The Russian Federation is bringing the level of tension to a new apogee – the previous one occurred in 2014 with the military invasion of Ukraine and a significant increase in military and hybrid activity on land, in the air, at sea, and in digital space. Since then, the world community has been systematically shaken by reports of Russian submarines being discovered off the coast of Britain, damage to bottom submarine detection systems near Norway, or access to information on the location of the German fleet in the Baltic Sea. The Russians have repeatedly violated airspace in Europe, practiced training activities to strike at strategic targets, and conducted joint military exercises intending to identify the exact locations of NATO troops. I will not even write about cyber espionage, which the Kremlin has turned into its industry, which allows supporting Russian production and modernization of the military-industrial complex at a decent level, as for the technologies of 50 years ago.
Russia’s special services, primarily the GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate) and the FSB (The Federal Security Service), are overseeing the escalation on the Belarusian-Polish border, involving the local KGB (Committee for State Security) and other networks in the Republic of Belarus. Their task is to create a humanitarian crisis at the border, as well as to identify weaknesses in Poland’s defense, which will be targeted by a military strike if necessary in the event of widespread aggression. Bold adventures of Belarusians with the crossing of armed “border guards” into Poland, cutting the wire, damaging the fence, breaking the border with a company car, digging poles, providing migrants with tear gas canisters is the first stage. In the course of the successful implementation of this step, the desired consequences for Moscow are emerging, in particular: the lack of consensus in the EU, the feeling of loneliness of Warsaw in the fight against hybrid aggression; another confirmation of NATO’s failure to respond; distracting Europe and the United States from preparing for a new round of aggression in Ukraine; bringing Lukashenko out of the margins (with the latter speaking on equal terms with Angela Merkel these days), etc.
The introduction of the next stage depends on the degree of satisfaction with the results of the first stage. It will include several areas, clearly interconnected and aimed at gaining stronger benefits. Migrants from the police and other law enforcement agencies of the allied states will receive firearms (mostly from the criminal past, which passed as material evidence, as well as those that were smuggled from Central Asia). The provocation can be organized by deliberately injuring or even killing young people by transferring their bodies to the Polish part of the border while simultaneously filming the “alleged” brutality of the Polish military. By the way, this can be done on the part of Poland, if the DRG (diversion intelligence group) of Russians and Belarusians enters the neighboring territory and changes into Polish uniforms. To this will be added a demonstration of military power: regular flights of strategic aircraft, violations of the air and sea space of NATO member countries, sabotage against the accumulation of Polish military improvised explosive devices and incendiary mixtures, and so on. This stage could fully occur in the event of increased sanctions pressure on the regimes, military warnings of NATO, reverse military maneuvers, and real steps towards assistance to Ukraine.
The last stage will be characterized by a confrontation on the border, similar to the Berlin crisis of 1961, but we hope that this will not happen. At the same time, the focus of international news is again on Ukraine and its current environment on 3 sides: in the south, occupied Crimea, the Russian-controlled Azov, and Black Sea waters, the unrecognized Transnistrian Republic with a Russian military base; in the east, the border with Russia, as well as the L-DNR terrorist groups, which are completely controlled by Moscow; in the north, Belarus, an allied state with Russia. In the event of a full-scale Russian invasion, Ukraine risks being in a very difficult position due to blows from all sides. Kyiv relies on the support of its partners in Warsaw, Vilnius, Berlin, Paris, the entire EU, and, of course, London and Washington. NATO and the EU must be prepared to respond to any scenario and side with Ukraine by providing weapons, missile and air defense systems, assisting with reconnaissance and patrols, air and sea warfare, and considering the deployment of a rapid reaction forces in Ukraine.
Russia was unpredictable, Belarus became part of its politics and political body. Behind the scenes of the migration, invasion is the testing of European and NATO forces, as well as the weakening of concentration on the topic of Ukraine. Boris Johnson rightly stated that the issue now lies between Russian gas and support for Ukraine, so it is not too late to coordinate efforts to prevent the launch of Nord Stream 2, even with hybrid efforts to damage the pipeline. Europe’s security is under serious threat, it will never be able to become a global competitor or geopolitical player if such important areas are controlled by Russia. It is time to show strength and prove that the principles and values of the West cannot be sold or exchanged to the Russians after receiving new fatal blows. Don’t let Europe fall at Moscow’s feet while there is time. And Ukraine must remain an outpost of the West, its surrender will lead to a catastrophe in Europe.