to him, what is happening in Ukraine is directly related to Georgia.
“It does not happen on another continent, it happens here, near us, in the Black Sea region. The developments in Ukraine are directly related to the security of the Black Sea …
Russia’s success in Ukraine will lead to the intensification of militarization in the occupied territories of Georgia. This will first of all concern Abkhazia and then what threat and when it will leave the rest of Georgia, this tool will be in the hands of Russia.
We saw that the same groups of “militants” were found in Donbas used by Russia in the Tskhinvali region. Everything is interconnected “ – Tengiz Pkhaladze tells Radio Liberty.