Ukraine is ready to fend off a full-scale military aggression from Russia, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko told Radio Liberty in Ukraine.
“Experts assess that Russia will be ready [for a full-scale war] in three years. We also assess readiness and the possible scope of provocative actions, as well as a possible large-scale aggression towards Ukraine. We have drafted actions plans tailored to different situations that address current threats faced by Ukraine, and we prepare our troops to defend our country,” the Ukrainian Chief of Staff said.
Muzhenko stressed that he expected Ukraine to be prepared to repel aggression at any time. “We must be ready now, and tomorrow, and in a week, and in one year, and in three years, until this threat, a threat of a military aggression against Ukraine, ceases to exist,” he said.
Muzhenko also said that the nationally produced Oplot battle tank promised to the Ukrainian Army long ago would come into service only in late 2018 “We expected to receive those tanks at the beginning of this year, but due to certain technical reasons, due to our industrial defense capabilities, the delivery of the tanks was postponed until late 2018,” Muzhenko explained.
Earlier, the administration announced the completion of the Antiterrorist Operation (ATO) in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and a change of format of the defense operation in the region. “We will shift to the operation of Combined Forces,” Muzhenko said.
The military command center specially created for this purpose will be responsible for the operation of Combined Forces. According to Muzhenko, the change of format will allow the Armed Forces of Ukraine to employ its personnel and military power “more effectively and in accordance with a legal framework.”