Turchynov: Russia could launch a full-scale military operation against Ukraine at any time

The Russian Federation has built up a powerful military infrastructure on its border with Ukraine and can launch large-scale combat activities against Ukraine at any moment, Chairperson of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov said.

“Putin’s order will be enough to launch a full-size war against Ukraine, but that decision would be least guided by Ukraine’s actions. Rather, a much more important factor that weighs on the decisions regarding foreign political and military adventures of the RF lies in the Russian domestic situation,” Turchynov said as he delivered a report at the meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Commission at the level of the NATO Ambassadors that was attended by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

According to Turchynov, the threat also grew for NATO member states. Turchynov said the RF policy aimed at restoring its regional and partially global dominance was “the main destabilizing factor that undermines security in the Eastern Europe and on the continent in general.”

Speaking about Ukraine and the Russian aggression there, Turchynov emphasized that Russia has been methodically turning Crimea into its stronghold, a highly equipped military base, and that Russia was responsible for the “deadly war in Donbas” that took the lives of over 10,300 people, of whom over 2,500 were civilians and over 200 were children.

“Russian [military and their proxies] have turned the cities of Ukraine into a testing ground for their modern combat equipment and armament,” Turchynov stressed.

He also stated that “Donbas was occupied not by rebel forces but in fact by Russian armed formations and the installed administration managed from the RF.” Turchynov said that in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Russia deployed a powerful military force formed of the 8th combined arms army of the Southern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces.

Turchynov thanked the allies for their continuous support for the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine and stressed the importance of strengthening the international coalition in support of Ukraine and warned against lifting sanctions from the RF before Ukraine has fully restored control over the occupied territories.

  Turchynov, NATO-Ukraine Commission, Russia, Donbas