Russian President Vladimir Putin is increasingly afraid of the Ukrainian army as it is getting stronger. This opinion was expressed by the former Commander of the Polish Land Forces and Deputy Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Poland, Waldemar Skrzypczak, in the commentary section of Ukrinform.
"Ukraine can be afraid of some actions [during the Zapad-2017 exercises], which will in no small part weaken the Ukrainian army. In my opinion, Putin fears the Ukrainian army more than ever, as its strength increases and it is now already in a position to fight off Luhansk and Donetsk from the separatists ," the Polish military expert said.
In his opinion, the US and other Western countries do not provide Ukraine security guarantees, which could encourage President Putin toward aggressive actions, in particular during the Zapad-2017 exercises.
"The transfer of Russia's first tank army to Belarus is dangerous for the center of Ukraine. In the event of an aggravation of the situation, the Russians can make a blow from the north, splitting Ukraine into two parts, punching the corridor into Transnistria and trying to create a separatist government in Kyiv," Skrzypczak noted.
According to the expert, it is not so important whether after the exercise some Russian troops will remain in Belarus, since the Belarusian army is already de facto part of Russia, and the border between Belarus and Russia is purely formal.
"It is not a problem if the Russian tank army remains in Brest, but it is a problem if it accumulates fuel or ammunition stocks, or if reservists are mobilized. If someone wants war, then these supplies and ammunition should already be there; if they are not there, then the troops will come and go," stated the former Commander of the Polish Land Forces, warning to be afraid if such evidence were revealed.