Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a messy affair, that’s certainly true, and the latest fears circulating within the Kremlin suggest that there is plenty more trouble heading their way.
That’s because Ukraine’s military has been thoroughly effective in repelling the advancing Russian army, and in instilling such fear in their enemies that they’ve begun simply dropping their rifles and running back to the border in cases where surrender is impossible.
Now, as the regions illegally annexed by Russia weeks ago are being taken back by Ukraine, the Kremlin is concerned about the possibility of losing Crimea as well.
After a series of crushing defeats for Russia’s military in Ukraine from the northeast to the south over the last several weeks, Russian authorities in Moscow appear to be increasingly concerned that Ukraine has set its sights on seizing back Crimea next.
Russian MP Andrei Gurulyov on Sunday urged Moscow to determine the risk of Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization launching an attack on Crimea, which Russian President Vladimir Putin illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Russian MP Mikhail Sheremet warned that Ukrainian troops will suffer a “final crushing blow” if they launch an attack on Crimea.
Russian officials were trying to maintain an air of confidence, but it wasn’t really working.
In an apparent attempt to temper fears that Ukraine would go after Crimea, the chairman of the Federation Council’s committee on defense and security, Viktor Bondarev, warned Monday that he doesn’t think Ukraine has the firepower to take back Crimea.
“Ukraine has neither the resources, nor the military force, nor the support of the Crimeans for the promised offensive on the peninsula,” Bondarev said, adding, “‘Crimea is ours’ is not only a slogan and a hashtag. It is an unshakable reality.”
Given Russia’s unwavering obsession with threatening nuclear war, there are some rather cogent concerns that an attack on Crimea could trigger such an insidious option as well.