Oleksiy Taran, Deputy Chief of Ukraine’s General Staff, told Tyzhden.ua in an interview that Russia is preparing for large-scale military aggression.
“These plans are completely obvious. Accordingly, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are preparing to repel military aggression along Ukraine’s entire border,” Taran remarked.
He said that this applies not only to the demarcation line, but also to other regions, including the border with Belarus and around Crimea and Bessarabia. The “prepared governing bodies” will dispatch troops in these important directions and make preparations.
Taran emphasized that since 2014, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have promoted increased combat capabilities for military units to “repel full-scale armed military aggression from the Russian Federation against Ukraine”.
“The result of these efforts can be seen on Ukraine’s map: the demarcation line has been stabilized, a further advance by the aggressor into [Ukrainian] territory is impossible,” observed the deputy chief of general staff.
Taran added that the Armed Forces Command has learned from the experience gained during the Anti-Terrorist Operation.
“During these years we have had an expensive teacher – war. Everyone understands that never in our lives have our mistakes cost us so dearly. At the start of the aggression, we started with four battalions slash tactical groups in the entire Armed Forces that were more or less ready for assignments at the time. The other forces were at permanent stationing points and were considered ready to a limited extent or entirely unready,” Taran explained.
Ukraine has been preparing for a disengagement of forces in the Donbas following the signing of the “Steinmeier Formula” in Minsk. However, before this can be done, the ceasefire must be complied with for 7 consecutive days.
On October 15, the Trilateral Contact Group said that the withdrawal of forces could not be coordinated due to a sharp increase in shelling.